18 Beautiful and Edible Vines for your Home Landscape

18 Beautiful Edible Vines for your Home Landscape - Title with

Here’s the thing… a lot of us love the look of beautiful vines climbing fences or trellises, or maybe even over an arbor. There are many unique and downright stunning vines to choose from. However, some of you might be looking for functionality as well as beauty. Whether you’re an urban gardener or have an expansive backyard paradise, edible vines can significantly increase your garden’s appeal and productivity.

Edible vines like Passion fruit, Kiwi, and Grapes, not only yield delicious produce, but also provide an ornamental value to urban and suburban gardens. Innovative utilization of vines such as Scarlet runner beans, Chayote, Groundnuts, and novel ones like Loofah plants and Nasturtiums can be beneficial for versatile vertical gardening. It will not only create an aesthetically pleasing landscape, but it will also add a sustainable food source to your garden!

If this excites you, then check out these edible vines that won’t just be beautiful in your landscape, but will also give you a great harvest!

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Understanding the Value of Edible Vines

In contemporary urban and suburban gardening, limited space has demanded innovative solutions. People just don’t have the acres and acres of sprawling lawn and large expanses of space between them and their neighbor’s lot. Because of this, people are asking even more from their garden space. Enter vertical gardening. Vertical gardening has become more appealing due to the fact that it not only saves space, but many of these plants can be grown in large containers, making patio space and raised beds more productive. 

These vertical vines then require less ground space while providing high yield. They also can play a decorative role as well, enhancing the charm of your landscape by creating an elevated level of greenery.

Imagine the mixed delight of climbing roses and passion fruits, the rustic appeal of grapevines coursing across a trellis, or the playful wind whispers among beanstalks. Experiencing these joys don’t have to be solely for sprawling farms or vineyards. Even a compact patio or balcony garden can now enjoy the functionality and aesthetics that edible vines bring into the space.

grape vine covering wooden trellis with bunches of grapes cascading down

Edible vines are also beneficial in the garden. Many of these plants enrich the soil, provide shade to the understory crops, and even act as natural fences. 

Imagine the benefit of having a vine that, in addition to bearing fruits, also aids in improving the overall health and growth of your garden!

So let’s get into these awesome edible vines that can amplify the beauty and productivity of your garden.

Edible Vines

Edible vines variety is as vast as the climatic conditions they require. From tropical to temperate climates, there’s an edible vine perfectly suited for your garden. Here are a few that will add touches of beauty as well as productivity to your space.

1. Passion Fruit

The passion fruit vine is a tropical marvel that is both easy to propagate and yields an abundance of sweet, edible fruit. Let’s just say that this vine has been growing in popularity for those who live in warmer climates! The fruit is tangy and sweet and can be used in a variety of different ways. The flowers are also edible and can be used as a stunning garnish to a variety of dishes. The vines also look stunning while in bloom with their purple, pink, blue, and white flowers! Needless to say, having one of these in your yard will definitely be a main attraction!

passion fruit flower blooming in front of passion fruit vine

2. Kiwi

There are two types of kiwi, the kiwifruit (like the ones you find at the grocery store), and the hardy kiwi. Both ripen from late fall to early spring. Kiwifruit produces the typical large kiwis, however it requires warmer, more tropical regions to grow (mostly in hardiness zones 7-9). If this isn’t you, then try out the hardy kiwi! The hardy kiwi produces smaller, grape-like kiwis that can be eaten whole. These won’t grow nearly as fast as the kiwifruit, but in colder climates it will do much better than it’s tropical cousin and it will still give you that tangy taste that you love!

kiwi vine orchard with kiwi fruit hanging down above rows of grassy undergrowth

3. Grapes

Grapes can be beautifully placed within a landscape. Whether it be climbing arbors, fences, or even pergolas, the beautiful flowers followed by big, hanging bunches of grapes are absolutely lovely! And not only do you get to eat the grapes, but the grape vine leaves are also edible and perfect for a raw salad or even cooked! 

Make sure, however, that proper pruning is done every year to ensure a plentiful harvest. This pruning is done to create lots of new shoots from one year old vines. It is only from these one-year old vines’ shoots that grapes are formed. So if you want a productive vine, you will need to learn and implement proper pruning techniques.

Also keep in mind that grapes will attract the birds and the bees (quite literally), so be aware of extra cleanup that will be needed if planting over any hardscape areas…

a bunch of purple grapes hanging from a grape vine

4. Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet runner beans are both ornamental and practical in the landscape. These climbers eagerly scale up walls and fences, producing a stunning display of striking red blossoms. Simply plant in the early spring once the danger of frost has passed, enjoy the scarlet flowers throughout summer, and harvest your dried seed pods in early fall. And as an added benefit, the leaves, young pods, roots, and dried beans are all edible!

a bean vine with orange-red flowers climbing up the side of an old outbuilding

5. Chayote

If you reside in tropical or southern US states, consider the chayote vine. This vigorous climber can cover a pergola or trellis with ease, transforming it into an inviting green canopy. Then, the fruit is like a cross between a cucumber and a squash, allowing you to eat it raw, cooked, sauteed, stewed, or even spiraled! Just be sure to peel it first, since the peels are not very appetizing. So try out some new South American recipes with these delicious fruits!

close up of a chayote vine with two green chayote fruit hanging down

6. Loofah Plants

Loofah, famously known for its use as a natural sponge, is in fact a type of vine. And, while most people are familiar with the sponge, it is less known that its young fruits are edible and taste somewhat like a zucchini. Then, if you don’t have time for harvesting, you can leave the fruit to grow and dry out. The loofah produces a sponge that can be used for scrubbing dishes, exfoliating skin, or even as a biodegradable multi-purpose scrubber! This vine is relatively easy to grow in a full sun location.

loofah vine hanging along a green mesh trellis with several green loofahs hanging down

7. Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach, on the other hand, is a leafy green vine that is a perennial in warm climates, or grown as an annual in cooler climates. Despite its name, it’s not true spinach, but its leaves have a similar taste and texture when eaten raw, or a similar taste to okra when cooked. The vine is known for its vigorous growth and can even cover a garden fence when fully mature. The entirety of the plant is edible – from its purple-blackish edible berries to its red stems and glossy green leaves, consequently providing a constant supply of greens for your meals. Just make sure to harvest the young leaves, as these are the best for raw salads. The large, mature leaves are better to be used as a thickener for soups and stews!

And make sure you have a trellis or fence to train this vine up on. If left unsupported it will vine out along the ground. This can still be pretty, but it creates more opportunity for insects and dirt to get on your leaves…

malabar spinach vine growing up a bamboo pole with lots of young white berries and some mature purple berries

8. Melons

There are a lot of different melons that can all be trained to grow upright. These include honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and watermelon, to name some of the most common. Be careful when choosing varieties, however, as the smaller melons will do much better on an upright vine. And even with the smaller varieties, the melons will still have to be supported by some type of a sling to ensure that they don’t become too heavy and break off the vine before they are fully ripe. And take this into consideration as well as you select a support for your melon vine. Choose something very sturdy that can handle the weight.

watermelon vine along the ground with a large and small watermelon growing

9. Berries

While not technically a vine, many berry varieties can be trained up onto a vertical support system, such as a fence or a small trellis. This can be very useful in making harvesting and annual pruning so much easier. An upright form can also keep any thorny branches up and away from people walking nearby. All in all, it is very useful to have your berry bushes growing vertically!

blackberry bush with lots of red and purple berries

10. Cherry Tomatoes

Most people know that tomatoes do well with a vertical support. However, there are many different varieties of tomatoes that actually love to climb! I remember my professor had a chicken wire tunnel in his yard that he trained his cherry tomatoes onto. By the end of the summer, his kids loved to climb underneath and pick cherry tomatoes in the cool shade of the tomato plants themselves. This not only made harvesting easier, but it created something fun in the lives of his children! You can do this with any vining plant as long as you put in some time to train it in the right direction… but nothing seems to beat those sweet, summer cherry tomatoes!

the end of a cherry tomato plant with cherry tomatoes ripening from green to red

11. Legumes

I know that I’ve already mentioned the Scarlet Runner beans, but I also wanted to note pole beans in general make great climbing plants! Whether you like black beans, kidney beans, green beans, or peas (throwing this one in here too, haha!), there are an endless number of legumes out there to grow. These are also perfect for vertical planting as it makes harvesting so much easier and helps to maintain a better air flow throughout the plant which can cut down on plant disease. Legumes are also some of the easier vegetables to grow, and will help to fix the nitrogen in the soil so your other plants can better use it! So if you’re new to edible ornamentals, or you just want more fertile soil in your yard, definitely give these guys a shot!

bean pods with pink purple and white beans in groups on a table

12. Gourds

Gourds include all types of pumpkins and squash varieties. These are not only grown for food production, but are also grown for their decorative value as well. The large leaves can help to provide shade for any plants growing underneath of it! However, like the melons, make sure to grow smaller fruit varieties, as well provide a very strong structure for growing. These also need a support sling for each individual gourd, or else they will also break off the plant prematurely.

an assortment of green yellow and light orange gourds

13. Cucumbers

Though cucumbers are technically also a gourd, I wanted to mention them separately. Cucumbers are one of our favorite edible plants to grow! They do best on wire frames (it’s easy for their small tendrils to latch onto) and they can quickly fill up a vertical space. And having them grow vertically is actually preferred for cucumbers as it will keep the fruit clean as well as will make it harder for insects to reach. And if you’re short on garden space, you can even grow them in a large pot. This is sesriously one awesome plant to have around!

cucumber vine along a green string with a large cucumber growing down from it

14. Nasturtium

Getting back into more decorative plants, nasturtium is one of our well known ornamental plants that has multiple uses in the landscape. Not only will it provide a fast-growing, lush vine for any space, but its leaves and flowers are also edible. The seeds can also be pickled and are a good substitute for capers. This is one useful vine!

nasturtium plant growing along a wooden fence with yellow and orange red flowers

15. Roses

Roses are also a beautiful, edible vine. Though all roses are edible (as long as they haven’t been treated with harmful chemicals), not all roses are climbers. There are either climbing varieties or bush varieties. So make sure that you choose a climbing rose to place next to your garden trellis or archway. 

