Cyclamen Care

Give the gift of color this Valentine’s Day with a cyclamen. We’ll help you keep yours in living color through the season here.

In general, cyclamen are easy-care plants. This is good for those of us who may not always be so good to our potted plants! Just follow these easy steps:

CyclamenMake them feel at home. In the wild, cyclamen can be found in the woods with their root systems hidden and flowers peaking out towards the sunlight. Do your best to imitate this atmosphere by keeping your plant around room temperature. Find a place for your cyclamen near a window but not directly in front of it. Cooler, low-light environments could have your plant blooming through mid-spring! Warmer, brighter climates may just send your cyclamen into an early dormancy.

Don’t chance the cold. While cyclamen is beautiful outdoors in pots and within our landscapes, this particular plant doesn’t do so hot in the cold! So if you’re keeping your cyclamen outside, just be sure to bring them inside if the weatherman calls for temperatures lower than 50 degrees.

Water once a week. The easiest way to ensure you’re not drowning your cyclamen, is to place your pot in a tray of about an inch of water overnight just once a week. This allows the plant to rehydrate without moistening the soil at undesirable levels.

Keep it clean! Dead-head any dead or yellowing leaves.

If additional questions arise, feel free to swing by GSCO any time! We’ll be happy to help you raise a healthy cyclamen!

The easiest plant you’ll ever buy

The ZZ plant is the easiest plant you’ll ever buy. Coincidence that it’s name rhymes with the word easy? Well, it’s proper name is Zamioculcas zamifolia. So naturally botanists back in the day began to refer to it as it’s acronym. The ZZ plant name stuck.

ZZ PlantMore than likely, all of you with black thumbs are looking out the window to your backyard plant graveyards and thinking: Easy-care, sure…I’ve heard that before!

But seriously, this is a plant that does best when almost totally ignored. How’s that for easy?

Although the ZZ plant does best in moderate light, these plants still do fine with little to no light. Now that you know what they look like, you’ll begin to notice that these are the plants you’ve seen in public restrooms and office spaces with no windows. They weren’t fake!

How is it that these green, rubbery-looking plants still appear so healthy with so little care? The ZZ plant holds water in a similar manner to a camel. Under the soil, these African natives carry potato-like rhizomes which allow them to store water during drought. Lucky for us, this evolutionary root system works in our indoor container gardens just as as it does in it’s natural environment. So what does this mean for it’s caregiver? ZZ plants only need to be watered once the soil is completely dry to the touch or about once a month. If you notice the leaves begin to yellow, think of it as the yellow light on a stoplight. This is your plant cautioning you to stop watering it so much.

ZZ plants do fine without fertilizer but if you feel yours needs a little something, use a half-strength plant food up to twice a year during warmer months.

Garden Supply Company has plenty of ZZ plants in stock now and a new collection of pots to plant them in. Come by and turn that black thumb green!

Garden to Table: Broiled Rosemary Salmon Recipe

While the leaves of many of our trees and shrubs are falling in the garden, evergreen staples like rosemary continue to provide us with a soft green foliage throughout the colder seasons. Rosemary also supplies us with an aromatic ingredient that’s perfect to spice up many fall and winter dishes. Plant with purpose!

Already have rosemary growing in your garden? Try our quick, easy and heart-healthy recipe below!

Broiled Rosemary Salmon 

rosemaryIngredients:

  • 4 pieces of salmon
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh, chopped rosemary (from your garden!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil spray
  • salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Combine rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper in small mixing bowl. Brush mixture onto fish.
  3. Spray broiler pan rack with olive oil spray & place fish on it.
  4. Broil 4 inches from the heat until fish flakes easily with a fork or approximately 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness. If the fish is more than 1 inch thick, gently turn halfway through broiling.

Recipe from skinnytaste.com

Amaryllis: A gift that keeps on giving

amaryllisSo you don’t want to cook but you feel compelled to bring something to the Thanksgiving dinner you were invited to by the neighbors. Why bring something that will be gobbled up in one day anyway, when you could instead give a gift that keeps on giving?

The amaryllis. They’re cheap, fast and easy to grow. And now is the perfect time to plant them. You’ve seen them boxed and wrapped in 500 different ways at more stores than you thought carried green goods. The reason so many retailers carry them? Because they provide an impeccable bang for your buck and because on a care-giving scale they’re easy as pie.

They’re not so pretty when you buy them–just a bulb, soil and a pot that usually come together as a kit. But once that first glimpse of green appears, the receiver of this gift will find themselves tranced by the pace of this bulb’s growth and then stunned by the enormous, bold blooms this holiday plants carries.

To care for the amaryllis, place the potted bulb in a warm, sunny place in the home. The warmer the temperature, the faster the bulb will sprout and grow! Here’s a helpful hint: try placing the pot on top of the refrigerator where it is extra warm. This may stimulate growth.

Water the amaryllis only after the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. If your kit comes with Spanish moss, just be sure to lift the moss when you water. We don’t want to cause our sweet potted pet to rot at the roots!

There are many varieties of amaryllis. We carry several kit varieties as well as single bulbs. Each variety has a slightly different growth period but in general, you’ll begin to see the bulb transform between two to eight weeks after it’s potted.

