The Complete Kentia Palm Care Guide

Ahh, the Kentia Palm. Elegant and dignified, the Howea forsteriana was one of the first palms ever cultured for use as an indoor plant. This majestic plant is one of the most resilient members of the palm family and immediately transforms any space into a tropical paradise. Originally propagated in Hawaii with a soil media of crushed lava rock, the Kentia offers long-lasting beauty with little fuss and a very low-maintenance care routine. It’s the perfect palm for adding an exotic touch to any home or building that will create a scene straight out of a tropical vacation!

The Kentia Palm is a real head turner with its tall, feathery fronds that can grow up to a foot in length. This palm is an ideal choice to show off indoors because of how tolerant and care-free it is- they’re easy to take care of, easy to adapt to new environments, and have we mentioned they’re easy on the eyes? In their native habitat off the coast of Australia, these majestic palms can easily reach heights of 30 feet tall. Here at Plantz, however, they come in a variety of different sizes ranging from 2-6 feet tall. Whichever size you go for, we can guarantee you will not be disappointed adding the Kentia Palm to your interior design.

While these palms are more forgiving than their family members (really, they’re practically people-proof), they still deserve the love and care needed to grow into the icon of tropical style that they are.

Kentia Palm Watering 

When it comes to keeping your Kentia happy, think tropical conditions. This plant prefers to be well-hydrated but never soggy, as overwatering can lead to root rot. Since the Kentia Palm is adapted to the porous lava rock soil of Hawaii, it’s actually rather hard to overwater compared to most other houseplants. Regardless, it’s always best to use some sort of soil probe, such as our Soil Sleuth to ensure you’re only watering when your Kentia really needs a drink. Remember- it’s always better to miss a watering than to overdo it and cause your plants to drown in soggy soil conditions.

When your Kentia is good and ready for some H2o, make sure to water it thoroughly around the entire soil surface. Always allow the soil to dry out completely before the next watering to avoid possibly drowning your plant. Your Kentia may become thirstier in the warmer months, requiring weekly waterings to stay happy and healthy. In the winter, the palm will usually only need a good dose of H2o every couple of weeks or so.

Lighting for Your Kentia Palm

The Kentia Palm is just as easygoing when it comes to lighting as it is to watering. This plant has a much stronger tolerance for lower light conditions than other palms, making it the go-to choice for adding those summertime vibes indoors. While the Kentia can tolerate some pretty shady spots throughout the house, they really grow best and thrive in medium to bright light. Whether placing your new palm in a low-light corner or near a sunny south-facing window, make sure the light is always filtered and the palm is never in direct sunbeams as the intense light will burn those beautiful green fronds.

Temperature Requirements

Remember- think tropical conditions when caring for your indoor palm. Like most native tropical plants, this palm prefers warmer temperatures and high humidity. Similar to their lighting conditions, the Kentia Palm is quite tolerant of their temperatures as well- they can put up with temperatures as low as 25° and as high as 100°! While their temp range is quite impressive, they will always perform better and be healthiest in temperatures ranging between 65° and 85°.

Since the Kentia Palm is tropical in nature, it really thrives in environments with higher humidity. To keep your palm feeling nice and cozy in their new home, we recommend misting the leaves with a spray bottle a couple of times each week. If you’re more of a forgetful plant parent, you can also place your Kentia in a bathroom that has enough natural sunlight and is big enough for a gorgeous palm of this size. Whenever you shower or take a bath, the water will create a humid environment for the palm leaving you with one less worry and one happier plant!

The Kentia Palm thrives near a window

Nutrition

 Here at Plantz we make sure your new green friends are well-fed and nourished before they arrive to you, so you will not need to feed your Kentia Palm for at least six months after you get it. After that, it’s important to feed your new palm monthly during the growing seasons of spring and summer with liquid fertilizer or a specially formulated palm fertilizer. Your palm won’t need any fertilizer through the winter months, so fertilizing is usually just seasonal.

Common Problems of the Kentia Palm

 The biggest issue when it comes to little critters on your Kentia Palm is scale. These insects will show up as little brown bumps on the stems or leaves of the plant, and one of the most visible indicators of scale is a blackish mold. Luckily, these insects can be wiped off with a little bit of pressure.

Like many indoor plants, you should also be on the lookout for mealybugs and spider mites on your Kentia. Both of these pests suck the juices from your precious palms, and if left untamed can end up killing your plant as well as spreading to other houseplants in your collection. Instead of treating these pests with alcohol-containing products, opt for an insecticidal soap instead so you don’t dry out the delicate leaves. Saturate all of the fronds with the soap mixture once a week until your pesky bugs are gone for good.

With the right amount of attention and love, the Kentia Palm will create a permanent tropical oasis for you to enjoy for many years to come. Contact us today and we’ll get you matched with the perfect palm for your space!

How to Care for a Snake Plant

The Snake plant has always been a go-to houseplant for both novice and seasoned plant owners alike. Why? Well aside from its enticing leaves, this plant needs very, very little care- in fact, the only thing ranked lower than the Sansevieria on a scale of difficulty is a pet rock!

Sometimes referred to as Mother-In-Law Tongue or “Sans” for short, this African plant immediately stands out from the rest with its stiff, vertical, spear-like leaves making it a popular choice for modern interior designs. Their sharp look is what gave them the nickname “mother-in-law tongue” in the first place! The Sans remains a popular choice because of how incredibly easy-going and adaptable it is, requiring the absolute bare minimum when it comes to a care routine. Seriously, the only way you’ll kill this plant is by over-loving it.

The Sansevieria comes in a couple of different varieties- Zeylanica and Laurentii. The Zeylanica is known for the classic variegation patterns of dark and light greens throughout its vertical leaves. The Laurentii, on the other hand, has bright yellow and light green leaf margins with a lot more character than its cousin, Zeylanica, and adds a pop of color to any space. Both snake plant varieties are offered here at Plantz in either the 10” or the 14” grow pots and ranging from 2 to 4 feet in height.

While the Sans is practically indestructible, there are a few key things you should know when caring for your new plant.

The Ultimate Snake Plant Care Guide

Water

 The only thing that can really ever bring a Sansevieria down is overwatering. Native to arid regions of Africa and southeastern Asia, the snake plant thrives in dry soil and only needs the occasional dose of H2o- you can forget to soak this plant for up to a month and it will still forgive you. Let the soil mostly dry out in between waterings and you’ll have yourself a happy plant! To know when it’s time to water, it’s better to use a soil probe, such as our Soil Sleuth, than relying on the old finger test to ensure that your plant is actually thirsty.

Light

 One of the many draws to snake plants is how versatile they are- low-light, full-sun, indoor, outdoor- this plant can adapt to nearly any condition and still flourish. While the Sans will be happiest in bright, indirect sunlight, it can also survive fairly dim lighting situations. If your snake plant isn’t getting enough sunbeams, it will let you know with sad, droopy leaves. Be careful not to suddenly move your Sans from one lighting condition to another, and instead gradually move it towards its new home.

Temperature

For the most part, try to keep your snake plant in as stable an environment as possible. This means making its home away from heaters, AC vents, or drafty windows. The Sansevieria prefers warmer conditions between 70 and 90 degrees and will begin to suffer in anything below 50 degrees, so keep an eye on the weather if placing your snake plant outdoors. Overall, if the temperature in your home is comfortable for you then it’ll be so for your plant too.

Nutrition

 Like all of our plants here at Plantz, the Sans will be loaded with nutrients from its nursery production for the first six months or so after you receive it. After that, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer formulated for indoor plants- but since this plant is such a slow grower, it can go quite some time without fertilizer.

Snake Plants
Snake Plants in Phoenix Planters

Benefits of Having a Snake Plant

So the snake plant is both good-looking AND incredibly hard to kill- what more could it possibly offer? Well, strap in folks, because Sansevieria has some pretty impressive health benefits to boot.

Remove toxic air pollutants

The Sans was one of the few plants featured in NASA’s Clean Air Study in the 1980s. In this study, NASA found that certain houseplants could absorb harmful toxins from the air and improve air quality in the space they were in. Snake plants absorb and remove harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde, and can fight off airborne allergies!

Release oxygen- even at night

Snake plants have a unique ability to perform photosynthesis at night, which allows them to release oxygen not during the day but instead while you sleep! This makes it the perfect bedroom companion to improve air quality and flow and help you get a better night’s rest, feeling rejuvenated and refreshed each morning.

Increase well-being

 The Sansevieria purifies air better than most indoor plants since it absorbs excessive amounts of CO, making it an ideal choice for both home and office spaces alike. In the home, this plant can improve airflow and help you get a healthier night of sleep. When placed in an office or work environment, the snake plant can increase productivity and creativity, decrease stress, and boost overall office morale. Wherever you choose to keep your snake plant, you can sleep better (literally) knowing that it’s working hard to keep you as healthy and happy as you’re keeping it.

And there you have it! As if caring for a Sansevieria wasn’t easy enough, we’ve made it completely fool-proof. Contact one of our care specialists today to find the best snake plant for you and obtain a new plant buddy for life!

 

How Lighting Affects Your Plants

Whether you have a green thumb or a brown thumb, everyone knows that plants need light to grow. That is why it is one of the biggest factors to consider when raising your plant babies. Without light, plants cannot go through photosynthesis and produce the energy that is needed to grow happy and healthy.

 

When plants do not have enough light, they stop producing the green pigment called chlorophyll and can turn pale or yellowish. They may also drop their leaves or fail to produce flower buds when they are lacking the proper sunbeams. On the other hand, plants that catch too many rays risk scorched or bleached leaves and drying out. Let’s take a closer look at what kind of lighting your home gives off, and which plants work best with each type!

 

What Sort of Natural Lighting Does Your Home Have?

 

If you are looking to add a new plant to your home, it is important to first know how much natural light you are working with. When it comes to light, the direction your windows face will determine the quality and quantity of natural light your plants will get. Unsure of which way your windows face? Your phone has a nifty compass app that can tell you right away.

 

South Facing: A south-facing window offers bright indirect light to full sun in the afternoon, and is best for plants that require a full range of light throughout the day. This window will be your go-to for bright-light plants who love to soak in the sun.

 

North Facing: The north-facing window is the least ideal for your plant friends as it receives extremely small amounts of natural light. Low-light plants can thrive near these windows, but be aware that direct sunlight does not come through at any point.

 

East Facing: If your window is facing east, do not expect to see much intense sunlight shining through it. It does catch some semi-bright indirect light, so these windows are a great spot for low- to medium-light houseplants.

