Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2008

Last week I continued the series I’ll Be Homemade for Christmas with some tips about making gifts that use arts and crafts. Today I would like to switch gears and offer a few ideas for homemade gifts using plants. If you come around this blog at all on Mondays, then you’ll quickly discover that I am a huge fan of plants! While there might not be as many options with this type of homemade gift as with general arts and crafts, you’ll quickly find that there are still plenty of good ideas to work with. Let’s start by brainstorming a little when it comes to gifts that can be made using plants.

Brainstorming plant gift ideas

Whether you are a green thumb or not, there are several great homemade gifts you can create using our green friends. gift-plantHere are just a few to get you started:

  • Grow a brand new plant
  • Take cuttings from one of your plants and start a new plant
  • Divide one of your plants (indoor or outdoor)
  • Save seeds from your garden plants (flower or vegetable) and package them to give away
  • Share in your garden harvest (e.g. canned tomatoes, dried herbs, etc.)
  • Decorate a pot
  • Make a pot
  • Dry flowers and create a collage
  • Pound leaves or flowers onto cloth

An example of a homemade gift using plants

A few years ago I spent a summer in Alaska working for the Unites States Forest Service. I got to meet all sorts of people who knew a lot about native plants and the interesting ways you could use them. Besides using some of the native plants for making jam and flavored honey, I also got to make some crafty gifts. My favorite was a process known as leaf or flower pounding. I discovered how fun and easy it was as soon as I struck the hammer for the first time. Let me explain.

To get started with leaf or flower pounding, you need a hammer, some cloth, and some leaves or flowers. The cloth we used was muslin because it has the qualities needed to get good results. Find a flat protected surface and lay down some newspaper or cardboard. Then choose your leaves or flowers. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Arrange your specimens in a pleasing way and then cover your design with the muslin. At this point you are ready to begin pounding. This part is pretty fun because not only do you get to pound a lot, but you also get to see the beautiful pigments from your leaves or flowers start to show through in your cloth. It’s really remarkable actually!

leaf-pounding

After you finish your design, you can let it dry and then find a creative way to display it. Framing is nice, but you might also choose to sew it onto something or make a collage. Keep in mind that you can leave it as is, but you can also try to treat your creation to help it last longer. I found a good resource about this here.

Having trouble finding a living plant because it’s winter where you live? You can certainly try leaves or flowers from your houseplants and you can also take a trip to the flower shop or a greenhouse to find good specimens. You’ll soon discover that not only will people love your gift, but you will become addicted to this fun process!

Homemade plant gift ideas from around the web

There are many great ideas floating around the web when it comes to interesting and creative plant gifts. Here are just a few I found:

Reader Reflection

Have you ever made homemade gifts using plants? Feel free to share any ideas here.

Coming up next week

Next week we will learn about creative gifts you can make using food!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

With Thanksgiving only two days away, I thought it would be useful to share some great reads from around the blogosphere to help you fine-tune your last minute Turkey Day plans. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful (and organized) Thanksgiving Holiday!!

Read Full Post »

Last week I offered some useful money-saving tips with regards to buying new houseplants. This week it’s time to carefully assess how we are using the space in our homes to display our new green friends. Simply squeezing all our plants on the window sill won’t suffice—not only will it look (and be) cluttered, but most plants need a little ‘personal’ space for proper air flow to prevent disease and encourage healthy growth.

Below I’ve outlined five easy methods you can consider to use your precious space more efficiently. Keep your plants happy, keep your home uncluttered, and keep yourself stress free.

1. Purchase smaller plants to begin with

If you have a space issue right off the bat, consider buying houseplants that just don’t take up as much room. For example, a little African Violet is tiny compared to a large Norfolk Island Pine. small-plantNot only will you free up space, but you will save a little money too since smaller plants often cost less.

2. Reduce the size of your existing plants

Is a plant getting too big for you? Then trim it down to size. One way is to simply give it a hair cut. Another way is to restart the plant altogether from cuttings. Every once and a while I have to trim or restart some of my aggressively growing houseplants because they just get too large! And one great benefit of downsizing is that plants often do better afterwards because they are getting a fresh start with new healthy growth.

