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Crank Up The Color – with Bromeliads

15 May

By Linda Kay Harrison

If you are looking for a way to add color to your home, without the time and expense of new furniture or repainting, try adding colorful Bromeliads to your décor.  Decorating with Bromeliads makes sense for a multitude of reasons.

Bromeliads have bright, long-lasting ‘flowers’ and brilliantly colored foliage. They will provide a wonderful splash of indoor color for months at a time.  The Guzmania varieties tend to offer the longest lasting color, still making a bold statement even past their prime blooming time. Bromeliads are excellent indoor plants that readily adapt to the unfavorable conditions in most homes. They are generally an easy, low maintenance houseplant.

Bromeliads can be quite flexible when it comes to lighting conditions.  They can tolerate lower light conditions for a month or so at a time without adverse effects, but they retain their best color and form in brighter light. (It’s always best to avoid direct, hot sun. )

Bromeliads are extremely drought tolerant, and don’t require much water.  Their most common problem is rotting of the roots from too much water.  But the solution to consistent watering is simple for most Bromeliads.  Most varieties have a rosette of broad leaves which creates a ‘cup’  in their centers, others have a spoon shaped area where the lower leaves attach to the stalk.  You can fill the’ cup’ or ‘spoons’ with water using them as a ‘well’ to retain water, and the plant will use the amount of water it needs, as it needs it.

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You can also water your bromeliad at the soil surface like most other house plants. Just drench it good, and wait until the surface is dry and crumbly before watering again.  It’s best to use one method or the other for watering, but not both.  If using the cup or spoons as a well to hold water, it’s a good idea to drain and flush them once a month or so, to remove stagnant water and refresh the supply.  It’s also beneficial to mist your bromeliads once or twice a week for added humidity. Also, using a porous potting mix can help alleviate soggy roots for those who do tend to over water.

Bromeliads are light feeders and don’t require much fertilizer.  So a slow release fertilizer is a good choice as it feeds the plant slowly over a long period of time.  Use just ½ the recommended amount for your Bromeliads in spring or summer, and you don’t need to fertilize at all during the winter months.

Bromeliads also help improve your indoor air quality.  While most plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during daytime hours as part of their photosynthesis process, Bromeliads do their clean up act at night, improving your air while you sleep.

And finally, choosing fun and bright colored pots adds even more excitement to your décor.   You can combine different types and colors of bromeliads into one pot to make a Bromeliad ‘garden’.  As one fades, you simply replace it, rotating out the older plants and adding in new ones.  This will keep your ‘garden’ looking fresh and new all the time, at very little expense!

Dennis 7 Dees Garden Centers carry a wonderful selection of Guzmania and Tillandsia Bromeliads, and we are happy to help you chose everything you need to make a colorful Bromeliad statement in your home.

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Bright Ideas For Low Light Areas

20 Dec

by Linda Kay Harrison

Most homes have at least a few areas in them that, despite our best efforts, still seem dark and dreary due to lack of light. These low light spots might be an entry way without windows, a particular corner of the living room or dining room, perhaps a small bathroom, or even the laundry room. Areas like this can feel depressing, and may pose a challenge when trying to liven them up. But here’s a great suggestion for adding life to those low light locals – houseplants! 

 Although it seems that these areas would be unsuitable when it comes to growing houseplants, in reality, there are many plants that do very well in low light situations. You may be astonished at how simply adding a plant or two can cheer a dark corner. Putting your plants in bright or light-colored containers is another great way to enhance the area while tying in colors from the rest of your décor.

 Below is a list of houseplants that do very well in low light. Their sizes, shapes and colors vary widely, and can be combined to create all kinds of interesting effects. 

 Low Light  Houseplants

Aglaonema – Chinese evergreen Philodendron
Aspidistra – Cast Iron Plant Pothos
Bamboo Palm Sansevaria – Snake Plant
Calathea Spathophylum – Peace Lily
Chlorophytum – Spider Plant Syngonium – Arrowhead Plant
Kentia Palm Zamioculcas zamiifolia – ZZ Plant

Plants with variegated or bright foliage can really perk up a dark spot. A few of our favorite plants for this is the Chinese evergreen (aglaonema),  the arrowhead plant (syngonium), and the spider plant (chlorophytum) for their lively variegated green and white leaves. The pothos cultivars called ‘lime’ and ‘neon’, although sometimes harder to find, are also favorites because of their bright, eye-popping color.

Another option for adding houseplants to low light areas of your home is to try some plants for medium light. Most medium light plants can be moved into low light situations for a couple of months at a time, and then moved back to medium areas to recharge for a while. If you have two or three plants that you can rotate like this, it can work out very well.   

 In addition to perking up your low light area; it’s been proven by NASA that adding even one houseplant to a room actually cleans the air and reduces stress levels.

 Dennis’ 7 Dees Garden Centers have a great selection of plants for low light, and the People at Dennis’ 7 Dees are always happy to help you chose the plants that are right for you. So “ditch the dreary”, and do something bright, add houseplants!

Throughout January all our houseplants will be 25% off; now is the time to buy! Attend our “Houseplants as a Winter Hobby” seminar on January 14th to learn even more about houseplants. Our expert Jenny will be available to answer all your questions and find a houseplant that works perfectly in your home.

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