 

West Facing: Your west-facing window receives good light from the afternoon sun, seeing some direct sun getting through at the end of the day as well. This window misses the hottest rays of the day and has minimal direct sunlight making it ideal for most houseplants.

 

You also need to factor in seasonality when assessing light through your windows.  In the northern hemisphere, the light will remain fairly consistent through east- and west-facing windows; but through south- and north-facing windows, the light can vary greatly.  During the summer, you might expect to get the most light through your south-facing window, but that is not always true.  The sun can get very high in the sky and eves and roof soffits can block light.  In the winter, however, the sun slips lower in the sky and light can penetrate at an angle that provides greater brightness and resulting in photosynthetic activity.

 

On the north side of the house, it works in reverse where the mid-summer sun can actually be brighter.  The impact of seasonal light changes varies, too, depending on how far north or south you live.  Lastly, on seasonality, trees planted in your outside landscape can and will impact light penetration as the sun moves north and south in the sky.

 

It is also a good idea to know about the different types of lights that our plants grow best in. Bright direct light usually means a plant thrives on a windowsill or any spot near it where the sunrays are constant. Bright indirect light will be close to a window, but not technically on the windowsill or in the direct sunbeams. Medium-light means the plant can be in a semi-shaded corner or spot away from the window, but it still gets that filtered light at certain parts of the day. Low-light plants are your most easy-going plant and can be placed basically anywhere!  As long as they get some (even artificial) light, and you do not totally forget about them, they will be fine.

 

Best Houseplants for Low Light

 

Just because you have minimal light in your home does not mean that you can not be a proud plant parent! While it might limit your options some, there’s still a wide range of plants that will love your low to medium light space.

 

ZZ Plant: These plants can survive basically anywhere that there is a crumb of sunlight. ZZ plants, or as we have nicknamed it the EZ-ZZ, can be sustained in artificial light, are extremely low-maintenance, and require very little water- seriously, it can go up to 2 whole months without getting thirsty!

 

Janet Craig: No, not Jenny Craig- Janet Craig. This plant’s large, sword-shaped leaves capture even the slightest bit of light, making it an ideal choice for a shadier room or office. It’s even won the honor of being our most low-light plant offering!

 

Snake Plant: While this plant thrives in bright light conditions, it will continue to grow in low light environments for a very long time. We’ve coined it the easiest houseplant for a forgetful plant parent, making it a great choice for beginners or to be put in a windowless office.

 

Lisa Cane: This plant has one of the lowest light requirements, making it a top performer in low-light, tight spaces. The Lisa Cane looks elegant near a window or in a corner with only filtered light.

 

Giganta Plant: Close relative to the Corn Plant, the Giganta is multi-trunked but ALL foliage. This beauty does well in low to medium-light situations and maintains its characteristic large leaves with yellow variegation year-round.

The Snake plant is a low light winner.
The Snake Plant, a low-light winner.

Best Houseplants for Bright Light

 

If you are working with south- or west-facing windows that offer tons of natural light, we have just the list for you! Consider these light-loving plants when choosing a new addition for those bright, sunny spots.

 

Fiddle Leaf Fig: The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a real showstopper in any room, as long as it is a well-lit one. This plant requires the brightest of lights to maintain its big, violin-shaped leaves that have made it one of our trendiest plants offered.

 

Ficus Microcarpa: This Ficus plant is not only related to the Fiddle Leaf Fig, but also requires just as much light as its brother. The Ficus Microcarpa does great on a patio or lanai in the warmer months, and it is a good idea to twist your Ficus once a week to ensure that light is reaching all of its gorgeous sides.

 

Majesty Palm: This native of Madagascar grows best in filtered indirect light, adding a touch of the tropics to any spot it inhabits. If put outside on a screened patio, the majestic Majesty Palm will grow for a very long time AND impress your neighbors.

 

White Bird of Paradise: This interior-design classic needs a lot of sunshine to keep growing, preferably near an east- or south-facing window. Shine some light on its long, dramatic, arching leaves and let its silhouette show off too.

 

Areca Palm: The Areca Palm, or Butterfly Palm, adds a tropical splash to building entrances or home patios and require a lot of light. So much light, in fact, that it makes them a little tricky to be indoor plants. If you have a very bright spot and haven’t yet found a plant that can handle it- look no further! The Areca Palm is your guy.

The "Bird" has very large leaves and they are hearty plants.
White Bird of Paradise

 

Other Factors that Affect Indoor Lighting

 

Now that you know what type of sunlight you have and which plants work best for each type, there are a few other factors you should consider when mapping the natural light in your home.

 

While you may have a south-facing window, if there are any obstructions such as buildings or trees it will limit the amount of sunlight that comes through. The same goes for indoor obstructions, such as furniture or larger plants blocking the window and diffusing those precious rays.

 

The size of your windows also plays a huge part in where you can place your new plant pals! With larger windows that allow more light to shine through, you can position your plants farther from the window while still getting them the amount of light they need. Of course, placing your new babies directly on the windowsill is the best option for those bright light-loving plants.

 

Artificial lighting is a great alternative if your home is lacking the natural exposure you’d like. While plants prefer the real deal, investing in some kind of artificial grow lights will allow you to bring home just about any plant your heart desires!

Top Nine Plant Care Tips

Some people have a green thumb, while others have some plant-killing tendencies – wherever you are in your plant journey, we’re here to help. Follow these nine simple plant care tips to ensure your plants live their best lives and are never on their last leaf.

Choose Plants Based on Your Needs, Not Your Wants

We’ve all fallen in love with a plant, only to get it home and have it kick the potter after a few weeks. To ensure the plants you want are the plants you can have, assess the lighting situation in your space before heading out on the plant prowl. The easiest way to determine the type of light in your home or office is to check what directions your windows are facing: south-facing windows give the most direct and brightest light, east- and west-facing windows give off indirect but moderate light, and north-facing windows get the lowest amount of sunshine.  Be aware, too, that light changes seasonally and that south-facing windows may deliver the most light in the winter when the sun moves lower in the sky.

Match Your Plant to Your Personality

Be sure to consider your lifestyle and personality when deciding on a plant. If you’re constantly on the go or are just forgetful, go with a plant that thrives on neglect and isn’t fussy about a missed watering or two. There are tons of plants that are genuinely difficult to kill, so don’t think you have to settle for artificial plants to have a social life! If you have more free time on your hands or are a homebody, go for the needier plants that love having your undivided attention.

Less is More

When it comes to watering your plants, it’s always better to underwater than to overwater as too much water can lead to dreadful root rot. Most plants prefer being slightly dry rather than soaking wet, so they’d thank you for a missed watering over an unnecessary bath. You should ditch the weekly water schedule and only water your plants when they are actually thirsty. Always check the soil first to judge how your plants doing- and we recommend using a soil probe to be absolutely sure.  Many times, the soil can appear dry and even be dry in the top two inches, but if you probe down deeper in the soil, you sometimes find plenty of water for the plant to use.  We have a great soil testing tool that can be found here. For more in-depth (get it?) watering instructions, check out our watering guide:  Watering for Success.

Stability

Houseplants love stability and thrive once they are used to their surroundings. Just like people, plants are most comfortable between 65 and 75 degrees, and any extreme change in their environment can stress them out. You should always do your best to avoid placing your plants near vents, heaters, and doors that may create hot or cold drafts and shock your green friends.

Find A Dealer You Trust

Try to always purchase your plants through a trustworthy and reliable source, like PLANTZ! Specialty plant stores are the way to go, and they often have people with expertise to answer any questions you may have. As a rule of (green) thumb: only buy plants in places whose main specialty is plants and plant care– avoid supermarkets, home improvement stores, and department stores that offer plants of suspect quality that you have to lug home. Always check your new plant out for any signs of distress such as yellow leaves, mildew, brown tips, and weak stems.

 

Monsteras Behind the Scenes
Monsteras in PLANTZ Green House

Humidity Control

Most plants grow best in conditions that are similar to their natural environments. For tropical plants that prefer higher humidity, or if your house is just more on the dry side, lightly mist your plants with a spray bottle in between waterings to keep them happy and healthy. You can also group these plants together to help create a more humid environment in the colder months. A humidifier is a great option for both you and your plants, but be careful of condensation staying on your plants leaves too long as it can be harmful.

Dust Bunnies Are Not Your Friends

A buildup of dust can hinder you and your plant babies from living your healthiest lives. When plants collect too much dust on their leaves, they can’t get the same amount of sunlight that they need to survive. When their leaves don’t get the light needed for photosynthesis, they also don’t give off as much oxygen as they normally would. Gently wiping your plants with a wet cloth or giving them a room temperature shower should do the trick.

Pruning Your Plants

Pruning allows you to get rid of old-growth and encourages new growth- similar to getting your hair trimmed! How often you need to prune a plant depends on the type of plant and its growth rate, but at some point, you’ll have to grab those pruners or scissors for some cleanup. Without pruning, your plant could run wild and the roots could outgrow their grow pot. Be sure to trim away any dead or old leaves, and always prune at a 45-degree angle above the leaf node.

Skip the Fertilizer If You’re Unsure

At PLANTZ, we ship all of our plants with the right amount of nutrients already in the soil to keep them happy and healthy for the first 6 months. After that, it’s recommended that you find a fertilizer formulated for interior plants to share with your new friends during the growing season. We offer one of the best plant food products on the market that can be found here. Plants get minerals and nutrients from their potting mix, sunlight, air, and water- so your plants will still be healthy without the additional additives but after 6 months it is good to add some food.

 

Plants in Apartments
Plant Parent like a Pro with Our Top Nine Plant Care Tips

 

Caring for Your Mini Monstera

We are so excited to introduce the newest addition to our plant family: the Mini Monstera! This vining plant is often called many different names- “Monstera Minima”, “Mini Split-Leaf”, “Ginny Philodendron”- but it’s really Raphidophora Tetrasperma, and it’s actually not a Monstera at all! While the two are in the same family, Araceae, and bear a striking resemblance to each other, the R. Tetrasperma is in a totally separate genus originating from Malaysia and Thailand!

 

This tropical plant’s interesting split leaves, ease of care, and unusual climbing habits contribute to its increasing popularity lately in the Plantz community. Want to add that exotic, jungle-like vibe to your home but don’t have the space for a Monstera deliciosa? The RT stays smaller and grows quicker, making it the must-have tropical houseplant for small spaces. These plants thrive when they have something to climb on, such as the totem that comes with our version, allowing it to grow upwards and really show off its potential.

 

So without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about caring for your new climbing plant buddy.

