breed specimens of (a plant or animal) by natural processes from the parent stock.
“try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings”
breed, grow, cultivate, generate
In other words, taking 1 plant, and making it multiple plants. Like magic -but with science-! When propagating, you can use a ton of different plant sources, like bulbs, seeds, cuttings and more! It all depends on what kind of plant you’ll be using. We’ll be discussing our favorite ways to propagate and make more plants!
CUTTINGS IN SOIL
This is one of the easiest and most popular methods of propagating!
You will need:
Pot of soil-less rooting medium
Large plastic bag or bell jar
Step 1: Remove Stem
Take your knife and remove a stem of the plant. The best area to cut is right below a node
Step 2: Lose the Leaves
Leave the top leaves, but any leaves near the soil can be taken off
The lower area of your stem will be where the roots grow from
If you have a flowering plant, remove any flowers from the cutting, as they will not be beneficial to propagation and could actually stunt the process
Step 3: Get Ready
Moisten your rooting medium
Use your pen/pencil to make a hole in the root medium, making sure to make the whole larger than the cutting. This ensures the rooting hormone will not get rubbed off in the planting process.
Pro-propagating tip: Do NOT dip your cutting into your rooting hormone. This will contaminate the container!
Step 4: Dip It Real Good
Pour some rooting hormone into a small cup
Dip the end of your cutting (1-1 ½ inches of the stem) into the cup of rooting hormone
Gently tap off excess
Dispose of excess hormone left in your cup, do not pour it back into the container (remember, contamination=bad!)
Step 5: Stick Cuttings in Soil
Place your cutting into the hole created in rooting medium
Multiple cuttings can go into one pot but be careful not to crowd! Crowding can cause mold, so when in doubt, remember “Two is company, three is a crowd!”
Step 6: Tuck ‘Em In
Press the rooting medium gently around the cutting and make sure they are secure in their new home!
Water sparingly -this will also keep them secure in the rooting medium-
Step 7: Bag ‘Em Up
Place the entire pot with cuttings inside of a plastic bag or bell jar
This will keep the humidity and moisture at the right levels for growth.
Pro-propagating tip: if you decide to use a plastic bag, make sure to inflate and seal the bag so no leaves are touching the plastic. This will prevent against mold growth and keep your cuttings happy!
Jump for joy! You successfully propagated from cuttings!
“Growing” in popularity, propagating plants in water has been featured all over social media and is the choice of many young plant lovers for the pleasing aesthetic of raw plant!
You will need:
House plant of choice (We recommend pothos, philodendron, or monstera)
Clear mason jar, vase, or glass (the cuter the better for Instagram, right?)
Room temperature water
Step 1: Plan of Attack
Decide where you’ll be snipping your cutting. Look for the nodes on your plant and cut about an inch or so before it with a clean, sharp knife.
Step 2: Start The Growing Process
Place the cutting in your cute glass container
Pour the water into the glass, filling it enough to cover all nodes on the cutting
Pro-propagating tip: keep the leaves out of the water! This will prevent the plant from growing mold and/or rotting!
Step 3: Maintenance
Change out the water every 3-5 days
Sit back and relax as you watch your new plants grow roots!
Step 4: Give It a Home
When your roots are around 5 inches long, it’s time to plant them!
Pick a planter (again, the cuter the better) fill with potting soil, and snuggle your plant into its new home!
Wash your hands and give yourself a high five! You just propagated like a pro!
What’s Wrong with My Succulent?!Succulents: While interesting and trendy, these plants can be quite the little trouble makers.
People love to say how easy succulents are, but we know they can be a bit tricky. We’ve collected the most common succulent symptoms to help you figure out what is wrong with your succulent and how to fix it!
If the tips of your succulent’s leaves are yellow and shriveled:
You are most likely under-watering your succulent. If you’ve been hesitant about watering your succulent for fear that you may overwater it, do yourself a favor: Take a deep breath in, and let it out.
Now; let’s water that succulent! You’ll want to water the plant thoroughly at the base, then keep the soil about as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Once your succulent starts looking healthier, proceed with normal watering’s. Soak the plants soil and allow the water to run out of the pot’s drainage hole. Make sure to empty the water in the saucer. Allow the soil to dry out before giving another hefty watering. Repeat when necessary (every 2-3 weeks).