Also, keep in mind that the smell of the rose will often determine the strength of the taste. The stronger the aroma, the stronger the flavor. So choose a variety that you will not only enjoy to look at, but that also smells appealing to you. And remember, only the rose petals are edible.

roses climbing a trellis up a brick house with white siding and trim

16. Jasmine

Jasmine is a common vine that is used not only for its lovely fragrance, but also for its edible flowers! These flowers are used to make teas, as well as can have their oils extracted to be used for medicinal or frangrant purposes as essential oils. It is said that the aroma of jasmine helps to produce a calming effect, as well as has other beneficial properties for a person’s health. So seriously consider adding a beautiful jasmine vine to your space!

Note that jasmine flowers bloom during the evenings, which is why they are widely used near lit seating areas or bedroom windows, where their fragrance can be enjoyed in the evenings as you are winding down for the day.

For more beneficial aromas, you can check out on my list of fragrant houseplants!

close up of a jasmine vine with a few buds and several white jasmine flowers

17. Wisteria

This is a well-known plant, but it is less commonly known that wisteria flowers are actually edible! However, do not eat the seeds or the seed pods. These parts of the plant are very poisonous. But once again, the flowers are completely harmless and rather enjoyable! So consider adding some wisteria flowers to your salad, or as a beautiful garnish!

chocolate vine growing down over a large boulder with lots of purple flowers

18. Chocolate Vine

This last vine is used more for its ornamental value than as an edible. That is because in late spring, this plant is covered in beautiful red to purple flowers that smell like chocolate! I mean, who wouldn’t want to have this vine next to their window?! The fruits are edible, although they do come with some precautions for those on blood thinners. Although the fruit is widely eaten in Japan as a delicacy in late summer to early fall, you should first research if this fruit will work with your particular body. But that being said, the scent alone will make your neighbors jealous!

Conclusion

Vines are not only extremely beautiful additions to your landscape, but they can also be great plants to add from a culinary standpoint. Incorporating edible vines into your garden presents an opportunity to not only have gorgeous showy flowers and leaves, but to also enjoy the fruits of your own labor! So why not make your yard a picturesque oasis and a provider of nourishing meals by incorporating these magnificent edible vines?!

For more landscaping ideas, check out my post on Designing your Yard in 10 Easy Steps!

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Edible Vines FAQs

What are edible vines?

Edible vines are varieties of vining plants that have edible parts that can be safely consumed by humans. They include a wide range of species that offer fruits, leaves, flowers, or roots for culinary uses, and many are attractive enough to be used as decorative elements in landscapes. This includes vines such as passion fruit, kiwi, grapes, jasmine, nasturtium, and more…

How do I select the right edible vines for my garden?

Selecting the right edible vine for your garden typically depends on your local climate, available space, and personal taste preferences. Research the growth conditions of various edible vines and find ones that are well-suited to your environment. And if you want a perennial vine, make sure that it can survive winters in your local hardiness zone. Then match your plant’s light requirements. And remember, some vines like Grapes and Kiwi can be rather space-demanding, while others like Nasturtiums are more compact and can be better suited for small spaces or container gardening. 

Can I grow edible vines in an urban environment?

Yes, you certainly can. Edible vines are a fantastic choice for urban gardens as they can utilize vertical spaces efficiently, making them ideal for balconies, patios, or small yards. Some good choices for urban edible vines include nasturtium, cucumber, beans, and cherry tomatoes to list a few.

Are there any special care considerations for edible vines?

Specific care instructions can vary depending on the species of the vine. However, most edible vines need a suitable support to climb, enough sunlight, and well-drained soil. Regular pruning and timely fertilization will help maintain their health and productivity, as well as consistently watch out for insects, since they usually enjoy these delicious vines as much as we do!

Can edible vines serve ornamental purposes?

Definitely! Many edible vines not only provide food but also add texture and color to your garden. Vines like Scarlet runner beans, Nasturtiums, and Jasmine are quite ornamental, enhancing your yard’s aesthetic appeal while also offering a delicious harvest.

40+ Best Gift Ideas for Indoor Plant Lovers (2023)

Hey everyone! Welcome back to The Girl with a Shovel! With the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to save you some time with your planning, shopping, and possibly several nights of worry. Instead of racking your brain for the perfect gift, I wanted to share with you some of the best gifts for plant lovers. This will make it easy to find the perfect plant gifts for your favorite plant person (or even to find a few things to add to your own wishlist!)

*Note: This post contains affiliate links, which if purchased I will receive a portion of the profit at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing awesome information to you all!*

Live Plants

One thing to consider getting a plant enthusiast is a live plant or two. Plants, especially indoor plants, can become something of an obsession, causing people to want more and more. And, as the world of Pokemon fans know, once you start, you suddenly feel like you ‘Gotta Catch ’em All!’. So yes, getting a plant parent a new, live plant is always a good idea. Especially if you have access to their collection and you can try to find them something that they don’t have yet. Be aware, though, if the person has pets, as the best plants for them might be a selection of pet-friendly plants!

Also consider a “Rare Plants Cutting Box” or a variety pack of plants if you aren’t sure what they do or don’t have in their collection yet. You are sure to get at least one unique plant this way. 

You could also get them a gift card to their local plant nursery (or a Home Depot or Lowes if you don’t know the stores in their area). Plant people will always have fun adding to their collection!

Dirt, Dirt, and more Dirt!

One thing that plant parents are always in need of is more soil. Especially good quality soil. This is because as their plants grow, they need to plant them in larger pots. Then, of course, it takes more soil to place it in larger pots. So as their plants grow, and as they propagate their plants to make new little plants that also need soil, they run out. Very often. So I know that it sounds weird, but every plant person would be EXCITED to get a good quality bag of dirt as a gift!

Here are a few recommendations that I have from a quality nursery:

Perfect Plants Indoor Plant Soil

bag of soil labelled indoor plant soil with a generic image of a houseplant

Perfect Plants Organic Succulent Soil

bag of soil labelled organic succulent soil with a generic image of a succulent

Perfect Plants Organic Snake Plant Soil

bag of soil labelled organic snake plant soil with an image of a snake plant

Perfect Plants Organic Pothos Soil

bag of soil labelled organic pothos soil with an image of a pothos plant

Perfect Plants Money Tree Potting Soil

bag of soil labelled money tree potting soil with an image of a money tree

Most of your plant enthusiasts would be just fine with either one of the first two soil mixes. The others are more specific if you know what kind of plants are in their collection. But remember, a bag of good-quality soil really does make a great gift!

Pots… and LOTS of them!

Every green thumb has difficulty in building up their pot collection. As mentioned earlier, this is because plants are constantly growing, which, like kids, always seem to be quickly outgrowing whatever you put them in! So plant parents need a collection of good quality, attractive plant pots in all sizes. This includes small pots as well (since plant parents need small pots to place their new baby cuttings!) So if you want to spoil your favorite plant lover, consider getting them some new pots! 

And, as a huge plant nerd myself, I can say that ceramic or terracotta pots will always be preferred over plastic pots (unless they are self-watering pots). Here are a few of the pots that I recommend that will work great for your plant aficionado… 

D’vine Dev Terracotta Pots

set of three straight edge terracotta pots with saucers, one with a cactus inside, one with a snake plant, and one empty

Le Tauci Ceramic Plant Pots (Set of 3)

set of three white glazed ceramic pot with attached saucer, one with a small fern inside

Face Planter

a womanly face pot with closed eyes and arms on her cheeks with a trailing succulent flowing out of the head like hair

12 Pack Small Succulent Plant Pots

a set of twelve small hexagonal white glazed pots with bamboo saucers and ten have various succulents inside

6-pack Terracotta Pots

a set of six small traditional terracotta pots with saucers in a pyramid arrangement; the top pot has a small basil plant inside

Unique Hanging Planters

two hanging planters with round metal rings around the pot and extra hooks and chain, with a pothos and spider plant in the pots

Practical Indoor Plant Gifts

This next set of gift ideas are a collection of gifts that will work for the new plant parent as well as the crazy plant collector. They are all basic things that just make having an indoor jungle (or even just having a few plants around the house) a lot easier! 

1. Repotting Mat

This easy-to-store repotting mat is amazing at keeping your space clean, even while working with soil. It is especially great for apartment dwellers who might not have an outdoor space to use for all their repotting. It is also a great gift for people who live in cold climates who might not be able to take their plants outside during the winter if it needs a quick change of soil (because it happens a lot!) So consider making life a bit cleaner for your plant-loving friend with this repotting mat!