 

Watering Your Mini Monstera


The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a moderate drinker and likes to stay pretty moist, but not soggy. The amount of water your RT needs depends entirely on the amount of light it gets, the time of year, and whether it’s in its growing season or not. When the top inch or so of soil feels dry it’s time to give your new buddy a drink. Your Mini Monstera should be happy with getting watered about 4 times a month in the warmer season, and then once every 2 weeks once winter hits.

 

These plants tend to be very avid drinkers, but they can also be extremely sensitive to overwatering. A good rule of thumb with the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma: if it’s wet, do nothing- if it’s dry, add water. The Mini Monstera Plant isn’t one to pout if it misses a watering every now and then, but its leaves will quickly turn brown or yellow when it’s had too much H2o.

 

*Helpful hint: use room temperature or lukewarm water when giving your plant friends a drink so you don’t shock their roots with a cold bath!

 

When you first get your Mini Monstera, it will still be feeding on all of those yummy nutrients that it got while in our care and will likely not need to be fertilized for the first 6 months. After that, we recommend a complete fertilizer formulated for indoor plants, such as our Dyna-Gro plant fertilizer, that’ll keep your R. tetrasperma happy and growing. These babies thrive with regular fertilizing during their growing season, so try feeding them once a month and watch your Mini Monstera grow like crazy!

 

What Lighting is Best for Your Mini Monstera?

 

Mini Monsteras are big fans of bright filtered light, so they should be placed near a window that offers plenty of rays. The right amount of sunshine allows its leaves to develop their notable heart shape and deep splits. While this plant can survive in low-light conditions, it won’t do its famous leaf-split or climbing tricks without enough light and will grow slowly with smaller foliage. Too much sun, on the other hand, can cause your leaves to dry out and turn yellow. Our best piece of advice- allow your new friend to get some morning sunlight and then bright shade for the rest of the day!

 

The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, like most other aroids and people, doesn’t prefer temperatures that are too hot or too cold. These plants are their best selves in temperatures between 55°F and 85°F. In the summer or winter, avoid air conditioning vents or heaters to reduce any stress on your glossy climber.

 

In the warmer months, you can transfer your RT outdoors to give your patio or balcony those tropical feels. They can be pretty easy-going when the temperature drops at night, but anything below 55°F and you should bring them indoors. Since this plant is considered a fast grower, always make sure it’s getting the proper light wherever you decided to show it off!

The Mini Monstera totem is leafy and fun.
The Mini Monstera

Letting Your Mini Monstera Climb

 

Have we mentioned the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma likes to climb? Of course, we have- it’s one of the many attributes that makes them so popular among houseplant connoisseurs.  Our Mini Monstera comes already “trained” on its totem and will continue to climb as it grows using its aerial roots. When new growth pops out from the base of the plant, you should find literally anything you can to attach it to the totem- nursery tape, zip ties, handcuffs- okay, not handcuffs, but you get the point. Just make sure to make it as least noticeable as possible so you don’t take away from the aesthetic. Always remember- the more sunlight your RT gets, the more it will produce new and climbing growth!

 

While some may love the look of RT’s overflowing from hanging baskets, leaving them to hang can actually result in patchy growth and smaller leaves without any of the characteristic splits. Keeping them as a floor plant and allowing them to climb up whatever structure you choose will ensure they live a happy and healthy life- and they’ll thank you by adding an exotic ambiance to any space you choose.

 

We always recommend leaving your new plant additions in the grow pot they arrived in, simply finding a slightly bigger pot that fits your style, and placing the grow pot directing inside. The Mini Monstera is a vigorous grower though, and the day may come where it outgrows its original grow pot and can no longer expand its roots. If up-potting seems to be needed, begin by finding a bigger grow pot and some indoor planting soil. Cover the bottom few inches of the new grow pot with soil and carefully remove your Mini Monstera from its current grow pot. Then, place the root ball on top of the new soil and lightly add more soil until the root ball is totally covered. Give it a misty shower and voila! Your mini climber is ready to take on new adventures.

 

These plants are mildly toxic to animals, so be sure wherever you decide to let them climb is out of reach for your fur friend’s paws. Mini Monstera plants are really quite easy to grow- all they ask for is the right amount of light, a thoughtful feeding and watering routine, and lots of love to grow tall and gorgeous!

The Ultimate White Bird of Paradise Care Guide

White Bird of Paradise plant in a living room

How to Care for a White Bird of Paradise

The White Bird of Paradise is an absolute fan favorite, and we can see why it has made a tropical splash in the plant community. The Strelitzia nicolai’s long arching leaves makes its mark in any room, a real showstopper. This very stand-out plant is a must-have and adds an ambiance of elegance to your home that no other plant seems to compare to. The White Bird of Paradise got its name due to the leaves that form shapes that resemble that of a bird’s head, but as an indoor plant, you will not see this plant bloom unless under unique circumstances. Nonetheless, its beauty is unparalleled to any other plant. So, are you ready to learn what it takes to give this unique and beautiful plant a long healthy life? Let’s get into our White Bird of Paradise care guide then! 

 This plant comes in two different sizes. A three-foot and four and a half foot, with a ten-inch, grow pot, and a fourteen-inch with a grow pot. Making this one of the largest plants we offer, its size makes it ideal for people looking to fill a corner or a lot of space as a real statement piece for any home. This plant adds a tropical vibe to any room and creates an immediate change to the look of whatever area it is in. 

Watering Your Plant

One of the most crucial aspects of White Bird of paradise care is watering your plant correctly. It can seem tricky, but once you get the hang of it and a routine down, it should be smooth sailing. The White Bird of Paradise is a heavy drinker and requires a lot of waterings to thrive and grow at a steady rate. Make sure to wet the soil well with each watering and only let it dry to a moist level before you water it the next time. We highly suggest investing in a soil probe to help you in this process. We love our Soil Sleuth probe to help with this process making it easier for you to check soil moisture. The finger method is unreliable and does not let you measure the middle of the soil, which is imperative in telling if the plant needs watering. It can reduce the frequency of the need to water your new plant friend in the long run, saving time, energy, and protecting your plant from drowning.

Some ways to tell your plant is being underwatered can include dry leaves or leaves with crispy tips and edges. Extreme leaf splitting, breakage, and withered leaves, as well, it is easy to fix an underwatering problem, so do not fret too much if this comes up. For any further reading on watering tips, check out our Watering Guide!

 In addition to water, you need to ensure that you are feeding your White Bird of Paradise the right nutrients. We ship all of our plants pre fertilized, and you do not need to give them any extra nutrients until at least six months after you receive your new plant buddy. After that six months is up, you will want to fertilizer your white bird of paradise quarterly to keep it healthy and happy. 

 This plant also does well in humid climates, so although you can certainly have a White Bird of Paradise in Arizona or any other dryer state, we might recommend something different for our desert living plant owners! Floridians, THIS IS the plant for you!

Selecting the Right Lighting for your White Bird of Paradise

This plant requires a large amount of light to thrive. Sunlight is necessary for its care, so if you do not have a relatively sunny spot with high-light in your home, we do not suggest investing in this particular plant. Find an east, west, or south-facing location to get your plant the maximum amount of sunshine, and adjust the placement seasonally. 

White Bird of Paradise close up on beautiful green leavesAnother important factor to take into consideration is proper cleaning. 

Keep your plant free of dust will increase its ability to soak in that sunshine. Cleaning is a pretty painless process. Soak a cloth in water and add a little bit of light soap as a cleanser. Then you can take each leaf and wipe them down, and DO NOT forget the underside. This will help make sure there is no light-blocking dust and aids in pest control. 

Rotating your plant is vital to do as well, to ensure growth happens on all sides. The regular rotation of your Bird of Paradise will ensure that it will be more symmetrical.

Does your White Bird have drooping leaves or new leaves that will not open up? This can be a sign of your home light levels being too low for your plant. Also, leaf browning can be another sign of a lack of light. Move your white bird of paradise to a brighter place and closely monitor your plant to see if the problems disappear.

 If you see water not absorbed into the soil, a common misconception is that it means you are overwatering, but that is not always the case. It can mean your White Bird is not receiving enough light. This is why observation is such an essential part of the White Bird plant care regimen. 

Pest Control  

On the note of cleaning and pest control, let’s talk bugs. If not cared for properly, this plant tends to develop a mealybug and mite problem. Mealybugs have a cotton white look to them, and they sit at the base of the White Bird leaves or underneath them. It is so vital to irradicate them quickly because they can cause a lot of damage to the leaves and the plant’s overall health. How can you get rid of them, you ask? Just like you would do a regular cleaning, a light soapy solution on the leaves and wiping it down daily- maybe even twice – until they are gone should do the trick. 

Pruning 

Pruning is not something that needs to be done regularly, but it is an integral part of plant white bird of paradise care in general. Trim away dead or old leaves that are drooping or have brown spots, not only for aesthetics but for the overall plant health. The leaves on the White Bird of Paradise have a natural split in their leaves, do not worry, it is supposed to be there. It allows light to access deeper into the plant and hit lower, more hidden areas with sunlight. It can also help let wind pass through them more smoothly, keeping the leaves from being torn up or damaged if it’s outside or in a drafty home. If you do see some extreme leaf splitting, you might want to consider that the leaves are letting you know they are not getting enough light, so this is something to consider and look out for as well. 

Fun Fact: did you know that the White Bird of Paradise is commonly mistaken for a banana plant? 

white bird of paradiseWe have discussed watering, lighting, and cleaning your white bird of paradise. Now it is time to talk accessorizing! Let’s talk planters. We recommend one of our clay pots or even one of our phoenix planters. Although our Bird of Paradise is one of our taller plants, some people want EVEN MORE hight to it to make it the center of attention, so pop it on a plant stand as well as in a planter, and you are set to go. Whatever you do when you get your plant, please DO NOT remove it from its grow pot. It can cause harm and damage to the plant.

The White Bird of Paradise might seem a little daunting, but we have full confidence you will find a routine that works for you and your new plant BFF—interested in learning more about the White Bird? Follow the PLANTZ Instagram for more plant care tips.

The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your ZZ Plant

zee zee plant care guide

Caring for a ZZ Plant

One of our more popular plant selections here at PLANTZ is the ZZ Plant! Often misspelled as ZeeZee, its technical name is the Zamiculcas zamiifolia. This one is a fan favorite because of its easy-care regimen and its ability to withstand harsher climates and variables within your home. Even though the ZZ Plant is an easy to maintain plant it still needs some attention and love, and we are here to tell you how to do that. So, let’s talk ZZ Plant Care.