3. Rotate your plants

Let’s say you only have one small south-facing window, but you have several houseplants that need the high quality sunlight coming through that glass. Do you just have to pick which plants will get the sunlight and which won’t? Not exactly, especially considering the fact that the plants that don’t get the sunlight they need will likely not do very well. A more creative solution is to rotate your plants. Give one plant a week in the window and then swap it out with another. That way all the plants are getting sun at least some of the time. This practice will work with many houseplants, but be sure to experiment first because some sensitive plants might not enjoy sharing the sun.

4. Find creative places to put your plants

Not all plants need to be sitting on a window sill. For example, you could buy or build a little stand to set on your kitchen counter so more plants could get sunlight out of that window. You can also try hanging plants from hooks in the ceiling. Finally, take note which plants really don’t need to be in the window and put them somewhere else. Golden Pothos, for instance, will do just fine sitting several feet from a light source, and getting it out of the way will free up space for your sun-loving plants.

5. Get rid of some plants

This last tip is a little obvious (if you have clutter, get rid of it, right?), but sometimes it’s hard to part with houseplants we’ve cared for and enjoyed for a long time. In the end you will just need to make a choice. Are you willing to deal with the clutter? If not, then perhaps you need to get rid of a few plants. Consider giving them away to friends or family—that way you won’t feel like you are just letting them die after all that work. Furthermore, take heart that while you had the plant it most likely benefited you in more ways than you might even know.

Spotlight on the Poinsettia

Last week I talked about a timely houseplant (the holiday cactus) that you are probably seeing a lot of in stores these days. poinsettiaThis week I want to talk about another plant popular this time of year, the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima hybrids). Whether you will buy one yourself or expect to receive one as a gift, it’s good to know how to take care of it so it will last the season (and hopefully even beyond!).

  • Light: Indirect sunlight is best.
  • Temperature: Normal home temperatures are fine.
  • Water: Keep slightly moist, but do not overwater.
  • Fertilizer: There is no need to fertilize your poinsettia if you only plan to keep it for the duration of the holiday season. If you plan to keep for longer, however, then it might be a good idea to feed it a normal houseplant fertilizer after it finishes blooming.
  • Soil: Any good potting soil is fine.
  • Repotting: Again, if you plan to toss the plant after Christmas, then re-potting will not be necessary. If you want to keep the plant, then re-potting in the summer is best.
  • Propagation: If desired, you can take stem cuttings and root them in pots to keep outdoors in the summer.
  • Toxicity: Now considered non-toxic by most, although it was once thought to be poisonous. Use caution. The milky sap may cause skin irritation, if anything.
  • Pests: Uncommon.
  • Miscellaneous: To prevent early bract dropping (i.e. the pretty colored ‘leaves’), you need to make sure you transport the plant safely from store to home, not allowing it to get too cold for too long. Also be sure to take the decorative wrapping off the pot as this can often lead to root rot due to overwatering. Finally, as stated above, most Poinsettia owners only keep the plants through the duration of the holiday season. However, if you are looking for a challenge and you live in a warm climate, then you can attempt to get the plant to rebloom the following season. After repotting it, keep it outside in the summer. Then beginning in October, it must be subjected to at least 14 hours of darkness each night to initiate budding.

What’s next?

Now that you’ve figured out where to put all your plants to use your space the most efficiently, it’s important to think about using your time efficiently. Next week we’ll talk about how you can manage and schedule the care of your houseplants.

Reader Reflection

Have you found any creative ways to display your houseplants?

Read Full Post »

With only 34 days until December 25, it’s probably good to start thinking about what you might want for Christmas. Yes, that’s right, I said YOU. I’m not trying to sound selfish or anything, because in my opinion Christmas should be more about giving than receiving. christmas-presents However, we’ve all been asked some time or another, “What do YOU want for Christmas?” and we’re no help if we don’t have a good answer.

With weddings or baby showers, there are convenient gift registries we can use to help our friends and families find a gift for us that we desire. After my husband and I used Amazon’s gift registry for our wedding, I wasn’t quite ready to leave it behind. I loved the concept! The first Christmas after we got married, his parents wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas. Then my parents wanted to know. Then my brother needed ideas. You can see where this is going. But Amazon’s registry, although great for our wedding, wasn’t exactly the perfect fit for my Christmas wish list.

