Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
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.
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.
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
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020
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!
Words + Photos by Nicole Bent
Thursday, August 27th, 2020
Working from home (WFH) is a big adjustment! In the beginning, some of us settled for the kitchen table (hello, back pain!) or for a spare corner of the house, because hey – this is only temporary! But now that it’s looking like WFH is here to stay, it’s time to set yourself up for success! Take a look around your WFH space. How does it make you feel? Are you able to focus? Do you feel productive? Does it make you feel connected and happy? Do you even like it? If there’s room for improvement, all you need to do is add plants to it!
Plants don’t just look good, they make you feel good emotionally and physically, and perform better mentally!
By adding a few plants into your WFH space, you’ll enjoy many physical and psychological benefits that have been scientifically proven. A few of these benefits include:
Research has proven that placing plants in a windowless space increases reaction time to computer tasks by 12%! That’s a huge number! If you’re an employer and your team works in windowless spaces, just imagine increasing your overall company productivity by 12%! Those plants will pay off in no time at all.
POSITIVE VISUAL APPEARANCE
A space that is filled with vibrant greenery conveys a positive image to others. It makes you look healthier, happier, and even more likable! If you want to be the person who stands out on a video conference, add some nice green plants to your background and you’ll be much more pleasing to the eye than a person in a blank white space.
One of the most interesting benefits of plants is that it increases creative thinking. Creativity is a crucial part of a business, but often creative ideas are hard to come by – especially when cooped up in an office all day.
Stress levels and blood pressure levels are significantly lower in people when plants are in their presence. Want to test this? Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and picture yourself surrounded by a green forest for a minute. It will quickly and dramatically calm you. Having a plant on the corner of your desk to look at now and then will have the same positive effect.
Plants improve air quality by removing harmful toxins from the air. Breathing cleaner air means sleeping better. Sleeping better means working better!
A SENSE OF CONNECTION
Being around plants reminds us that we are connected to nature and that we’re part of a bigger picture. Since we cannot get that connection at the workplace, it’s important that we get it from plants!
To invest in plants is to invest in your success!
OUR WFH PLANT PROS ARE READY TO HELP YOU ‘PLANTIFY’ YOUR SPACE! VIA VIDEO CHAT, WE’LL TAKE A LOOK INSIDE YOUR WFH SPACE AND MAKE PLANT AND POT RECOMMENDATIONS TAILORED TO YOU!
SET UP YOUR MEETING WITH ONE OF OUR PLANT PROS TODAY! CLICK HERE or EMAIL HELLO@SHELMERDINE.COM
Friday, May 15th, 2020
Fresh herbs are easy to grow and are so delicious and healthy! Let’s get started!
Fresh basil on homemade pizza, fresh oregano in a pasta sauce, fresh thyme on roasted chicken – when it comes to cooking, fresh herbs are the secret to taking your dish from good to mouthwatering! Luckily, herbs are also one of the easiest things to grow and will thrive in containers, which means that you can blow your dinner guests, or just your family, away with homegrown scents and flavours that totally transform your cooking.
Here are our five essential tips to growing a vibrant and lush potted herb garden!
1. Grow organic.
Herbs that are grown in organic soil and with organic fertilizer have much better flavour and potency. We recommend using a quality organic soil like this one to get the best results. Don’t forget that regular fertilization is an important step in caring for any plants! During the growing season, feed your herbs with a slow-release organic fertilizer, or a half-strength solution of organic liquid fertilizer such as Sea Magic every three to four weeks.
2. Provide good drainage.
Herbs thrive on good drainage, so make sure that your pot has sufficient drainage holes. Elevating pots on pottery feet, bricks, stones, or even another pot turned upside-down can also help to improve drainage. And it’s not just your container or your pot placement that matters – well-draining soil is KEY! Our favorite her growing medium is a mix of lava rock with organic soil. It allows perfect drainage and a rich medium in which your herbs will thrive!
