If you’re anything like us, you love your houseplants and your pets! Unfortunately, there are a lot of houseplants that can be toxic to our pets, and we don’t always know that when purchasing our newest indoor plant addition. The wrong indoor houseplant choice could lead to your pet vomiting, having diarrhea or even going into shock. This could understandably make purchasing your next indoor houseplant a little scary or maybe intimidating.
Don’t worry, all is good in the plant and pet world if you know what to look for when shopping for you next houseplant. In this article, we are going to share with you some of the most beautiful indoor houseplants that are perfectly safe for you to buy for your Benjii, Fluffy, Kona, Betty…Whoever they may be!
These beautiful plants come in many different varieties. Pictured below are a Rattlesnake Calathea and a Medallion Calathea. Both have beautiful leaves which are red on the bottom. Calathea thrive in indirect sunlight, and while they do still like bright locations, they can still survive in low light. The require less frequent watering and can be planted in a standard potting mix soil.
These ferns are super resilient and adaptable plants. With the little kangaroo paws poking out from the base of the plant, it can add greenery to your home while still being its own unique self.
Kangaroo ferns like consistent moisture, but make sure the soil isn’t soggy. Like a lot of ferns, they thrive in moderate to bright indirect sunlight. They also like high to moderate humidity, so they make for an excellent bathroom plant!
The toxicity of these plants is not well documented, however everything so far points towards it being safe for dogs and cats. If your dog munches on the leaves it will likely throw them up, similar to them throwing up grass, but it has not been shown to cause any lasting discomfort.
If you like succulents, then this is the plant for you. Haworthia like both indirect, and direct sunlight. It you have it in direct sunlight expect to water it once every 2-3 weeks. They are very similar to aloe vera in terms of caring for them. They stay very small, usually not exceedingly more than 6 inches in height or width. Thanks to this, they can fit into almost any home. Because, let’s be honest, plant lovers can always find room for one more succulent.
Hibiscus require a bit more attention than some of the other plants on this list. To see lots of their beautiful blooms they require about 6 hours of sunlight per day. They also need a lot of water when they are in their blooming stage as the process takes a lot of energy on the plants part. All that energy is put to good use, however, due to how pretty the flowers are. In addition to lots of light and water, hibiscus like to have their roots tightly packed together in containers. If you repot them make sure to not buy a pot much bigger than the one it is currently in, but make sure it still has good drainage.
Considered good luck in many cultures, these trees are thought to bring prosperity. You will often see them being sold around the Lunar New Year. Their braided trunk and distinct 5 leaf pattern make them easily recognizable and a favorite for many people. Money trees like bright, indirect sunlight. However, it can also adapt to low light and fluorescent lights so it can be a great addition to an office or back corner of a room. They prefer to be watered less often, but like a lot of water. Let the top 3-4 inches of soil dry out between watering’s. Lastly, make sure you turn your money tree every time you water it to allow for even growth!
Looking like a cute, compact tree, these plants make for a great statement piece. It is part of the Agave family and is technically classified as a succulent! Because of this, it is very easy to take care of. Ponytail Palms are very forgiving when it comes to light. The prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can handle being in lower light conditions half the time. If you keep it in a bright, sunny location during the summer months, it will be fine in almost any light conditions during the winter months. Due to it being a succulent, it likes to dry out between watering’s. Water until water flows out of the drainage holes, then discard any accumulated water.
This cactus is closer to a succulent than what you would usually imagine when you hear the word cactus. It has soft, almost rubbery leaves and no thorns or spikes. However, like a cactus, it is very hard to kill and is perfect for gardeners of all levels. Like many of the plants on our list, it enjoys bright, indirect sunlight. However, as a jungle cactus, it evolved in low light conditions so it can survive in a wide variety of light conditions. Being a cactus, it like to dry out completely between watering’s.
If we didn’t inspire you with these indoor houseplants, be sure to check out our full online inventory for more ideas. Next time you’re in-store, be sure to keep an eye out for our pet friendly signs to make sure it’s safe for you pet. You can even bring them in with you to help you choose the best indoor houseplant that is safe for everyone.
Many people assume that vines of the same name behave the same way. Clematis, jasmine, honeysuckle, passion flowers. These are the categories that separate and define vines.
