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This low maintenance, long-lasting succulent looks like a tiny tree and is said to bring good fortune. It can produce flowers in winter.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – position the plant on a sunny windowsill that is 50-75F (18-24C). It will tolerate periods at 50F (10C) in winter.
Light – Provide bright, dappled sunlight.
Watering + feeding - Water moderately; let the top 1in (2-3cm) of potting mix dry out between waterings. Water more sparingly in winter. Feed once in spring and then again in summer.
Care – Pull off any old, shriveled leaves. In spring, lightly prune the plant to shape. Plant in a weighty pot as it can become top-heavy and topple over.
This is probably due to overwatering.
SAVE IT – Allow the potting mix to dry out and check that the pot is well drained.
Older leaves will shrivel and fall off naturally, but younger leaves may drop under environmental stress (such as being moved to bright sunlight suddenly, or over- or underwatering).
SAVE IT – Give water if the potting mix is very dry, or allow it to dry out of soggy. When repositioning, move your plant gradually toward the desired spot over a week, to allow it to acclimate.
SHRIVELED LEAVES AND STEMS?
Your plant is short of water.
SAVE IT – Give your plant a small amount of water daily over the course of a few days – the leaves should soon plump up again. Don’t let t stand in soggy potting mix.
Your plant needs more sunlight
SAVE IT – Move it to a sunnier spot
Clivias are native to South Africa and produce a beautiful, single, red, orange, or yellow flower in early spring.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – From spring to late fall, keep the plant in a heated room. In winter, move it to a room that is 50F (10C) for 3 months to rest – this will help initiate a flower bud. Then return it to its spring-to-fall position.
Light – Provide bright, but indirect light.
Watering + Feeding – From spring to late fall, keep the potting mix moist. Reduce watering in winter so that the mix is almost dry. Feed once a month from spring to fall, and not at all during winter.
Care – Wipe the leaves occasionally. Don’t move the pot when the plant is flowering or in a bud. After flowering, cut off the dead flower spike at the base. The plant may produce a second flower in late summer. Clivias like to be snug, so repot the plant after flowering only if the roots are bursting out of the pot.
BLEACHED OR BROWN ON THE LEAVES?
The leaves are sunburned.
BROWN LEAVES AT THE BASE OF YOUR PLANT?
This happens when the older leaves are dying back.
This is normal. Just gently pull away any brown leaves.
This could be due to underfeeding, or under- or overwatering.
Make sure you are using the correct watering and feeding regimen for the season
SHORT FLOWER SPIKE? NO FLOWER IN SPRING?
This is most likely due to a lack of rest in winter, but it could be because the pot is too large, or because your plant was underwatered after being rested.
It has been rested, make sure you keep the potting mix moist. Check that the pot is not too big – the root ball should only be 1in (2-3cm) away from the edge of the pot.
Blooms come in many colors and last for several weeks. Chose plants with both open flowers and opening buds.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – Keep the plant at 50-60F (10-15C), as the flowers will last longer. A windowsill in a cool room is ideal.
Light – Provide bright, indirect light; keep it out of direct sun.
Watering + Feeding – A mum likes water, so keep the potting mix moist (but not soggy) at all times. You could feed the plant after a few weeks. It won't flower for long enough to need feeding a second time.
Care – Deadhead any spent flowers. Plants are often discarded after flowering, but you could try planting yours in your garden. It will have been treated with dwarfing hormones before it was sold, but should revert to its normal growth habit outdoors, and may flower in fall.
The plant needs watering.
SAVE IT – Water your plant and ensure that you are keeping the potting mix moist, but not soggy
FLOWERS NOT LASTING?
Higher temperature will make the flowers open more rapidly and fade more quickly.
SAVE IT - Move it to a cooler spot that is 50-60F (10-15C)
FUZZY GRAU MOLD ON THE FOLIAGE?
This gray mold is called botrytis and may have been caused by your plant sitting in its cellophane wrapping for a long time.
SAVE IT – Remove any affected areas and treat with a fungicide.
BUDS WON'T OPEN?
The plant may not be getting enough light. If the buds are completely green, they may not open.
SAVE IT – Move your plant to a brighter spot.
Spider plants are ideal for beginners because they are very easy to care for. Display them in a hanging planter.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – Keep the plant in a room that is always 45 – 75F (7-24C)
Light – Place it in a bright spot, away from direct sunlight.
Watering + Feeding – Keep the potting mix moist, but not soggy. Water more sparingly in water. Feed every few weeks excepts during water.
Care – Repot young plants into a slightly bigger pot every spring. Repot mature plants when the white, fleshy roots begin to push the plant from its container, making it tricky to water. Mature spider plants produce “plantlets” or babies that can be cut off and grown individually. If they have tiny roots, plant them directly into the new potting mix. If they have no roots, place them in water for a few weeks until the roots appear.
BROWN TIPS ON THE LEAVES?
Your plant can tolerate the hot, dry air of centrally heated rooms, but this may make the leaf tips go brown. Underfeeding or underwatering can have the same effect.