If your succulent is leaning toward the window or stretching out:
It’s time to move your succulent! If your plant is stretching out (too much space in between leaves) or leaning toward its light source, your succulent is trying to grab as much light as they can! Simply place your leafy friend in brighter light or consider adding a grow light above your plant to stimulate normal growth.
*Word to the Wise- Sudden increases in light can burn your plants leaves*
When adding more light to a succulent, do it gradually over a span of a few days or weeks so that you don’t accidently scorch your plant. Check out this video here to learn more about common succulent issues, including those that are getting leggy from stretching.
If your succulent’s leaves are drying out at the base:
Relax! While dry leaves would concern any loving plant parent, shriveled or crispy leaves at the base of your succulent tend to be relatively normal. The withered leaves at the base of your succulent actually shade and insulate the stem of your plant!
If you don’t like the look of it, you can pluck them off, but they won’t harm your succulent!
If your succulent looks bleached:
While we won’t judge bleached hair -we’ve all gone through that phase- we don’t suggest bleached plants! Too much light tends to dry out your plant, so opt for a spot in your house where the light isn’t too direct! 6 hours of light a day will suffice for your succulents to thrive.
If your succulent’s stem looks soft and mushy:
You may have overwatered your plant. Overwatering is a very common means to an end for succulents, so don’t be too hard on yourself!
If you think you may have gone a little water-happy on your succulent, try taking cuttings from the healthy part of your plant and repotting them. These cuttings will grow new succulents, and you can try again!
If you have tiny insects on your succulent:
EEEK! While no one want bugs on their plants -unless they’re ladybugs, ladybugs are cute- this tends to happen every now and then. Try this insecticidal soap for getting rid of aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies!
Be a Succulent Succa!
Now that you’re a pro at managing your succulents, taking care of them should be a breeze! For further succulent information, check out our Succa For Succulents blog post!
Paws & Plants: The Barlow’s Guide to Pet-Friendly Houseplants
What’s better than having pets or plants around the house? How about having BOTH! We get it, making sure your fur babies are safe and happy is of the utmost importance (go you for being a good pet parent), but you don’t want to have to give up your love for houseplants in order to do that, so don’t!
The ASPCA -being the amazing organization that they are- has compiled an entire list of plants, both toxic and non-toxic, to make sure pet owners are informed and know how to keep their pets protected.
We’ve made our own list of the trendiest plants to keep around your house that are perfectly safe to keep around Buster (or Kevin, we love human pet names)!
Pet-Friendly (and Trendy) Houseplants
The Spider Plant is great for those that want a low-maintenance plant they can forget about every now and then. Just water them once a week or so, and they’ll flourish, even giving you some Spiderettes you can pop in the soil and watch grow!
These regal palms really live up to their name! The Majesty Palm will grace your home given the right amount of attention. Needing 6-8 hours of sunlight, this palm definitely loves water. Make sure to never let the soil dry completely and repot when needed.
Calathea plants are great houseplants for those that don’t get much bright light at home. Their bright green leaves are great for livening up otherwise dull rooms, and they don’t require much watering, making them a pretty laid back, low-maintenance plant.
Known as a sign for good luck in Brazil, Peperomia come in different shapes, sizes and colors, but are always sure to make an impact! These little beauties are super easy to take care of, only needing water once a week or so. They do best in medium to bright light but will survive in a low light setting.
Orchids are known for their diversity, having over 25,000 species! Notorious for falling victim to root rot, it’s best to keep your Orchid in a pot with drainage holes and a drip tray. They also need a fast draining soil with strong, indirect sunlight. Because these plants can be a little finnicky, why don’t you check out our Free Orchid Class?
Ferns (like the Boston Fern) are a funky, leafy plant that like warmer temperatures and indirect light. Since most ferns are forest derived, they appreciate nutrient rich, free draining soil. Make sure not to waterlog their little roots or they won’t make it!
Bromeliads are a great way to bring an exotic touch to any room you place them in! They do best in medium to bright light and are adapted to withstand drought, so make sure not to over-water these little beauties!
African Violets are great for those that want a houseplant that’s not only non-toxic to pets, but also yields bright flowers! While beautiful, African Violets tend to be a bit of a pain in the bud (see what we did there?), so we recommend using an African Violet potting mix. Plus, did you know they were voted NJ’s favorite houseplant?!