2. Propagation Tubes

I have two different sets here that both work. One for the new propagator, and one for your family member who keeps grabbing all the cups in the kitchen because they’ve run out of containers to propagate their cuttings in! (Trust me, my husband has placed a ban on our kitchenware being used for my plants, lol!) So if you’ve seen a few little jars of water around with plants in them, consider spoiling your favorite plant person and get them their very own propagation station!

Here is the small propagation set

And here is a larger hanging propagation station

3. Plant Lights

Can I just say that plant lights change the game of indoor growing?! And I don’t mean those awful red and purple lights. Leave those to the commercial growers. I’m talking about the natural looking lights that highlight your plants without even looking out-of-place in your living room! Here are a few perfect products to get for the plant lover in your life.

Under Cabinet or Under Shelf Plant Light Strips

Small Plant Light Rings

Large Plant Light Rings

Luxury Pendant Grow Light

​4. Watering Globes

These watering globes are practical gifts that plant people will absolutely love! The idea behind these are that you fill them up with water, then they will slowly drain (proportional to the dryness of the soil). This slowly waters the plant, keeping it perfectly moist for a longer period of time! I’ve tried out a few different kinds and I will suggest the glass ones. They can break, so go for the plastic ones if your gift recipient has small children or hyperactive pets. But overall, the glass ones perform much better in my opinion and has become one of my favorite gifts to receive.

5. Plant Trellis

I’m not including a moss pole, since I haven’t found a commercially available moss pole that I have been happy with yet. But if your plant person has a plant with long, trailing vines, then this indoor plant trellis is the perfect way for your friend to show off their plants in a chic, modern way that will have all their plant friends jealous!

6.  Plant Stands

There are several different ways to get plant babies off of the ground and looking a bit more organized and intentional. Consider getting your plant lover either a plant stand or a plant shelf. Here are a few of my favorites that I have seen many people “ooo” and “awww” over in my various plant groups…

Adjustable 8″-12″ Plant Stand

Adjustable 12″-16″ Plant Stand

Plant Stand with Grow Light – Half Moon Shape

5-Tier Indoor Plant Stand

​7. Soil Moisture Meter

One of the biggest game-changers in keeping my plants alive was when I got myself a soil moisture meter. If your nature lover is trying to become a plant person, but still has their struggles, consider getting them one of these! They can be a huge help in knowing whenthey need to water their plants to keep their little babies healthy!

8. Smart Plant Pot

This is a new one to me, but it is an absolutely fabulous idea! This smart plant pot has built-in sensors to read light levels and water levels. Then, based on these, the pot will make different faces to show how happy or sad the plant is. This is a fun way to easily keep track of the plant’s needs as the cute faces light up their days!

Gardening Gifts

​Here are a few gift ideas that I put together for your favorite gardener to use indoors! These are even great for plant people to try their shot at growing their own edibles, fresh herbs, or even some fresh flowers! 

1. AeroGarden Kit

I have the stainless steel Aerogarden pictured, but you can see my review of the best indoor garden kits here. I just love these indoor kits because they make becoming an indoor gardener so easy! But remember to grab a few seed pod kits (or add them to your list of gift ideas for later!) Each one comes with its unique plants and are a perfect stocking stuffer!

Aerogarden

Seed Pods

2. Heirloom Seed Pack

Heirloom seeds are the best type of seed because it means that the fruits and vegetables that are grown can have their seeds collected and grown for the next season. These true-to-type seeds will give your plant friend a stunning vegetable garden for years to come!

3. Knee Pads

I personally have the purple knee pads and I have to say they are one of my favorite things! I used to just use the knee cushions (which are helpful), but with weeding and moving pots from here to there, I’ve found it is so much easier to simply have the pads strapped to my knees. And these are one of the softest, most comfortable knee pads I’ve worn. So overall, I think these knee pads are an obvious choice for anyone who is into gardening.

4. Greenhouse

What better way to show the gardener in your life that you love them than to get them their own small greenhouse! This gift is both practical (in that it will help them extend their growing season), as well as shows your own support of their hobby. Trust me… if you’re looking to score some extra brownie points with the plant lover in your life… then this is one that you can’t go wrong with. (wink, wink!)

True Plant Lover Accessories

The last section of my gift guide is about some of the cutest and most adorable plant accessories that I’ve seen. These can be fun and friendly, ranging from a few dollars, to a few more, depending on your budget and whether you are looking for a meaningful gift, or something for that casual coworker who has plants all over their desk. These fun gifts are a great way to spark joy in any plant lover’s day!

1. Personalized Plant Parent Ornament

2. Plant Lover Cosmetic Bag

3. Proud Plant Parent T-Shirt

4. Funny Plant Lover Throw Pillow

5. Plantaholic Hanging Metal Sign

6. Funny Plant Stakes

7. Plant Lover Kitchen Towels

8. Cute Plant Socks

9. Plant Magnet Faces

10. Plant Lover Mug

That’s it for my list of gifts for plant lovers! For more information to help care for indoor plants, check out my Indoor Plant Care Pack! These care guides help plant parents have greater success with their indoor plants. So here’s to a great holiday season and I wish you all a great year with the ones that you love. And a great big thank you for showing your love to the plant people in your life. I’m sure they will appreciate your thoughtfulness in supporting their own love of nature. Happy Digging!

How to Choose the Best Pots for Succulents (+5 Faves)

Have you been eyeing a new succulent lately? Or maybe you have a growing collection and just need a new pot? Whether you’re a beginner or a succulent expert, we all need to have one thing right in our succulent care. And that is… we need to choose the right pot!

So what are the best pots for succulents? Today I’m going to tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t work for succulent pots, as well as give you some recommendations of my personal faves. Then if you still have questions, check out my “Frequently Asked Questions” section at the bottom of the page. Or just scroll down to see my top 5 best succulent pots!

Ready?! 

Let’s dig in!

**Note: This post may contains affiliate links, which helps support this website, at no extra cost to you!**

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What Makes the Best Pots?

There are three keys that you need to look for in the right container. The perfect succulent pot would consider:

  • Drainage
  • Material
  • Size

Let’s address these things one at a time.

#1: Proper Drainage

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but let me stress this fact… succulent pots NEED drainage holes!!!!

Technically, you CAN keep succulents alive in pots without drainage holes by simply adding only small amounts of water at a time. I know, because I’ve done this. But speaking from experience, these succulents never thrive like the succulents that I have in my pots with good drainage. This is because when your pots have proper drainage, you can water your plant as much as you want at each watering and the excess water will simply drain out.

But with pots that have no drainage holes (such as the pretty glass containers they show on Pinterest), these pots will leave you to always be fighting your moisture levels, since one little extra watering could potentially kill your whole plant. Personally, I tend to under-water these succulents to avoid accidentally giving them too much water. But as a result, my succulent plants are never as healthy.

So long story short… get a pot with drainage holes! Just do it!

#2: Pot Material

I would argue that pot material is the least important thing out of the three keys for choosing the best pot for succulents. This is because pot material alone will not kill your succulents.

Terra Cotta/Ceramic Pots

Terracotta pots, or ceramic pots, are definitely the best choice for succulent pots. This is due to the fact that the clay can actually soak up some of the excess moisture, giving your plant a little extra buffer between wet and dry phases. Be careful in the winter, though, as wet ceramic pots (in cold temperatures) can take longer to dry out. This could potentially cause overwatering problems for people who tend to water too much in the winter.

So the best pot material for succulents is terra cotta pots, unless you tend to overwater your plants during the winter. 

Plastic Pots

Plastic pots and plastic containers are also a fine choice for succulents as long as they have sufficient drainage, are heavy enough to not tip over, and are not left outdoors.

Some succulents grow more vertically and can become top heavy. Plastic pots are usually lighter and easily fall over in these situations. To fix this, use sand instead of perlite in your succulent soil mix. This will help to weigh down any tipsy pots!

Next, if you are keeping your succulent outdoors, I do not recommend using plastic pots. This is first because of their higher chances of falling over due to their low weight. Second, plastic pots have a tendency to heat up and dry out faster when exposed to high temperature than clay pots or concrete pots. And third, plastic pots can freeze and deteriorate quickly in very cold climates. This is why I only recommend plastic pots for indoor use.

Metal Pots

Metal pots and metal containers usually have the same heat issue as plastic pots. For this reason, you should keep a metal pot indoors only. If you want to move your succulents outdoors, then a good choice would be a terracotta or concrete pot.

Concrete Pots

Concrete pots are similar to clay pots in that they are both a breathable material. Concrete pots are particularly good in outdoor spaces where they will be durable and protective to your succulents. Just be sure to keep in mind that real concrete pots can be extremely heavy. This is good for areas that are prone to high winds (especially if you live within hurricane areas), since your concrete planters will be sure to protect your plants when the weather gets tough!

#3: Size of Pot

Pot size is, in my opinion, the MOST OVERLOOKED problem of succulent killers. Because if your pot is too big, your succulent will die!!! 

This is more of a water problem than a size problem. If you have a large pot, then you will have lots of soil that will be wet. This soil will have water where the small plant roots can’t reach. This extra, unreachable water will cause too much moisture to sit for too long and will lead to root rot.

