Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Plants that Spook for Halloween

 Venus Flytrap

This plant lures in it's prey, then SNAP. In less than a second it traps and starts to digest. How's that for spooky! The Venus Flytrap is a fascinating carnivorous plant. Because it grows in soils that are poor in nutrients, it traps a variety of insects and even tiny frogs and digests them for the nutrients it isn't getting from the soil. Each trap is only used 4 to 6 times then it withers, browns, and falls off. 

Once something is trapped, the digestion period starts which can last up to 10 days. If by chance it traps something other than an insect, it will spit it back out within 12 hours. The Venus Flytrap is a perennial plant which means it blooms year after year. It is estimated the plant can live for up to 20 years, however it is vulnerable. It is threatened by over-collection, habitat destruction, and fire suppression.
  Pitcher Plants

This plant uses sweetness to entice it's prey and although it looks less intimidating than the Venus Flytrap, don't let that fool you! It produces a sweet smelling nectar which invites unsuspecting passer-bys. During inspection of the plant they realize there is sweet, juicy nectar inside the tubular leaves. Yummy....oops, they have fallen in. Unable to climb back out it succumbs to it's fate and is slowly dissolved by the chemicals in the same juicy nectar that it once tried to drink.

Unable to climb back, this fallen insect flails helplessly in the fluid until it loses energy and submits to the overpowering force of its fate. - See more at:
Unable to climb back, this fallen insect flails helplessly in the fluid until it loses energy and submits to the overpowering force of its fate. - See more at:
There are many species of Pitcher Plants all around the world. Some are hanging, which usually attract insects and some are grown from the ground. These can lure in insects as well as small birds, snakes, lizards and mice. 

The largest species of the Pitcher Plant, Nepenthes rajah, is used as a toilet by small tree shrews and rats! They sit on the edge and eat the outside of the plant while doing their business on the inside. There certainly is a similarity. Spooky or just plain vulgar? 

Nepenthes rajah

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Best Plant Choices for the Workplace

 We are often asked, “What are the best plants for the workplace?” Each environment is unique. There are many things to consider such as lighting, space, foot traffic, etc. Once that has been established there are a variety of plants that we like to include in our designs that specifically help purify the work space air from some of the following pollutants:

Formaldehyde – a colorless, toxic, potentially carcinogenic, water-soluble gas, CH2O used in glues, paints, carpets, upholstery, foam insulations and as adhesives in the production of particle board and plywood, and in the treating of textiles.
Benzene - a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels used in the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides, synthetic fibers, rubbers and other chemicals.
Trichloroethylene - a colorless, poisonous liquid, C2HCI3, used in paint removers, rug cleaning solutions, adhesives and more. It’s a degreasing agent for metals and as a solvent, especially in dry cleaning, for fats, oils, and waxes.

Those chemicals sound a bit intimidating. Luckily, plants are nature’s way of keeping the air clean. Here are a few of the plants we love for that reason:

-Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) 
-Aglaonema (many varieties)
-Dracaena (many varieties) 
-English Ivy (Hedera helix)
-Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
-Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
-Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)  
-Variegated Snake Plant – Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tillandsia – Commonly Known as the “Air Plant”

The Tillandsia plant is a fascinating species. Unlike many other plants the air plant can grow without the use of soil. They attach themselves to surfaces with their roots and receive their nutrients and moisture in the air around them from structures on their leaves. 

Maintenance is still required for a happy plant. Proper placement is crucial. They need protection from full sun and need to be in an area where the air circulates well. A daily spray of mist is needed during late spring to mid-fall. During the winter months the spray of mist can be reduced to once or twice a week. It is very important that your plant is able to completely dry out once it has been watered. They don't like to stay wet. 

There are so many clever ways Tillandsia plants can be displayed. When using a surface that they can't attach their roots to, you can help them out. As crazy as it sounds, you can use fishing line, wire, waterproof glue, staples or pins to hold them in place. Just make sure you only use staples or pins on the roots, otherwise they could be harmed. 


These plants are totally unique!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Vertical Plant Wall Designs, Large and Small

We’ve all seen the majestic plant walls that have been made for some of the corporate businesses throughout the greater San Francisco, Silicon Valley areas. They are extraordinary and absolutely beautiful, but for those of you who can’t go with such a large design there are alternatives. 

The vertical plant wall design above is absolutely gorgeous. The placement is perfect making the entire space rich and alive. 

The smaller vertical plant design below is also beautiful, and quite an eye catcher.  It manages to incorporate interior plants and artwork. Talk about getting bang for your buck!

This is what our designers do best. They take your ideas and available space, along with their knowledge in plants and design and come up with some pretty spectacular concepts.  See what they can do for your space!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Endless Succulents

There is so much fun to be had with succulents and their resilient  nature makes them easy to care for. This week we came across a Pinterest with  many great succulent arrangements called "Endless Succulent Ideas"

Scrolling through the photos on the pinterest page, we even found one of our own succulent photos pinned from our blog.