With Valentine’s Day coming up, these little cuties are the PERFECT gift for your loved ones (or yourself, #singleandlovingit). They’re a crowd pleaser with their heart shaped leaves and require little attention! Simply pop them in a north-facing window and water once or twice a month, and you’ll have the cutest little heart-shaped plant to enjoy year-round!
We’ve saved the best for last folks! Now presenting -drum roll please- the Pilea Peperomioides! Also known as the Chinese Money plant, the Pilea is all the rage at the moment! Known for its growing popularity on social media, Pilea Peperomioides like bright, indirect light and only need water every few days. (You can tell when your Pilea is thirsty because their little saucer-shaped leaves will begin to droop.)
No matter which houseplants you decide fit best in your life, we always encourage researching a plant’s toxicity to ensure your four-legged friends are safe. For a full list of toxic/non-toxic plants, please click here, and for cats, try check out this list.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? How about switching it up this year and trying something new! We recommend focusing on living with cleaner, healthier air in your home, and reaping the benefits of houseplants!
You may be thinking “What? Houseplants are more than just trendy décor?” The answer is: YES! Houseplants do so much to make the air around you not only cleaner but help with mental and physical health as well! Read on to see why we’re recommending -literally- turning over a new leaf!
Did you know that we’re the biggest culprits when it comes to creating toxins in our own homes? NASA did a Clean Air Study that showed how effective plants were at removing common toxins from the air! During the winter months, it’s especially easy for us to seal in these day-to-day toxins, like carbon dioxide (either released naturally through our breathing or created from those chic candles that we love so much), dust, fumes, bacteria, mold and so much more.
While we may not want to give up these luxuries (candles and breathing that is), we can do our part in cleaning up our air messes by getting some houseplants and letting them do their thing! Houseplants create oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, which in turn means the plants actually convert the toxins from pesky pollutants to nutrients that they eat and prosper from! Okay, that’s enough Science for today!
Reduce Stress and Increase Positivity
Studies from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology have shown that having indoor plants can actually improve your productivity a whopping 15%, along with improving concentration and mood! (Can you say ‘Office Plants?’) This study also goes on to say that “active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress compared with mental work.” Simply put, your plants calm you down.
(photo courtesy of: HortiDaily)
Keep You Healthy During Winter Months
Plants obtain water through their roots, which then evaporates through transpiration. When a plant is kept indoors, this process increases the humidity in your house. We know what you’re thinking: Humidity is bad! We hate to break it to you, but you’re wrong.
Studies show that indoor humidity is great during the colder, drier months because it helps with dry skin, fatigue, illnesses, dry coughs, sore throats and so much more!
“I Need Houseplants!”
You’re right! You do! Houseplants are amazingly versatile and have so many benefits! But what kind of houseplants are right for you and your clean air resolution, you ask? Let us show you our top 5 clean air houseplants!
Snake Plant: Snake Plants are one of the most tolerant plants out there, which means they are great for beginners! Indirect sunlight and infrequent watering is all these guys need! Check out some our snake plants here.
Peace Lily: Pace Lilies bear beautiful, lush green leaves with white blooms (or white flags=flag of peace=peace lily. Makes sense, right?) These southern beauties bloom consistently in bright, indirect sunlight. Water them every few days, and your new houseplant will stay happy and healthy! Take a look at our favorite Peace Lily here.
Chinese Evergreen: These leafy, green guys are another great starter plant for beginners. This tropical houseplant can handle poor light, drought, and dry air, but what they really love is medium to low light with well-draining soil (Try ½ potting soil, ½ perlite!) View our lovely Chinese Evergreens here.
Aloe: Also great for soothing burns and scrapes, Aloe is a great houseplant to have around! These medicinal plants like bright, indirect light, and are most comfortable in temperatures from 55 to 80° Water them about every 3 weeks (and even less in the winter) and reap their clean air benefits! Take a gander at our Aloe beauties here.
Pothos: Also known as Devil’s Ivy, Pothos are awesome in their wide range of environments. They can handle whatever you throw their way, from giving them indirect light to low light, or planting them in nutrient rich soil, nutrient poor soil, or even water! The only thing this plant asks of you is that you don’t let it live in direct sunlight. Fun Fact: Pothos are easily propagated (or grown for all you first timers out there) by simply cutting off a section of 3-4” section of stem that a leaf is connected to! Pop it in some dirt, and you’ll have a new Pothos growing in no time!