Even with proper drainage, you need to make sure that the walls of your pot are only an inch or two bigger than your succulents’ current pot (on all sides). This is why a lot of succulent planters tend to be shallow pots that can fit a few succulents together in an arrangement, but that are still shallow enough that the small roots can still reach the bottom of the pot.

Potting Multiple Succulents Together

If you want to pot multiple succulents together in a succulent arrangement or succulent planter, then your best bet is to buy a large, shallow container. Then, make sure that it is stuffed full of succulents! This will help it have enough roots everywhere so you won’t have those pockets of soil that the roots can’t reach…

Pot Recommendations:

  • All-Around Favorite: D’vine Dev Terracotta Pots
  • Best for Shorter Succulents (And Best Value!): Brajtt Plant Pots
  • Best for a Group of Succulents: Kimisty 10 Inch Round Succulent Planter Bowl
  • Best for Hanging Succulents: Mkono 8 inch Ceramic Hanging Planter
  • Best for Large Succulents: Aveyas 6/8/10 inch Ceramic Planter Pot

#1: All-Around Favorite – Terracotta Pots by D’vine Dev

These pots are fantastic because they are not only terracotta pots, but they also have drainage holes, the perfect-fit saucer, a drainage net (to keep the soil from coming out), and a “scratch pad” to put under your pot. This ensures that your pot has great drainage, but also that it keeps your surfaces dry and scratch-free! 

These guys have really thought of everything that an indoor succulent grower needs out of a pot. And that’s why it’s my all-around favorite set of succulent pots!

#2: Best for Shorter Succulents (And Best Value) – Brajtt Succulent Pots

These white, modern pots are perfect for your shorter succulents that don’t have deep root systems. I love that each pot has a small drainage hole, and they come with a functional, stylish bamboo tray to catch any excess water before it stains your window ledge.

And to get 8 pots for only $14.99 (at the time of writing this post)… that’s an AMAZING deal!!!

#3: Best for a Group of Succulents – Kimisty 10 inch Round Succulent Planter Bowl

This planter dish is perfect for succulent arrangements or succulent gardens! It is a glazed ceramic pot with a drainage hole and a plug (to keep your surfaces clean!). It also has a gorgeous, airy stand and white decorative rocks to make your succulent garden go from amateur to professional!

I especially love the size of this planter dish, since most are only about 6” long. With this dish coming in at a solid 10” diameter, (choose the “large” size), it fits a lot of succulents!

#4: Best for Hanging Succulents – Mkono 8 Inch Ceramic Hanging Planter

I searched far and wide for the perfect hanging succulent planters, and this is the one that I finally discovered!

It is a sturdy glazed ceramic pot that comes with a removable drainage plug for excess water. It also comes with a rope and pre-drilled holes, so all you need now is a strong hook! This hanging pot is suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

#5: Best For Large Succulents – Aveyas 6/8/10 Inch Ceramic Planter Pot

This sleek, modern pot is perfect for larger succulents! It comes with both a drainage plug and a saucer so you can really control the pot’s drain holes and protect your furniture. This pot also comes with a matching pot stand, a drainage net, and planter filler to add even more drainage to the bottom of your pot!

Your large succulents are definitely going to enjoy being in one of these!

Those are my best pots for succulents! If you still have questions, check out the frequently asked questions below, or join my plant community on Facebook, Houseplants for Plant Killers!

Then if you’re looking for your next step in your succulent journey, download my free resource, the Succulent Care Guide!

Happy Digging!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do succulents need deep pots?

Larger succulents need deep pots, but small succulents would die in deep pots. The trick is to plant your succulent in a pot that is only an inch or two deeper than its current pot. This way, the root system will be able to reach the water all the way at the bottom of your pot.

Do succulents grow better in pots?

Most plants grow better when planted in the ground. However, if your environment isn’t hot and dry, then your succulents would actually prefer to be in a pot, where they will have better drainage and can be brought indoors when it gets cold or damp.

Can succulents stay in small pots?

Some small succulent varieties will stay perfectly happy in their small pots. However, some larger succulents will grow to where they don’t have enough room and will eventually need to be repotted into larger pots. This all depends on your type of succulent and its mature size and growth habit.

Do succulents like to be crowded?

Yes. If your succulents are in a wide pot, they do better if they are crowded. This lessens the possibility of your pot having drainage issues. It also makes the most beautiful succulent arrangements. So feel free to pack them in!

Do you put succulents in plastic pots?

Yes, you can. Just make sure that your pot still has good drainage. Don’t use plastic pots for outdoor succulents, though, as these tend to heat up, dry out, and fall over more than ceramic pots. For indoor use, however, plastic pots will be just fine.

What is the easiest succulent to grow?

There are a number of succulents that are easier to grow than others. These include haworthias, echeverias, and sedums. For a complete list, check out my post 12 Easiest Succulents to Grow Indoors.

How often should you water a succulent?

Generally, you should water your succulents once the soil has become dry, but before it begins to pull away from the sides of your pot. This is usually between every five to seven days, depending on the amount of sunlight, temperature, and season. Check out my post “How Often Should I Water my Succulent” for more details.

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The 5 Signs your Plants Need Filtered Water

Do you REALLY need filtered water for your plants? I know there is a huge controversy about benefits vs costs, but after doing some research (… a LOT of research…), I’ve found that yes, effects can be small. But small things add up. 

A favorite podcaster of mine always stresses this when he points out that if you had a penny that doubled every day for only 30 days, by the end of the month you would have over 5 MILLION dollars! Just from a single penny! (Rob Dial, The Mindset Mentor)

So when I think about watering my plants, I think about how many drops I am giving them every day, every week, every year. It really adds up! And that’s why I use filtered water.

But the decision is ultimately up to you. I’m just here to point out the 5 signs that your plants might need filtered water. 

*Note: This post contains affiliate links, which if purchased, I will receive a small portion of the profits. This helps me keep providing this information to all of you. But, I only promote products that I have personally tried and love!*

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Sign #1 – Brown leaf tips, or brown, dying spots

Brown leaf tips and brown, dying (necrotic) spots can be caused by a few different factors, but they have both been linked to problems with water contamination. Now, this isn’t saying that your tap water is dangerous to drink… instead, it’s just dangerous to some of your more sensitive plants.

These two contaminants are chlorine, a chemical used to kill harmful bacteria in water, and flouride, a chemical that is actually added to water as it helps people have healthier teeth.

An excess of chlorine is what contributes to brown leaf tips in sensitive plants. These plants include: palms, spider plants, dracaena, azaleas, camellias, gardenias, etc.

An excess of fluoride, however, causes necrotic spots along leaf edges. These fluoride-sensitive plants include those listed above as well as ti plants, prayer plants, and calatheas.

So if your plants are showing either of these symptoms, then it’s a sign you need filtered water.

Sign #2 – It’s hot outside

You might not know this, but the concentration of chemicals in your drinking water will actually change with the weather. This is because most water treatment plants are outdoors, and the variation in temperatures can cause different levels of bacterial and microbial growth.

It has been seen that as it gets hotter, water treatment plants need to use more chlorine than usual to kill these microbes. So if it’s getting hot outside, then not only will your plants need more water, but they will also have a higher chance of absorbing too much chlorine.

https://medium.com/@HomeWaterPros/chlorine-levels-in-drinking-water-reach-their-peak-during-the-end-of-summer-77e4f8b72358

Sign #3 – Your Soil is Turning White

A common question that a lot of people ask me is… “What is that white stuff on my soil? And how do I get rid of it?” The short answer is, this is a mineral build-up, and you need to leach it from the soil.

The problem with this short answer, though, is that this mineral build-up is most commonly caused by sodium carbonate… a chemical used to “soften” water (which usually makes it taste better when we drink it). 

These salts, while they might not be too harmful to us, can eventually lead to some major problems for our plants, especially if the soil is never replaced or leached. (After all, there’s a reason why the Salt Flats don’t have a lot of vegetation y’all!)

So, I recommend that people leach out their pots… (running a bunch of water through the soil to flush out any harmful chemicals or built-up minerals). This will be harder for those of you with garden plants, but even with indoor plants, it can take a lot of time and a warm location where the soil can dry.

The one problem, though, is how useful is leaching if you’re using the same water that contains the same amounts of sodium as before? So you see how it really is a short-term solution that doesn’t change the root of the problem.

Sign #4 – Your Plant isn’t Growing as Big

This sign is mainly for outdoor and garden plants, but it can also apply to indoor plants.

To dive into the “why” of this sign, we need to remember that water treatment plants have the goal to kill microbes that are living in our water. In fact, it is the water treatment plants that help keep us safe from cholera, E. coli, and Giardia. So they add chlorine, trihalomethanes (TTHM), and haloacetic acids (HAA5) to our water to kill any living microbes.

The problem with this, though, is that it kills beneficial microbes as well.

These beneficial microbes (like mycorrhizae) help break down nutrients in the soil so they can be absorbed by the plant roots. This is one reason why most quality fertilizers contain beneficial microbes.

So if your plants aren’t growing as fast, it could be because the chemicals in your water are killing these beneficial microbes, leaving your plants on their own.

https://extension.umd.edu/resource/chlorine-toxicity

Sign #5 – You’re Not on Well Water

Well water can actually be better for plants than city water because it usually has fewer disinfecting chemicals, less or no fluoride, and higher mineral (a.k.a. nutrient) concentrations. But if you’re on “city” water, then you might like it more, but your plants will get the short end of the stick!