3. Plant with the herb varieties’ needs in mind.
Chives are perennial and overwinter very well, so they are a great option for planting directly into the ground. Mint is an aggressive plant that will take over an entire area or container, so you’ll want to give it its very own pot. Watering needs will vary according to the variety of herb as well as the pot size and type that you should choose. Be sure to consider all of these factors before planting.
4. Know when to water, and when to wait.
Drought-tolerant herbs such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, and oregano like soil that is on the dryer side, so let the potting soil dry slightly between waterings. For moisture lovers like basil and chives, keep the mix slightly moist – about as damp as a wrung-out sponge – at all times. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is to let your finger be your guide. If the soil feels dry 1 to 2 inches below the surface, then it’s probably time to water. Be sure to water thoroughly until you see water flowing freely from the pot’s drainage holes.
5. Pinch and harvest!
The more you pinch off and use your herbs, the more they’ll be encouraged to leaf out. The result will be a bushier and more productive plant, so don’t be shy – snip those flavourful sprigs and get cooking! If you really want to get the most out of your herb garden, place your pots in close proximity to your kitchen; you’ll use them more often.
Now that you’re prepped and ready to grow, get started by scrolling through this lovely list of fresh herbs that are popping up weekly in our greenhouse. Then, browse this helpful collection of specific tips for your favourites. You can make your selections with total abandon, or have fun with a theme like Mexican or Italian!
Now… what’s for dinner?!
Sunday, March 1st, 2020
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.
Sunday, February 16th, 2020
Hundreds of citrus plants have just arrived!
Picture it; you walk by the kitchen window, lean over, and pluck a ripe lemon from your very own tree. It’s possible! If you have a bright enough space, you could be squeezing your own citrus. A few mouth-watering windowsill kumquats, oranges, or lemons could be in your cards – even in Manitoba. Growing citrus is mildly challenging, but the rewards are worth it, so we encourage you to challenge your green thumb!
Read on for our tips on how to successfully grow citrus indoors . . .
You GOT this! Just have patience . . . and faith!
First comes flowers, then comes fruit. The fragrance of citrus flowers is a perfume beyond anything you can imagine! The flower is the part of the plant which develop into fruit, so a citrus tree needs to be of sufficient size to be able to successfully support a crop of fruit on its branches. This is a natural process that takes time, but when that fruit finally appears, you’ll be beaming with gardeners pride, not to mention boasting rites! Fun fact; the average lifespan of a citrus tree is approximately 50 years, so when you take home a citrus plant, you can consider it a new friend for life.
HOW TO GROW CITRUS INDOORS
Here are our top tips on how to grow citrus plants. For even more information, visit our friends down in Florida!
LIGHT What citrus really requires is a bright window that has generous dimensions. A south-facing window or sliding glass doors are ideal, but a well-lit east or west-facing window can do the job. Do NOT invest in a citrus plant if you don’t have enough light. To achieve a citrus plant that’s laden with flowers and fruit, ample indoor light and space are essential, and to make your citrus even happier, bring it outdoors in the summer!
POTTING Citrus like to be slightly root-bound in their pots. If it becomes overly root-bound or its pot cracks, repot the plant in the springtime only. Transplant 2” (up one pot size at a time) or you may run the risk of rutting the roots with too much soil.
TEMPERATURE Citrus thrive in the same temperatures as humans. If temperatures drop below 10°C , your citrus plant will fail to absorb the nutrients that it needs in order to set flowers.
NUTRITION Citrus are hungry plants, and they react quickly when you fail to serve up sufficient food. Yellow leaves are the telltale sign of a starving citrus. Although most houseplants do not require fertilizing in late autumn and winter, citrus are the exception. If you go organic, deliver diluted fish emulsion throughout the year – once every two to three weeks seems to work well. Winter light levels are low, so dilute the fertilizer more than the recommended dose.
