Houseplants For Health

Houseplants For Health

It’s getting chilly out and with the year we’ve all had, we know that being cooped up indoors can be tiring and mentally straining. Especially if you’re working from home, and have kids! Over the years, studies have proven the many benefits that plants have on our health and the proof is in the planting! As we trolled the internet we came across over 73 million search related articles dedicated to the benefits that houseplants have on your health. The health benefits listed included mood improvement, reduced stress and anxiety and improved air quality resulting in less headaches and improved respiratory illnesses.

Not only are they healthy for us, but houseplants are visually stimulating, affordable and easy to take care of when choosing the right ones. In this article, we’ve compared several “top 10 best houseplants” articles and  compiled a true list of the top 5 plants most recognized for their health benefits. Let’s dive into the five best of the best houseplants, for when it comes to improving your health.

1.  Peace Lily

houseplant peace lily healthy houseplant

One of the most popular flowering houseplants, the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) usually bloom in the spring with long-lasting flowers but can also occasionally bloom during the fall as well. Glossy oval leaves emerge from the soil to form a beautiful contrast against the plants white or yellow blooms. This gorgeous foliage will compliment any room.

Not only are these attractive plants great eye catchers, they are one of the best indoor plants to filter out air pollutants which make them great additions to bedrooms and other frequented rooms. The plant’s pores can removes harmful pollutants by absorbing toxins such as benzeneformaldehydetoluenexylene and carbon monoxide. Peace Lily’s also prevent mildew and mold spores by absorbing access moisture. All of these air purifying properties contribute to improved respiratory function and better sleep!

 Lighting Medium, indirect light
 Water Water regularly; allow soil to dry out slightly before watering. Mist leaves in hot months.
 Humidity  High
 Fertilize Feed weekly in the summer or use slow-release pellets at the beginning of the season. Do not fertilize in the winter.
 Skill Level Beginner.
 Other Benefits Air Purifying, Easy Care, Low Light

 

2. Dracaena Maginata Dragon Tree

Dracaena Magento Dragon Tree

Dragon trees (Dracena Marginata) are one of the easier indoor plants to grow. They’re slow growing but can reach up to 6 feet tall. They’re tough little trees that come in a large variety of leaf colors and shapes. They produce slim, palm like leaves onto its thick ‘trunk’.

If you’re someone who struggles with dry air at home, giving you dust mites and allergies. Try placing a few Dracaena Magenta Dragon Tree’s around your home! These health healing plants provide moisture, which studies have proven to reduce colds, dry skin and sore throats. Not only do they provide humidity, but like most air purifying plants they remove toxins ( benzeneformaldehydetoluenexylene and carbon monoxide) AND absorb lead that travels through the air and water which has been proven to lead to led contamination.

Lighting Bright location with some shade
 Water Keep soil moist. Allow it to dry slightly in the winter.
 Humidity Does well in normal levels of humidity, dry air will turn the leaf tips brown.
 Fertilize Fertilize once or twice in the warmer months.
 Skill Level Beginner
 Other Benefits Air Purifying, Easy Care, Bright Light, Low Light, Slow Growing

 

3. Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Snake Plants (Sansevieria) are very easy to grow, and very hard to kill. They are often credited as one of the easiest houseplants to take care of. Snake plants are forgiving and the perfect plant for new gardeners.

Studies have shown that the Snake Plant (or Mothers In Laws Tongue…) is one of the MOST oxygen-producing houseplants there is. This plant literally creates more clean oxygen in your home even with the windows closed. While at the same time, not only absorbing the regular toxic bad guys like  benzeneformaldehydetoluenexylene , carbon monoxide but also C02! If your into Feng Shui, Snake Plants are considered ‘negativity fighting’ and when placed in a low traffic area of your home, can remove bad energy.

Lighting Grows best in bright light, but will tolerate any light level.
 Water Water deeply. Allow soil to dry completely between watering. Discard any excess water.
 Humidity Dry, like the dessert.
 Fertilize Fertilize twice in the growing season
 Skill Level Beginner.
 Other Benefits Air Purifying, Easy Care, Bright Light, Low Light.

 

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera plants are succulents, which means they like dry conditions with bright light and infrequent, but deep, watering. The best way to water an aloe is by letting the soil dry completely, then water deeply while allowing it to drain freely from the soil. A great houseplants for beginners! Aloe is mildly toxic if ingested. Keep out of reach of pets and small children.

The queen of beauty and healing. Aloe Vera are exceptionally known for their healing properties. Their leaves contain a gel that contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. They’re antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic which helps heal wounds and other skin issues. Aloe Vera is a proven plaque remover, improves wrinkles by reducing UV damage, soothes burns and more!

