Bringing Life to Every Environment

Category: News

PLANTation Services Celebrates World Teachers’ Day!

PLANTation Services Celebrates World Teachers’ Day!

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! Our Green Team here at PLANTation Services wants to thank teachers and educational programs that focus on plants and trees, whether it’s in biology, chemistry, agriculture, botany, EAST, STEM or any other class. A teacher has inspired each of us during our years in the classroom, so we want to take this chance to say thank you.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

Thank you for cultivating curious minds and educating students on plants and horticulture. Thank you for passionately passing on your insight, experience and knowledge to students and developing that same passion in us.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

We also want to thank teachers who keep plants in their classrooms, utilizing living art to enliven these spaces. Thank you to schools that have community gardens and spark students’ imaginations and interest in subjects such as agriculture, botany and horticulture. PLANTation Services celebrates World Teachers’ Day and honors those who inspire students every day!

Celebrating National Indoor Plant Week!

Celebrating National Indoor Plant Week!  

Here at PLANTation Services, every week is Indoor Plant Week! Nationally, it only happens once a year during September. Robin Connell, indoor plant expert and owner of PLANTation Services, shares her Top 5 favorite indoor plants in honor of this very special week.  

Robin has a whimsical eye and is drawn to plants with lots of personality, be it funky shapes or resilient natures. Check out her Top 5 favorite indoor plants:  

Ming Aralia

  Photo courtesy of www.gardenanalyst.com

  “I love the Ming Aralia for its unique look and delicate leaves. The plant needs to stay moist at all times, but is really pretty easygoing. It will require some occasional pruning but provides a lot of style to any space.”  

Neoregelia Bromeliads  

Photo courtesy of www.thespruce.com

  “Neoregelia bromeliads are super colorful! They come in many varieties and will hold their color for the longest time of any bromeliad. This specific type of bromeliad is the largest variety. Many Neos have spines on the edges of their leaves so they should be handled carefully. There are new varieties that have come out recently that are spineless though!”

 

Ponytail Palm

Photo courtesy of myplantopia.com

  “The ponytail palm is just such a fun plant! It’s obvious where the name comes from, and the sleek, curled leaves make for a beautiful indoor plant. Technically, this palm is a succulent and stores water in its trunk. This resilient plant is easy to love.”

 

Rhapis Palm

Photo courtesy of www.plantz.com

  “The rhapis palm is an elegant palm indoor plant. Its long, fanning leaves look like fingers, giving it the nickname of Lady Palm. They do well in low light, so they thrive indoors. Keep them away from drafts and avoid under watering, or you’ll end up with droopy leaves!”

 

Christmas Cactus

Photo courtesy of www.gardenloversclub.com

  “It’s likely no surprise that this plant flowers in the winter months, and because it’s low maintenance, it makes an excellent gift. This plant blooms like crazy, too! The bright flowers are a festive touch to any space.”

 

At PLANTation Services, we love our indoor plants. It is our pleasure to care for your plants and keep your interiors beautiful and inviting. We know you have favorite plants, too! Let our Green Team care for your plants and keep them thriving year-round. Indoor plants are our specialty – come celebrate National Indoor Plant Week with us!

What Determines Flower Color and Fragrance?

What Determines Flower Color and Fragrance?

The attractive smells and colors of flowers make a room come alive and an event extra special. But, have you ever stopped to think about how flowers get their color and fragrance? Even the smallest of flowers have intricate internal systems that create a unique experience for every plant, pollinator and passerby.

Fragrance

Not all flowers emit a pleasant fragrance. Many flowers’ names give them away, such as the corpse lily or the skunk cabbage. Many flowers have specific and iconic scents that make them popular, like the rose or the gardenia. Understanding of the biochemical processes in flowers has greatly increased in recent decades. For example, the number of known chemicals in a rose’s fragrance increased from 20 to 400 between the years of 1953 and 2006. These chemicals are housed at the base of the male stamen in the flower in nectaries. Fragrance compounds are created here as the nectary secretes sugars and amino acids. The flowers vaporize and release these compound molecules as gas, giving them unique smells that attract pollinators and humans!

Color

Much like the color of your hair, flower colors are determined long before the flowers are born – it’s in their DNA! Color comes from a flower’s hereditary genome. These genomes determine what pigments a flower will have, and pigments yield different colors. Flavanoids are the most important of all plant pigments for flower coloration. For example, anthocyanins are compounds that create colors like red, purple, blue and pink, and are compounds found in the flavanoid class.

Flower color and fragrance serve an important purpose outside of our enjoyment. Brightly colored flowers attract bees and insects that act as pollinators. When insects land on the flower to drink nectar or honey, pollen sticks to their legs and gets carried to the insect’s next plant. Specific smells attract specific pollinators. Bees and flies pollinate sweet smelling flowers, while flowers with spicy or musty scents attract beetles for pollination. Insects can distinguish between different fragrances, choosing not only their favorite scent, but also the most potent flower with that scent. Fragrances and colors encourage plant pollination, which means we will continue to have bright, beautiful flowers!

