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House Plants

Laceleaf

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You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!


Laceleaf, or Anthurium, are popular plants for offices and are especially popular around the holidays. This is due mainly to the bold and striking coloring of its “flowers” and the fact that it can survive in lower lighting situations. Laceleaf is comprised of bright green spade-shaped and shiny leaves and a stand-out “flower” of bright red, yellow, or pink. This flower is not technically a flower, but part of the spathe. Also known as Flamingo Flower, Tail Flower, and Painted Tongue Plant, this plant will grow to be around 12-15 inches in height, and grows in a habit much like a standard garden flowering plant – leaves and spathes grow vertically from the ground on stems.

Laceleaf is not pet or people safe (they are poisonous to both, so keep them out of reach of curious paws and tiny hands), but it is said to aid in purifying the air around it. Laceleaf will only “flower” if placed in bright, indirect sunlight, but it can survive in lower levels of light as well. For this reason, plant companies will often place these plants already “flowering” in offices and remove them once the “flower” is spent. Watch the leaves for leaf burn (crispy brown spots on the leaves in or near the center) as direct sunlight can cause these burns.

Laceleaf needs a balanced watering schedule. Take care not to overwater the plant, but don’t go too long without watering either, as the root ball can be difficult to re-wet if it becomes too dry. Laceleaf does prefer some humidity, and loves a lot of humidity. If you see the edges of the leaves begin to brown, this is usually an indication that the plant needs more humidity. Try placing a humidifier near the plant, or putting it in a bathroom where it will benefit from regular shower steam.

To water Laceleaf, wait until the top two inches of the soil are dry and then use the “Drench and Drain” method of watering by soaking the soil until the water runs through the bottom of the pot, and then letting all excess water drain out before putting the plant back in a secondary pot, or on a tray or saucer. Never let a houseplant sit in water as this can cause root rot for many indoor plants. A pot containing a mixture of orchid soil and houseplant soil will work well for this plant, and any well-draining pot should do nicely. Keep Laceleaf in surroundings that maintain a steady temperature between 70 and 90 degrees for best results, and keep it away from heating vents.

Laceleaf can be pickier than some, so we would suggest this plant for Plant Parents who are already somewhat familiar with basic houseplant care.


Happy Plant Parenting!

Orange Prince

By | Blog Post, House Plants, House Plants Beginner, Low Sunlight | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Orange Prince is a relatively new plant on the houseplant scene. Discovered in the early 2000s, this philodendron has made a name for itself with its incredible coloring. It’s signature leaves start out yellow, warm up to a bright orange, and then before turning green develop a dark tint turning the leaves a copper color. These leaves grow from the center of the plant, unlike most philodendrons whose leaves grow along a trailing vine. Typically, Orange Prince Philodendron (whose name has many variations) can grow to be up to 3 feet tall and wide.

Orange Prince is very easy to care for, and has minimal requirements when it comes to its environment. It can handle everything from bright indirect light to shade, and will tolerate artificial light, as well. Watch your plant for fading colors, as this is a sign that it is getting too much sun (some plants fade in the sun much like some hair colors will lighten in the sun). Take caution when placing Orange Prince when it comes to pets as it is not a pet safe plant.

Water Orange Prince when the top two inches of soil are dry, and take care not to overwater, or to let the plant sit in water. Use the “Drench and Drain” method of watering. This means you will let the water pour over the soil and run out the bottom for a few minutes before turning the water off and allowing excess water to flow out of the bottom of the pot. Don’t allow the plant to sit in water in a tray or saucer as this can cause root rot. If your pot does not have drainage in the bottom, use a Moisture Meter to detect the level of moisture in the bottom of the pot both before and during watering to avoid adding too much water. If you do add too much water, gently tip the pot to the side and allow excess water to run out, but take care not to allow the soil to run out of the pot.

A Cactus and Succulent soil is a great option for Orange Prince as it will allow the roots plenty of room to breathe, and allow excess water to run out of the soil quickly. As mentioned above, a pot that is well draining is important, but no other precautions need to be taken when choosing a pot. Rotate Orange Prince regularly to encourage regular and even growth, and take a damp cloth to the leaves every now and then to keep them glossy and free of dust. Keep Orange Prince within a temperature range of 65-80. Overall this plant is very tough and only really at risk of being overwatered. We think it’s a great plant for beginner Plant Parents.