Lighting Bright location; but too much direct sunlight over time may cause the plant to dry out and turn reddish-brown.
 Water Water deeply. Allow soil to dry completely between watering. Discard any excess water.
 Humidity Dry, like the desert.
 Fertilize Fertilize yearly.
 Skill Level Beginner.
 Other Benefits Medicinal, Easy Care, Bright Light.

 

5. Spider Plant

Spider plant

One of the most popular houseplants! Spider plants (Chlorophytum Comosum) are versatile, come in several different varieties, and super easy to care for. They also look great in a hanging basket! Originating from South Africa, Spider plants were introduced to the Victorian households in England during the 19th century.

As a houseplant, the Spider Plant has the ability to add moisture to your home. Reducing the chances for airborne toxins to create problems with your health like coughs, colds, sore throats and allergies. This plant will work hard at reducing more toxins than any other houseplant, including nitrogen dioxidebenzeneformaldehydetoluenexylene and carbon monoxide. In addition to it’s air purifying abilities, Spider Plant roots have medical properties used in traditional Chinese medicine. When extracted, the root has been used to fight inflammation, increase healthy bowl movements and gut health, treat cancer by suppressing tumors and heal bones and burns! Wow!

Lighting Bright location; keep out of direct sunlight.
 Water Water regularly, discarding any excess water. Keep soil moist.
 Humidity Does well in all levels of humidity.
 Fertilize Fertilize bimonthly.
 Skill Level Beginner.
 Other Benefits Air Purifying, Easy Care, Low Light, Fast Growing, Pet Friendly.

 

There you have it! Five amazing health promoting plants to get you through your day feeling lifted, breathing better, kicking negative energy out the door and helping you sleeping better at night. When it comes to house plants, not one plant will fix all your health woes. It is recommended to have 1-2 plants in every 100 square feet of space. If you can’t commit to that many plants just yet, we recommend starting in a small room and making your way to bigger spaces, with more plants. Wishing you all a happier and healthier space, to keep you and your plants growing your best!

Have a question? Let us know at info@wildwoodoutdoorliving.com.
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Fall Container Planting

Fall Container Planting

As the season begins to change from summer to fall, there’s a lot for us to look forward to as we unwind from the hustle and bustle of summer. The leaves changing, the kids going back to school, hot soups, cozy clothes, home décor, the kids going back to school and fall gardening! If the idea of fall gets you excited about a new planting season, you’re not alone. Fall is the best time for planting vegetables and fall bulbs. If you’re not excited about a new planting season because you live in an apartment and don’t have a lawn, we’ve got good news for you. Every year at Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre, we help more and more customers with their fall container planting. It’s increasingly popular, and we’re here to show you just how easy it can be. In this article, we’re going to share with you what there is to know about planting your own vegetables and fall bulbs in containers.

Fall Bulb Containers

Planting fall bulbs in a container is just as easy as it is to plant them in the ground. The great part about planting your fall bulbs in a container is that you can plant almost every type of fall bulb there is. Even better, you can layer your fall bulb arrangement in your container, giving you blossom after blossom! To start, choose a fall bulb assortment that will thrive in the environment you’re going to place them in. If you have plenty of sun, you’re in luck and you can choose just about any bulb you like. If your container will be placed in shade for most of the day, you’ll want to consider bulbs that can tolerate shade, like SnowdropsCrocusesScilliaDaffodilsor Fritillaria . Once you have your container, soil, and bulbs. You’re ready to follow these quick and easy steps!

layered fall bulb container

 

1. BULBS – You’ll need to pick several different species of bulbs that have different bloom times to make this work.  Small bulbs like snowdrops, rock garden narcissi or crocus for the top layer, mid- season flowering bulbs like narcissi or tulips for the middle layer and late-season flowering bulbs like tulips and alliums for the bottom layer.

2. CONTAINER – Now it is time to choose your favorite larger container- ceramic, plastic or even wood. For layered planting you want your container to be at least 14” deep.  The other key to the container is that it must have good drainage.  Bulbs can easily rot over the winter if the soil stays to wet.

3. SOIL – After you’ve selected your container, you can start to fill it with a few inches good quality potting soil (garden soil or topsoil are too heavy for in containers). Add a pinch of bonemeal.

4. LAYER 1 – Add your late season flowering bulbs which need to be about 12” below the rim of the pot, the bigger the bulb the lower the layer it is.

5. LAYER 2  – Once your bulbs are all in place- pointy side up and not touching the sides of the pot – it is time to add another few inches of soil covering the bulbs completely and then you add another pinch of bone meal before you put in your mid-season flowering bulbs which are now going to be about 8” deep.  Be sure to have your soil under, over and in between all the bulbs so they aren’t touching the sides of the pot- don’t want them rotting or freezing!