Those are the 5 signs that your plants need filtered water.

And if you’re now thinking you need a filter, I personally use and love this water filter system from GrowMax Water. I chose this one because I can use it for my indoor plants all winter (when it’s cold outside!), and then I can bring it outdoors in the summer to use for my garden!

It’s super light and connects to both under my sink, and onto my spigot! I just love this little guy!

filter option if your plants need filtered water

If you have any more plant-related questions, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email. You can also join my Facebook group, “Houseplants for Plant Killers” to receive personalized help and plant tips whenever you need!

Happy Digging!

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3 Simple Steps to Grow Roses from Cut Flowers

Grow Roses from Cut Flowers Featured Image

Hey everyone! And welcome again to another awesome post! Today I wanted to talk about how you can actually grow roses from cut flowers! Like actual rose bushes from your bouquets! Let’s get started!

So first, I have to admit, when I heard about this cut flower-to-plant idea, I was pretty skeptical. I did some research and saw that yes, some people were actually having success growing their roses into plants, and after several months of testing, I finally did as well. But you have to do it right, or you’ll just end up with a bunch of dead stems…

Here are the 3 steps:

  1. Prepare your Cutting
  2. Root in Water
  3. Transplant in Soil
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Step 1: Prepare your Cutting

In order to be successful, you NEED to have a good, healthy cutting. Select a cut flower that hasn’t begun to wilt yet. Also, make sure that the stem doesn’t have any brown portions in the middle.

For this post, my cutting’s leaves had a bit of yellow in the veins. I normally prefer them to not have any yellow in the leaves, but they were the only cut flowers I had at the time… that being said, I only kept the best leaves on each stem…

How to Grow Roses from Cut Flowers - Step 1: Prepare your Cutting

Next, cut off the main flower. I know this can be hard to do, but trust me… the cutting won’t have enough energy to continue to bloom and to grow a root system.

Also, try to cut just above a node on the stem. (A node is where there is a growing point… usually where a set of leaves connect to the stem…)

Cut off the flower
Nodes

Once you’ve cut off the flower, find the section of the stem that is the older, more woody section. The section of young growth that connects to the actual flower WILL NOT root. So make sure that you use the older base of the stem and not the young, flexible stem at the top.

Remove the majority of the leaves from your stem. I like to leave 1-2 branches of leaves, but this should only contain about 2-3 leaves in total. If there are any large leaves, cut them off, or trim them to be smaller.

Cut off leaves

Then, cut the bottom of your stem at a 45 degree angle. This angle will maximize the area of stem that is in contact with your water and will maximize the area that is available to root!

Cut end of stem
How to Grow Roses from Cut Flowers Step 1: Cut base at 45 degree angle

Last, cut light, superficial slits (just a scratch) up the sides of your stem. This will also increase the area that is available for more water to enter the plant and for more roots to form!

Cut superficial slits into base

Step 2: Root the Cutting

Over the past year or so, I’ve experimented with several different types of rooting methods: in soil, in straight water, and in a hydroponic-style system. Rooting stems in soil proved to be difficult to keep the soil moisture levels evenly and lightly moist, so the BEST way to root stems was definitely in straight water or using a hydroponic system.

To root your cuttings in water, simply place it in a thin, tall container of water and make sure that all of your leaves stay dry. Switch out the water every few days to keep it aerated and free from bacterial growth. Then simply wait several weeks for either roots or scar tissue to form.

Grow Roses from Cut Flowers Step 2: Root in Water

A hydroponic system also works well for rooting our cuttings. Watch the video below for an easy, effective way to root your cuttings using a plastic pot, perlite, and a large plastic bag. Just be sure to change out your water every few days with this system as well.

Step #3: Transplant in Soil

Once your cutting has rooted, transplant it into a pot with soil. To have a successful transition, keep the soil from completely drying out in between watering for the first few weeks. The longer it has been in the soil, the more dry it can stand to be between watering. Your final transition should be to let your soil dry down to the top 1 inch in between watering, but this should only be done once the cutting has fully rooted (from several weeks to months depending on how many roots your cutting had when it was placed in soil).

If you are planning on planting your cutting outdoors, then make sure that it has fully rooted and has some new growth before you move it outdoors. Then, place it outdoors for only a short period of time. Then slowly increase the time it is outdoors until it is used to being outdoors 24/7.

One more thing to consider is that your variety of rose might not do well in your particular climate. Try to keep it out of hot, direct sunlight if you live in hot climates. On the flip side, bring your plant indoors or wrap it to give it additional protection from freezing temperatures. If you want to know which rose varieties will do well in your area, check out this map that shows which roses do best in different regions of the USA! (For all my readers outside the USA, you can still compare the USA hardiness zone and climate to your own local conditions!)

That’s it! And remember, the success rate is going to be low because of the anti-rooting chemicals they use on roses before they are shipped. This is why rooting your cut roses will take a lot longer and will be less successful than if you were to simply root a cutting from a bush. If you’re lucky enough to have a cutting though, check out my post on the Easiest Method to Grow Rose Bushes from Cuttings! Good luck, and let me know in the comments how it goes! Then feel free to subscribe to my email list to receive even more awesome tips and instructions for your plants!

Happy Digging!

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How to Grow Roses from Cut Flowers Pinterest Image

15 Fire Resistant Perennials

Looking at making your yard more fire-safe? Check out my previous post on creating a fire-safe yard, and check out this awesome list of fire-resistant perennial plants!

So what makes a plant fire-resistant? Mainly, plants are fire-resistant if they are free of sap or resin that can easily catch fire, as well as they have more water stored in their leaves, making them harder to burn. There are a surprising number of fire-resistant plants available for the landscape, giving you plenty of options for your specific style. However, remember that no plant is fire-proof and can still catch fire depending on fire intensity and weather patterns. But, planting fire-resistant plants will give your home an added measure of protection and might just buy you some needed time.*

Here’s the list!

**Note: This post contains affiliate links, which if purchased, I will receive a portion of the profits at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with this awesome information!**

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#1: Coneflower – Echinacea purpurea

Coneflower is not only fire-resistant, but it is also one of my favorites to see in the landscape! Bright purple, pink, and white flowers bloom on long stems that are perfect for cut flower arrangements. They are also low-water and like full sun. Coneflower also attracts butterflies, and is deer resistant. What an awesome plant! (Hardiness zones 3-8)

Get your coneflower here!

#2: Blanket Flower – Gaillardia var.

Blanket flower reminds me of a Native American blanket spread out along the yard. How pretty! Beautiful blooms range in combinations of red, orange, yellow, and gold will fill your space from early summer to early fall. These large blooms attract butterflies and do well as cut flowers on the taller varieties. Blanket flower prefers full sun, but is also low-water and does well in drought conditions. (Hardiness zones 3-9)

Find it here!

#3: Plantain Lily – Hosta spp.

Plantain Lily, also known as Hostas, do well in the shade garden. Ranging in leaf color from blue-green to silver, these hardy perennials are known for their gorgeous foliage. Their flowers are also pretty, but often overshadowed by the patterned leaves. In colder climates hostas will die back in the wintertime, but will send up new shoots in the spring! Just make sure that when new plants are getting established that they stay moist, but not wet. It is easy for hostas to get crown rot if its base gets too much water. (Hardiness zones 3-9)

Get some amazing hostas here!

#4: Trumpet Vine – Campsis radicans

Trumpet vine is a beautiful vining plant that produces orange and red flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. While some people would tell you to never plant trumpet vine due to its tendency to become invasive, it can be controlled if given the time necessary. Regular and heavy pruning, as well as proper placement and care for suckers will keep this fast growing vine under control. Make sure to have a sturdy support, as well as don’t place it near any buildings or have it climb up trees to avoid damage. All in all, this is a very beautiful, fast-growing vine, but needs to only be planted by those who have the time and dedication to keep it under control. (Hardiness zones 4-9)

Find it here!

#5: Columbine – Aquilegia spp.

Columbine is also one of my favorite plants! Flowers come in any color of the rainbow and will bloom all summer long! Plant columbine in partial shade and it will be extremely low maintenance and drought tolerant. These plants are short-lived, but will readily re-seed. New plants will take 2-3 years to flower, but will still produce the unique, clover-shaped leaves of mature plants. In addition to being fire-resistant, these plants are also deer resistant, as well as attract butterflies and hummingbirds. What an awesome plant! (Hardiness zones 3-9)

Find it here!

#6: Lavender – Lavandula spp.

This well-known plant will be very resistant to flames as long as it is kept moist. Lavender is extremely popular due to its natural scent, beneficial oils, and pretty purple or white blooms. What some people might not know, however, is that Lavender is also fairly drought tolerant and attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and is deer resistant. No wonder so many people have this in their yards! (Hardiness zones 4-8)

Find it here!

#7: Coreopsis – Coreopsis spp.

Coreopsis’ bright yellow flowers are hard to miss! A great self-seeder, most plants are perennials, though they do have some annual varieties available. Once established, these little plants are very drought tolerant. They can also tolerate partial shade, especially in warmer climates. Deadheading spent flowers can prolong bloom time, but if left on, coreopsis seeds are a great source of food for birds during the wintertime! (Hardiness zones 4-9)

Find it here!