Happy Plant Parenting!

Red Tree Peperomia

By | Blog Post, House Plants, House Plants Beginner, Medium Sunlight | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Like most Peperomia, Red Tree Peperomia is one of the easier houseplants to care for. Tolerant of different levels of light and forgiving where watering is concerned, Red Tree Peperomia is great for the Plant Parent who has mastered philodendrons and is ready to level up to something a little more exotic looking, but still manageable.

Red Tree Peperomia, or Peperomia Metallica, is another showy member of the Piperaceae family. Its dark green and deep maroon foliage has a metallic sheen to it that is sure to catch the eye. This peperomia is rather compact, growing in a bush habit to around 8 inches in height. Red Tree Peperomia will not flower, but it is pet safe and is said to be air cleaning. Note, we assume it is pet safe because other peperomia are, but as this particular peperomia is still new, we’re not completely sure about some things. For that reason it’s best to avoid taking chances.

Red Tree Peperomia likes bright indirect light, but it will tolerate medium light as well. Red Tree Peperomia is slow growing, so don’t worry if you don’t see a lot of growth. Plant Red Tree Peperomia in a soil that will drain well and let the roots breathe – Orchid or African Violet soil are great options. This plant likes humidity, and for temperatures to be around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Any well-draining pot will do, just try to choose one with good drainage holes. Let the soil dry out about halfway before watering. You can also watch Red Tree Peperomia’s foliage for signs that it’s time to water – the leaves will begin to droop when it needs a drink. Use the “Drench and Drain” method to water. Allow the water to flow over the soil until the water runs out the bottom of the pot. Leave it running for a few minutes and then allow the excess water to drain. Never let a plant sit in soggy soil or in standing water. If your pot does not have drainage holes in the bottom, use a Moisture Meter to keep track of the moisture level before and during watering to avoid overwatering. If you do add too much water, tip the pot carefully to the side and allow excess water to gently drain out of the pot, but be careful to avoid spilling the soil.

Happy Plant Parenting

Sansevieria Samurai

By | Blog Post, House Plants, House Plants Beginner, Medium Sunlight | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Sansevieria Samurai is an easy to grow succulent that asks little and takes up little space. What makes this plant special is the way its spiked leaves grow in a spiraling fan-shaped manner. While most Sansevieria (think of plants you might know as “Mother in Law’s Tongue” or “Snake Plant”) grow with their thin, sword shaped leaves pointing up to the sky, this particular Sansevieria has thicker and shorter leaves that grow out toward the edges of the pot, and stack on top of each other. From the top they look like a spiral, and from the top they look like a fan.

Sansevieria Samurai is a member of the Asparagaceae family. It typically will grow to be around six inches tall. This plant is not pet safe, so keep it out of reach of pets and other little ones who might like to chew on things. Sansevierias are known to be plants that clean the air around them, so it’s a great plant to keep around for fresher air indoors. Plant Sansevieria Samurai in Cactus and Succulent soil, and put it in a spot where it will get bright indirect light.

They like to be kept in temperature between 60 and 80 degrees, and while they like humidity, they don’t require it. Keep Sansevieria Samurai in a place free from drafts and vents. Wait until the soil has dried out to water Sansevieria Samurai. Any pot will do, but make sure it’s well draining. Succulents are known for being especially susceptible to root rot if they are left in soggy soil, or if their pots are left in trays or saucers with standing water. Watch for leaves that become brown and soggy as this could indicate that root rot has taken hold. If your pot doesn’t have drainage holes, use a Moisture Meter to test the moisture levels at the bottom of the pot both before and during watering in order to avoid overwatering. If you do happen to add too much water, carefully tip the pot sideways and allow the excess water to drain away. Just take care with the soil and the plant as they can both easily become dislodged. Succulents have small root systems and are unable to hold onto the soil and stay in the pot as well as plants with bigger roots systems.

Overall, Sansevieria Samurai’s requirements are perfect for beginners but still have the look of a plant kept by a seasoned Plant Parent.

Happy Plant Parenting!