WATERING Citrus are thirsty plants! When the furnace or air conditioner is running and the sun is shining, they might need water daily, and when citrus plants are in bloom or actively growing, their watering needs increase. We suggest using a moisture meter to monitor the soil. Water when the soil is slightly dry, but not bone dry. If your citrus plant gets too dry, it will drop its flowers before developing fruit. If your home is very dry, your citrus will demonstrate its discomfort by dropping leaves. You can combat this by running a humidifier. Yellow leaves are a sign that you are over-watering. During winter months, sunlight levels lessen, so you will need to reduce and change your watering schedule accordingly.
Sunday, February 16th, 2020
Life is juicy!
1937. Picture it…the population of Winnipeg was a mere 250,000. The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco opened. A crippling drought on the Prairies had us in the grips of the Great Depression. And a little company called Shelmerdine was founded in Charleswood, the very same year as Air Canada, Volkswagen and Dairy Queen! We’re entering into our 83rd year in business, so we’re feeling a bit nostalgic for all the wonderful people, warm memories, and lasting friendships that have blessed us at Shelmerdine.
83 years in the plant industry doesn’t happen by accident! We believe that our longevity is the result of incredible people, innovative thinking, some risk-taking (you mean Shelmerdine sells CLOTHES?!), and most importantly, the best customers in the world! Our talented team constantly brainstorms, researches, collaborates, and looks to the future, all so that we can offer you an incredible experience, everytime you visit Shelmerdine. 2020 will be no exception to that!
So here we go! Read on to discover what’s new . . .
COME HANG OUT IN OUR NEW PLANT LOUNGE
We’ve dedicated a section of our warm and sunny greenhouse as a cozy Plant Lounge. This is a space where you’re invited to just enjoy and relax in, where you can connect with yourself, reconnect with friends, or just feel a connection with nature. The Plant Lounge is the perfect place to escape the winter and just feel amazing! Come in as often as you like, and stay as long as you wish! Trust us – you’ll love it!
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT – AND TO YOU
Our team is proud to announce these initiatives that we’ve taken to protect our environment – with more to come!
- All of our packaging materials are 100% reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable, so if we need to wrap your purchases, you can feel good about how we do it.
- Throughout our entire building and greenhouses, we’ve switched our lighting system to low-emitting LED lights.
- Behind the scenes in our growing ranges, we’re growing more and more tropical plants by propagation. For example, many of the Pothos, Ivy, and Fiddle Leaf Figs that you see in our greenhouse are grown right here, instead of being imported from Florida. You can feel good about the fact that these plants were not trucked in on fuel guzzling semi-trucks.
- Mark your calendar! We’re having a Recycling Event on June 20 and 21, so you can recycle all of your plastic gardening pots with us. The City of Winnipeg doesn’t accept gardening plastics, but we’ve partnered with a local business who specializes in recycling plastics. We hope to save thousands upon thousands of plastic pots from the landfills on this weekend, and you’ll get a very special treat from us for taking part!
JOIN US FOR OUR FREE PLANT TALKS
Our passion for plants makes us want to keep sharing our knowledge, so we have an exciting roster of Free Plant Talks planned for you! Whether you’re new to plants, or you’re an avid gardener, you’ll learn a few new things from our experts while basking in the sunny greenhouse. Click HERE to see the full line-up!
SHARE YOUR LOVE OF PLANTS
We want to make the world a better place, one plant at a time. Plants make us feel connected, healthier and happier, and we all know that the world needs more of that. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re a gardener or plant lover on some level, but chances are that you know someone who doesn’t own a single plant. So we encourage YOU to bring plants into that person’s life! Invite them over to help you plant your garden, give them a gift of their first houseplant, or visit our greenhouse with them. These simple acts have the power to change someone’s life for the better, and 2020 is a great year to share and to connect!
Come on in! The sun is always shining at Shelmerdine, and we can’t wait to share our love of plants with you!