Monday, January 18th, 2021

WINTER CARE FOR HEALTHY HOUSEPLANTS

The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and suddenly we’re staring down the barrel of a long winter – (sigh). We’re not the only ones who struggle with the onslaught of winter – houseplants are challenged too! Our winters offer less than ideal growing conditions, so to keep your plant babies healthy and happy, you need to adjust your plant care routine. Here’s how!

Change Your Watering Routine

Indoor plants need far less water during the winter than they do the rest of the year. Let’s translate that into human terms. In the summertime you go for walks, bike rides, and play outside – you’re active and therefore you’re thirsty! Plants experience the same thing. In the spring and summer, they’re actively growing, so they’re thirsty and need more water to thrive.  But once the cold weather arrives, they’re activity and growth rate significantly slows down. So until late February, adjust your watering routine by watering less frequently and with less water. This will also reduce chances of having fungus gnats in your soil as they thrive and lay eggs in moist soil.

Increase Humidity

Low humidity is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome during winter. The humidity level in heated homes can drop to 10 to 20 percent in winter and plants prefer a level closer to 50 percent. Consider mitigating this by adding a humidifier in your home, and move your plants to a spot where they will enjoy its benefits. Without a humidifier, you’re going to need to raise the humidity level by other means, such as by clustering your plants in groups. Plants naturally release water through their leaves by transpiring, so grouping them together will increase humidity. Bathrooms and kitchens tend to have higher humidity levels because that’s where we run the taps. Consider these rooms as options if they offer enough sunlight to your plants.

Another good option is the old trick of placing your plants on or near a moisture tray. This can be as simple as a plate or saucer filled with a layer of pebbles and water. Just make sure that the plant pot sits on top of the pebbles and not directly in the water. This method creates a little biosphere of humidity around the plant.

The method of frequent misting does a better job of making the gardener feel good than of helping the plant. While using a mister is somewhat beneficial to plants, you’d need to mist multiple times a day to really see any benefit since the dry heat in our homes will evaporate the mist almost immediately. It’s hard to over mist an indoor plant, especially in the winter months.

Watch the Temperature

Most plants enjoy daytime temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temps above 50 degrees Fahrenheit – very similar to the temperatures that humans enjoy. To provide those temperatures for your plants, keep them away from both cold drafts and sources of heat, like exterior doorways, radiators, ovens, fireplaces, and electronic heaters. Fluctuations in temperature are a big no-no and can kill houseplants!

Follow the Sun

Not only are there fewer sunlight hours during winter, it also comes into our homes at a lower angle. You might need to relocate your houseplants to a brighter room or even add supplemental light. South or west facing windows typically offer the best lighting in winter. Each time you water your plant, rotate the pot so that all sides of the plant get some sun and to keep the plants growing evenly, rather than stretching unevenly to reach the light.

Put Your Plants On A Diet

Since your plants will barely be growing at all from October through April, they don’t need any fertilizer at all. Feeding them during these months will just upset their natural cycle and confuse them, so hold off until early spring. We suggest stopping all fertilization between Thanksiving and Easter. When your plant babies start to show you signs of new growth, resume fertilizing, to give them a boost for the growing season.

Chill Out, Plant Lover!

Whatever you do, don’t fuss over your plant family too much or as we say ‘kill them with kindness’. Consider winter an off-season for your houseplants and let them rest. Sit back and admire them, enjoy their warmth and positivity. Let your eyes soak in the beauty of green. They will love you for it!

Sending you and your plant family lots of love this winter!     

xo Team Shelmerdine

Friday, November 20th, 2020

SLEEPING WITH A SNAKE PLANT

Of all the plants that grace our greenhouse, one special plant rises above all others, and it’s the Snake Plant. The Snake Plant or Sansevieria (san-se-vi-ee’-ri-ah) is a tried-and-true houseplant that anyone can keep and enjoy.  But it’s also a superb air purifier that has the power to improve your sleep and change your life. Our team is so passionate about the benefits of Snake Plants, and here’s why!

Let’s talk about air quality.

Air quality is important – we all know this, but sometimes air quality escapes us. We don’t see it, so we don’t think about it. But the air in our homes can be a far greater source of unhealthy air than outdoor air pollution. This is especially true in Manitoba, where we tend to spend the majority of our year indoors.  Poor air quality in your home can effect your heart and lung health, hurt your sleep quality, and impact your mood, with children being even more succeptible to this than adults. The air we breath is as important as the food we eat.