String of Dolphins

By | Blog Post, House Plants, House Plants Beginner, Medium Sunlight | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

String of Dolphins might be the cutest succulent in existence. This plant, whose scientific name is Senecio peregrinus, has leaves that are shaped like little dolphins leaping out of the water. These little dolphins grow on trailing vines like other “String of” plants such as hearts, bananas, turtles, pearls, etc. String of Dolphins is actually bred from the cross-pollination of Senecio Rowleyanus (String of Pearls) and Senecio Articulatus (hot dog cactus)These vines can grow to be around three feet long, and look wonderful spilling out of a hanging basket or trickling down over bookshelves or the edge of a stair rail. Part of the Asteraceae family, the flowers that grow from String of Dolphin plants (when the plants are very happy and in just the right conditions) are daisy-ish and are said to smell like cinnamon.

While most succulents rarely need water and like as much light as possible, String of Dolphins does better in medium indirect light, and needs water a bit more often than its cousins. String of Dolphins can, in fact, develop a sunburn in too much sun. The good news is that they are tolerant of artificial light as well as medium indirect sunlight, which allows them to be placed in a better variety of places within the home or office than some houseplants. Just keep in mind that String of Dolphins is not pet safe, so you’ll want to keep this plant away from pets and small children (and anyone who likes to chew on things).

When watering String of Dolphins, use the “Drench and Drain” method. Give them a nice long drink by allowing the water to run over the soil (use Cactus and Succulent soil for String of Dolphins) for a few minutes, and then allow excess water to run out the bottom of the pot. You’ll want to let the soil dry out completely, but you can use the “squish test” to determine just how thirsty your Dolphins are. Since succulents hold their moisture in their leaves, they will be nice and firm when they’re full of water, and get a little squishy when they need a refill. However, if they become brown and squishy, that could be indicative of root rot setting in.

 Follow these instructions and keep String of Dolphins in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees, and even our beginner Plant Parents should have few if any issues with String of Dolphins.

Happy Plant Parenting!

Peperomia Hope

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You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Unlike other Peperomia plants, Peperomia Hope grows in a trailing habit, earning it the nickname “Trailing Jade.” It’s a fairly easy plant to grow. It is a succulent and as such has some specific watering requirements, but they are simple requirements to follow.

Peperomia Hope is a combination of two different Peperomia plants, earning it the name Peperomia deppeana×quadrifolia. This plant comes from Central and South America, and prefers higher levels of water and humidity. Because the plant is a succulent and as such prone to root rot, it’s important to find a balance when watering. The recommended watering method is actually quite simple: keep the soil relatively moist in Summer and Spring (during the grown period), and allow it to dry out between waterings in the Fall and Summer. As the plant grows, it will use more water more frequently, and during the winter the growing season will end and the plant will rest and use less water than it did during the previous seasons.

Its thick foliage grows on a long trailing vine, and is coin shaped and bright green with faint light green stripes. Peperomia Hope will not flower, but its attractive foliage makes up for the lack of flowers. Like other trailing vines, it can be trained up walls, across ceilings, or around stair rails. The young vines will first grow up, and then with time, flop over and begin to trail.

Water Peperomia Hope using the “Drench and Drain” method – allow water to run over the soil for a few minutes and then allow any remaining water to drain from the bottom of the pot. If your pot does not have drainage holes in the bottom, take care when watering and use a Moisture Meter before and during watering to assess the level of moisture at the bottom of the pot. If you add too much water, gently tip the pot on its side and allow as much excess water as possibly to run out without disturbing the plant or the soil. Peperomia Hope will let you know early on if it is getting too much water by developing scab like growths on its leaves.

Peperomia Hope will do best in low to medium indirect light, and is even tolerant of artificial light. It is both pet safe, and said to be air cleaning. All of these factors make Peperomia Hope the perfect plant for those darker places in your home or office that are in reach of tiny humans or pets that have a tendency to want to sample the flavor of houseplants. Peperomia Hope thrives when rootbound, so you won’t need to worry about repotting this one for a while.

Because it is believed to be good luck, and due to the ease of care, we rate this plant as being perfect for beginner Plant Parents, and also as a great plant for gifting.

Happy Plant Parenting!