#8: Delphinium – Delphinium spp.

Delphinium is often thought of as a somewhat difficult plant to care for. However, with proper care, anyone with the right conditions can grow these amazing stalks of color. Just make sure that your delphinium gets plenty of morning sun, but has some shade in the afternoon, especially in hot climates. Also, make sure that this little guy stays moist. Delphinium doesn’t like to dry out. Varieties include flowers ranging from the classic blue to red, white, and lavender. Make sure that any tall flower stalks are properly staked or else they can easily break off. (Hardiness zones 3-7)

Find it here!

#9: Yarrow – Achillea spp.

This low-maintenance plant is perfect for the fire-resistant yard! With blooms in red, yellow, orange, purple, or white, anyone can find the perfect spot for these drought-tolerant plants. Just make sure to provide full sun and well-draining soil. Deadheading throughout the summer will ensure nearly constant blooms and add lots of color to your yard. (Hardiness zones 3-9)

Check out this yellow variety!

#10: Sage – Salvia spp.

This multi-use plant is great for not only the outdoors, but can also be dried and used in the kitchen! Sage leaves are what is used for the popular seasoning, but plants will also produce white, purple, pink, or blue flowers in late spring. This aromatic plant will also attract butterflies and birds into your garden! So consider this as a great fire-resistant plant that will also give you a great harvest. (Hardiness zones 5-9)

Find it here!

#11: Penstemon – Penstemon spp.

Penstemons are a great drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plant! With stunning purple, pink, blue, white, yellow, or red flower spikes, this plant is sure to draw attention as a specimen plant, or provide a colorful background when planted in groups. Plant in full sun and once established, these tough perennials will only need infrequent, deep watering. These tall flowers will also attract plenty of bees and hummingbirds to your yard. (Hardiness zones 3-8)

Find it here!

#12: Yucca – Yucca spp.

Yuccas are one of the most common desert plants grown in the landscape. Their sword-like leaves come in many shades of greens and blues and can even be variegated with yellow and white. Yuccas produce large white flowers in the late summer and will grow in very poor soil conditions. Just make sure to not overwater as this plant doesn’t like to stay wet. This low-maintenance, drought-resistant plant is perfect for the fire-resistant yard! (Hardiness zones 4-11)

Find it here!

#13: Honeysuckle – Lonicera spp.

Honeysuckle vines are among the same classification as trumpet vine in the fact that they can also become invasive if not properly cared for. Make sure to keep this vine (or groundcover) well contained in a specific area. Then make sure to do some heavy pruning every fall. Honeysuckle also does well in full sun to partial shade, but if the top is allowed to grow too big, it can overshadow the lower vines, causing them to lose some of their leaves and become more of a woody plant. To avoid this, make sure that you thin out the top branches to allow some light to reach the lower portion of the plant. Once this fast grower is tamed, however, you can sit back and enjoy this fragrant beauty! (Hardiness zones 4-9)

Find it here!

#14: Evening Primrose – Oenothera spp.

There are many different reasons to grow this native flower in your yard. Not only is it fire-resistant, but Evening Primrose is also grown for its medicinal and culinary use. Soft pink, yellow, and white blooms open every evening and stay open through the night. They grow well from seed and thrive in full sun to partial shade. This hardy annual (or perennial depending on your climate and variety) is also drought-tolerant once established and the seeds are also edible for human consumption as well as a popular attraction for birds. (Hardiness zones 3-11)

Get some seed here!

#15: Daylily – Hemerocallis spp.

Daylilies are another of my favorite plants! These little guys have thick, grass-like leaves that soften any border in the landscape. Their blooms rise above the plant and show off large, star-shaped flowers that come in thousands of different colors and varieties. Daylilies do well in full sun to partial shade and need only a moderate amount of water. Once established they need very little care besides thinning them out every several years.  (Hardiness zones 3 to 9)

For a colorful collection, get it here!

There’s my list of fire-resistant plants! There are many more than these, I just went with some of the more common plants that are easily found in the local garden center. Just remember that no plant is fire-proof, but that plants listed as fire-resistant will be much harder to get a flame going than other common landscape plants. And for tips on how to create a fire-resistant yard, check out my post here!

Happy digging!

*Note: This is in no way a means of providing insurance against fire. All content is the author’s opinion and is thereby not liable for any damages to any person or property, whether brought about by fire or any other causes.*

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12 Best Plants for the Shade

One big problem that I see within landscapes is that dreaded shade circle. Usually people don’t plan for shady areas and end up planting the same grass, shrubs, or annuals in the shady and sunny regions of their yard. Most often, this leaves an area that is full and thriving in one area, then looks like it is dying five feet over. But here is a way to fix it! Remember to plant shade areas with shade-loving plants! What a concept! Don’t know what to plant? Here is a list of some of the more common plants for the shade…

*Note: If you really have no way around re-planting, but are left with dying plants, another alternative is if it is a tree or other plant that is causing the shade, try thinning out the shade. This is done via selective pruning. It is best to hire an arborist to prune large trees, but can also be done yourself if you have the proper experience and safety gear.*

**Note: This post contains affiliate links, which if purchased, I will receive a portion of the profits at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with this awesome information!**

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Plants for the Shade #1: False Goat’s Beard – Astilbe

Found in most nurseries as simply Astilbe, this perennial is good for zones 3-9. There are many different varieties available that range from 6 inches to 5 feet in height. They are also available in white, red, pink, purple, and blue varieties. Astilbe does well in partial shade to full shade (though it won’t flower quite as much in full shade). It needs protection from hot afternoon sun as this can cause the leaves to burn. Astilbe also does well in pots that are left in shady areas. Just remember to keep these plants a bit moist as they don’t like to dry out!

Find it here!

Plants for the Shade #2: Hostas – Hosta

Hostas are a very common shade plant. And it’s clear to see why! There are thousands of different varieties of this plant, each one showing off its different patterns and shades of green, yellow, and white leaves. Hostas will also flower, but they are normally planted for their foliage, not their flowers. These plants vary in how much sun they require (depending on the variety), but all hostas will either like partial shade or full shade. Deer do like to much on these plants, though, so make sure to plant deer-resistant plants surrounding your hostas if you are in an area that has a lot of deer.

Find it here!

Plants for the Shade #3: Coral Bells – Heuchera

This is another plant that has very attractive foliage! Coral bells is a hardy perennial (down to zone 3!) and leaves come in colors ranging from red, orange, and yellow to dark green, purple, and near black! These plants will flower late spring to early summer and spent booms can be removed to show off the colorful leaves. Coral bells also does well in pots and are best in part shade to full shade conditions. Make sure to keep them slightly moist (but not drowning!) and enjoy these colorful plants all year long!

Find it here!

Plants for the Shade #4: Sweet Woodruff – Galium odoratum

Sweet Woodruff was originally grown for its sweet, fresh fragrance as well as its medicinal and edible uses. Hardy from zones 4-9, this pretty perennial loves the shade and will bloom from late spring to mid- summer. Reaching a height of only 1 foot, this is a great groundcover for large areas. It is also deer resistant. Be careful, though, as Sweet Woodruff can become invasive. They spread through underground rhizomes, so make sure that the area has a border and that any plants outside of the area is removed every spring. (Photo by Jean Gaffard)

Find it here!

Plants for the Shade #5: Japanese Forest Grass – Hakonechloa macra

This is one of my favorite grasses! This perennial grass not only does well in partially shaded borders and planters, but also does well in partially shaded pots. It has green foliage (and a variety with cream colored leaf margins!) and it will turn red in the fall as it prepares to go dormant. Japanese Forest Grass will also bloom, but flowers are small and inconspicuous. This grass is also deer resistant and slow-growing, making it a great landscape plant! (Photo by Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid)

Find it here!

Plants for the Shade #6: Columbine – Aquilegia

Columbine plants are a great option for areas with partial shade. These plants can tolerate full sun in cooler climates, but need partial shade in warmer regions. This native plant has many different varieties to choose from. So many in fact, that you can find columbine in any color you want! Columbine do have short lives (around 3-4 years), but they will re-seed easily and the new seedlings will produce flowers starting in their second year. There are also drought-tolerant varieties available, making it great for anyone looking to cut back on their water bill!

Find it here!

Plants for the Shade #7: Ferns

Ferns are great for shady spaces! They not only do well in the shade garden, but also thrive in indoor and outdoor pots, making them great for any area that doesn’t receive much sunlight. There are many different types of ferns available, so choose one that is the right size and has the upright or hanging form that you like. Depending on your climate, some ferns may die back in the winter, whereas some ferns will actually be evergreen! And don’t worry too much about your gardening experience… ferns are some of the easiest plants to grow!

Check out this Japanese Painted Fern!

Plants for the Shade #8: Bleeding Heart – Lamprocapnos spectabilis

This shade-loving perennial is also one of the easiest perennials to grow! Foliage and flowers emerge in early spring and plants will thrive in cool, shady locations. After blooming and with the hot summer temperatures, Bleeding Heart will have an early fall and the leaves will turn yellow and die back. These can be trimmed back in preparation for the next spring’s pink and white show!