If you are new to caring for plants or are a regular green thumb looking for a simple project, the good news is that the ZZ plant can tolerate little attention, low light conditions, and irregular waterings. This plant does not commonly grow very fast in height, but it will grow in width, so you will not have to quickly repot or move around this plant; it remains the same for the long haul. This plant is also known to be a great air purifier and is commonly mentioned by researchers at NASA to be one of the plant most efficient at removing toxins in the air.

We have nicknamed this plant ourselves the EZ-ZZ because it is literally soooo easy to take care of. This plant is one we often recommend for apartments, college dorms, hey… you could even keep it in a jail cell and have it will survive – not that we have seen any indoor plants in the prison system! Its need for water is minimal, and light is not a huge factor as well. Basically, you can give this plant zero attention, and killing it would still be difficult. A plant truly made for the brown thumb friends in the group. So, we often advertise buying this plant to our new plant family members with less indoor plant experience.

So, it is time to dive into ZeeZee Plant care and how we can help our new plant friends navigate being a plant parent.

This plant sometimes gets mistaken for being fake, purely because of its plastic-like texture and ability to live unnoticed or messed with. Let’s talk, watering. This plant does not need much water. Once a month, waterings will do just fine. Invest in a reliable sub-irrigation system as well, and your plant can go up to 45 days without being watered. We highly recommend utilizing a soil probe like our very own Soil Sleuth. This will definitely narrow down the amount of watering you do for this particular plant. Want to know when it is time to water? When you see the soil get really dry… wait TWO WHOLE MORE WEEKS and then you can go ahead and give it a good dose of H2O. It could not be any easier.

Although we recommend placing this plant in medium light, it can do well sustain in low light options as well. Try to find a nice spot with filtered light, and you will see this plant do just fine when it comes to lighting situations for growth and sustainability.

Something to be mindful of with any of your plants is pest control. Yes, we are talking bugs. ZZ Plants are not known to have a bug issue, in fact, we have never even personally heard of one, but IF on the off chance they do show up, it is an EZ-PeaZZZy fix! Just take a damp rag with a mild soap solution and wipe it down! That’s it.

 

Tips for ZZ Plant Propagation

ZZ Plant Propagation is a hot topic that we would love to have a conversation about with our plant people. Let’s start with what propagation is. Propagation is when cutting your plant or a part that you are intentionally removing, and then using this piece to grow a new plant from it. Many people use the excess plant cuttings that are created from pruning for propagation. Cut off two healthy leaves that contain a little bit of stem at the bottom, and then propagate from there!  Pruning is primarily done on a ZZ Plant to keep your plant from growing too fast or too large. Essentially ZZ Plants grow from a that stores water – hence why the ZZ Plant performs so well without water for a long time – so what you do is separate the rhizomes to propagate it. This is just one of the ways we can propagate and make more baby ZZ Plants!

Are ZZ Plants Toxic to Cats?

The one downfall to the ZZ Plant is they are, in fact, poisonous. We commonly get asked about having both a ZZ plant and a cat in your home. Everyone wants to know are ZZ Plants toxic to cats? In short, the answer is yes. The ZZ Plant is poisonous, but only when eaten. So obviously, this plant is of no harm to you, but the trick comes in when we need to keep our pets from nibbling on them. The only thing we can suggest to make sure you do not have any sick pets on your hands is to place the plant up high and unreachable; try using a plant stand to do so to alleviate the stress of your animals getting to it. If you have a particularly curious cat that you just cannot hide your new ZZ friend from and are worried that they might be enticed to nibble on it, this might not be the best plant for you. The good news though, there are plenty of other pet-friendly plant options from us here at PLANTZ.

Nutrition and Cleaning your Plant

We make sure all of our plants that are shipped come to you already fertilized, aka fed nutrients. After six months, it is a good idea to find a fertilizer formulated for interior plants to share with your plants. Besides that, the last thing to discuss is the cleaning of your ZZ Plant. Wiping the leaves with a damp cloth is the best way to remove pesky dust and unclean particles. If that is not enough, you can always use a soapy solution such as Dawn and then rinse your ZZ Plant off with water.

We are so excited you have decided to explore the world of the EZ-ZZ Plant with us! We know no matter what plant you buy, you will have a plant buddy for life! Want to learn even more about the ZZ Plant? Get in contact with one of our care specialists today to get any of your questions answered! Decided the ZZ is not for you? Check out our other plant care blogs to find your perfect plant fit!

House Plants That Are Pet Friendly

nontoxic plants for pets

Your Guide to Pet-Friendly House Plants

The only thing we all love more than our plants is our PETS! That is why pet-friendly house plants are a MUST when it comes to your online plant shopping checklist. Lucky for you, here at PLANTZ, we pride ourselves in having a large selection of pet-friendly house plants for sale, so you do not have to sacrifice your love for indoor plants for your precious pets, and your PLANTZ shopping cart can remain full of all your favorites. That being said, we would love to share some of our favorite PLANTZ picks for you and your furry buddies to enjoy! 

 

Low Light Pet-Friendly House Plants

 Pet owners are busy people… We do not want your plants to become another pet you care for, or that can feel like more of a job or a nuisance. Even though they are living breathing things, they should be an addition to your life, not a drag. So, we want to provide you some options for low-light pet-friendly house plants that will still steal the show in your home. 

The Parlor Palm is a classic low light plant! Did you know the Parlor Palm, also known as Neanthebella, was also the original plant grown specifically to be used as décor in interior design? This trendsetting original is perfect for your pets and your home. A tiny indoor tree that is low maintenance and requires little light to thrive. Place this plant in a place where there is indirect light. You can move it freely between bright and low light as well, and it should not do much harm. What really makes a difference, though, is this plant is known for its air-purifying capacity, so you are not only providing a new plant for your home that is nontoxic to your cats and dogs, but you are also improving their breathing air. 

 

Another plant to consider that can tolerate lower lights is a Rhapis Palm. The Rhapis is an excellent option for pets and usually grows to be on the taller side, so it truly is a showstopper. Not only is it safe if your pet does get to it, but it is also more out of reach than some other indoor plants be that remain lower to the ground. 

palm tree
Pup and Palm

Easy Pet-Friendly House Plants

 Now let’s talk about other house plants that are still pet friendly but are not considered “low light” plants. First up, we have the Ponytail Palm. This indoor plant resembles a larger version of a spider plant and is so unique. The Ponytail is actually a succulent; WHO KNEW!? It is just a palm in disguise. This plant is low maintenance and does not need many waterings due to its thick trunk, which can store water for an extensive amount of time. This makes the Ponytail Palm an easy pet friendly house plant that leaves you with more time to focus on your furry friends while not having to sacrifice your love for plants. Be cautious, though; this plant does require bright light to truly thrive and grow bigger. 

 

Want something larger than life, will stand out in a crowd but still won’t rub your pets the wrong way? Try the Areca Palm! The Areca is one of our larger plants, but it never disappoints. Along with being absolutely breathtaking, the Areca also improves indoor air quality (a plus for your plants and children) and circulates the air. This plant does need bright or indirect light, though, and usually needs to have more than one watering a week… this one’s a thirsty guy! Otherwise, we think this is an easy choice as far as pet friendly sizeable indoor house plants go.

 

The Chamaedorea elegans or, as we call it… the Bamboo Palm, is one of our favorites! This one actually ranks on the list of best plants to have in your home by NASA due to its ability to really clean out the toxins in your air. Just like its palms counterparts, it is essential that this plant receives a lot of bright light or even more indirect light to thrive. Besides that, this plant is relatively easy to care for as a whole. Not only do they liven up the room, but Bamboo Palm always adds in a unique vibe since it is not one of the more common house plant choices such as a Fiddle Leaf Fig or Monstera. You will surely stand out in your plant friend community with this plant in your home. 

 

The last one we want to talk about is the Kentia Palm! Palms on palms over here, we just can’t help ourselves; we love them. The Kentia Palm also like the Bamboo, and Areca might need a little more attention than a Parlor Palm, but we promise it is well worth the extra effort. Your furry animals will love seeing this plant in your home, and we genuinely believe they will be fast friends!

cats and plants

Some Plants to Avoid 

 Although, as we said before, none of our plants are toxic for your animals, here are some we commonly advise pet owners to steer clear of if they have had a problem in the past with their pet eating or disturbing their new plant friend. 

 

Maybe a Monstera is NOT your best fit. This plant is not lethal, but if your pet eats a considerable amount of the Monstera plant, it can potentially cause some digestive troubles for your pet. 

 

Another one with similar downfalls is the ZZ Plant or the Zamioculcas zamiifolia. When pets get a hold of this shiny new green thing in your home, any leaves that eat almost always come back up. Avoid a yucky mess at the worst time or worst place by avoiding these plants since they might cause some stomach agitation for your pets if eaten. 

 

Tarzan Plant

 

Tips and Tricks 

 Just want to keep your pets away from the new plants altogether? Try a cleaning mixture consisting of dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and vegetable oil with water to clean the plants. This not only keeps the insects away, but it also deters pets from fiddling with your plant since they do not like the taste. A wet rag with some dish soap (drop or two) lathered up a bit to wipe down the foliage, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (red pepper flakes) works too. We can only smell the pepper for a few minutes, but animals can smell it for much longer, deterring them from coming close to your new plant friend. 

 

Some other things to consider to keep your animals from messing with your new investment, pick one of our taller plants; the higher the leaves, the more of a challenge for your animal, and most will not bother. 

 

Want the shorter plant but do not want them close enough to the ground for your pet to reach? Try one of our plant stands! You can still have the plant of your dreams; let’s just elevate it! 

 

If you are unsure of if a plant is safe for your pets, do not ever hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] for more insight on the best plant fit for you or find us on our social media @4plantz 

 

 

Tarzan with Pup

 

 

PLANTZ Guide – Watering for Success

Watch the full watering for success video above.

Adjusting the Soil Moisture (aka Watering)

To get going on this topic, we really don’t like to call it “watering” – what we’re really doing is adjusting the soil moisture with water (and sometimes nutrients) – not just “watering”. And, of all the cultural practices in your plant-care toolbox, this is the one you have to get right – and is one thing that will most impact the health and longevity of your plant. Period.

Watering Can
A strong, sturdy watering can should be part of your plant-care toolbox.

Plants have roots for stability and to take moisture from the soil. Water, from soil moisture, is used for, among other things, translocating compounds within the plant – so, your plant needs water…of course. The roots also need oxygen to metabolize – so your plant’s roots need air too. When you add water to the soil, the air space around the roots is flooded and oxygen and other gases are pushed out of the spaces between the solid soil particles. Gravity pushes most excess water out of the soil and the plant absorbs some of it too, returning more air to the spaces in the soil. This wet/dry, wet/dry, wet/dry cycle is what is best for your plant – so it makes sense that we would try to emulate it with our “watering” practice…right?