Now, let’s step into the bedroom!

You will spend about 26 years of your life sleeping. Sleep disorders are on the rise, and one facet that effects our sleep is the air quality in our bedrooms. If you have to choose one room to focus on air quality, it should be the bedroom! So how exactly does keeping a Snake Plant in your bedroom improve the air quality? The Snake Plant is unique because it has the ability to perform a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism. What this means is that it converts CO2 (carbon dioxide – the air you exhale) to O2 (oxygen – the air you inhale) – at night!  Most plants go throught this process during the day.  While the Snake Plant performs this oxygen producing function, it’s also filtering chemical toxins like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air. These are chemicals released by mattresses, bedding, furniture, carpeting, and paint, which we would otherwise inhale.

According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, the Snake Plant is so effective in producing oxygen that if you were locked in a sealed room with no airflow (yikes!), you would be able to survive with just 6-8 plants in it. NASA recommends 15 to 18 medium-to-large size plants for a 1,800 square-foot home for optimum air quality.

As if this plant weren’t amazing enough, it’s also the most durable of all plants to survive even the most unsuitable growing conditions, abuse and neglect that a plant could receive. Basically, you have to work really hard to kill a Snake Plant! It’s the perfect plant for apartments, dorm rooms, and of course, the bedroom. Purchasing a couple of these miracle plants will greatly enhance your sleep quality.  Try it for yourself!  We guarantee that you will notice a difference within a week or two.

Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

HARD-TO-KILL HOUSEPLANTS

The popularity of indoor plants is on the rise!  A connection to nature is an essential way to enrich our daily lives and to enjoy a healthy and happy lifestyle.  So this year, we’re keeping things simple with low-maintenance indoor plants.  With that in mind, we asked our greenhouse team for their top hard-to-kill houseplants that can thrive – without a green thumb. They share their thoughts on six favorites, below, to make it easy for you to make the green connection!

1. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica): Very easy to care for, this ornamental specimen is low-light and low-maintenance. Rubber plants should only be watered when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch; be sure you don’t over-water. Keep your rubber plant in a warm location, and avoid exposing it to any sudden temperature changes, which can cause leaf drop. Not only are rubber plants beautiful, they’re also excellent air purifiers. They emit high levels of oxygen, and remove toxins like formaldehyde and airborne mold from a room.

2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata): East, west, north windowsills with filtered light, or in office spaces with flourescent light. Wait until the pot is quite dry before watering. Water if you notice the leaves are drooping and the pot feels dry.

3. Z Z Plant (Zamioculcas Zamifolia): This is a nice, compact, neat and tidy looking plant. Almost impossible to kill, the ZZ can accommodate a broad spectrum of light conditions, except for bright, south facing light.  It can also withstand drought, so it’s the perfect plant for someone who forgets to water.  Expect it to do very little; it doesn’t grow, it doesn’t die, it just kind of sits there.

4. Succulents/Cactus All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. There are thousands of varieties of succulents and cactus to choose from! Succulents and cacti are defined by their moisture-storing capacity allowing them to survive in arid climates by retaining water in their stems and leaves. They require very little water (read: maybe once a month waterings) and love bright, sunny windowsills to grow on.

5. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): A great choice for novices, this vining plant can be trained to climb around windowsills, or to hang down from tall ledges.  They also look great in hanging baskets or in wall planters. I love the different shades it comes in, from lime green to variegated to deep green. It can thrive even in very low light such as offices that only have flourescent lights, and won’t suffer if it goes a bit too long without water.

6. Bromeliad (Vriesea, Neoregelia, or Aechmea): There are more than 3,000 known species of bromeliads, but the three varieties listed are some of my favorites. They offer an interesting, architectural shape and bright, beautiful flower stalks. Bromeliads can withstand drought, but aren’t tolerant of excess watering. They can thrive in a variety of light situations, but most prefer brighter environments with some protection from direct sun.

Our greenhouse is filled to the brim with hundreds of these hard-to-kill plants!  Be sure to stroll through our collection of stylish pots and planters while you’re here, to design the perfect plant and pot duo for your decor. Our greenhouse team will pot your new houseplant up for you (free of charge) when you select both a plant and pot.

Here’s to the green life!

Hours of Inspiration

Monday-Friday / 10am-6pm
Saturday / 9am-5pm
Sunday / 9am-5pm

Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Fax: 204.895.4372
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