June 6, 2018

Do Plants Like Music? Depends...

My neighbor came by the other day and told me that my apartment had the true feel of a green oasis. There were all my lovely plants and the sounds of the rainforest. The rainforest sounds were courtesy Amazon Alexa. Of all the skills offered by Alexa, my favorites are the sounds. I use nature sounds for the plants and I use rainfall sounds for myself.

humidifier in right back corner, Amazon Alexa out of sight

Now that I have completed the green family (I finally have an aloe vera, another couple of Pothos, and even some lettuce that was given to me), I'm concentrating on keeping all the plants healthy an happy. Why not? They certainly have improved my mental state.

newest Pothos w/Spider Plant bottom left

I have always heard that music is beneficial to plants, but I never thought about what kinds of music might be best. This is an article talking about that. According to it, my plants like music that I also can enjoy, even if I don't listen to it all the time. Classical music, soothing music seems to be the key.

Lettuce given to me by a farming friend!

I found it so funny what was said about the negative effects of some rock music. I happen to think that a lot of rock music has the same effects on the human brain!

The Silver Pothos with her lovely markings

GreenMyLife has an article about this subject and they included this interesting photo:

Seems about right

(I just added Green My Life to my bookmarks, by the way.)

For the past few weeks, I have alternated playing violin music and different nature sounds for the plants So far, they seem to like it. The music, along with the plants, also alleviates my depression and anxiety.

By the way, when I got this Monstera back at the end of April, I thought it was a wonderful plant. Look at the difference some music and loving care has made:

She's just spreading her wings wide

So, yay for music.


May 20, 2018

**PLANT WATCH** Seedlings, Pineapple, and Lily in Water UPDATE

UPDATE June 6th:
I threw out the avocado pit (it was doing exactly nothing!), and the Moonflower seeds (they were just stagnant), but I did pot the pineapple crown. (And I actually dumped a few of the Moonflower seeds into a couple of my Pothos plants. We'll see...)

I'm on plant watch again. I have a few things in the green family brewing.

These are some seeds that someone in the building put out on the community table. They wanted someone to maybe plant them around the border of the building or garden. They'd been sitting there for a couple of days with no takers, so... I took 'em. I've only ever done anything from seeds via a store-bought plant kit (and that did not turn out well!), so I'm hoping these do alright. I had to look to YouTube for info and instructions. These are Moonflower seeds.

They are "Moonflower" seeds
 And this here is that troublesome Calla Lily that I picked up from a grocery store a while back. Dang thing was limping along so badly in soil that I decided to see if I could heal it in a water environment. So far, the roots are looking okay.

Finally, here's my Pineapple project. The roots are starting to grow out and I'll be excited to transplant the whole thing into soil sometime in the next couple-few weeks.


May 16, 2018

An Herb Thing

As I told a neighbor, I've got nearly all the houseplants I want (there are a couple on the Wish List), but I needed some kitchen herbs. Guess what? The Mercantile down the street from where I live just got in the first of their summer stock.

By the way, I wasn't sure what the difference was between the 2 basils but I love using Sweet Basil, so... Now I have learned what the difference is, thanks to Home Guides (which I reference a lot):

Source: SF Gate Home Guides
GREAT reference spot!

Making some oil with this Lemon Balm

Have already taken cuttings to propagate this one

I haven't yet gotten the Lavender or Aloe that I want  (and I know Aloe isn't a herb) so those are the items I'm waiting for now.

My favorite herbs so far are the Lemon Balm and the Chocolate Mint. The Choc Mint smells just like a cookie! Also, it's very pretty. Those two herbs are the first I'm using to take clippings from. I even have started trying to leech some of the Lemon Balm into some oil because I hear that it's great for things like preventing and/or healing cold sores.

I'm pretty happy with the green family. My apartment has a very soothing and calming look and feel now. I did this with the Peace Lily and some extra vases the neighbor gave me:


She actually gave me 3 of the jars and I have a couple left. I'm trying to decide how to use the others. Maybe I will get some sand in different colors and do something with seashells and beads? Of course,  when I do come up with something, I will put the photos up here on the blog.


May 11, 2018

Houseplants for Dummies (Like Me)

So happy to be able to say that, except for the grow kit sunflowers, my plants are alive and most of them are even thriving. The Peace Lily is looking a little weary but I moved her to a water environment and she seems to be perking up.