6. LAYER 3 – Now for more soil, bone meal and your final layer of small early flowering bulbs which are going to be placed about 5” below the rim of the pot.  Once you’ve placed the last layer of bulbs you can finish the pot off with some more soil and plant a few winter flowering pansies or violas to give you some added cheery colour until spring!

Now you wait for your masterpiece to appear! The bulbs will all start sprout up and flower at different times throughout the spring. Don’t worry about the smaller ones getting in the way of the bigger ones. All bulbs know the way to the surface and will avoid the others while getting there. Try one of these popular combinations for a perfect layered bulb arrangement.

Moonlight Collection
Middle Layer -Thalia Rockgarden Narcissi/Carnegie Hyacinth
Top Layer- Mount Everest Galanthus/Snowbunting Snow Crocus
Tropical Thunder Collection
Bottom Layer- Dutch Dancer Lily Flowering Tulip /Fire Wings Lily Flowering Tulip
Cool Ocean Breeze
Middle Layer – Grape Ice Muscari

Vegetable Containers

When choosing the right container for your veggies, remember that small containers dry out quickly. Requiring you to water your veggies frequently without ever missing a watering. To make you and your plants happier, choose a large container but remember…the bigger the pot, the more soil, the heavier it will be. Make sure to plant your veggies right where the pot will stay, to avoid having to haul it across your house – if you can. When choosing your vegetables, you’ll want to consider how much sunlight your plants will get. For low light/partial shade vegetables, a few good choices for you would be ChardKaleArugulaSpinachLettuce, and/orRadishFor plants that get full sun, try growing BeansTomatoesPeasHot peppers and/or CucumberSet yourself up for success by using the cheat sheet below to find the most compatible container veggies for your space.

  Container Size Harvest time Light
Garlic 5 gallons 16-20 weeks 6-8 hours
Hot Pepper 5 gallons 8-13 weeks 6-8 hours
Cucumber 5-7 gallons 7-10 weeks 8 hours
Peas 3-5 gallons 8-10 weeks 4-5 hours
Beans 5 gallons 7-8 weeks 8-10 hours
Tomato 5 gallons 6-10 weeks 6-8 hours
Green Onion 1-2 gallons 5-7 weeks 13-16 hours
Radish 1 gallon 3-5 weeks 6 hours
Chard 5 gallons 4-6 weeks 3-4 hours
Lettuce 1 gallon 6-8 weeks 3-4 hours

For more veggie container inspiration, check out what Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre’s, President, Gord has to say below when it comes to hanging tomato baskets and growing baby lettuce, below.

 

Creating a fall garden is just as easy as getting the right size pot, soil, seeds and bulbs. Even if you live in an apartment, or you just don’t have the outdoor space you thought you needed. Fall offers the opportunity to grow and change with the seasons. Stay tuned for more container friendly garden tips and tricks.

Do you have a container growing tip? If so, please send it to us at info@wildwoodoutdoorliving.com. We would love to share it!
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Leafy Greens 101

Leafy Greens 101

For most leafy greens, September is the perfect time to sow your seeds directly into the soil. These plants thrive in cool environments. With the average growth time of 30-40 days, you can go ahead and imagine yourself serving your impressive homegrown leafy green dish at thanksgiving this year. To get you growing, we’ll help you with what you will need, what you will need to do and when you will need to do it.

VARIETIES

When it comes to choosing which leafy green you want to grow you could consider which variety you purchase most often. Or you could explore the many different kinds you can’t find in a grocery store. Maybe the best choice for you depends on what you’re going to make with it. The great thing about leafy greens is that they don’t take up much space in the garden, so you’re free to choose a few different types if your space allows. We have a lot of leafy green varieties at Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre, and we’ve chosen a few favorite varieties for you to explore below.

LETTUCE

ILEMA – Produces heads that are impressively voluminous, with substantial weight, and fast growth. It has a refined flavour and pairs nicely with Fossey. It can be harvested from the baby leaf stage to full sized mature heads, open pollinator.
FRECKLES – The mid-sized plant is open with glossy, green leaves flecked with maroon; making it a delightful and colorful addition to salad mixes.
HAMPTON – Hampton organic lettuce seeds produce a voluminous oak leaf lettuce with a high leaf count and dark, shiny leaves. Nice flavor, good texture, and easy harvest by hand or machine.
RUBY & EMERALD DUET – blended seeds for an emerald-green baby butterhead with softly folded leaf rosettes together with a lovely, deep-red, ruffled, and crispy mini leaf lettuce.