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Plants for the Shade #9: Lenten Rose – Helleborus orientalis

Lenten Rose is one of the most popular shade plants. With flowers available in white, green, red, pink, purple, and even a near black, this plant has a lot of colors to choose from! Lenten Rose can grow in zones 3-9 but will be evergreen in any zone above 5. These late-winter to early-spring blooms are also deer and rabbit resistant, which makes them great for forested regions. They also love the shade and once established, can even tolerate dry conditions. Overall, they are an easy-to-care-for perennial that will make you want to keep planting more!

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Plants for the Shade #10: Caladium – Caladium

Also known as Elephant ear, Caladium has very showy leaves that range in colors of greens, reds, whites, pinks, and purples. This plant prefers partial shade and is only a perennial down to zone 9. However, in colder climates, the tubers can be dug up in the fall to be stored in a cool, dry place until the following spring. Caladiums can also be grown in pots for easily placing indoors during the winter. Though Caladiums require a bit more care, their bright, colorful leaves are definitely worth the extra effort!

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Plants for the Shade #11: Hydrangea – Hydrangea spp.

Hydrangeas are an ever-popular plant and it’s no question why! These guys do great in partial shade and there are even some varieties that are more tolerant to full shade. Their great, big bundles of blooms are either white, green, or the famous blue (in acidic soil) and pink (in alkaline soil). There are also hydrangeas that do well from zones 3-9, thus making it the perfect option for many people in various climates. Just make sure that they receive a bit of attention during the winter to ensure their safety!

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Plants for the Shade #12: Mondo Grass – Ophiopogon japonicus

Mondo grass is also very popular in the landscape. With both green and black varieties, Mondo grass can be grown in borders, planters, pots, or even as a lawn! It can tolerate full sun, but will have a darker color in partial shade. This is perfect for areas that are a mix of sun and shade. This perennial grow only 6 to 10 inches tall, making it perfect for a low border, or to add an additional layer to planting beds! (Photo by brewbooks)

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There’s my list of 12 plants for the shade! There are many more perennial plants that can tolerate the shade, but I tried to keep it to plants that are more common and readily available at any local nursery. And if you live in warmer zones, or are okay with an annual, check out my list of 14 Coleus Varieties for the Shade! Then feel free to comment about any of these plants, as well as any other plants that you have found to be successful in your own shade garden!

Happy digging!

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Deciding which Plants to Keep when Landscaping

We’ve all been there… Landscaping, pruning, or even just doing a bit of yard cleanup… There’s always at least one plant that we’re trying to decide what we should do with it. Should we keep it as is, move it somewhere else, or just finally get rid of it??? This can be a tough decision, but here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you decide…

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Question #1: Do I love it?

We’ve all been there and had that plant that we just couldn’t ever think to get rid of! Whether it’s the beautiful flowers, wonderful smell, or just the memories attached, we have a hard time letting go. It could be the last plant standing in the middle of a complete yard makeover. Or it could be located right where you want to put the pool. Either way, there are ways to work past this…

Consider transplanting, potting, or getting a cutting! This way your beloved plant will still be around, but won’t be in the way of any renovations…

But, if you only like it, then toss it. There will be plenty of future plants for you to absolutely fall in love with!

Question #2: Is it too big?

This is what gets most homeowners. They plant everything perfectly, then three years later, one plant has grown so big it looks like it’s trying to take over the world! If you can trim it back, go for it. But there’s usually a reason why you haven’t gotten to it yet (see my question on time). Or, if it can’t be easily trimmed back without looking garish, then think about removing the whole thing. It’s better to plant something to fit the space than to be battling it for years…

Question #3: Is it in the way?

Most plants that are in the way are just too big, but occasionally we can have smaller plants that are also just plain in the way. This reminds me of my friend who has some bushes lining her front walkway. She keeps them well trimmed, but the walkway is so small that people are constantly brushing into it. Get more than two people on her front step and it gets claustrophobic! So, I suggested… get rid of the plant! Open it up! You should never have to squeeze past a plant or trudge through a flower bed unless you’re retrieving a lost soccer ball.

Question #4: How much time does it require?

Let’s get real here. How much time do you really spend in the yard? Maybe an hour a week? Some people spend more time, some people spend less time. So, if you’re constantly running short on time and not ever getting around to your yard’s To-Do list, then it’s time that you make it easier on yourself. What is taking the most time in your yard? Is it mowing the grass? Edging? Or is it trimming back the hedges? Whatever it is, there are ways to fix it. Consider mixing things up and think of what you can change in your yard to make it less of a burden. I promise you’ll enjoy it much more when you’re not stressed about all those To-Do’s.

Question #5: How much water does it need?

This question has become really important in the last few years. With water prices rising, sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we really want to invest that much money into watering those guzzlers! Consider replacing with low-water alternatives. Or, consider transplanting all the water-loving plants into one area of the yard. That way you can flood the one section without wasting it on the rest of the yard that doesn’t really need the extra liquids.

Question #6: Is it invasive?

Let me suggest this one thing… If it’s invasive, get rid of it. And make sure you get rid of all of it. Now, I realize that there are a lot of invasive plants that people absolutely love. These plants are fine to grow if you know what you’re doing.

First off, know how it spreads. If it spreads through the roots, consider planting in pots or in designated beds that are separated by concrete. Believe me, invasive root systems can be a pain to get rid of if they have time to get established.

If they spread through seed, however, be considerate of neighbors and don’t plant it where it can spread to other yards. Also try to stay up with the pre-emergent herbicides to keep those seeds from spreading.

This is why I suggest just getting rid of it. If the plant has invasive tendencies, then either take it out once and for all, or make sure that you have the time available to properly care for your plant.

Question #7: How well is it doing?

If your plant is thriving where it is, then don’t worry about it. But if it is looking like it’s been having a rough time, consider either transplanting it or getting rid of it. Sometimes a plant can do better in either a sunnier location, or one that gets a bit more shade. Other times, it might be right on the edge of surviving the cold winters or hot summers and might do best in a pot where it can be moved indoors in extreme weather. Or, if it is just not doing well and there are other problems with it (like you don’t really love it, or it’s in the way, etc…) then just get rid of it.

I hope this list helped you to determine what to do with the plants in your yard. And remember, not all plants are the same. Just like not all people are the same. A person has groups that they get along with and groups that they can’t stand! It’s the same with plants. If you are having bad thoughts about a particular plant, then consider replacing it with something that works better. If you do your research, then odds are that you’ll find a replacement plant that you absolutely love! And that’s what you deserve… a yard filled with things that you love.

And for more awesome tips on landscaping, check out my post, Designing your Yard in 10 Easy Steps!

Happy digging!

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14 Coleus Varieties to bring Color to your Shade Garden

Do you need plants for your shade garden? Let’s talk about one amazing plant that’s coming back into the modern garden… coleus! Whether to add to a more formal garden bed, or be placed in a colorful, moving pot, this plant just keeps giving us more and greater flexibility and styles. And because of its ability to grow fast from seed, we have a lot of different coleus varieties for the shade! Plant breeders have had a fun time discovering new colors and patterns… from the vibrant, smooth greens, to the twisted, curly reds, this plant has been doing it all! And remember, coleus does well in shade or in partial sun. It also does best in slightly moist soil. So here are 14 of the most common types of coleus varieties for your shade garden!

Note: The scientific name of Coleus is Solenostemon scutellarioides, so technically all of the following names are S. scutellarioides ‘Variety’. However, most nurseries will recognize the name Coleus much faster, so I will refer to them simply as Coleus.

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1. Coleus ‘Watermelon’

This Coleus does great in the flower beds, with a bright pink center rimmed with a light green, almost feathery leaf. This is one of the most popular varieties of coleus sold in garden centers. And, it is also one of my own personal favorites!

2. Coleus ‘Fishnet’

‘Fishnet’ Coleus adds a whole lot of texture to any landscape. With dark purple veins emphasizing the jagged cut leaves, this variety will make a bold statement. For an even more Gothic look, try out the variety ‘Under the Sea Fishnet’. A close relative, but quite the daring sibling.

3. Coleus ‘Alabama’

Also known as Alabama sunset, and sometimes called Alabama sunrise, this coleus features yellow centers, pink leaves, and a slightly toothed leaf texture.

4. Coleus ‘Dark Star’

This is a crowd favorite! The ‘Dark Star’ is a great way to add those deep black hues into the garden for the entire season. And these black plants add quite a bit of popular drama!

5. Coleus ‘Rustic Orange’

This Coleus is one of the several in the orange and red range. ‘Rustic Orange’ keeps it lighter with the yellow-green border, but there are several deep orange and red options too, such as ‘Ruby Slipper’, ‘Campfire’, and ‘Inferno’.

6. Coleus ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’

Chocolate Covered Cherry is known for its bright red centers, dark red middles, and bright green edges. Quite the contrast in colors, this twisted foliage is sure to draw attention!

7. Coleus ‘Chaotic Rose’

While this Coleus brings a lot of the same colors as the ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’, the thin, needle-like leaves add a much sharper texture. This can be very useful as a break from the many large, round flowering species’ foliage.

8. Coleus ‘Henna’

‘Henna’ is also a great texture plant. With it’s ruffled leaves and the distinctive reddish-brown color, this Coleus will definitely add some variety to a pot or even an entire bed. Coleus ‘Indian Summer’ is also very similar, but brings in more of a purple tone, rather than the more bold reds of ‘Henna’.