I have a couple of problems as a plant owner. One, my thumb is slightly brown and I'm having to train it into green mode. Two, I have memory retention issues so I am constantly having to re-check resources to do with my plants. I will forget from moment to moment which of my green family likes moisture and which of them wants to dry out in between watering. But I have collected some good resources. I was given a couple of books by a neighbor and, just the other day, I received the one book I've bought:

I love the For Dummies books. I've used them for everything from learning about my computer to refreshing lost math and writing skills. This one on houseplants is amazing. Of the fifteen plants I currently have, there is only one not mentioned in the book: my Cordyline (or Hawaiian Ti) plant.

Here are some good online sources of information for people like me:
  • First, there are the YouTube channels like PlantzNThings - because, although it seems more focused on yard plants, it does touch on info about interesting houseplants - like this one about the delicious Dragon Fruit because it taught me how to germinate seeds from fruits.
  • Garden Tips - This channel has a lot of videos and I am still cruising through them, but always find something interesting. Then, there is my favorite,
  • is Exotic Tropical Houseplants - It's the first YouTube channel I discovered that is as fun as it is informative - and it is really informative. I love that the host is so passionate about his plants and about sharing info with the rest of us greenies.
  • This page explains using artificial lighting for your plants - and I think most of us apartment dwellers rely on fake lighting!
  • World of Succulents is another great site. Here's the thing, for some reason, I cannot keep one of these alive. Maybe I need to spend more time over here at WoS!
  • Gardening Know How is a great site whether your plants are indoor or outdoor types. I found it a while back when looking for info on growing plants in water. I really like the site a lot.
So, those are some place to start. I just got some herbs and now I need to look for info for those... I will share when I find some.


May 3, 2018

New Members of the Planted Earth Family

So what happens when you go out grocery shopping but make a quick stop somewhere and... see this:

It was MUCH bigger than this little spot

My sister-in-law and I could not help ourselves. We spent over an hour at Menards ooh-ing and ah-ing over the plants. And I mean there were SO many plants - about the size of half a football field. I got this:

It's a Gardenia Jasminoides
(yeah, I had to look that up!)

It's a Gardenia Jasminoides (you shoulda seen me trying to copy/paste that!) and I smelled it before I saw it. I literally pared down my grocery list to get this plant. It's so gorgeous that I can't stand it. Too bad that it wasn't until I got home and looked it up in the plant books that I realized they can be finicky little boogers... (This is why I have a Houseplants for Dummies book coming!)

By the way, I will not be getting any more of those cheap "grow" kits. My poor sunflower is dead and done.

Doing great on April 24th but...

...dead on May 6th

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, was super smart and combined a plant with groceries. She got a cool and beautiful thing called a "Living Salad".

Like a never-ending food bowl!

Talk about "garden to table" eating! I had spent my limit but what a great idea, right  Bonnie was nibbling on that thing all the way up to the cashout stand. There were so many beautiful plants that I had to walk away as fast as I could to keep from getting another one. I already got what I hadn't come for!

But... I wasn't quite as well-behaved as I wanted to be because I also got this when I went to Walmart:

Tulips but this time in water!

My last tulip plant lasted forever but I didn't have the patience for learning how to store the bulbs once the blooms died. These are in water and now that it's summer (or trying to be, anyway), I can get friends to help when I need to deal with saving this one. At least I remembered to spend the rest of my budgeted money on food while I was in the store. And I stayed on budget!

Not only did I stay on target with my budget, I actually stayed under it this time. The Dollar Tree store was a large reason for that. One of the things I wanted to do with the plants this Spring (or whatever this is happening at the moment) was to set my clippings up to grow in water. I have that silly Peace Lily that's giving me fits and some Pothos and my niece is going to be sending me some other types via the mail. I wanted to doll up some glass bowls for them. This turned out nice, I think:

bowls, 2 kinds of rocks, seashells  = $7

And I almost forgot this: I picked up a Monstera from the corner grocery the other day. So beautiful!

That's it for now except I started this pineapple crown in some water today:

I can't wait to get the cuttings all set up in their new water gardens. I'm already looking for some herbs to out into water containers. Of course, I'll be back to post the photos.