 

KALE

  KALE BEIRA TROCHUDA – Trochuda Beira Portuguese Kale Seeds produce thick leaves with a flavor somewhere between Scots kale and cabbage. This hybrid version of traditional Portuguese kale has better heat resistance in summer, but is also winter hardy, with a taste that is improved by frost.
DWARF GREEN CURLED – Ultra-hardy, a great source of winter ‘greens’. Also known as ‘borecole’. Densely packed, leaves with frilled edges on compact plants. Flavor improves with a touch of frost.
RED RUSSIAN –  Tender for salads and good for bunching, the red and purple hues turn a rich, dark green color when cooked. It may be richer in vitamins and minerals than other greens and is very disease resistant.
IMPROVED SIBERIAN – Heavily frilled, large leaves with long succulent stalks grow out to form stout, heavy-set, dwarf plants only 30-42cm (12-15″) tall. The leaves are bright blue-green  ready for use all winter.

 

 ARUGULA

ARUGULA RUNWAY – Peppery, sharp-flavored arugula (a.k.a. rocket or roquette), provides a wonderful punch of piquant flavor to any green salad or a scrumptious contrast tossed with fresh sliced fruit or served under meat, chicken, or fish just hot off the barbecue.
ARUGULA RUSTIC STYLE – Italian heirloom forms rosettes of deeply indented leaves with a piquant, tangy flavor. Great in salads, pizza or pasta. Lasts longer than common arugula. Pretty edible yellow blossoms.
HEIRLOOM RUSTIC ARUGULA – Cooks prefer its deeply indented, dark green piquant leaves for savory dishes like pizza or pasta. You’ll find the leaves’ tangy flavor is like regular arugula, but more intensely concentrated.
ARUGULA ITALIAN – Peppery flavored, scalloped leaves develop on fast-growing plants. Flavor combines well with lettuce and other salad greens. A favorite for Italian cuisine. Begin harvesting in 35-40 days

 

SPINACH

BLOOMSDALE SAVOY – Large, Deeply Crinkled, Dark Green Leaves. Fresh Flavour, Slow to bolt. Plant early direct (might not germinate if soil too warm). All seed is untreated and naturally grown in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
GANGBUSTER ORGANIC – Fast-growing and weather tolerant new spinach with juicy thick leaves and especially tasty mild sweet flavor. Pick individual leaves or cut whole plants over a long harvest season.
SPINACH SPACE – This variety is lovely both cooked and raw, as baby leaf spinach, or full size. It will work in larger containers for early spring and late fall growing.
ORIENTAL GIANT – has excellent mild and sweet flavor, rich green color and a succulent crunchy texture. This extremely fast-growing hybrid spinach, bred in Japan, has amazing vigor and quickly produces giant leaves that are at least double to triple the size of other spinach varieties.

HOW TO PLANT

After you’ve chosen your leafy green seeds, you’re ready to start planting! Whether you’ve decided to plant your seeds in a container or in the ground, it’s best to plant your seeds in a spot with full sun. Use a rich soil with good drainage. In a pot, you’re going to fill at least 6 inches of soil in the bottom of your container. Apply a light amount of water to the base layer of soil to moisten it, and sprinkle your seeds lightly at the top of the soil. Cover with a light amount of soil, and gently tap the surface. To keep your seeds in place, cover your leafy greens with 2-3 inches of mulch. Once you’re finished, you can give those babies a good gulp of water. Your seeds will take 7-14 days to germinate. Water when the top inch of soil dries out, about twice a week.

HOW TO HARVEST

Depending on your seed selection, you can expect to harvest your leafy greens between 30-40 days, some sooner and some later (be sure to check your seed package). Once your leafy green is ready to harvest, you can collect your leafy greens leaf by leaf for smaller portions. Or, if you would like to harvest it all at once, just cut the full head off at the soil level.

You’re now ready to start growing your own leafy greens. With these versatile vegetables you’ll have endless options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Wilted in stir-fries, blended in smoothies, mixed into a big hearty salad, used as a topping, or wrapped around your favorite sandwich, burrito, or burger! Leafy greens are easy, fast growing, low maintenance and high in nutrients! A must have in every garden.

Do you have a leafy green growing tip? If so, please share it with us at info@wildwoodoutdoorliving.com. We would love to share it!
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Harvesting Your Own Seeds

Harvesting Your Own Seeds

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.

Flower Seeds

Once your flowers have pollinated, they will produce seeds. Note: fresh cut flowers may not provide seeds as they are mostly cut before pollination. 

Steps

1.) Cut the flower head of your plant.

2.) Remove the seeds and place on wax paper.

3.) Give it a week to let those seeds dry.

4.) Gently clean the seeds and store them in an envelope in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Vegetable Seeds

For the best seeds, try cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, squash.

Steps

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!

4 Pot Windowsill Seed Starter  Tomato Tumbler - West Coast SeedsSunflower Sensational - Cornucopia Seeds Cucumber Lemon - Cornucopia SeedsZinnia State Fair - Cornucopia Seeds

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