Trending plants and how to keep them happy

Indoor plants not only make your home feel tranquil with their vibrant green foliage, they’re also great at cleaning and purifying the air by filtering out harmful contaminants. When shopping for an indoor plant, it can be overwhelming finding the right one for your home.

With the volume of plants that pass through Aloe Flora’s indoor plant studio in Maleny, Queensland, Lauren and Henry have a rather good gauge on what’s trending and the best indoor plants for your space. Whilst trends come and go with the seasons, this list of indoor beauties are very much a staple in your home for 2021.

Cacti

Aside from being drought-tolerant and virtually indestructible, the best things about cacti is you don’t need a green thumb to grow them.  Whether you keep your cacti inside or out, the general rule is to let the soil dry out completely between watering. Give your cacti a good soak allowing the water to run out the drain holes.  Ensure your cacti is kept in a pot that allows it to be very well drained, after all these are desert plants and don’t like to have their feet kept wet! Fertilise in the warmer months and place in a bright spot to allow for maximum growth.

Monstera Deliciosa (AKA Swiss Cheese Plant)

The monstera is found in tropical rainforests so with this in mind it’s important to get the watering right. To keep it simple, we advise our clients to put their finger into the topsoil to their first knuckle – if it feels dry then it’s time for a water.  If your monstera is kept in heating or air-conditioning mist the leaves one week or more to keep the humidity up. Monsteras like a bright spot but never direct sun, they are pretty aggressive growers so repot every two years so there’s plenty of room to move. Every three years it’s a good idea to trim your monstera up otherwise your plant baby may just take over. Keep your monstera nourished by fertilising every two weeks in spring and summer.

Ficus Lyrata (AKA Fiddle Leaf Fig)

The fiddle leaf fig is by the far the most questioned plant instore.  A little tricky to get right, when looking good they have beautiful large leathery green leaves, but when they’re not so happy they will drop these beauties in a heartbeat!  So, it’s important to get your fiddle leaf positioned correctly – lots of bright filtered light and keep rotating so your fig is encouraged to grow up straight. Dry out between waterings then give a big drench of water taking care to wash the leaves at the same time. Fiddle leaf figs love to be fed – give a good dose of a slow release fertiliser four times a year.

Epipremnum Aureum (AKA Devils Ivy or Pothos)

We love low maintenance over here so the devils ivy is a definite soulmate.  The Devils Ivy is an all-rounder, happy in bright or low light and can be grown in water or soil.  Keep an eye on the leaves as they tell you how the watering is going.  If the leaves look limp it’s time for a water, if they are yellowing or soggy then stop the water immediately.  Generally speaking, water once a week and keep nourished in the warmer months with fertiliser.

Spathiphyllum (AKA Peace Lily)

Recommended to everyone, no green thumbs required for this beautiful plant. Easy to care for, they are one of the best indoor plants to choose for low light in your home.  A favourite of ours as they are one of the best plants to purify the air indoors.  The Peace Lily is a little dramatic and will certainly let you know if she is in need of a water.  Not to fear, her droopy leaves will stand upright again after an overnight soak.  Keep the leaves clean to maximise the air purification process.  At home, our kids shower with their Peace Lily – I’m not sure if this is genius of just laziness either way, it works. To keep your Peace Lily flowering all year round, fertilise once a month.

Ficus Elastica (AKA Rubber Plant)

The Rubber plant is a gorgeous statement plant growing up to 2.5 meters indoors. With big shiny leaves in colours ranging from burgundy to variegated pink and white they will fill any negative space in your home. Super hardy with excellent air purification properties this is a forever favourite.  Like the Fiddle Leaf Fig, they like bright filtered light and a rotation to keep them going tall and straight. Dry out between waterings then completely saturate the soil.  Don’t forget to keep the leaves clean – they too love a shower.  A regular feed with fertiliser will keep your rubber plant happy and healthy.

Visit Aloe Flora here.

Studio Snaps

We recently had a local photographer Elliot Swanson from Ground to Kitchen come by the studio to take some snaps for us. Here are a few of my favourites including some lovely snaps in our studio garden.

It’s always lovely  to collaborate with local people and we look forward to shooting more with Elliot in the coming months.

We’re busy preparing for the Gift and Homewares trade show Life Instyle which we’ll be exhibiting at in early August. I can’t wait to share the new products we’ve been working on!

Custom designed Gifts of Seeds for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Sydney is one of the most well-known gardens in Australia and as such we were honoured and thrilled to create a custom designed RBG Gift of Seeds. The packets are currently being placed in hotel rooms at the Four Season Hotel (Sydney) as an innovative way for guests to support the Gardens and in doing so, help to protect Australian plant species in threatened habitats.