But what if I told you that wasn’t exactly true? Yes, these vines are all very different and need to be treated differently, however, even within their named groups, vines have special needs that should be attended to.
This might sound like a lot of information to go over for today, so let’s just cover the first one: Clematis.
General Care Tips
So where do we begin? Well, let’s learn a little bit about their needs.
Plan Where you Plant
Clematis can live for a very long time, and they are not fans of being moved around.
They like to have cool roots while also being in full sun. Having other plants around to shade the roots is preferable. If that isn’t an option, you can also use mulch to provide some relief from the heat.
Know Your Soil
Soft, loamy, well-drained soil is best for your new vine friend.
They aren’t huge fans of acidic soil and prefer to be on the alkaline side of the PH scale (so probably don’t plant it near a rhododendron or azalea).
Learn How They Climb
Clematis use leaf stems to vine. They look very similar to pea vines in that they will coil themselves around anything that is close to them (in the nursery we find they like holding onto each other).
These vines are fairly small and need something about ¼ inch in diameter to coil around.
Give it Support
Clematis vines are more fragile than they seem. If the vine isn’t given enough support it will begin to flop over and will likely crack. This will result in the new trailing growth to die back.
To prevent this, make sure the clematis has something to hold onto.
A trellis, some chicken wire, or even other plants are all perfectly fine for a clematis to use as growth support.
Pruning: The Basics
So, what are the 3 pruning groups?
The clematis in group 1 grow their buds on old growth. Because of this, they don’t die back in the winter and should be pruned sparingly.
They are usually the first to bloom with flowers appearing in spring. After the flowers are gone you can then prune back the vine. You only need to remove any dead wood and make sure the vine is staying neat and tidy.
Since the buds form on old growth, if you over prune you will likely see fewer flowers the following spring.
These clematis are popular due to their ability to bloom twice in a year. Like group 1, they need minimal pruning. Before they start to leaf out in spring, prune back last year’s new growth. Gently thin out the vine while detangling stems. Make sure to keep the old growth as that is where you will see the first set of blooms.
After spring, once the first set of flowers have died off, you can trim back those branches to encourage new growth. The second set of flowers appear in the late summer and appear on new growth. This is when you would do any shape pruning. The new growth that appears after this becomes the old growth for next year that will produce the spring blooms.
Lastly, we have the third group of clematis. These are the plants that bloom in late summer and early fall. In early spring the vine should be pruned back to around a foot tall. This will then encourage new growth that will flourish throughout the spring and summer and produce beautiful buds later in the season.
Since these clematis are cut back, they are often the ones that can survive in colder zones.
Clematis are beautiful vines that can add to any gardens back drop. They can climb up gazebos and fences. Turn a plain structure into a wonderful display of gardening prowess.
However, understanding the type of clematis you get matters. We don’t just mean the colour. Clematis are separated into three distinct pruning groups. Each group has to be treated differently if you want to see the beautiful flowers that these vines are known for.
Now that you are equipped with this knowledge of the beautiful vines known as clematis, you are ready to grow your own!
You can find our selection of clematis on our website here or browse our hundreds of products at wildwood.express.
Your garden has done it’s job by creating a beautiful space, providing nourishment to the earth, feeding you and your loved ones, and now it’s time to…die? Perhaps not! When August approaches, not all of us think about life after death for our beautiful plants. We generally think “until next time good friend”.
At Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre we want to help you grow as a gardener. To get the very most out of your garden in August, we’re going to share a few tips on how to collect seeds for next year. Here are a few tips from our garden to help you harvest your own seeds.
For the best seeds, try cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, squash.
1.) Allow your vegetable to fully development before harvesting.
2.) Wait 15 days after your vegetables have been harvested to collect the seeds. Seeds should be fully browned and dried on plants.
3.) Set your on a wax piece of paper and allow them to dry for a week.
4.) Store your seeds in an envelope in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate.
And there you have it, next years harvest is already well on it’s way. Just be sure not to get your seeds mixed up and good luck! For all your start up seed needs, or start up soil, visit us at www.wildwood.express/. Happy Harvesting!