New Year, New…Plants?
Yes, exactly! We have given you a solid foundation for which houseplants are great for clean air, and we expect that you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time. But don’t stop there! To check out our entire selection of houseplants, click here.
Back in 1989, NASA performed a research study on the best houseplants to rid our air of harmful toxins! While these houseplants are pretty to look at, they are also hard at work everyday detoxifying the air you breath. Not only does this help clean the air you breathe, but it also helps you get a better nights sleep!
Plants give off Oxygen, take in harmful toxins and release moisture into the air, helping prevent sinus issues and making it easier to breathe as you fall asleep. Just plop one of these beauties on your bedside table and let them work their magic.
Bringing Your Houseplants Indoors
It’s that time of the year…your houseplants need to come back inside!
With the forecast calling for temperatures in the low 50’s at night, it’s time to bring your plants in. Follow these quick and easy steps to help keep your plants happy and healthy as you move them back inside:
1. Beat the Bugs!
Spray insecticidal soap or use a granular systemic to protect from bugs like aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, and scale. Having been outside for a while, bugs have taken a liking to your plants and have probably made it their new home (I know, gross!). But it’s true! Even if you don’t see them, they’re still there. That’s why we recommend spraying all of your plants before you bring them inside. It’s better to be safe than sorry! According to the University of Vermont, you can also soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, which will force insects out of the soil.
Below, we’ve listed just a few of our favorite houseplant products to help keep the bugs at bay so you don’t have to worry. And, they’re organic!
Take time to love and care for your houseplant before it comes inside. Prune off any yellowing or dead leaves as this will give the plant more energy to shoot up new growth. And don’t be afraid to prune the plant back to a more manageable size for inside. If they have gotten leggy, take the plant out of its container and prune the top and roots in equal proportions. Be sure to clean the pot and add fresh potting soil before putting the pant back in.
This also may be a good time to re-pot your plants! We here at Barlow’s recommend re-potting your houseplants every 6 months to keep them healthy and happy. If you do so, be sure to choose a pot that is a few inches larger, so the roots have space to keep growing. We can always help re-pot your plants too at our indoor potting bench.
3. All About Location!
Typically, most houseplants thrive in high to medium light areas (southern or western facing windows). To prevent houseplant shock, you’ll want to expose the plant gradually to it’s new location. Usually, if they’ve been in bright light and you move them into much lower light, you may notice some leaves fall off. As it acclimates to its new environment, the plant should start pushing out new growth.
It’s best to try and mirror the same lighting situation inside as they’ve faced outside. For instance, if they’ve been outside in high light you’ll want to make sure they are near a southern-facing window or under plant lights to get that same exposure. Always avoid placing near any drafts or heat sources (heaters). And remember, hold off on feeding them until March.
Once the plant is inside, you’ll want to monitor it’s watering for the first few weeks as it acclimates to its new environment. The amount of times you watered it outside will vary while it’s inside due to the change in climate. It’s always best to underwater than overwater! Let the soils surface be dry to the touch before watering again. If it’s cloudy or raining outside, hold off on watering as the plants won’t get enough light to dry out and this can lead to symptoms of overwatering.
If you have houseplants that require high humidity, like Ferns, then you might want to place the pots on a shallow tray (or saucer) that is filled with pebbles and water. This will keep the plant’s roots from sitting in water. As the water gradually evaporates, this will boost the humidity around the plant. You can also try putting your houseplants next to one another to increase the humidity, or try misting them!
We hope this helps make the transition back inside a breeze!
Let’s be honest…many of us are guilty of taking our houseplants for granted. We tend to think of them as just decorative or a “nice touch” to any room. Some of us may consider them pointless. Stay with me…I’d like you to know there’s more than meets the eye.
Indoor plants may look like they’re just collecting dust or taking up space, but did you know that they are hard at work, 24/7? Plants are Mother Nature’s air purifiers for your home or office! Let me explain. Years ago, NASA conducted a thorough study of houseplants and rated the top 10 for eliminating toxins and carcinogens inside your home.