Paper Daisies were chosen as they are one of the most popular features at the Gardens in Spring and are easy to grow from seed. The design of the packets was created with Karen Rinkel, the Garden’s graphic designer, who applied a vintage botanical illustration of the paper daisies (Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea ‘Rosy Everlasting’) combined with the layout and a few elements from our retail packets.

The Royal Botanic Gardens raise half of their funding independently which contributes to maintaining the gardens, conservation and heritage projects, science, research, education and outreach. If you would like to show your support for the gardens by purchasing one of these lovely packets, pop over to the Gardens Shop.

Mini Rooftop Garden by Bengamin

Here’s a cool little rooftop garden created by Melbourne designer Ben Osborn-Macpherson. Ben always wanted a rooftop garden but only has a 1x3m balcony, so he made this mini version out of one of his stencils. It looks great doesn’t it! Mainly I think because the stencil is really good, so you have a great piece of artwork combined with some growing, a winning formula if you ask me! Ben, could we sell these in our webshop please? Lets talk! More of Ben’s stencils are featured below – I assume they’re all old Melbourne buildings Ben?

Custom Gifts of Seeds – The Guest Room Mt Martha

We’ve just completed a custom design for a new Bed and Breakfast on the Mornington Peninsular called The Guest Room Mt Martha. The owner Pauline Eather wanted to have a personalised message printed onto the back of the existing Forget-me-not packets, so that she could leave one on the pillow for guests as a take home memento of their stay. Isn’t that the loveliest idea? I’ve never been to a B&B with that much sweet thoughtfulness and as such I had a suspicion that the accommodation was probably outside of the ordinary but when the lovely Pauline sent me these photos last week I was pretty much gob smacked  – the gardens and accommodation look gorgeous! Those veggie patches and chickens are picture perfect and the room looks positively luxurious!  For bookings contact Pauline on [email protected]

 

Fabulous Figs

I may be just a little bit obsessed with figs at the moment.  Ask any of my friends and they will all have heard of the fig enterprise I had planned for the weekend. It all started when I heard that my friend Chelsea’s (the one who grew the amazing giant Russian sunflowers!) massive fig tree was blossoming with ripe fruit. So I headed over there and within 10 minutes in the dark on a wobbly ladder I managed to pick about a bucket load of seriously delicious figs. I took home a bag full which I enjoyed for the next few days on my morning muesli, for morning tea and with ice cream after dinner. Every time I devoured another fig I was thinking about all the figs up in the tree that were being left to the birds. The possibilities of endless figs consumed me and I devised a plan to pick as many figs as possible and set up a roadside stall with honesty box selling the figs with all proceeds going to a glorious afternoon of drinking beer in the sunshine.

We didn’t quite achieve the fig empire I’d dreamt but my friends and I did pick another bucket load of beautiful ripe figs this afternoon and I’ve just devoured a delicious fig-filled dinner similar to this one.

So I just thought that I would share my fig obsession here since it has been quite consuming this last week! It’s been a while since enjoying the simple things in life like this has been possible so I am savouring it all.

The Garden of St Erth

On a lovely, cool late summer’s day my parents, partner and I visited the historic Diggers Club Garden of St Erth in Blackwood, Victoria. These gardens had been on my to-do list for years and as a Diggers Club member I’d heard a lot about it. It was also St Erth’s Autumn Festival so we enjoyed a guided tour of the gardens and a free worm farming workshop after a very picturesque picnic in the gardens!

 

 

Corinella Country House

Pretty little forget-me-not flowers

We went to Kyneton on the weekend to see some open gardens which were a part of the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival.

Corinella Country House is about 10 mins from the centre of town and had a most magical garden filled with daffodils and bursting with Forget-me-nots! They also had the most beautiful, friendly baby lambs who came over for kisses…

Sow ‘n Sow at Regional Flavours

We had a wonderful weekend at Regional Flavours. After months of work designing and installing the pallet gardens and hanging installations, we were able to see and hear the public admiring our creations. The response was incredibly overwhelming… just about everyone who walked past the pallet gardens stopped to have a look and the comments were heard were very gratifying. People were theorising how they were made and we were asked many questions which we gladly answered. We now have a long list of names from people who were interested in getting their hands on their own pallet gardens!

Aside from the great feedback and interest we had in the pallet gardens and hanging installations, we also sold our wares at our market stall. We pulled together a beautiful collection of flowers, fresh herb bouquets and plants to compliment our range of Gifts of Seeds. We also had a stand to promote our custom Gifts of Seeds and had lots of interest for many different applications! Below are some photos from the weekend including a few of our pallet gardens.

 

 

 

Many thanks to everyone who helped us on the weekend, to South Bank for the wonderful opportunity and to all the lovely people who took an interest in Sow ‘n Sow.

0