Registries through specific companies or stores are inherently restrictive because you can only register for their products and your friends and family are forced to buy that product only through that store. Enter Kaboodle, a catch-all sort of gift wish list in which you can “collect information from anywhere on the web [and] put it into a Kaboodle list that you can share with others.” No restrictions, anything goes. That’s why I’ve used Kaboodle for my Christmas wish list for the last 2 years. And I’d like to share with you today why I love it.

klogo

Here’s the deal

Like any gift registry, you simply create an account and start a new list. But the unique thing about Kaboodle is that you can add products from anywhere on the web! kaboodle-siteWhen you sign up for an account, you have the option to get some handy Kaboodle buttons to add to your browser so that whenever you encounter something you are interested in, you can easily add it to your list by pressing that button. Once the product is added, you can describe it or leave any comments or notes for your friends or family to read. Your list has a unique URL that you can share with others. When someone visits your list, they may decide to ‘reserve’ one of your items. You can choose a setting that prevents you from seeing whether a product has been reserved or not, leaving some element of surprise. After someone reserves an item, they have the freedom to buy the item from anywhere they want, online or offline, including the store you originally found it in. The only thing Kaboodle does after this point is remove that item from the list so that others will not buy it as well. Easy as pie!

Pros

  • Interface is easy to use
  • Service is free
  • Community feature: people you know can create lists too and add you as a ‘friend’
  • You can add products from anywhere on the web (highly flexible)
  • People can buy your desired gifts from anywhere they want (better chance to find the best price)
  • Option to keep reservation status a secret
  • In addition to adding actual products from real stores, you can add ‘generic’ items like, “I want a chain saw”
  • You can use Kaboodle for more than just wish lists, like collecting favorite restaurants or showing off your collection of designer purses

Cons

  • Every so often (pretty infrequently) adding a product doesn’t always work right the first time (title or picture is wrong, or it’s altogether the wrong item)

Help your loved ones save time and money when they buy you gifts this holiday season

The reason I love Kaboodle from an organizational perspective is because of how easy it is to make a comprehensive, flexible list that offers people the chance to shop for the best price they can find. Plus, you can keep your Kaboodle list all year long and add stuff whenever you see it! No more last-minute ideas for you to come up with and no more last-minute frustrated shopping for your loved ones. I give Kaboodle a thumbs up!!

Read Full Post »

Last week I continued the series I’ll Be Homemade for Christmas with some tips about making gifts that use photos. Today I would like to switch gears only slightly and offer a few ideas for gifts using general arts and crafts. If you’re like me and love using all sorts of arts and crafts, then you will undoubtedly know that there are endless options when it comes to creating homemade gifts. In the same way, so many options can often be a little overwhelming, especially if you don’t feel particularly creative. So let’s brainstorm together and get started making homemade gifts using arts and crafts.

beads

Brainstorming arts and crafts gift ideas

Since there are so many gifts you can make using such materials, I thought a list would be best to get our creative minds rolling. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make an ornament
  • Draw a picture
  • Paint a picture
  • Make paper-mâché
  • Sew something
  • Knit a sweater
  • Crochet a scarf
  • Make a fleece blanket
  • Sculpt something
  • Make pottery
  • Decorate a picture frame
  • Carve wood
  • Make a candle
  • Do a cross-stitch
  • Make jewelry

An example of a homemade gift using arts and crafts

I have used a number of the above examples of crafty gifts in past holidays, but one I have used with a considerable amount of success is homemade jewelry, or more specifically, beaded necklaces. Homemade beaded necklaces make excellent gifts, mostly for women, and have a very special quality to them. On top of that, they are actually quite easy and fun to make! I’d like to offer a simple step-by-step process below so you too can make your own beaded necklace.