Bone Meal is one of those things that most gardeners have heard of but not many of us have really put any thought into. Bone Meal can sound like an aggressive name which makes it seem situational. However, it’s actually one of the most versatile fertilizers. It can be used on almost any plant and in almost any soil.
What is Bone Meal?
Bone Meal is exactly what it sounds like! It’s cooked or steamed animal bones that are then ground into a powder. Many types of animal bones are used, however beef bones are most common. These bone products are organic and a great source of the nutrients that our plants need to grow and flourish. Bone Meal can provide a lot of benefits, such as:
Phosphorus is one the major nutrients required by plants. It is a major part of photosynthesis and is largely used in crop production. It is needed in large quantities to produce fruits and vegetables. In animals, it enables the growth of strong bones. When it’s released back into the soil it helps create strong roots. So how does phosphorus enter the plant? The main way is that it is absorbed through the roots. The little hairs on a plants roots help pull the nutrients into the actual plant.
I’m sure you can imagine that a fertilizer made from bones would provide calcium. Calcium promotes new growth for both roots and stems. It can also work to give you better tomato, pepper, zucchini, and eggplant yields by preventing diseases such as Blossom End Rot. The nitrogen in bone meal is usually quite low, however, it works to help round out the soil and give your plants that small but needed nutritional boost.
How to Use it
Bone meal is a favorite for many gardeners due to its slow absorption rate and the fact that it doesn’t burn the roots if you add too much.
Check the instructions on the package regarding how much you should add, but it is a good rule of thumb to use 1 tablespoon for every 2 square feet of soil.
After digging holes, add the bone meal to the bottom of the hole and mix it well. Lightly water the mixed soil so the bone meal can begin to break down.
Bone meal is great to use with bulbs, especially fall bulbs as they will need extra nutrients to help them grow after their cooling period and establish strong roots.
Things to Watch out for
Bone meal doesn’t have many downsides, but there are a few things that you want to be aware of:
It is a slow-release fertilizer. It is preventative and planned, so it won’t show any immediate results.
It needs to be mixed into the soil well. Since it is made of bones, it smells like food to a lot of animals. If you want to avoid scavengers digging in your garden make sure it’s mixed in well.
It is mostly effective in soils with a PH below 7. Plants in Alkaline soil tend to absorb fewer nutrients. Make sure you test your soil before adding any fertilizers and adjust the PH level first. You can find an example of a PH soil test kit here.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure about whether or not you should add fertilizer, you can run a soil test before hand.
Pick up some Bone Meal from Nursery Land here or browse our hundreds of products at wildwood.express
Watering during the summer can be tricky, especially during a heatwave, but we have some tips for you!
Choosing the right time: Water in the early morning when possible. If you can beat the heat, this gives your plants enough time to soak up all the water they need before it heats up and the water begins to evaporate. If you’re not an early bird, then choose a time of day when your garden is a little cooler.
Water deeply: Water deeply & right at the roots. Soaker hoses with wand attachments work great! Watering deeply ensures you’re getting right to the roots. It’s better to water deeply, less frequently when possible. We also recommend watering right at the base of the plant. Not only is it a more effective way to hydrate your plants, but letting water sit on your plants’ leaves in the hot sun can cause damage and scorching.
Don’t overwater: Just because it’s toasty out there, doesn’t mean your plants want to be drowned! Keep an eye on your soil. It should never be so wet that water is pooling, and you should allow some time to dry a little between waterings so the roots can get oxygen between waterings.
Mulch: Adding 2” – 3” of mulch makes a huge difference! Mulching helps your soil retain its moisture longer, so your plants have an opportunity to absorb more water before drying out in the hot sun. It’s also a great way to conserve water, as you’ll need to water less frequently on hot days.
Self-Watering: Take the guesswork out of it! Self-watering planters let you sit back and enjoy the sunshine while your plants remain optimally cared for over a long period of time! Just fill the water reservoir and let it do the rest. Our favourite brand of self-watering planters is Lechuza Canada. We have some smaller sizes available online with a few more sizes available in store.
p.s. Lechuza’s sister company is Playmobil! How cool is that?!
We hope these tips help keep your garden cool all summer long. Do you have any watering tips? Let us know!