SAVE IT – Cut off the brown TIPS AND MOVE YOUR PLANT TO A COOLER ROOM. Make sure you feed and water it regularly.
BROWN STREAKS ON THE LEAVES IN WINTER?
This means your plant has been watered too much in cool conditions.
SAVE IT – Remove any unsightly leaves. Make sure that you water your plant less during winter – the potting mix should be just moist.
The soil around the roots is too dry, which might mean your plant needs repotting. Alternatively, it may have root rot.
SAVE IT – Remove any unsightly leaves. Water well from spring to fall. Repot your plant if it is building from its pot. Check for root rot.
PALE LEAVES? Harsh sunlight, lack of water, or low sunlight and low temperatures in winter can all make the leaves turn pale.
SAVE IT – Move the plant out of direct sunlight, and water well. In winter, move your plant to a warmer, brighter room.
Most peacock plants are grown for their leaves. Calathea roseopicta leaves have red undersides.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – It is a rainforest plant, so keep it in a warm room (60-68F / 16-20C). It needs humidity, so a bathroom can be ideal. Avoid rooms with sudden temperature fluctuations.
Light – Put it in partial shade or bright light. Keep It away from direct sun.
Watering + Feeding – From spring to fall, keep the potting mix (but not wet) at all times. Use distilled, filtered, or rainwater as these plants are sensitive to chemicals added to tap water. Make sure the pot drains well. Water more sparingly in winter. Feed once in spring, summer, and fall.
Care – To maintain humidity, set it on a pebble-filled tray of water, and mist daily. Grouping with other plants will also improve humidity. Wipe the leaves occasionally to keep them free of dust. Repot in spring.
This could be a sign of overwatering. Alternatively, your plant may be too cold or exposed to drafts.
SAVE IT – The potting mix should be moist, but not wet. Water sparingly in winter. Try moving your plant to a warmer, sheltered spot.
LEAF TIPS OR EDGES BROWN?
The air is probably too dry, you may have overfed your plant, or it may have overfed your plant, or it may be due to watering with hard water.
SAVE IT – Mist your plant daily and place it on a pebble-filled tray of water. Group it with other plants to distilled, filtered, or rainwater.
FADED OR SCORCHED LEAVES?
Your plant has probably been in direct sunlight
SAVE IT – Move it to a shadier place.
This is one of the easiest bromeliads to grow. Try displaying queen’s tears in a hanging planter.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – Keep the plant in a room that is 41-75F (5-24C). It will only flower if at the upper end of this range.
Light – Place in bright, but indirect light.
Watering + feeding – Water the vase ( the center of the rosette of leaves) with distilled, filtered, or rainwater, ensuring that the water is always 1in (2-3cm) deep. Empty and refill the vase every 2-3 weeks to prevent the water from stagnating. Keep the potting mix just moist. Feed once a month in spring and summer by adding half-strength liquid fertilizer to the central vase.
Care – Place the plant on a pebble-filled tray of water for humidity. It will flower at around 3 years old. Gently pull faded flowers away. Repot after flowering in spring. It will produce “pups” (new plants at the base), dying slowly in the process. Repot pups when they are one-third the size of the parent.
LEAF TIPS TURNING YELLOW?
Yellow plant has probably outgrown its container.
SAVEIT – Repot your plant in spring, after it has flowered.
BROWN LEAF TIPS?
This could be due to dry air, or watering with hard water.
SAVE IT – Mist the leaves regularly, if warm. Switch to distilled, filtered, or rainwater.
This is nectar, which drips from the flowers when they are moved or touched – hence Billbergia’s common name, queen’s tears.
SAVE IT – Do nothing
Your plant wont flower until its around 3 years old. If you have a mature plant, the temperature may be too low or it may be in too dark a spot.
SAVE IT – Move it to a warmer spot in a bright position. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
There are many varieties of painted-leaf begonia that have beautiful foliage in shades of crimson, silver, purple, green, and red.
HOW NOT TO KILL IT
Location – Ideally, keep the plant around 64-70F (18-21C) all year around, but don’t let it get any hotter. It can survive at 55F (13C) in winter, but no colder.
Light – Place it in good, but indirect light. Avoid direct sun, which can burn the leaves.
Watering + Feeding - Water so the potting mix is moist, but allow it to dry out a little in between waterings during summer. It is best watered from below to stop water from accumulating at the base of the stems. Keep just moist in winter.
Care – repot if needed in spring. Turn the pot regularly to make sure the plant grows evenly. Make sure it has good ventilation.
WHITE POWDER ON THE LEAVES?
This is powdery mildew, often due to drought or too much heat, humid conditions, or poor air circulation.
SAVE IT – Remove the affected leaves and treat with fungicide.
These could be due to too much or too little water, or not enough light.
SAVE IT – Check your plants care regimen and position
GRAY FLUFF ON PARTS OF THE PLANT?
This is gray mold (botrytis), due to cool, damp, crowded conditions, or water splashing onto the leaves.
SAVE IT – Move the plant away from other begonias to stop the infection spreading and improve ventilation. Remove any affected areas and treat with fungicide.