Pruning is the selective removal of plant parts, including branches, buds, leaves, blooms and roots. Pruning can involve the removal of living, dying or dead plant parts. Pruning applies to both soft-tissue (herbaceous) plants and woody plants (trees, shrubs, etc.).
Understanding the goals of pruning is very important. People often prune plants without knowing why they need to prune the plants in the first place. This leads to mistakes and may waste time and resources on pruning that may not be necessary or pruning too late in the plant’s life. Understanding the goals of pruning can also save much time and resources in the long term. For example, proactive pruning to train a younger plant can save much time and hassle pruning later, prolong the lifespan of the plant and improve the appearance of the plant.
Pruning is an art and science of many levels of sophistication. Basic pruning techniques can be learned very quickly—others are more complicated and require ongoing training and extensive hands-on experience. There is no “one way” of pruning plants. Proper pruning practices depend on many factors, including the type and health of the plant and the goal of the pruning. Read More
Along with receiving the correct amount of water and light, moisture in the air in the form of water vapor greatly affects plant health. Water vapor is the gaseous, invisible state of water in the air known as humidity. Like soil moisture, some plants have evolved and acclimated to very dry, arid air with little or no humidity. Many of these plants are ‘low moisture’ plants with thick, waxy leaves and other adaptations for water retention.
Other plant types, particularly ‘high moisture’ plants prefer higher humidity due to their environmental adaptations. Ferns, particularly Nephrolepsis (Boston Fern) are notorious for requiring higher levels of humidity. In lower humidity, susceptible ferns will excessively drop leaves, creating a mess. This is one of the main reasons Nephrolepsis ferns are not used extensively in interior landscaping. Most palm types, Ficus, bamboo, and Schefflera, and others thrive in higher humidity. Most other non-succulent plants benefit from higher humidity because it reduces transpiration, leaf tipping, and can discourage mite pests. Read More
The amount of soil moisture a plant requires for optimal health varies from plant to plant. Similar to light and the forest canopy concept, various plant types have evolved and adapted to different environmental conditions based on moisture availability.
Indoor plants that require less soil moisture have developed modified plant parts and structures to help them cope with drier conditions—similar to the way camels have evolved and adapted to dry conditions. For example, many plants native to dry (arid) regions have developed thick waxy leaves with fewer stomata, effective at storing water and reducing water loss. Sansevieria, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ plant), Jade plant and Aloe are examples of these. Many of these plants are considered ‘succulents’—a large group of low-moisture, ornamental plants. Plants native to extremely dry areas, including cactus such as Cereus, don’t have any leaves at all. Instead they have a modified stem(s) that hold abundant moisture and carry out photosynthesis.
Most of North America has recently experienced very cold weather lately. How do we protect our exterior containerized plants from cold damage?
Cold damage to exterior plants occurs primarily in two ways: The first way is through desiccation (water loss). The second is through cold damage to plant tissue. Cold damage to plant tissue is highly dependent on the cold-hardiness adaptability of each plant type. Coconut palms don’t thrive in Detroit for a reason! Each type of cold damage are discussed below.
Desiccation is caused several ways in cold winters: dry soils, frozen soil/water and water loss from high winds. Although plants do not use as much water in the winter, they still uptake water continuously, even in the coldest times of the year. This is especially true for evergreen plants (plants that retain their leaves in winter such as spruce, junipers, rhododendrons, hollies, etc). Read More
With the Polar Vortex billowing snow and ice upon Americans this winter in epic proportions, most people are likely not spending a plethora of time outdoors. If you’re anything like me, the closest you’re getting to braving the cold for an extended period of time is watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Despite the freezing temperatures, we humans still have an extensive need to be connected to nature.
By decorating your business with indoor plants, you can enrich the space with nature’s refreshing presence year round. How does one stay in tune with the natural world without the threat of slipping or frostbite in the dead of winter?
You see plant life everywhere you turn: your office, the shopping mall, the bank, the hotel. But many buildings you spend significant time in every week are devoid of all things green and growing. To help aid your effort in adding a touch of nature to your professional surroundings, we here at Greener on the Inside listed “3 Reasons Why You Need More Plants in Your Life” below. Enjoy the list and add your thoughts and ideas in the comments at the bottom of the page. Read More