beaded-necklaces

  • Step 1: Purchase your supplies. You will need the following to make a beaded necklace: beads (any you choose!), necklace wire or string, 2 end clasps, 2 crimper beads, a needle-nose pliers, and a scissors. You don’t even need to go to a specialty beading store to get beads these days. In fact, even though I like to explore bead stores, I often buy inexpensive beads from stores like Walmart. Another option to make the process less complicated is to buy a necklace set that includes everything you need except the scissors and pliers. In that case, however, you have limited options for choosing the design since it is chosen for you.
  • Step 2: Choose your necklace length and cut your wire/string. It is important to cut your necklace length a few inches longer than you desire, so you have some extra room to work with for stringing your clasps or in case you make a mistake. I make necklaces using wire and my favorite length is just longer than a choker (about 13-15 inches). So in my case I would cut the wire to the length of about 17-21 inches to start with.
  • Step 3: Attach a clasp to one end of the wire/string. First take one of your two crimper beads and string it onto your wire/string. Next follow that with one of your two clasps (it doesn’t matter which one). Loop the end of the wire/string back through the crimper bead and pull tightly. You want to leave about an inch of wire/string sticking out past the crimper bead. Once you have it correctly positioned, take your pliers and squeeze the crimper bead tightly until the wire cannot move anymore through the bead. You have now clasped one end of your necklace.clasp-and-crimper-step-1 clasp-and-crimper-step-2 clasp-and-crimper-step-3
  • Step 4: Make a plan for your necklace design. It’s best to simply create a pattern you will stick with throughout the beading process. Be sure to consider the length of your necklace when choosing your pattern.
  • Step 5: Bead your necklace. Carefully string the beads according to your pattern. In the beginning, you will be placing beads through a little of your extra wire/string that is sticking out of your crimper bead. You may also choose to cut this piece off. Once you reach the end of the wire/string, leave about an inch or two of room for the final clasp.
  • Step 6: Attach the closing clasp to finish your necklace. Using the same process as in step 3, necklace-claspssimply take your second crimper bead and slide it next to the last bead on your wire/string. Then add the other clasp. String the wire/string through the crimper bead and any nearby beads, being careful to pull it tightly so as not to leave any slack. Then, as before, take your pliers and squeeze the crimper bead until it is flat. Cut off any extra wire/string sticking out and you have finished your necklace!

Homemade arts and crafts gift ideas from around the web

Several blogs are participating in a great series called Holidays By Hand and so far there have been wonderful ideas for homemade gifts using arts and crafts:

Don’t forget to ask Google too!  Here are just a couple of ideas I found in a search today:

Reader Reflection

Have you ever made homemade gifts using arts and crafts? Feel free to share any ideas here.

Coming up next week

Next week we will switch gears a bit and talk about homemade gift ideas using plants!

Read Full Post »

Once upon a time there was a kid, me. And I was asked to empty the dishwasher by my mother. It was one of my jobs. My least favorite part of emptying the dishwasher was putting away the clean dishes, namely the tupperware. You see, our tupperware cupboard was a total disaster. Lids were stuffed every which way and each time you opened the door something came shooting out at you. The worst thing was that on top of it being a hassle to put tupperware away, it was even more of a hassle to find the tupperware you wanted. Oh can this story possibly have a happy ending?

Yes, it can. But not right away. I ended up adopting the same chaotic tupperware cupboard as my parents when I lived in apartments in college. But one day I had an epiphany. Tupperware cupboards do not need to be chaotic. They do not need to be booby-trapped. They can actually be organized. My roommate and I thought of a clever idea for the lids one day and so we decided to tackle the tupperware once and for all.

You can organize your tupperware too! It isn’t a lost cause. I will outline here today a step-by-step process you can follow to get rid of unneeded containers, sort and stack your tupperware more efficiently, and ultimately make your cupboard more accessible. Never be hassled again. Always find what you are looking for.  Rejoice, it’s a thing of beauty.

tupperware

Step 1: Empty your cupboard

If you haven’t noticed a pattern yet with my step-by-step organizational posts, I’ll clue you in right now that I almost always start the process with step one involving some kind of emptying of whatever it is you are trying to organize. You can’t really get anywhere if you don’t start from scratch in my opinion. Anyways, I digress.

So, pull out all your tupperware, whether it is a top quality Rubbermaid container or an old sour cream container you decided to save. Also be sure to take into account any tupperware that you are currently using (i.e. check your fridge or dishwasher).

Step 2: Match containers with lids

I will tell you up front that this step might be a little frustrating. But it is necessary, so march onward. What you need to do is sort all your tupperware containers and make sure that every container has a lid that fits. If you find a container that does not have a lid or a lid that does not have a container, then set those items aside for now.

Step 3: Get rid of containers you don’t need

Now that you have all your containers matched with their lids sitting out before you, it’s time to make some decisions. It is VERY easy to collect random containers over time so it is likely that you have a few, or maybe even a lot of containers you don’t really need. Assess your needs, be honest, and start pitching (don’t forget to recycle!). Also be sure to decide what to do with the unmatched lids and containers left over from step 2.

