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Posts Tagged ‘Plant Maintenance’

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!

The Downtown Dynamic

There’s something about glass buildings and restaurant hot spots that draws movers and shakers to the city. At PLANTation Services, we help create a more dynamic downtown experience by providing plant rentals and plant maintenance for businesses across Arkansas. Our Green Team has years of experience in using plants to completely transform lobbies, hallways and offices. Office spaces and lobbies are known for their interesting indoor plants. With plants, the sky is the limit. Whether you need a small plant to help the look of your personal office or an exotic tree to create a grand entrance, we have done it all. Just think of all the possibilities! Add Decorative Accents As potential clients or customers are waiting to speak with you, they will most likely they’ll have time to notice your lobby waiting area. You can only make a first impression once, so you want a space designed to make guests feel comfortable. Our Green Team has the resources to add important accents to your lobby. Potential clients or customers will quickly see that your business pays attention to small details. Create an Interesting Entrance There are countless possibilities when it comes to using plants to glam-up an entrance. If you’re looking for big and bold, ornate elegance or rustic charm, trees could give you the upgrade you’re looking for. Both employees and guests will appreciate the natural elegance of your entrance and what it says about the culture of your business. Fill Blank Spaces You set the stage for what your guests see when they are walking through your office. Blank walls and counters don’t add to the ambiance. A shallow bowl with an intricate display is great for a hallway table. Whether big or small, plants are a great way to add a modern flair to any office space. Just like your office, our PLANTation Services Green Team is dynamic as well. Our well-trained staff is enthusiastic about meeting your plant needs. After all decisions are final, you can leave the set up and maintenance to us. From the moment you call us to get started, we are pleasant and professional. You can trust us to think outside the box to design the perfect plant presentation for you.

Have You Thanked A Weed Today? | PLANTation Services | Indoor Plants Little Rock

Despite the recent “snowpocalypse” that hit the Little Rock area early this month, it looks like spring is finally here! At PLANTation Services, plants are our specialty. If you need indoor plants in Little Rock, real or artificial office plants in North Little Rock, or indoor landscaping in Conway, our dedicated Green Team has everything you need.

Not surprisingly, spring is our favorite time of year – the time when flowers bloom, plants grow and everything just starts to come alive. All of which begs the question: have you thanked a weed today?

That’s right – a weed! March 28th is Weed Appreciation Day. No, not what you’re thinking. Even though they can cause headaches in your garden, there’s a lot we owe to these pesky weeds. Here is one weed that you may remember from your childhood, and a few reasons why it may be better just to let those weeds live.

Lazy Dandelion Days
Weed Appreciation Day Indoor Plants Little Rock

Oh dandelions – you remember, those bright yellow flowers filled with milk? Maybe you used them to make flower stem necklaces? Maybe you crushed their flowers to make a bright yellow dye for art projects? Or, depending on the season, maybe you used to lie on the lawn blowing the white puffballs at the sky to watch the seeds drift away? And here’s a little-known secret – you can even eat them. Take some dandelion greens, onions, basil and tomatoes and you have a pretty tasty little salad. Got some garlic and olive oil? Sautee those suckers. There’s plenty you can do with dandelions.

Some people hunt these plants down, ripping them from their garden and using harsh pesticides. Sure, a perfectly manicured lawn may look tidy, but variety is the spice of life, right?

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