Whether you are planning a special event or looking to decorate your indoor space, PLANTation Services can help. We work with our clients to design interior landscapes based on their color and fragrance preferences. Whether you want bright and fragrant spaces or prefer more neutral colors and subtle fragrances, our Green Team can help. We prep and groom the plants ahead of installation, then provide ongoing care throughout their indoor lives. Let the Green Team at PLANTation Services help you design and maintain the perfect planted surroundings for your space!

Coffee Grounds in Plants – Yes, it works!

Image courtesy of www.drinksfeed.com

Image courtesy of www.drinksfeed.com

There’s a new trend on the caffeine curve, and it isn’t pumpkin spice: It’s using coffee grounds around your garden for amazing results! Who would have thought? A quick Internet search for “coffee grounds + plants” will gather close to 4 million results, with consistent claims that grounds add essential minerals to the soil, boost populations of friendly soil bacteria and even reduce the pH of the soil for acid-loving plants.

Coffee grounds are generally believed to be an acidifying agent when added to garden soil, but the pH of the grounds tends to be more neutral. While they may not cause the soil acidity to increase, they tend to be an enriching source of fatty acids, essential oils and nutrients. The types of flora and fauna that benefit from coffee grounds in the soil solely depends on how those grounds are used.

Image courtesy of www.hgtv.com

Image courtesy of www.hgtv.com

Why Do Plants Like Coffee? Coffee grounds improve soil texture tremendously and aid in drainage. They generally do not alter the soil’s pH; however, once they decompose, they release nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other minerals that support a plant’s growth. Some plants thrive in nitrogen-rich soil such as leafy vegetables like spinach and tomatoes, as well as azaleas and camellias. As a bonus, coffee grounds are reputed to have a deterrent effect on garden pests. According to “The New York Times 100 Gardening Questions and Answers,” using coffee grounds as mulch may help repel pests that from damage vegetables.

Composting Coffee Grounds Composting with coffee is a great way to make use of something that would otherwise end up unnecessarily in a landfill. Composting coffee grounds adds nitrogen to your compost pile, and is as easy as throwing them on top of your pile.

Maximize Your Efforts To maximize the benefits of coffee grounds in your soil, add a nitrogen fertilizer to really make a difference. The grounds release the nutrients as the bacteria and fungi break them down, a process that can take up to several months. In the meantime, offering your plant a supplemental fertilizer will help support the plant’s growth while the grounds break down. “The New York Times 100 Gardening Questions and Answers” recommends using no more than six pounds of coffee grounds for every 100 square feet of planting area.

Whatever fertilizer you use for your personal, outdoor plants should depend on the type of plant; garden plants can benefit from coffee grounds. Wet coffee grounds dumped into indoor plantings promotes mold growth; we do not recommend you attempt to “compost” your coffee grounds directly into the interior landscapes. Instead, rely on our Green Team at PLANTation Services to monitor the indoor landscapes for watering and fertilizing needs.

Water Quality Month

Just like all living things, plants rely on water for survival. But before filling up that watering can, take a minute to think about the quality of the water coming out of your spout! Here are a few tips for understanding water quality and how to prevent plant illness and issues stemming from it:
   

Fluoride is a chemical added to water to prevent tooth decay; however, some indoor plants are sensitive to it. Palms, spider plants and dracaenas are just a sampling of plants that can be adversely impacted by fluoride. Although acceptable and safe for human consumption, the levels of fluoride in tap water are far too much for these plants to handle, resulting in toxicity and strong hindrance of photosynthesis and other processes.

Tap water can also contain salts for softening the water; salt is a nutrient most plants do not like. The amount of sodium that a water softener adds depends on the “hardness” of the water, or how much calcium and magnesium exists in the water. The root systems absorb the sodium and a salt accumulation builds up on the soil, creating a white crust. The absorption of the sodium in the root system creates plant injury, in turn yellowing the leaves and stems.
   

Levels of pH can also have damaging effects on indoor plants. Water pH is the measure of acidity (sourness) or alkalinity (sweetness). The mineral aluminum can be dissolved at pH levels below 5.0, creating a toxic level for plant growth. To be safe, nutrients are most available to plants at a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 range.

Simply put, using the cleanest water possible, such as rainwater or filtered water, will keep your plants on a healthy growth curve. By using PLANTation Services for your indoor plant maintenance, you can avoid water issues that could harm your plants. The Green Team at PLANTation Services makes sure your indoor landscaping stays healthy. It is no surprise our clientele vote us Arkansas Business’ Best of the Best Interior Plant Service year after year!

Arkansas’ Best Interior Plant Service

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