 

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

And so on.

That’s what’s best for your plant.

With that in mind, the age-old question “when should I water my plant?” is easily answered – “when it’s dry and needs it!”. Seriously. That’s it. It’s not some preconceived time interval like many overzealous plant parents think it is. The span of time between when the soil is moist and when it is dry depends on a lot of variables –

  • Plant type – Is it an arid dweller, like a Sansevieria; or is it a heavy drinker preferring moist feet like a Rhaphis palm?
  • Soil type – Is the soil rich in organic matter, retaining moisture longer; or does it have solid particles, that allow for better drainage?
  • Light – Is your plant getting good light and pushing photosynthetic activity; or is it being ‘sustained’ in a corner where light dim?
  • Temperature – Is it warm, where transpiration from the plant and evapotranspiration from the soil have water escaping from the soil into the surrounding atmosphere; or is it cool where water tends to stay inside the plant and in the soil profile?
  • Humidity – What’s the humidity like around the plant? Is it high, causing less moisture to escape from the leaves; or is it low, making it easy for water to evaporate from a leaf?
  • Reservoir – Lastly, is there a reservoir from which the plant can get additional moisture when it needs it?

 

With all those factors, there is no known mathematical equation that will pinpoint the optimum time a particular plant should be watered. So, you must examine the soil yourself.

We’ve tried the “eyeball” method – simply looking to see if the top of the soil looks wet or dry. We’ve tried the “stick your finger in it” method – thrusting our finger into the soil to find out what’s going on in maybe the top two inches (leaving you to wonder what’s going on in the bottom 10+ inches). We’ve even experimented with electronic soil moisture meters but, in our opinion, they deliver unreliable readings especially when higher concentrations of nutrients/salts are present (or the battery simply runs out on the meter).

Using a Soil Probe for Succesful Plant Watering

What works best, and produces reliable results every time, is a soil probe – a physical device that is manually pushed down into the soil, into the rootzone, and pulled back up to expose relative amounts of moisture at different depths. It’s simple, works every time, and never gives a false reading. In our Tampa-based plant service business, our plant care technicians carry soil probes to every service engagement and rely on them for accurately prescribing how much water to give a plant – or, sometimes, none at all.

If you probe the soil before watering with a soil probe, many times you’ll discover that the soil is dried down pretty thoroughly in the top couple inches (where the “stick your finger in it” method stops), only to find out there’s ample moisture in the lower levels of the soil profile. So, while the “finger” method may have inclined you to add water, the probing method would allow you to back off and wait for the entire soil profile to dry down. There’s more info later on how to overcome the anxiety of “doing nothing”.

So, the first thing you need in our plant-care toolbox is a soil probe – and we like the Soil Sleuth. Don’t do plant care without one.

 

Soil Probes
A soil probe, like the Soil Sleuth shown here, is a must for accurately judging soil moisture to determine when best to “water”.

Video: Using a soil probe

We will acquiesce, however, that over time you can develop rhythm and a plant-watering interval that can be relied on without using a probe, provided all the variables – plant type, light, temperature – remain consistent. So, if you’re probing and watering when the soil has dried down and you discover that happens every 12 days, for example, then you should be good watering (or, we should say, adjusting the soil moisture) about every 12 days. Be careful though. You can get in a rhythm with your plant and suddenly you find it’s using different amounts of water because it’s the first time in the fall when the heat is turned on (or some other dramatic event like that). It can be more subtle and gradually change over a longer period – like losing sunlight in the fall – or getting it back in the spring. Rhythm is good – just be on the watch for factors that’ll throw your rhythm off and then it’s time to grab the soil probe and develop a new rhythm.

We’ll admit, too, that using a soil probe can cause one of the worst, most anxiety laden aspects in the history of plant care – doing nothing. We operate a plant leasing and rental service in Tampa, Florida, where our plant care technicians are mostly on a 14-day service cycle. This means that we see each plant about every 14 days. And regardless of the service interval, the most difficult job for any plant care technician is to not add water to the plant. It can be painful and cause lots of anxiety – probing the soil only to find out there’s good moisture and then doing nothing. Everybody wants to do something, it’s our nature, but nothing is sometimes what the plant needs. We know it’s nearly irresistible but when it comes to watering, doing nothing can is the best thing for your plant – and the best way we’ve discovered to give you confidence to do nothing is to probe the soil and discover the relative levels of adequate moisture throughout the soil profile. Got it?

When it is time to do something, like add water to the soil, there is a good way and a not-so-good way, and there’s also a couple things to consider about the water itself.

First, the water – many of us, especially in commercial plant care, can only use water that flows through municipal water systems. Many times municipal water is treated to contain fluoride, among other things, ostensibly for human oral hygiene. Although it may help your teeth, over time, especially with Dracaena, fluoride can build up in the leaves and manifest itself in little yellow spots. So, if you’re not on the 18th floor of a high-rise building, you can use harvested rainwater, well water, water collected from your air conditioning unit, or even distilled water. At PLANTZ, we irrigate with well water and it works well for us (get it?) but rainwater is likely the next best thing and easy to harvest.

Second, how to water. When you have the right water in a nice watering can (get a sturdy one, with a strong handle and spout), you should start pouring water at some designated point and then consistently pour water around the entire perimeter of the plant – either turning the plant or moving around it to ensure thorough coverage. Continue doing this until you observe water leaking from the holes in the bottom of the growpot. It’s okay to let some leak out into the liner, but not too much – you don’t want to drown your roots. This process will evenly wet your soil to an adequate saturation point. That’s it. Now, don’t do this again until…what? THE SOIL IS DRY AGAIN!

Okay. It’s time to try something new; it’s time to try sub-irrigation. It’s a high-finesse plant care configuration with high rewards for most interior plants.

PlantAssure
A Neathabella Palm, aka Parlor Palm, is show here accurately set up for sub-irrigation. Plant in growpot + riser/ring + wicks inserted + vinyl liner = PlantAssure…and success.

It’s like using your laptop for years only to discover there’s another battery in it that you never knew about (or bothered to charge). There are a few good methods and systems for sub-irrigation, but the most simple and inexpensive is what we call ‘PlantAssure’. And, like getting more screen time because of your bonus laptop battery, PlantAssure sub-irrigation creates a reservoir from which your plant can absorb water when it needs it. That’s right, your plant can water itself. Admittedly, this method is not for overbearing plant addicts who like to check their plants daily; this is for the ‘wet it and forget it’ plant lovers who enjoy staring at a plant just as much as caring for a plant – sounds catchy, huh? As noted, it’s simple – several strips of wicking material, a PVC riser/ring, and a liner.

That’s all you need. With the plant in its nursery growpot, wicking strips are inserted into the drain holes and pushed several inches up inside the soil profile. Then, the plant is placed on a riser – in our case, a cross-section of a PVC pipe – lifting the plant up about one or two inches above the bottom of a liner with the wicking strips allowed to fall down below into the bottom of the liner. The system is then “charged” by wetting the soil from the top and filling the newly created space with additional water, creating a reservoir. When the soil profile dries down – from absorption by the roots and evaporation from the top – capillary action pulls water through the wicks up from the reservoir into the soil profile where it can be used by the plant as it absorbs water and transpires. The plant essentially waters itself. Make sense? Depending on other factors – light, temperature, and humidity – using PlantAssure can extend your watering interval by several weeks. Meaning you could water your plants, charge the reservoir with additional water, and go away for four to six weeks and not worry about your plant having enough soil moisture to bridge the gap.

Video: Sub-Irrigation

 

Lastly, we have a “don’t do” for you – One of the biggest mistakes a plant parent can make is removing a plant from its nursery growpot (the ugly black plastic thing that your plant has grown up in at the nursery where it was propagated) and planting it (aka re-planting or re-potting) directly in a decorative planter THAT HAS NO DRAINAGE HOLES. If you transplant your plant in a planter that has no drain holes you’ve just issued it a death sentence. In that configuration, when you water it, some of the water will be absorbed by the plant roots; but most of it will succumb to a time-tested and undefeated natural law – it’s called gravity. That’s right – the excess water will end up in the bottom of the planter and will drown and kill any roots that low in the soil profile. Remember, if it’s soaking wet, there’s no oxygen for root metabolism aka ‘drowning’. We recommend leaving your plant in the ugly black plastic thing with the drain holes – it’s your friend. And if you’re inclined, like we are, to hide the nursery growpot from view then set it up inside a decorative planter so that your drainage system still works.

Video: Let it drain

This simply means you should place the plant, still in its growpot, inside a decorative planter so that the excess water can drain completely through the soil and not accumulate in the bottom of the growpot.

Plant Illustration
Illustration showing the proper configuration of a plant on sub-irrigation inside a decorative planter.

That’s it. All this works for big and small plants alike. It works for plants in a living room or on a patio – any plant whose sole water source comes from you. If your plant gets water from rain, too, then all bets are off. So, whether you’re using a traditional growpot with drain holes or one configured with sub-irrigation, just…

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

Wet it. Let it dry down.

And so on.

Repotting and Sub Irrigation
Steve Stanford is founder of PLANTZ and loves talking about sub-irrigation and credits his enthusiasm for it to a long-time friend and plantscaping legend Vicky Cate.

Video: Watering for Success in its entirety

Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Guide

Caring for your Ficus Lyrata

 

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is still the mainstay trendsetter in the plant community, and continues to give the millennial favorite, the Monstera Deliciosa, a run for its money these past couple of years. You have probably seen this large-leaf lovely swarming the internet and taking the world by storm, so we won’t waste too much time with introductions. It truly is one of the most popular indoor plants. You might also hear it referred to as its scientific name the Ficus Lyrata, but it has coined the nickname Fiddle Leaf Fig throughout pop culture, from its newfound popularity in the current generation of plant parents, who are actually choosing to forego having children in favor of an oxygen-producing companion.

This plant is the true “it” plant currently due to its large and violin-shaped leaves that resemble fiddles – hence the name! They have taken the interior design industry by storm and are almost always incorporated in Modern home design and the Bohemian design nowadays that we are seeing as some of the most popular forms of décor along with the industrial design.

