Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hydroculture: The Future of Indoor Plants?



shutterstock_469247591  Recently, there have been advances in the ways that people can grow plants in mediums besides soil and other standard potting mixes. Hydroponic growing, or growing plants in a liquid without any soil, has become a common and rather well-known alternative method, especially in the growing of vegetables, herbs, and edibles. However, there is another method that has become popular recently – hydroculture.

Hydroculture is similar to hydroponics in some ways, but instead of using a solution or water as the growing medium, it uses an inorganic solid. These inorganic solids are typically rock-based and called “expanded clay aggregates.” This is sometimes called “passive hydroponics,” meaning that the plants are grown without the use of bark, soil, or peat. The clay aggregates, often called LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregates), are typically small pieces of clay that have been heated to extremely high temperatures in a kiln. Similar to what happens to popcorn in the microwave, the clay expands, loses density, and then develops air pockets. As a growing medium, LECA is extremely porous, which provides space for air and oxygen in the rootzone. It also absorbs and wicks water upwards to help the plant and will not decay or compact in time.
 
Hydroculture has three main advantages over traditional growing mediums:
  1. Easier and more effective watering – Watering indoor plants and office plants can be a tricky process. If you water them too much or too often, they will develop root rot and die. If they are not watered enough, they will dry out and die. The LECA growing medium is much more forgiving than traditional soil, as it allows for an abundant amount of air to reach the roots. While overwatering is still a possibility, this is a much more forgiving medium.
  2. Longer watering periods – The average amount of time that a 6-inch indoor plant could go between being watered is approximately 2 weeks. Hydroculture nearly triples that number.
  3. Plants last longer – Hydroculture can actually help plants keep their roots healthier to support longer-lasting plants.
At Everything Grows we use a reservoir system that utilizes a combination of soil and the hyrdoculture growing medium that allows our plants to go extra time between watering and reduces the likelihood of plant failure.

For more information on office plants or indoor plants, Contact Everything Grows today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Office Plants in Danville

This lovely plant and container on the coffee table brings this whole sitting area together. Notice how the color in the container ties in perfectly with the cushion color pattern and the kangaroo paw fern gives a nice pop of green.  





Below is a close up of the vase we selected for the table.  We have access to many suppliers of beautiful vases, bowls, and containers.
Let Everything Grows help you with your container selection and plant placement at your office space today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Choosing Indoor Plants: There’s an App for That

By now, we all know the amazing powers that plants possess and the many benefits that they offer when placed indoors. They can reduce sick days in offices, boost employee morale, and act as natural indoor air filters. You can read more about their benefits in one of our recent blogs.

Indoor Plants AppIn India, one Indian Institute of Technology graduate, Ranuak Singhi, has actually taken their benefits to a new and more tailored level. He has developed a unique mobile app that will help the people of New Dehli (and other cities in the future) tackle the terribly high levels of pollution in the city air with indoor plants. This technology is based on the ability of certain indoor plants to be more effective at removing specific chemicals than others.

After the initial download of the mobile application, users will fill out a few brief questions about their location, including their address and location, proximity to factories, roads, and drains. A “pollution profile” is then created for the user based on the answers they give. The app, named “Shelli,” will then suggest the best types of plants to place and grow in their home.
 
For example, those who live in neighborhoods that are near industrial factories have high levels of Sulphur dioxide in the air, while those around “petrol pumps” have higher levels of benzene. Studies that have been conducted by NASA have proven that indoor plants, such as the ficus alii, rhapis palm, and philodendron, have been able to reduce harmful toxins, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. The plants take in these dangerous chemicals and turn them into oxygen.

While the application is still in its infancy, the thought behind it is an amazing advancement in the world of plants. Indoor plants could help the people of India breathe easier and live healthier lives.

As of now, the application is exclusive to India, but we cannot wait to see what happens when it launches worldwide. Millions of people could benefit from the cleansing power of indoor plants! You can learn more about the Shelli app on their website and Facebook page.

Are you in need of lush living plants to enhance your work space? Everything Grows Interior Landscaping provides indoor plant service, sales and long term rentals throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area. We offer complimentary site visits and can accommodate almost any budget. Contact us today and one of our designers will be happy to assist you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Top 5 Spookiest Plants for Halloween

 Halloween is the perfect time of year to focus on the creepy, smelly, and scary members of the botanical world. With creepy names, blood red coloring, sharp spikes and stinky odors, this is the time to celebrate those plants that would fit right in with Morticia and Gomez’s plants in the Addams Family garden.
These strange and amazing indoor plants can be exciting additions to your Halloween décor at home for trick-or-treaters and are also fun ways to celebrate the season in the office. Here are some of our favorite creepy plants to use in your spooky decorating:

blood-lily Blood Lily

The Blood Lily does not disappoint with their “blood” coloring. These plants may only bloom for a short time period, but when they are in full flower, they feature a blood red, shaggy flower.

 

 

buddhas-handBuddha’s Hands

Also known as the fingered citron, the Buddha’s hand is one of the oldest citrus fruits. They are sometimes described as a “lemon with fingers” due to their elongated fruits that resemble long, yellowed fingers. How creepy!

 

 

Ferocactus recurvus 2.jpgDevil’s Tongue


Also known as the Crow’s Claw barrel cactus, this plant is a native to the mountains of Mexico and flowers in fall or early winter. As a cactus, they are known as easy-to-grow indoor plants and are a favorite among cactus enthusiasts because of their ability to flower at a young age. In addition to their evil-sounding name, the feature an unsettlingly lurid red flower in the center surrounded by dangerous spikes.

 

skunk-cabbge-2Skunk Cabbage

If you were to accidentally step on this plant, you would immediately understand how and why the Skunk Cabbage got its name. Its gag-inducing smell is a defense mechanism that keeps animals from eating it and attracts potential pollinators. Although they may be used to decorate indoors, it is probably a good idea to keep these plants outside.

 

Venus Flytrap and Pitcher Plants  

Image result for pitcher plant What could possibly be creepier in the plant world than a plant that eats living creatures? The Venus flytrap and pitcher plants are carnivorous plants that trap insects inside themselves and digest them for nutrients. While the Venus Flytrap features special leaves that close when a bug or fly lands on them, pitcher plants develop “pitchers” that are filled with fluid which attract bugs so that they cannot climb out.
How are you using indoor plants in your Halloween décor? Contact us today for information on our available indoor plants!

Are you ready to enhance your work space with lush living plants and beautiful containers? Let Everything Grows provide you a complimentary quote on a custom design perfectly suited for your space. Contact us today and one of our designers will be happy to assist you!