Spider Plant

By | Blog Post, House Plants | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Spider Plant gets its common name from its wispy, long, and cascading foliage. It’s official name is Chlorophytum comosum, and it belongs to the Asparagaceae family. It’s also commonly known as Ribbon Plant, Airplane Plant, or Spider Ivy. A native to tropical environments, Spider Plants like humidity and will perform best with a little added moisture here in Colorado. If your Spider Plant has brown edges or tips on its leaves, it could be a sign that the plant needs more water. Spider Plant is sensitive to fluoride in our water (it can cause a salt buildup in the soil), and brown tips could also be an indication that it’s getting too much of that fluoride. Leave water out for 48 hours to allow the fluoride to dissipate, or use distilled or rain water. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, then give Spider Plant a nice long drink, allowing the water to run through the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. If your pot does not have drainage holes, take care when watering, and use a Moisture Meter to determine the moisture level at the bottom of the pot before watering.

Spider Plant is known for a couple of characteristics – one of which is its trailing stems that end with “pups,” or baby Spider Plants. These pups can be removed and planted to grow a virtually never-ending supply of Spider Plants! It’s also known for its air purifying qualities and can help remove harmful elements in the air in your home. Spider Plant is pet safe, so no need to worry if your four-legged friend has a nibble. Spider Plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight, and likes temperatures to be between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. As with most houseplants, keep Spider Plant safe from drafts, vents, doorways, etc. in order to keep its environment as consistent as possible.

Plant Spider Plant in a hanging pot with well-draining soil, or place a non-hanging pot on a tall bookcase or stair to take advantage of its cascading leaves and trailing stems. These stems can sometimes produce small white flowers for an added decorative effect. Spider Plant does best when slightly rootbound, so don’t put it in a pot much bigger than its roots. Overall, Spider Plant is a very easy plant to care for and a great option for those just beginning to learn about caring for houseplants, or those with a busy schedule.

Happy Plant Parenting!

Rattlesnake plant

By | Blog Post, House Plants | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Rattlesnake plant (Calathea Lancifolia) is one of the many Calathea plants available. Like its cousins, Rattlesnake plant has long and low growing oval-shaped leaves with unique and attractive markings. The leaves of Rattlesnake Plant are bright green with dark green spots and have the purple underside that Calathea are known for. Unique to Rattlesnake Plant though are the wavy edges of the leaves that give the plant its trademark look. While it is known to flower, typically Calathea will not flower as an indoor houseplant. You can expect Rattlesnake Plant to grow to about 2 feet in a mounding shape, with most of that space being taken up horizontally.

Rattlesnake Plant is both pet safe and known to be an air-cleaning plant! It will want light that is medium to bright in intensity and is indirect. Use an African Violet soil (or similar) with Rattlesnake plant, and make sure your pot has good drainage. If you are set on a pot that does not have a drainage hole in the bottom, use a Moisture Meter to test the moisture level at the bottom of the pot before watering. Like most Calathea, Rattlesnake Plant will begin to droop if it’s in dire need of water, but it’s best to avoid reaching that point. In general, water Rattlesnake Plant when the soil on top is dry about once below the surface. Just give it a good soak until the water runs out of the bottom of the plant. Be sure to avoid letting the pot sit in a tray of water to avoid root rot. Rattlesnake Plant can be sensitive to fluoride and chlorine in tap water, so use water that has been left out for a few days (so that the chemicals evaporate), or use distilled or boiled and cooled water to give the plant a drink.

Rattlesnake Plant likes higher humidity habitats, so if you live in a dry climate, try different methods of adding humidity to the air near the plant such as placing a humidifier nearby, placing the pot on top of a tray full of pebbles and water, or keeping your Rattlesnake Plant in a well-lit bathroom. You will notice that Rattlesnake plant will fold up its leaves at night like other Calathea plants, and you may also notice brown tips on the plant occasionally. If you see brown around the edges, just try to get a little more humidity to the plant, and carefully trim away the brown places. Wipe the leaves down occasionally to help the leaves absorb as much light as possible, and to help keep the plant free of pests. Keep Rattlesnake Plant away from vents, doors, and windows where a sudden temperature change may occur, and try to keep it in temperatures that fall between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow these tips and even our beginner Houseplant Parents should be able to enjoy healthy and vibrant Rattlesnake Plants in their spaces!

Happy Plant Parenting!