The Ficus Lyrata can come in a variety of shapes and sizes but has two main styles that it comes in. The two styles you will see Fiddle Leaf Figs in are the standard tree form and the bush from. The standard tree tends to be the more popular of the two forms when it comes to the millennial buyers, but the bush is more leafy and tends to be fuller having leaves that reach all the way to the bottom of the stem, which can warrant a lot of attention as well since it really draws the eyes to it. Both are fantastic options for either the Modern home design and Bohemian home design but we are seeing more and more people prefer the tree form over the bush form.

Something else great about the Ficus Lyrata – it is really great for both beginning plant owners and experienced plant owners. Anyone willing to put in the work will succeed at taking care of this plant. It photographs well – so snap lots of pictures, and the Ficus Lyrata does a fantastic job of holding up and staying pretty as long as it gets lots of light making it one photogenic plant. So beginners should not be discouraged by the plant care regimen and give this plant a try on their first go around the plant parenthood block. Plant care experts will be no stranger to similar maintenance that you have seen on your other plants making this plant a walk in the park! So, without further ado let’s get into Ficus Lyrata care instructions.

 

The Best Lighting Conditions for a Fiddle Leaf Fig

This might be one of the most notable and important things about this Fiddle Leaf Fig… This baby needs lots and lots of LIGHT. In order to really knock the Fiddle Leaf Fig indoor care out of the park, you need to make sure your plant is getting adequate light in order for it to thrive and survive, making your plant care a homerun.

The best placement for your Fiddle Leaf is next to a window facing – east-, south- and west. Another thing to consider is it can thrive quite well in a room with vibrant ambient light. We highly recommend looking into other plant options if you cannot provide this plant an adequate amount of light since lacking it will lead to a very disappointing plant. Next to watering, the light situation is one of the most important attributes of Ficus Lyrata plant care so this should be taken seriously and truly evaluated before you make the purchase and take the plunge into becoming a Fiddle Leaf Fig parent.

 

How to Water Your Ficus Lyrata

This plant is what we call a moderate to heavy drinker, and can go for almost two weeks without water, but only if you have a very good sub-irrigation system, although that is awesome to hear, we do highly recommend that you check on your Fiddle Leaf Fig weekly for the first couple of months to make sure it is doing okay and is not too thirsty. Also, always be on high alert during hot summer months, because your plant can easily become dehydrate due to weather conditions… Just like you and me! Growing a Fiddle Leaf Fig indoors can be tricky, so it is imperative to note all of these watering tips we are about to share with you!

Water Note #1 – It is important to pay attention to overwatering and underwatering because both can cause irreversible damage to your Ficus Lyrata. A great way to judge this is by using a Soil Sleuth to gauge the moisture levels inside the soil profile. A Soil Sleuth allows you to determine the soil moisture in the middle of the planter not just top or bottom so you are getting a more clear reading of this level.

Water Note #2: Make one of your focuses the soil moisture. Make sure to utilize a draining pot that you can place your Fiddle Leaf Fig in to help with your soil just not sitting and soaking in water that it hurts the plant, not helps it. Water your plant until the water comes out of the bottom of the drainage pot, so you know it is not underwatered.

Water summary:

  1. Focus on not underwatering and overwatering your plant. You need that just-right sweet spot.
  2. Soil probes can be utilized to measure the soil moisture, which is imperative when it comes to watering levels.

 

Instructions for the Best Nutrition for Your Fiddle Leaf

When it comes to Fiddle Leaf Fig plant care, nutrition is also high on the list. Like all of PLANTZ offerings, you do not need to feed it during the first six months after your new plant is shipped. The plant nutrients it needs for about six months are already in the soil, , so fertilizing it right when you get it is not necessary. After this time span has passed though and its current nutrients are used by the plant, it is time for you to take the wheel. Feeding your Fiddle Fig frequently with a “maintenance” level of liquid fertilizer is the best way to make sure that your Ficus Lyrata is getting the nutrition it needs. We recommend Foliage Pro by Dyna-Gro.  One way to see if you have some Fiddle Leaf Fig tree problems is to keep an eye on the new leaves that are appearing. If they show up yellow and veiny then your plant is probably in need of a dose of some good nutrients, but even if you do not see any physical warning signs, does not mean your plant is not ready for some much-needed food, so remember to keep track of when you last fed your new plant.

Keep Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Clean

So, we do have some good news for you on the cleaning front… Fiddle Leaf Figs are known for their larger-than-life leaves, which makes for some easy cleaning. All you really need is a damp and soapy cloth to wipe the leaves thoroughly with.  Do thes regularly and stay on top of any dust particles tha might build up, since this can attract insects and illnesses for your plant.  That really is all there is to it though! Keep it clean to avoid, disease, bugs, bacteria, but most of all keep it looking fresh, young, and brand new so all your guest will be infatuated with your new plant buddy!

Pruning for your Fiddle Leaf?

This particular plant grows in all different directions, sizes, and shapes. This can be super exciting and fun for some plant owners because you really do not know which direction this plant might be heading in. For those that like a little more control over their plants, this is where pruning comes in. With pruning you can control the width and height of your plant, reducing the size of your plant and stimulating new growth after pruning and removing dead or stagnant growth.

It is also important to watch out for Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots. Having brown spots on your plant can mean a multitude of things ranging from damage to insect issues. It is important to keep an eye out for them, so you can then begin the process of diagnosing the brown spot accordingly and taking proper action to prevent more sprouting up.

If a brown spot does show up on your plant, it could have been caused by physical trauma done to the plant. These are sensitive little guys, so you need to treat them with extra CARE. So do your absolute best to not bump your plant around too much when you might be moving it from place to place because they will bruise, in the form of brown spots, as a matter of fact avoid moving it at all once it is placed if you can to reduce the risk of this type of damage.

Are there Insects on Your Ficus Lyrata?

The Fiddle Leaf Figs sometimes fall victim to insects. These insects include mealy bugs, scale, mites, whiteflies, and aphids. All of these look different and can cause different types of problems for your plant, but as long as you are properly caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig though you will rarely see these bugs on it. To further prevent from these occurrences, make sure to wipe down your Fig with a wet rag containing some soapy water. Dish detergent you have at home will do just fine and will not harm the plant but will help diminish the presence of bacteria and potential for creating a bug friendly environment. If you do see some sort of bug appear, it is best to consult the internet to confirm the type of bug it is since there will be different forms of treatment for different bugs. You are always welcome to send us a picture here at PLANTZ via our social accounts!

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History of the Fiddle Leaf Fig

The origination of the Fiddle Leaf Fig begins on the West African coastline. It has actually been growing there for MILLIONS of years! How crazy is that?! That being said it thrives in tropical rainforest types of environments, hence its need for lots of water and sunshine. The Ficus Lyrata is in the Moraceae plant family, which also includes other species, most notably the Fig Tree, which is commonly known.

The Ficus Lyrata’s leaves can grow up to 12 inches wide and 30 inches in length, quite large for an indoor house plant. These leaves are also known to be incredibly thick with a unique texture almost like leather and a deep green coloring as well, unparalleled to many other house plants. For this reason, it is easy to see why so many people have taken a liking to its uniqueness and adopted it as the newest millennial trend. It is known as the Pinterest plant since it is one of the most searched plants on the Pinterest platform! You will be hard-pressed to find an indoor house plant quite as unique or beautiful as this special guy and as popular with the masses, so stay on trend and snatch up one ASAP.

 

Ordering your Ficus Lyrata

We recommend using another indoor plant if you do not have a VERY bright and VERY sunny spot for it. Patios are great or an east, west, but a preferably south-facing window to utilize in the summer, but just make sure your indoor space for the winter is right next to a bright window. If this is something your home can not accommodate, or you are not sure if it can, we want you to get in touch with us and we will gladly advise you on the best option for another plant or a proper space for your new Fiddle Leaf Fig to reside. If it turns out this plant is not for you, no need to get bummed out… There are several other indoor plant options and we highly recommend something from our low to medium light categories that are just as beautiful!

 

Okay… Here is a recap.

Find the balance in watering your Fiddle Leaf Fig: Both overwatering and underwatering can cause the Fiddle Leaf tree damage, so be cautious of the watering techniques and regularity that you are exercising.

Soil Moisture: Soil moisture is so important, and the best way to do this is to concentrate on ensuring the soil is always moist without soaking the soil in water.  Use a Soil Sleuth.

Sunlight is Key: making sure it has enough direct and indirect sunlight will make or break your plant, remember how important this is BEFORE you purchase not after you have already received your plant.

Say no to the Cold: Do not let your new plant baby get cold, it is all about the warmth for this West African plant.

Add Nutrients: Do not forget after the initial six months to get the proper fertilizer – you can checkout our selection on PLANTZ.com to feed your Fiddle Leaf Dig and keep it happy and healthy from the inside to the outside.

Get this trendy plant while it lasts, because they are just flying right out of the greenhouse! Although a bit more of a challenge to care for and keep alive, the Fiddle Leaf Fig in your home will surely be the envy of all your friends and family and worth all the hassle. The plant will keep you looking hip and right on trend, just know that all that hard work that you are going to have to put into it will all pay off and you will be left with a happy and healthy plant.

 

Quick warning…

It has been reported that the sap from a Ficus plant is poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses.  So, if you have a dog, cat, or horse, don’t let them ingest the sap.  It’s also been reported that the sap can cause allergic reactions for people too.  If you get sap on your skin, wash it off and wipe the area with rubbing alcohol; if it gets in your eyes, flush your eyes with clean water for 15 minutes.  If none of this helps, call a doctor.

 

Fiddle Leaf Fig in Phoenix planter with Mood Moss

 

Bamboo Palm Care Guide

Called a Bamboo Palm for its likeness to the real Bamboo as it has stems marked by leave sheaths that have been shed, this plant might be a bit different than what you expect from the name of it. Originally known as the Chamaedorea which means ‘on the ground’ in Ancient Greek and also referred to as a Reed Palm, the Bamboo Palm has remarkable shade tolerance and does exceedingly well when placed near a light and bright window. If you do not have a big open window it even does superbly in north-facing light as well, so that is something you can keep in mind! The Bamboo Palm is native to Central and Southern America, where it was essentially part of the understory in the rainforest and that is where it gets its incredible shade tolerance.

Bamboo Palms are extremely common house plants due to their low-light tolerance and they are great air filters for your indoor spaces as well. So, you are not just receiving a beautiful addition to your home but improving your air quality as well! There are many varieties of the Bamboo Palm such as the Cat Palm, Cauqui Palm, Dwarf Bamboo Palm, and the Hardy Bamboo Palm. The Cauqui Palm grows well in a ton of shade and normally grows anywhere from 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide, so this one is a big guy. The Cauqui Palm dislikes dry soil, so it is important to always keep the soil very moist to keep your Cauqui satisfied and exemplify that replication of its natural habitat in the rainforest.