Step 4: Stack similar shapes

It is time to begin the organizing now that we’ve taken care of a little clutter. The best way to organize your tupperware within your cupboard is to stack similar shapes. Put all the round containers together, all the square containers together, all the rectangular containers together, and so on. Be careful to stack by size and eventually you will have a few nice and neat piles. What’s that you say? You have a container that doesn’t nicely stack with anything else? I hear ya, I have those too. Let’s not worry about them just yet.

stacked-containers

Step 5: Arrange all the lids

Now that the containers are all stacked neatly, it is time to move on to the lids. You shouldn’t have any extra lids in your pile if you followed Step 2 correctly. The clever idea my roommate and I came up with to deal with lids involves taking some kind of box container to hold all the lids (a large shoe box or an old cake pan you don’t use anymore will work just fine). The trick is to arrange the lids by size in a row so they are kept in one place instead of scattered every which way. The beauty of this system is that you can easily remove and replace lids from this box since each lid has a particular place it belongs.

container-lids

Step 6: Return everything to the cupboard

Don’t worry if everything doesn’t fit exactly on the first try. But I guarantee what you did will at least be an improvement over an ‘anything goes’ system. Experiment with how containers are arranged and try to find the best fit. Keep in mind that you want everything to be accessible, so don’t stuff small stacks way in the back. And now is the time to figure out what to do with those strangely shaped containers…don’t be afraid to be creative!

Step 7: Stick to the system

Just as I start with some ‘emptying’ in step one of every organizational process, I always end with a note about sticking to your new system. If there is one thing that can easily become chaotic again after only a few days, it is the tupperware. But if you put everything back in its proper place, keeping the lids evenly arranged by size, and keeping the containers neatly stacked, then you will not have any problems. DO NOT NEGLECT THIS STEP. Trust me, I know.

Reader Reflection

I am itching to hear other clever ways to organize tupperware. For example, has anyone found a way to capitalize on the number system (i.e. lids and containers have the same number, thus making it supposedly easier to match them together)? Please share!

Read Full Post »

Last week in Houseplant Hacks I talked about questions you should ask yourself before ever buying a houseplant. If you determined that you’ve got space, time, and a suitable environment in which to raise a plant, then the next logical step is to go out and buy one! It’s easy to drop a lot of cash on houseplants (trust me, I know!), so today I want to outline five ways you can spend your money wisely when picking out your new plant.

1. Get cuttings from a friend

The easiest way to save money on a new houseplant is to get cuttings from a friend. Not only will the cuttings be free, but you will have control over the size of your starter plant, the pot you put it in, and the soil you use. More than half of my houseplant collection is made up of full-grown plants that I started at one time from cuttings I received from other people.

So how do you go about getting cuttings? Simply eye up houseplants at other people’s houses and see if they have a plant you might be interested in. african-violet-leavesNot all plants can be propagated through cuttings, but many common varieties can. For example, last week we talked about the golden pothos and to get cuttings from it you only need to cut off part of a vine (be sure to get a few good nodes, the segments along the vine where leaves are attached). Then remove some of the leaves, place the vines in water for a few weeks, and wait for new roots to grow from the nodes. After good roots form, you can safely pot the vines into soil. With other plants, you can start the cuttings immediately in soil, like with African Violet leaves. Simply snap off a healthy leaf from a parent plant and after a few months in good soil, it will produce babies.

There are other ways to propagate plants besides taking stem or leaf cuttings. Some examples include adventitious roots (i.e. some plants produce plantlets that you can remove and pot elsewhere, like the spider plant) or plant division (i.e. some plants produce multiple crowns within their pot and can be divided, like the snake plant). Whichever way you propagate a houseplant, you will ultimately end up saving a bunch of money. It only takes a little more patience as you wait for it to grow to full size.

2. Buy a smaller-sized plant

The second most useful way to save money when buying houseplants is to purchase a smaller-sized plant to start with. For example, I visited a greenhouse about a year ago to buy a wandering jew plant. They had a few size options and the prices reflected the differences dramatically. It was much more expensive to buy the large attractive size, but only a few dollars to buy the small starter plant. I went with the starter plant and was pleased to discover that wandering jews grow VERY fast. Soon my starter plant was as big as the expensive full-size plant. Don’t pay for the extra size. Just have a little patience while you let your plant grow.

3. Buy a plant that is not currently in bloom

This tip does not always apply, but occasionally you will find circumstances where greenhouses or flower shops will actually charge more for a plant that is in bloom. If there is a difference in price, then look for the non-blooming plants and just wait for them to bloom in your home. The patience will pay off. Furthermore, often when you purchase blooming plants you have really no idea how long they have been blooming. What a disappointment to bring your new plant home and discover that it is done blooming just a short time later.