The most common toxins inside the home are:
3) Trichloroethylene (TCE)
I encourage you to go online and research these for yourself. Formaldehyde is used in everything from foam insulation to paper towels and many common household cleaning agents. Fire retardants and adhesive binders in floor coverings and carpet backings are all contain formaldehyde. Cigarette smoke and heating fuels such as natural gas also make the list.
Benzene is another carcinogen to be on the lookout for. Benzene can be found in gasoline, inks, oils, plastics and paints. It is also used in the manufacturing of detergents, dyes and pharmaceuticals.
What is TCE and where is it found?
If you’re thinking all this is enough to make a person sick, you’d be right. It has a name and it’s called Sick Building Syndrome. Studies have found Sick Building Syndrome is responsible for contributing to everything from headaches, respiratory difficulties like asthma or allergies and more importantly – certain cancers. Think about it…if you live in a well-insulated home -the quality of your indoor air can be much more polluted than outdoor air. Up to ten times unhealthier.
Don’t despair…there is a solution to this chemical assault in our homes, and it’s simple: add some houseplants. NASA researchers suggest at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space should be used to efficiently cleanse the air. All living plants will take in carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. They all purify the air, however there are certain plants that are rated to be more efficient at it.
The following is a list of clean air plants you should consider adding to your home to purify your living space:
Low Light Houseplants
Indirect Bright Light
Hopefully, the next time you look at a houseplant you will appreciate all it has to offer. They are so much more than an accessory to dress up your décor. Houseplants actually increase the quality of your life, so “go green” and breathe easier today.
For more houseplant benefits, check out this blog!
Having thick, fleshy, water-storing leaves or stems, a succulent plant such as a cactus or sedum (Botany)
These little guys are the well-known celebrities of houseplants! They are super low maintenance, come in unique colors & shapes and are pretty much indestructible (no green thumb required!!!).
This year, we started growing our own succulents right here on our farm!
It’s been a lot of fun finding new varieties for you and watching them grow from little baby cuttings to succulents worthy of your windowsills and container gardens.
What are Succulents?
Succulents are desert dwelling plants. They enjoy bright sun and dry living conditions. They survive by storing water in their leaves and stems, which allows them to go longer
without rain or watering than all other plants. Not much watering…doesn’t that sound like the perfect plant?
With enough sunshine, all succulents eventually bloom. It’s the sun that helps them store their energy for making these beautiful flowers. The flowers are usually small, and not very showy, however this depends on the variety of the plant.
Succulents come in just about every color of the rainbow, and many different shapes and sizes. Some plant lovers enjoy “collecting” succulents as a hobby!!!
With their plump leaves and striking appearance, succulents make interesting and unusual houseplants. Because they need so little attention, they are an especially good choice for busy gardeners (or new gardeners!).
Follow these easy care tips & you’ll be a succulent expert in no time:
Light: needs bright light (south-facing window). If the succulent is producing new growth that is thin or leggy, these are indications that the plant is stretching towards the available light, it means it needs more sunlight. On the other hand, if the leaves look pale and bleached, they may be getting too much light.
Watering: these guys don’t like a lot of water since they are desert plants! Although needs vary between different varieties, the appearance of the leaves will give you a clue. If the leaves have indentations or the plant appears droopy, it’s a sign that it’s time to water. To water succulents, soak the soil so that water runs out the drainage hole, and then allow it to dry out COMPLETELY before the next watering. Typically, you’ll be watering your succulents 1-3 times a month. During the winter, they will go into a “sleeping” state and will require less water.
Favorite Food:Espoma Succulent Plant Food or Miracle Gro Succulent Food! Succulents don’t need to be fertilized often, only during the plant’s growing season which is spring and summer.
Soil: Barlow’s recommends using a Cactus Soil for better drainage. Although you can mix half sand or perlite with half commercial potting soil, buying potting soil formulated especially for cacti and succulents is the easiest way to provide excellent drainage.
Re-Potting: we recommend repotting every year. Remove the succulent from its pot, and gently loosen the roots with a thin stick to remove the old potting soil. Put the plant in a slightly larger pot (1-2″ bigger), and add fresh potting soil.
We can ship them anywhere across the United States!
Need succulents for an event?
Whether it’s a baby shower, wedding, or a birthday party, succulents make great party favors!
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