The Cham does well in lower light spots.

Most Effective Lighting Conditions for the Bamboo Palm

These palms do not normally like full sun, but they do prefer a good amount of partial sunlight. Since the Bamboo Palm can endure lower light levels, it will thrive adjacent to an east-, south-, or west-facing window. So, good filtered natural light or bright fluorescent light will keep this palm growing strong just fine, but do not fret too much if you feel the plant is not bathed in sunshine 24/7 it is not a requirement for this particular plant type and can actually do more harm than good.

 

How to Water Your Reed Palm

Bamboo Palms are native to forests of central and northeastern Mexico. Since it comes from a natural habitat that is pretty moist, it appreciates a regular watering schedule, so you need to stick to it! It is imperative to keep your Bamboo Palm evenly wet as an indoor plant. Your Bamboo should be watered to maintain soil moisture. Overwatering of this plant can cause the leaves to yellow and drop though, so it is a fine line you walk along to keep your Bamboo Palm healthy and happy. The best thing you can do is invest in a SoilSleuth to really determine if your watering is being done correctly. The SoilSleuth is a soil probe that is used to properly decide when to water and when to not water by measuring soil moisture below the surface. The Bamboo Palm needs less watering during the fall and winter seasons though. Your Bamboo will not need extremely high humidity to thrive, however, it is imperative that you avoid conditions that may dry out the bamboo. One certain conditions to avoid that dries out the Bamboo Palm, is placing your plant near heating and cooling vents. So, keep this in mind when finding the perfect place for your new plant. It is critical that you never leave a Bamboo Palm sitting in excess water that drains from the pot it is in as well, this can do irreversible harm to your plant.

Also, to get a bit scientific, make sure you are using water that has not gone through a softener. This is important to think about because the high salt content in these softeners can damage the leaves of a plant tremendously. As far as watering goes, you can mix one-half teaspoon of a soluble fertilizer with a gallon of water to utilize. If the leaves begin to get brown towards the tips, then it is okay to switch to just water until it drips from the bottom of the pot to rinse overabundant fertilizer salts from the soil and start fresh. Once you do this, then you can empty the drip tray.

 

Instructions for a Healthy Indoor Plant

Like other plants shipped fresh from Florida, you will not need to feed your Palm for at least 6 months after you have received it, especially when it is coming from us here at PLANTZ. The reason for this is, we make sure there are already residual nutrients in the soil from when the plant was propagated. After 12 months’ time, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer. Palms benefit from feedings during the spring and summer and they do best with fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, check out our site to see some of our fertilizer options that will really help your Bamboo Palm thrive and grow. The high content of nitrogen will then encourage lush leaf growth, which obviously every plant owner wants to see, the more lush the better right!?

 

The Bamboo Palm has a busy tropical appearance.

 

Cleaning the Leaves of a Bamboo Palm

This plant can be somewhat challenging to clean as it has a multitude of different sturdy stems, leaves, and leaflets that you are going to have to work around carefully and gently. It is okay to use a feather duster on the leaves of this plant, however, just make sure your feather duster is super clean because you do not want to transport pests and bugs from other plants you have used the duster on. Do make and effort though to try and do a more thorough cleaning of your Bamboo Palm every now and then as well with a little bit of soap and water to make sure it keeps all of the bad bacteria away and pests.

 

Just a Bit of Pruning Needed for Your Plant

The only time you will need to prune your Bamboo plant is if it starts to show any discolored leaves throughout the plant, so the answer to “Do I need to prune my plant?” is not very often! The only time that this discoloration in the leaves normally happens is when you see your plant start to age, so the older leaves become, those leaves begin to start looking brown and somewhat dull. You can just cut these older leaves off to salvage the plant and foster new growth, but just make sure you are using sharp shears and cut the front off at the base very close to the where it comes up from the soil. Overall, a little pruning is good for the Palms overall health just make sure to not go all Edward Scissorhands on it cutting off solid growth. Pruning can also make room for fresh growth. Before pruning makes sure to sharpen your pruners. Dull blades on the pruners can make tears that can open up wounds on the plant – yes you can actually injure your plant… OUCH!

Do I Need to Repot my Bamboo Palm?

Since Bamboo Palms are slow-growing plants they will not need to be repotted very frequently, so breathe a sigh of relief, because we know what a nuisance it can be to repot. It is only imperative to repot them when their pot is filled with roots as they no longer have any growing space at this point. When that time does, in fact, roll around to repot, make sure you get a new pot one size larger than the old pot. It is very important to put new soil into your new pot and be careful when you are transferring the plant from one pot to the other as the roots are very thin and brittle. It is also super important to periodically rotate your Reed Palm in order to aid in upright growth, so it does not end up asymmetrical or slanted.

 

Is my Bamboo at Risk of Creepy Crawlers?

Bamboo Palms are generally pest-free, however, sometimes they face issues with oh so feared spider mites. Spider mites are extremely common among house plants actually and are nothing to fear at all despite the name spider. Do not panic if you encounter some it is solvable. Spider mites are a fairly difficult pest to spot out because they are super super small and normally are on the underside of leaves, where plant owners commonly forget to clean or check. One way in which these spider mites can be averted is by washing the plant with soapy water roughly once every few weeks here and there, NOT forgetting the underside of the leaves, that is the key. Spider mites are more common during the summer months as they favor hot and dry conditions, so keep your eyes peeled even more than usual during the warm seasons. If you have a spider mite occurrence and you have treated, wait for a certain number of weeks to make sure there will be no comeback made by the spider mites since they are sneaky little buggers. It is imperative to make sure you repeat wiping and you will be mite free in no time!

My Palm Cleans Too?

The Bamboo Palm can have significant effects on your health as it is a boss at cleaning the indoor air. These palms are good at absorbing Formaldehyde, Benzene, Chloroform, and Carbon Monoxide from the air. For example, Carbon Monoxide is very harmful when humans breathe it in because it dislodges Oxygen in the blood and strips the heart, brain, and major organs of Oxygen. How scary is that?! So if you are looking for natural way to reduce risk of carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals the Bamboo Palm is for sure the plant for you! Start the process of being a plant parent with the Bamboo Palm, and learn how to parent a living thing, but also a natural way to protect yourself from harmful air toxins. Sounds like a win-win to us!

This brings us now to Benzene, which is a clear colorless gas with a gasoline odor. Benzene is steadily increasing, especially in the developed and developing countries due to vehicular emission, which now a days are unavoidable. Benzenes are also found in paints, furniture wax, and glues. Long-term exposure to Benzene is been even linked in certain studies to the development of Leukemia. Pregnant women and children are more susceptible to Benzene, so this plant is a family protector, like a guard dog against harmful air toxins.

Lastly, Formaldehyde comes from paints, burning biofuels carpets, and cooking. Formaldehyde is known as a carcinogenic and long period exposure to this can increase the likeliness of cancer along with other illnesses and can also irritate your nose and eyes causing damage and severe discomfort. The Palm will help with this because it can aid in the absorption of Formaldehyde getting rid of that pesky chemical from the air supply that can affect you, your business employees and your family, this does not discriminate from pets either. Your Bamboos got your back and your health at home and at the office.

What are the White Spots on my Reed Palm?

White spots on Palms are normally a sign of a scale infestation. Scale is actually an infestation and not just a scaly texture pattern. These insects have a white wax-like covering on their bodies that ultimately protect them from numerous insecticides making them a gigantic nuisance. These white spots could potentially show up on your Bamboo Palm, but it is not likely. With the possibility they might occur though, it is something to keep an eye out for. A good cleaning regimen, as outlined previously, is the best offense against scale infestations so make a note of the cleaning routine.

 

Bamboo Palm
Bamboo Palm Customer Review

History of the Bamboo Palm

The Bamboo Palm has the scientific name Chamaedorea as we discussed in the beginning, but something really crazy about the Chamaedorea is there are over one hundred different species of the Chamaedorea. You can find most of these variations naturally grown in subtropical and tropical regions all across North and South America, which makes it easy for them to become houseplants in the states, since they are already acclimated to many of their climates that they become plant babies in.

This particular species of Chamaedorea is known to grow upwards, which is great because it will not grow and take up outward space in your home. The growing in a clustering effect helps keep the plant relatively tight in at the core of its potting, unlike some other plants that will grow leaves that hang far outside of the realm of their pot home and can take up quite a bit of space.

Due to the Bamboo Palms tropical nature, you will often see it in coastal home design as a décor piece and even in some home designs rooted in Asian culture due to the Bamboo aspect. Bamboo, known to be lucky and creating an environment of zen due to pop culture, has made any plant associated with Bamboo popular, and the Bamboo Palm is absolutely no exception, seeing spikes in Bamboo Palm owners in the last couple of years wanting to put their original twist on the classic Bamboo people popularize. This plant is for the daring and bold that want to experiment with home design and bring a showstopper into their environment. This does not have to be limited to homes though, many offices display lovely palms. You will commonly see it throughout many homes featured for their beautiful home design and style all across magazines and the internet. Find yourself in that stylish category by getting yourself your very own!

 

And that is a wrap – We hope you enjoyed your complete guide to all things Bamboo Palm and Chamaedorea. The goal of this article was for you to find yourself many informative tips and tricks on how to care for and grow the special Bamboo Palm baby that you have just gotten or are considering making that leap to purchase. Start with the proper amount of light (not too much), consider investing in a soil probe to better educate yourself on when to water, do not forget that nutrients for your plant are very important, and the Bamboo Palm is no exception. Make sure you are not letting salt kill your plant since the Bamboo Palm is overly sensitive to salt intakes that can be in the water you are giving it. Cleaning and looking for pests are always important factors as well, but this particular plant should not be as susceptible to these issues so do not fret too much. Pruning should be low maintenance and irregular task and revel in the fact that your Bamboo Palm is literally working around the clock for you to clean your airspace! What an investment. Lastly, remember to enjoy the uniqueness of your Chamaedorea, because with hundreds of them all around the world your Bamboo Palm is truly one of a kind!

 

Bamboo Palm Plant

Areca Palm Care Guide

The Areca Palm has many names, Dypsis lutescens, or Party Palm. The Areca is a great palm for a tropical splash in the summertime and can be placed on home patios and at building entrances in northern climates, but really will thrive inside your home as well. With this plant you can truly create the tropical setting of your dreams! Transform your space into a scene out of Hawaii, or your favorite tropical island, bringing in all of those summery and vacation vibes. Also known as the Butterfly Palm, because of its arching yellowish-green fronds. The Butterfly Palm has numerous benefits like its use for weddings and parties because of its inexpensiveness, and its longevity to name some of the reasons this palm is awesome! This is definitely a plant with many names as it even has a few more nicknames known as the Golden Cane Palm and Yellow Palm. The Areca is a less-expensive cousin of the Kentia Palm and is a great choice for a long-term relationship or any party planning you might be cooking up. If you can give it the great light it deserves and make sure to keep it warm, we do not see a breakup in sight.