Ponytail Palm

By | Blog Post, House Plants | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Ponytail Palm, also known as Bottle Palm Tree or Elephant Foot Tree, is another houseplant whose common name is based on what the plant looks like, but is actually a misnomer! Ponytail Palm – a member of the Asparagaceae family, is neither a palm or a tree – it’s actually a succulent! Known as Beaucarnea recurvata (though formerly known as Nolina recurvata) in its official capacity, Ponytail Palm does look like a tiny palm tree, but it’s actually storing its water in that “trunk” like other succulents store water in their thick “leaves.” This little “trunk” can grow to be up to four feet tall, and long, thin leaves will sprout out of the top of the plant in the shape of a ponytail. These little leaves are sensitive to injury, so you may see brown tips from time to time. Just trim these off, but only cut off the discolored spots.

Because Ponytail Palm stores its water in this little “trunk,” you won’t need to water it often. Allow the soil to get very dry, and then wait even longer to water! Try watering once a month(pro tip – have a set “Water Day” for your plants depending on how often they need water so that you never again wonder when you last watered!). Just give the plant a good soak so that the water runs out of the bottom of the pot. If your pot does not have drainage, use extra caution when water to make sure the plant does not sit in soggy soil, as this can cause root rot.

Ponytail Palm will not flower indoors, but it is both pet safe and air cleaning! When it comes to light, Ponytail Palm has some interesting options. In general, it likes bright, indirect light like most houseplants. But if you’re able to put it in direct sunlight outside in the warmer half of the year, you can actually place Ponytail Palm in any lighting conditions indoors for the rest of the year! Think of it as the Alaska of the houseplant world where lighting is concerned.

When potting your Ponytail Palm, use a well-draining substrate that will dry out well after watering – remember, the plant will store its water in its “trunk” rather than take it from the soil between waterings. Succulent soil is a great option. You’ll want a pot that has good drainage to avoid root rot, but if your heart is set on a pot that doesn’t have any drainage, take care when watering and use a Moisture Meter to determine the level of moisture at the bottom of the pot. Keep Ponytail Palm in a place where temperatures range between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, keep it away from drafts and windows and vents, and even a beginner should have an easy time with this little succulent!

Happy Plant Parenting!

Moth Orchid

By | Blog Post, House Plants | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Orchids may be the most showy and eye-catching plant in the houseplant world. It’s also the plant that inspires the most trepidation in collectors. While orchids can be finicky and don’t follow all of the normal rules, they’re not terribly difficult to cafe for once you know the rules it does follow. A member of the Orchidaceae, Moth Orchid (“Phalaenopsis”), can grow to be up to 3 feet tall. Moth Orchid’s leave grow in a fan shape that stays low and stretches out away from the base of the plant. You’ll also see roots and shoots creeping out near the base of the plant. You’ll find many color variations among various Moth Orchid plants, usually in shades of pink, yellow, purple, and white. The petals are rounded and arranged in a somewhat face-shaped fashion. Moth Orchid blooms, which can number up to 20 blooms on a single stem, can last for months at a time in the right conditions!

Moth Orchid is both pet-safe and air cleaning! Moth Orchid prefers bright, indirect sunlight like most houseplants. If your Moth Orchid is well cared for and not flowering, it probably needs more sunlight. Unlike most houseplants, it does not want any water kept in its substrate – which should be made of bark or sphagnum moss. To water Moth Orchid, place it under running water in a sink or under a running shower. Allow room temperature water – nighter hot nor cold – to run over the plant and through the substrate. Let around a gallon run through the substrate. You can also give the plant a nice long drink in a pot and drain all remaining water out after it sits for 15 minutes or so. Moth Orchid prefers a humid atmosphere, so it will benefit from a humidifier, resting the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water, or a daily spritz. After watering, always tip the plant to let the water run off of the flowers and out of the base of the leaves. Water Moth Orchid again when the substrate is dry (some growers suggest they’ve had the best success with waiting until the exposed roots take on a silvery appearance).

Moth Orchids will actually do best when there is a temperature change of at least 15 degrees between night and day. Keeping a Moth Orchid close to a window can help achieve this change as the sun from the window (and lack thereof) heats and cools the space immediately occupied by the plant. Once all of the blooms from a single spike (Moth Orchid is a monopodial orchid, meaning the flowers grow from one single spike) have bloomed, trim that spike to just above a node (it’s what you might call a “knuckle” on the flowering spike) to encourage a new flowering stem to grow. While Moth Orchid may be a little more difficult than some houseplants, it’s by no means the most difficult to grow. For this reason, we’re calling it an intermediate level plant, and sending our readers a big “You got this!”.

Happy Plant Parenting!