9. Coleus ‘Dipt in Wine’

This fantastic variety is also one of the crowd favorites! With very similar colors to ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’ and ‘Chaotic Rose’, this variety has a distinctive speckling of the leaves, almost like the wine-colored reds are dripping off each individual leaf. This adds almost a mosaic of color from the entire plant.

10. Coleus ‘Painted Lady’

The ‘Painted Lady’ Coleus is very similar and often called the ‘Finger Paint’ Coleus. Both have very distinctive red splotches of color in a random scattering over the light green leaves.

11. Coleus ‘Trusty Rusty’

‘Trusty Rusty’ is a gorgeous blend of a red center with a light yellow-green border. This variety is also one of the more common varieties and is used in pots and beds as either group plantings, borders, or even individually. This is a well-adaptable variety that brings in that extra splash of color.

12. Coleus ‘Limelight’

There are several varieties of the bright green coleus, including ‘Limelight’, ‘Lime Time’, and ‘Electric Lime’. These all have very light, almost neon colors that look great backed against darker foliage.

13. Coleus ‘Inky Fingers’

Boasting its delicate, lobed foliage, the contrasting purple and green adds vibrant color as well as rich texture in the landscape.

14. Coleus ‘Chocolate Mint’

With just a ribbon of green to lace its edges, there is an almost delicate, lace feel to these leaves. The only thing is I wish this plant really smelled like chocolate mint!

That’s all I’ve included for today. However, there are over a thousand different cultivars of coleus varieties for the shade, so please be understanding if your favorite is not on this list. Please comment below if there are any more you’d like to share, and check out my post 12 Best Plants for the Shade for more plants that will do well in your shade garden!

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How to Start Seeds Indoors: 10 Tips to have Success

Whether you’re getting a jump-start to your garden or simply want some plants around the house for a cheaper price, starting from seed is great! However, it can also sometimes be tricky and frustrating. But with these 10 tips and tricks, you’ll be planting like a pro! Here is how to grow seeds indoors, with 10 tips to ensure that you have success!

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Tip #1: Only use good seed…

This may seem like a no-brainer, but for all those who are hoarding seed packets out there, either plant them, or throw them out. Check the back of the seed packages for the expiration date. This date is when the seeds start getting less and less viable (fewer of the seeds will actually sprout). Storing seeds in a dry, cool place can prolong their lifespan, but make sure that you don’t wait too long. Also, purchase your seed from a reputable seed company, not just from some rando off the street! Remember, you won’t grow anything from a bad seed, no matter how good you are. (Yes, I’m looking at you seeds from ebay that never grow!!!)

Apium_graveolens_seeds
Photo by Amada44

Tip #2: Plant in shallow containers…

The depth of soil underneath your seedlings is actually very important. Due to some physics and absorbency ratios (which I’m not going to bore you with), basically, the more soil beneath, the harder it is for your seeds to get the water. But don’t go too shallow that there’s no room for your seedling. Somewhere in the 3″-6″ range should be good for most seed, but it may vary depending on the size of your seed. The smaller the seed, the less soil it needs beneath. The bigger the seed, the more soil it needs.

Grow Seeds Inside

Tip #3: Have proper drainage…

There are many different types of containers you can use for planting your seedlings in… from commercial seed pots, to handmade newspaper pots, to old salad containers. I’ve seen and used many different makeshift as well as professional pots. But one thing they all have to have in common is good drainage. Without proper drainage, all the water will soak to the bottom of the pot and stay there, leaving either just the top (where the seeds are) all dried up, or it can lead to a big wet mess (which can lead to a lot of other problems like mold and fungal growth). So if you are using any recycled plastics or containers, just poke some holes into the bottom to let some of that extra moisture out.

Grow Seeds Inside

Tip #4: Use good soil…

Not all soil is made the same… quite literally! I once bought some extremely cheap soil that turned out to be just a mix of clay and decomposing pine needles. And do you know what my plants did in it? Absolutely nothing. No growth, no flowering, no nothing. Basically, you get what you pay for. So don’t try to take a cheaper way out (unless you’re doing your own composting, in which case be very careful that it is done correctly.) But for seeds, use only clean soil – a good soil will have a weed seed count on the back. Try to get one with a very low weed seed count, as well as make sure it contains a lot of organic material. You can also purchase soil that is specifically for seedlings, as it may contain additional fertilizers or other ingredients that increase drainage and will give your seeds the best environment possible. So consult your budget and see what works best for you. But remember… with soil, you get what you pay for!

Tip #5: Don’t let it get too hot…

Don’t let your pots get too warm. This is different from heating mats, which I absolutely LOVE and recommend LIKE CRAZY!!!! (Here’s the heating mat that I personally use and LOVE!!!) While heating mats and bottom heat can be beneficial, make sure that there are no hot drafts blowing over the top of your little seedlings. The biggest culprit here is the heater. Don’t place your pots in direct line of these hot currents. You don’t want the top of your soil to dry out because it can cause your seedlings to wilt and to die from the top heat. You also don’t want to expose some seedlings to direct sunlight in hot temperatures. This can lead to drying out of the top of the soil, and it can also scorch any sensitive new seedlings emerging with their small, delicate leaves.

Tip #6: Don’t let it get too cold…

Just like tip #5, you want to keep your pots at a good temperature. Starting seeds during the winter can be hard as indoor temperatures are generally colder and there can also be dangerous cold drafts from windows and doors. A big thing is to add additional heat to your soil through a heating mat. Often, indoor temperatures are still too cold for the seedlings to germinate. To fix this (and to increase germination rates), you should heat up your soil with a heating mat. This will both increase the number of seeds that sprout, but it will also decrease the chances that your seeds will die from overwatering. For those in especially cold climates, one of the warmest places in your house during the winter is on top of your refrigerator (as long as it isn’t in direct line of a heater current). If the lighting isn’t good there, then move it once the seedlings come up. Which leads to our next tip…

Grow Seeds Inside

Tip #7: Have adequate lighting…

One of the biggest challenges indoors can be lighting. If you are lucky to have large windows and plenty of light, then enjoy! If not, then here are some tips. Having one good window as a light source, place the pot near the window (but not in any cold or hot drafts!) and turn the pot every time you water. This will help with straight growth. Now, if your seedlings are growing really tall, without a lot of leaves, then this is a sign that they need more light. There are lots of different options for supplemental lights, including boxes or strips that can even raise or lower, depending on your plant’s height. These can sometimes take up a lot of room, however, and may require some installation. My personal favorite, is this flexible lamp for those planting just a few seeds. This lamp is great for adjusting the light exactly as I need it and to continually move them as my plants get taller. Then, for those wanting to start their entire garden and then some from seed, then I would HIGHLY suggest you get this light! It’s a full-spectrum plant light that has kept my seedlings short and leafy all winter (and even grew me some GORGEOUS heads of lettuce last year in my indoor grow tent!) And on this note, remember not to place the lights too close to the seedlings as it can burn them. Likewise, too far away and the plants won’t be getting as much light as possible. Both of these plant lights are full-spectrum to be easy on your eyes, as well as have adjustable heights to help as your plants grow taller.

Grow Seeds Inside

Tip #8: Don’t under- or over-water…

Having the right amount of water is key to seedling survival. Making sure that you have proper drainage and a good soil are all important for watering success as well. But basically, you want the top of the soil to stay moist without the bottom of the pot soaking in water. As mentioned above, this can cause a lot of problems… mainly an increase in fungal problems, which is often a seedling killer. Also, you don’t want to dry those little guys out. Seeds and seedlings are very sensitive and forgetting to water them can also mean life or death. Also, when watering, make sure that you give them a gentle spray, so as to avoid washing away any little seeds or seedlings.  You don’t want a flash flood of water! Keep it to a nice little frequent sprinkle and those seeds will love it!

Tip #9: Sow at proper spacing and depth…

This may also sound pretty straightforward. However, you’d be surprised at how many seeds have a hard time because of improper seed depth and spacing. Basically, the bigger the seed, the more soil goes on top. The smaller seeds can sometimes be even just sprinkled on top of the soil and lightly pressed down to ensure good soil contact. As for spacing, follow the recommended spacing, but if the seeds are a medium to a smaller size, put a couple of seeds in each hole just to ensure that you will have at least one sprout. Then thin seedlings out to the proper spacing once they’ve sprouted.

Grow Seeds Inside

Tip #10: Transplant at the right time…

Even I’ve transplanted my seedlings too early, just to watch them die in the new soil. Basically, wait until they have two sets of true leaves to transplant into slightly larger pots, and then into the garden (weather and seasonal conditions permitting). So what exactly is two sets of true leaves? The first set of leaves are called the cotyledon leaves. They don’t count. The next set of leaves look different. They look more like whatever plant you’ve planted. This is the first set of true leaves. Then wait for a second set to grow. Once there are two sets of leaves (may be two leaves, may be four or more, depending on the type of plant) then these little guys are ready to be moved into a more permanent home.

I hope these tips have helped! Let me know if there are any other tips or tricks that you’ve found to be useful in the comments below! Then, for even easier growing, check out these 5 Effortless Indoor Herb Garden Kits!

And, for more information on starting seeds for an indoor herb garden, check out the Tips from Experts on Using Herbs and Spices at Home!

Happy digging!

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