The Areca Palm is a species of flowering plant in the family Arecaceae, native to Madagascar. The Areca is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens in tropical and subtropical regions, and as a houseplant regularly. In its native environment, this beautiful and leafy plant acts as a supplier of fruit to some bird species which feed on it opportunistically, such as Pitangus Sulphuratus. Individual stems of this species are of variable heights. For instance, younger trunks can be quite short and normally are on the outside of the footprint cluster. Then for the Yellow Palms that are grown from the nursery tend to have numerous stems on them. Over time some of these stems die off and become a mature clump. These mature clumps normally have roughly a dozen stems or less. The trunks of these palms are vertical and crown shaft and their diameter is normally about four inches. The crown shaft color is also variable. They can be green, silver, white and sometimes but more unfrequently yellow. These are just a few of the many ways you can tell them apart by physical appearance. Your Areca Palm will differ though, it will not possess the fruit that it grows in the wild, so do not worry you will not be having any bird sightings around your Areca.

 The Best Lighting Conditions for a Butterfly Palm

Do not let anyone tell you differently, the Areca Palm needs lots and lots of light to truly thrive and survive, so make lighting a priority. You might be able to move it to low light for special occasions, but if you want it to last long you will need to have it parked in a very bright and sunny spot nearly full time in your home or office space. If using these plants for an indoor event with limited lighting, we suggest storing them elsewhere and not setting them up until the day of the event, so they are looking their freshest. The Areca needs filtered light and it does best placed by the southeast or west-facing windows.

Watering Method for your Tropical Plant

Butterfly Palms come from the tropics, so they are familiar with the regular tropical showers and are known to have really damp roots. In the Spring, Summer and Fall, the palm has quite the thirst, so it is important for you to be able to quench your new Areca Palm’s thirst. With that being said, it does not require as much water in the winter time, so make sure to not overdo it during the winter months! With our ample experience here at PLANTZ we highly recommend you invest in a soil probe to properly care for your new plant friend so you can truly determine plant watering health levels. The SoilSleuth is a great probe to utilize and invest in seeing as it accurately determines the dryness of the soil due to its ability to reach a thorough depth of the soil unlike your fingers would be able to using the finger method test. Probing has the benefit of aerating the soil during each use as well which is really beneficial for your plant.

Water Note #1 – Big note to take – keep the soil of an Areca Palm moist never soggy. (All you cereal lovers should have a crystal-clear differentiation between the two). Another note, remember that the soil at the bottom of the pot is much wetter than the topsoil, this can sometimes lead to overwatering when you are not educated on your plant care since it is easy to assume that your plant is thirsty when the top soil is dry.

Water Note #2:  Suiting to its nickname, the Party Palm, is a heavy drinker. It is imperative to water it sufficiently. So, make sure to thoroughly wet the soil with each watering and let it dry down until the soil profile is dry before watering again. With this characteristic noted, it is important that it has an appropriate drainage system put in place to deal with all of the drinking your Party Palm will be doing throughout the week.

And on to our last watering tip for your Areca Palm…

Water Note #3:  We recommend a sub-irrigation system to help you steadily control the soil moisture for your new plant. Just as a butterfly likes to be wrapped up tightly in its cocoon, so does the Butterfly Palm (the difference is, in this scenario it wants to be wrapped up in its pot). Sub-irrigation systems are one the most preferred methods of watering indoor plants. The most simple and inexpensive one of these, is what we call PlantAssure sub-irrigation system. This method has many benefits, for example, the Areca Palm is contained and is less susceptible to pests as well! A true win-win situation. These systems are energy savers as they require less water than traditional systems – talk about sustainability as well. Depending on other factors – light, temperature, and humidity – using PlantAssure can extend your watering interval by several weeks saving you time and energy. You could water your plants, charge the reservoir with additional water, and go away for four to six weeks and not worry about your Butterfly Palm having enough soil moisture to bridge the gap, this is a great system for the busybodies and the travel fiends that are always on the go but afraid to leave their new plant babies alone. The sub-irrigation system goes within the growpot as well so do not worry no one will be able to see it – lucky you, your plant will be both healthy and aesthetically pleasing to your interior decor – which we know matters!

Have to go to the bathroom yet? 

Before you go, let us leave you with your quick watering tips: 

  1. Be conscious of the soil – keep it moist & make sure the entire soil profile is always dry before watering again
  2. Water regularly, this baby drinks A LOT.
  3. Sub-irrigation got your back – minimizes efforts & maximizes results with an eco-friendly mindset

Quality Diet, Quality Plants

The three biggest macronutrient needs for an Areca Palm are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You will not need to feed it for at least six months after you get it, since here at PLANTZ we make sure that your plant is well fed before it arrives to you, but it is imperative to feed your Areca with liquid fertilizer once or twice during the growing season after that six months has concluded. During the winter seasons, the Areca Palm does not need any fertilizer at all though, so feeding is usually seasonal. The Butterfly Palm likes to feed heavily as it craves magnesium and iron. These nutrients help prevent extreme yellowing of leaves down the line keeping your plant happy and healthy.

Cleaning the leaves of a Butterfly Palm 

Fun fact: A clean plant that photosynthesizes at optimal levels will be a healthier plant and will be less inclined to have pest infestations which tends to be a big fear for many plant owners. The first and easiest method is spraying the plant down. You just need to move the plant to the kitchen sink or shower and give them a quick spritz down but make sure you do it thoroughly. Make sure the water is on the lukewarm side and you do not miss the inner leaves on your Areca Palm, be careful not to focus just on the outer ends and edges. Also, if the leaves of your plant are soiled, you can spray them with a dilute soapy water mix and hose them off, using your normal dishwasher detergent. Just add ¼ tablespoon of the dish soap per one quart of water. Another method used for cleaning the leaves off the tree is dusting the leaves off, but make sure that you still do find time to give it a more thorough cleaning. All you need is a soft duster to help keep dust build up off your Areca Palm which will prevent pest infestation as well. This is a great method to use in between your soap and water cleanings to prevent dust build up and make the cleaning sessions easier.

Temperature for the Palm 

The best temperature for your Areca Palm would be between 65 – 75 Fahrenheit during the day and 55 Fahrenheit at night, seeing that this plant is from tropical regions. The Areca Palm does not do well in temperatures lower than 50 degrees due to its warm origins, so it is best to replicate its original environment as best you can for the health of you Areca Palm, so if you are in a cold state this plant does not belong outside and make sure your home is always on the warmer side.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

The Areca can attract little mealy bugs. These look like little white dots of cotton on the stem of your plant, at the base of leaves, and between the leaf sheath and the stem. All bugs, mealy and even mites, can do quite a bit of damage to your plant so make sure to be diligent and keep an eye out for these little buggers. The only other bug you might encounter on this plant is a mite, and although they might sound harmless you DO NOT want an infestation of these guys. Keep an eye out for them. Your cleaning regimen with soapy water, making sure you also clean the undersides of the leaves, will keep the critters off your Areca.

How Pruning can Improve Your Plants Health

Over time the older the leaves get, the more likely it is they will turn brown. This means it is so important to prune them off at the base of the stem when this happens, to make way for new growth and ward of disease and pest. Additionally, the sheaths around the stem will brown and at this time you should be able to just peel them off the stem and expose the fresh, powder-coat underneath.

Health Benefits of the Areca Palm

According to NASA, the Areca removes major air pollutants from indoor spaces which consist of acetone, xylene, and toluene – together known as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Acetone comes from diesel products, nail polishes, paints, detergents, and cleansers which are all used indoors on a frequent basis. Xylene gathers due to poor ventilation, paints, and sometimes even wooden furniture. Xylene and Toluene gases can cause developmental problems in young children and pregnant women. The major sources of toluene come from paints, cosmetics, and gasoline. Your palm will help minimize these gases inside. To piggyback off this concept, the Areca helps improve the nervous system and stops necrosis. This is the sudden death of cells and other tissues in the body. The Palm has the ability to remove several harmful chemicals that cause allergic symptoms and respiratory issues in the long term. Lastly, it is proven that a 1.8 meter Areca Palm will transpire 1 liter of water in just one day (aka it’s a humidifier and a plant all in one! – lucky you!)

When you choose the Areca Palm as your new plant buddy you are not just getting a beautiful new plant for all of your friends and family to gawk at, you are getting a health aid as well, and what could be better than that!.

History of Areca Palm

The Areca catechu is a species of palm that grows in the tropics specifically in the Pacific, Asia, and parts of east Africa. The Areca Palm originated in the Philippines and it is also referred to as the betel tree because of its fruit. Yes, you heard us right! This plant can in some cases produce fruit – but it won’t flower and fruit in your home! The fruit is known as the Areca Nut and is chewed along with the Betel Leaf, which is a leaf from a vine of the family Piperaceae. The Areca Nut is popular for chewing throughout Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and on, and can be a huge part of their culture. The Areca Palm is heavily used in interior landscaping as it is often placed in large indoor areas like hotels, malls, event spaces, and wedding venues, so chances are you have seen this guy around before without even realizing it! How crazy is that?

 

There ya have it folks… The Areca Palm, the plant of many nicknames! It will be a lovely addition to your home and last you a very long time as long as you heed these important tips that we have ranted and raved about.

  1. Keep this baby light and bright. No shaded corners for this plant, it is all about that sunshine.
  2. Tropical mindset. Temperature matters do not leave it by a window in the winter where it can get cold, warmth is the key.
  3. Water. Water. Water. This bad boy is thirstyyyyy so make sure to sooth its need for agua well and you will have a thriving palm.
  4. Pay attention to soil and nutrients, they are more important than you think. You can even check out PLANTZ fertilizer to make sure you are getting all the proper nutrients for your specific plant.
  5. Keep it clean and fresh, preventing it from disease by regular washings and not neglecting to prune your plant baby properly.
  6. Rid the bugs. Prevent infestation, not correct infestation. Stay on top of your bug watch so your plant does not begin to decay and dwindle.

Keeping all of those factors in mind, your plant care should be nothing but smooth sailing! Establish a routine and be the best plant parent for your new Areca Palm that you can be and you will have a long lasting buddy for life!