Once the amaryllis sprouts, be sure it’s receiving ample sunlight. South-facing windows and sunrooms are perfect! These plants grow quite fast and very tall. If you (or your neighbor) notice the stalk is beginning to lean in one direction, simply rotate it often so that it will begin to grow towards the direction of the light and straighten itself back out. If the amaryllis grows extra tall, it may need a small stake for added support.

So how does this bulb keep giving? With proper care and minimal effort, this beauty will bloom again! After the blossoms die, cut the dried flowers leaving the stalk until it also dies back. Keep watering and fertilizing the plant which may still provide long, elegant green foliage through the winter until the last frost. When spring temperatures are about 50 degrees, begin to transition the plant to the outdoors by bringing the pot out to a shady area. Plants can get sunburn too! So this step is imperative. Slowly, expose the plant to more light until finally planting it in the ground in a sunny area of the yard. Water and fertilize for about six weeks and come summer, you’ll have yet another bloom.

By mid-August, after this bloom fades, leave it alone. No need for water or plant food. Come September, dig up the bulb from outdoors and find that pot from the last Thanksgiving to plant it in. Store it in a cool, dark place and leave it alone for at least two months.

Remember how long it took for the amaryllis to bloom last time? Do a little math and decide when you want your bulb to bloom. When you’re ready, remove it from your closet, pantry or wherever you stored it, and begin to water it just as you did the first time.

Repeat each and every year. Now, that’s a gift worth giving.

For additional tips on amaryllis bulbs or other plant care questions, feel free to drop by Garden Supply Company any time. We’ll be happy to help you.

Success with Succulents

Succulent
Plant parenthood isn’t always easy but you don’t have to suck at succulents. They’re supposed to be easy-care plants, you know? Easy come, easy go, you say? We’ve all killed a few house plants in our day but let’s earn our green thumbs with these easy tips to care for your succulents successfully.

Tip 1. Water carefully. Root rot is one of the quickest ways to kill your potted pets. Only water your succulents after the soil has dried completely.

Tip 2. When planting your succulent, you can use regular potting soil. Just remember that these soils are meant to hold moisture. So it’s not exactly the ideal environment for these dreamy dessert plants. They want to be dry. So let them be for a while after they’re planted.

Tip 3. Give these babies some light! Succulents don’t need direct sunlight, but they definitely do not do well in the dark corner of your living room.

Tip 4. Remember, these green guys are alive. That means they need food in order to survive. Pick up some succulent food and use every time you water your plants.

Tip 5. Like all living things, succulents are small when they’re young. Usually, when we purchase succulents, they’re so cute and tiny! We love them that way. But remember that most plants will eventually need to be repotted after a year or so in order to lead healthy, long lives.

Questions? Concerns? Never fear. Garden Supply Company can help. Visit us with any questions you might have about succulents or any other plants.

DIY: How to make your own terrarium in seven easy steps

Terrariums are so in right now! But they can cost a pretty penny if you decide to purchase a pre-made terrarium off of the shelf. So why not save a few bucks and create something that’s truly your own?

TerrariumWhat you’ll need:
-Glass container
-Scissors
-Gloves
-Potting soil
-Stones or glass
-Moss*
-Decorative pieces*
-Small plants

* = Optional

Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1. Select your glass container. You can use anything so let your imagination grow wild! Search your attic. Find an old mason jar. Or come see us at Garden Supply Company. We have a wide assortment of glass containers to choose from.

Step 2. Once you’ve selected your container, create your first drainage layer by pouring the stones or glass pieces you purchased into the bottom of it. Pour so that the depth of this layer is about 1” to 2” from the bottom. This will provide a place for any water not absorbed by the plants to settle.

Step 3. Adding activated charcoal is the secret step in keeping bacteria, odors and fungus out of your terrarium. It can be a bit messy so this is where your gloves may come in handy. Scoop a handful into your glass container. Just enough to cover the rocks is perfect.

Step 4. Keep your gloves on! Now it’s time to add your soil. Select a soil that’s appropriate for the type of plants you’ve picked. Succulents require a different composition than your other smaller house plants. Try not to mix the two in your container. Add 1” to 3” of soil just on top of the charcoal, depending on your container size. Just be sure there’s enough room for the roots of your plants.

Step 5. Remove plants from the plastic containers they came in and break up the root ball with your fingers. If the roots are especially long, you can trim them back with the scissors slightly to fit the container. Use your fingers to create room for your plants. Place them accordingly.

Step 6. Now it’s time to rock your little world! Add miniature accessories like moss, figurines or marbles. Want to make it festive? This is where it gets fun! It’s getting close to the holidays, so why not add mini holiday knick-knacks to your terrarium that you can replace after the holidays?

Step 7. Chances are, your terrarium is still a little bit of a mess. So dust it off and wipe any dirt from the sides of your container. Water your cute little indoor garden with just a little bit of water. Your new terrarium doesn’t need as much water as most house plants so water sparingly!

Still think you need a little help? No worries! We have the perfect DIY event for you. Join us Sunday, November 15 for our Holiday Terrariums workshop. Want to find out more? Click here.