4. Buy seeds or bulbs and start the plant at home

This method is a little more difficult, but it can produce some money savings in the end. Flower shops usually make you pay for the time they spend raising a plant and getting it to bloom (see the above two points). Starting plants from scratch is another way to do that work yourself and save money. Some plants can be grown from seeds and you will quickly discover that seeds cost much less than a full grown plant. Also consider bulbs, like amaryllis, that you can start indoors and then perhaps plant outside in the summer if you want. You’ll enjoy not only cheap upfront cost, but an opportunity to watch your plant grow from start to finish (this can also be a great teaching tool!).

5. Consider where you buy the plant

My final point is debatable and I’ll explain why in a moment. One can argue that it costs much less to buy certain houseplants from a major chain store like Walmart than it does to buy the same kind of plant from a specialty greenhouse. For example, I can buy an African Violet from Walmart for $2, while my local flower shop charges $6.50. While the savings are obvious (and I’ve used this method many times to save money), it’s important to note a few potential downsides with this practice.

greenhouse

Just because a store might sell a plant for less than half the price doesn’t mean you are getting the same quality. I’ve heard horror stories of people buying cheap plants from chain stores and then in turn that cheap plant introduces a terrible insect infestation into their home and kills their entire plant collection. Furthermore, as long as we’re talking about African Violets, I can mention that my local flower shop’s violets are much bigger, in better shape, and are actually labeled with their true specialty hybrid variety. Walmart only sells what we call NOIDS, no-named plain violets that lack certain special qualities like spotted leaves or double blooms.

In any case, I’ve bought African Violets (and other plants) from both locations. You just have to decide what it is you want and you have to carefully inspect any plant you buy from any vendor. Saving money is great, but be careful not to sacrifice quality.

Spotlight on the Holiday Cactus

thanksgiving-cactus-flowerWhile we’re on the topic of buying houseplants, I want to spotlight a particular plant today that you will currently find on sale in many stores this time of year: the holiday cactus. These Schlumbergera hybrids come in several varieties and are most often referred to as the Thanksgiving Cactus or the Christmas Cactus. It’s interesting to note that most ‘Christmas Cacti’ for sale are in fact Thanksgiving Cacti. I have both a Christmas Cactus and a Thanksgiving Cactus and I’m happy to report that one is in bud and the other is in full bloom!

The good news is, no matter which variety you have (or which variety you think you have), these plants are very easy to care for and are hugely rewarding when they burst into bloom this time of year. But before you go out and buy one, be sure to read their care requirements below:

  • Light: Bright light in late spring through fall; moderate light in winter to early spring.
  • Temperature: Normal home temperatures are ideal during most of the year, but it is important to allow temperatures to get a little cooler in fall and winter to encourage forming buds.
  • Water: In winter, let it dry slightly between waterings, drying even more in fall to encourage buds; from spring through fall, keep soil lightly moist.
  • Fertilizer: It is fine to feed house plant fertilizer from bloom time to following autumn every other week (I don’t fertilize mine and they continue to bloom).
  • Soil: Ideally it should be well-draining cactus soil (sandy) and slightly acidic, but any good potting soil will do.
  • Repotting: Younger plants should be repotted annually, while older plants can be repotted every 2 or 3 years.
  • Propagation: Take cuttings. Twist stems off at the nodes (2 to 3 ‘pads’ should be fine) and pot into potting soil. Keep in indirect light until new growth appears.
  • Toxicity: Considered non-toxic.
  • Pests: Uncommon.
  • Miscellaneous: Holiday Cacti must be subjected to cool nights (low 50’s) or long nights (12+ hours) for 6-8 weeks to initiate buds. thanksgiving-cactusThis is not as hard as it sounds—just keep plants in a room where you do not leave the lights on all evening and night. During the blooming period, don’t move plants around too much because stress can cause buds and flowers to drop prematurely. Also, it is beneficial to prune after the blooming period ends to encourage branching.

What’s next?

After buying a few houseplants, you’ll need to find suitable locations in your home where they will thrive and where they won’t cause clutter. Next week I’ll discuss methods to organize your space when it comes to your houseplant collection.

Reader Reflection

Have you found any creative ways to save money on houseplants? Do you have a holiday cactus that is in bloom?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »