Meet the Bird’s Nest Crispy Wave

Three Bird's Nest Crispy Wave Plants on the stairs

With its bright green, crimped leaf structure and ability to purify the air, the bird’s nest crispy wave is a show-stopping fern. The bird’s nest crispy wave is known for its air purifying qualities. When NASA did its clean air study, the bird’s nest crispy wave was on the list of plants that are best for purifying the air. Its curly shaped frond is likely to play a role in its air-friendliness, as the waves allow for more surface area on the fronds. This allows the plant to covert more carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Have you ever wondered how this fern got its name? Well, if you look at the bird’s nest fern from the top, you’ll see the fronds meet together at the center of the plant and form a little nest-like crown. You’ll want to avoid getting water in this part of the plant. Water in the center can pool and cause your plant to rot. It is best to work around the fronds at the circumference of the plant to avoid this. 

Another fun fact about this plant is that it is epiphytic, meaning that in nature it tends to grow on other structures. You can mount your bird’s nest fern on a board (like a staghorn fern) and it would do just fine!

Get 20% off your purchase of any Bird’s Nest Crispy Wave, all this week (October 6 – October 12). You can also enter to win this plant three different ways: in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winners must be able to pick up in store.

Quick tips on the Bird’s Nest Crispy Wave:

  • Moderate to Bright Indirect light is best
    • Consider periodically turning your plant for nice even growth
    • Direct sunlight can scorch this plant’s leaves and should be avoided
  • Water once the first few inches of soil has dried
    • Keep the plant moist, but never soggy
    • Consider using a well-draining soil with perlite
    • Over-watering can cause your plant roots to rot
  • These plants do like humidity
    • If you don’t think your home has enough humidity, consider adding a pebble tray or small humidifier.
  • These plants are considered non-toxic by the ASPCA
    • Looking for more non-toxic houseplant options? Check out our blog post on it, here.

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Meet the Aglaonema

two aglaonema

We all love the plants that we do for personal reasons. Maybe the movement of the prayer plant, the texture of a calathea, or the resiliency of the easy ZZ draws you in. With all plants, there are probably certain criteria you are looking for. Maybe you need a plant for a low-light corner of your home. Maybe you are looking for something easy to care for. Or, maybe you are drawn to the aesthetic of a particular plant and are willing to accommodate its needs.

Whatever you are looking for, this week’s feature plant is one to take notice of. It scores high in many desired areas. Aglaonema (also know as the Chinese evergreen plant) is beautiful, low light tolerant, likes moderate watering, and is listed by NASA as one of the best air filtering plants (we have a post on that coming soon!). This plant is absolutely perfect for beginners and scales pretty low in its difficulty to care for. The only down side to this plant is that it is toxic when consumed, so keep it out of reach of curious eaters.

Get 20% off your purchase of any Aglaonema, all this week (September15 – September 21). You can also enter to win this plant three different ways: in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winners must be able to pick up in store.

Quick Tips and Tricks for your Aglaonema:

  • These are one of the few plants that can tolerate low light!
    • Moderate light is also great and might achieve faster growth
    • Never put your aglaonema in direct light as this can scorch the leaves
  • Water once the first few inches of soil has dried
    • Allow the first few inches of soil to dry in-between watering
    • Use a well-draining soil with lots of perlite
    • These plants are not terribly picky about humidity—low to moderate is great
  • Occasionally rotate your plant to achieve even growth
  • This plant is listed by NASA as one of the best air filtering plants to have in your home
  • This plant is considered toxic by the ASPCA so keep out of reach of curious eaters
    • Looking for non-toxic houseplant options? Check out our blog post on it, here.

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Meet the Curly Lipstick

Three lipstick plants

The first time I encountered the lipstick plant I remember wondering why it was called that. Looking the plant over, I wasn’t quite sure. Was it the leaves? It wasn’t until I saw the blooms that it clicked. The lipstick plant produces little clusters of dark flowers that each has a bright red center that protrudes—just like a tube of lipstick. These plants are pretty incredible, boasting thick, waxy leaves and a fairly easy-going temperament. With proper light, humidity, and care not to over-water, the lipstick plant makes a wonderful, regularly blooming houseplant.

Another interesting fun-fact is that the lipstick plant hails from South Asia and is actually grown as an epiphyte—which means that it attaches itself to other structures (like trees) and grows on them. Amazing, right? The lipstick plant makes a great hanging plant as it’s naturally trailing. However, it does just fine in an upright pot as well. If you want your lipstick plant to bloom as much as possible, you’ll want to give it the absolute brightest indirect light you have.

Grab any size curly lipstick plant for 20% off all this week (August 11 – August 17). You can also enter to win this plant three different ways: in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winners must be able to pick up in store.

Quick Tips for your Lipstick Plant

  • Water once the first few inches of soil has dried
    • You can actually stick your fingers in the soil to determine how dry the plant has become
    • If you notice a wrinkling on the leaves of your plant, this is a sign that it would probably like a drink
  • This plant is tropical, so it prefers a higher humidity climate
    • If the location you are thinking about is dry, consider supplementing with a humidifier or a pebble tray
  • Bright indirect light is best
    • This plant can tolerate some medium light situations, however, it may not bloom as readily as it would in really bright light
    • Just be sure your plant is not getting too much direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves
  • Use a well-draining potting mix for planting
  • Turn your plant periodically to get even growth
  • This plant is considered pet friendly by the ASPCA

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Meet the Spider Plant

two curly spider plants in white pots

Those with arachnophobia don’t need to fear; the spider plant is a lovely, fairly common houseplant with amazing air cleaning qualities. There doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus on how the plant acquired its name, but I have heard a few theories. The first story I’ve heard is that the plant got its name because it looks like another plant that was once used medicinally to treat spider bites. I have also heard that it got its name from its appearance—the babies of the spider plant look like small spiders coming off the shoots. However the name came to be, have no fear, the plant will not attract house spiders or anything of the sort.

The spider plant is an excellent plant for novices as it is fairly easy to care for and highly adaptable. The one area the spider plant is fussy is that it prefers distilled water. Using distilled water will especially help with the brown tips that tend to develop on this plant. Other than that, spider plants tend to want to run on the drier side, so if you occasionally neglect your plant, this one is pretty forgiving.

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Quick Tips and Tricks for the Spider Plant

  • Allow your spider plant to dry out a little in-between watering
    • Watering too much can cause root rot in the plant
    • Make sure to use distilled water (Water left out for 24 hours, or you can purchase distilled water) to avoid the tips turning brown
  • Bright, indirect sunlight is what this plant would choose
    • However, it can tolerate medium light very well—it just may not grow as quickly
    • Avoid direct sunlight so the plant does not scorch
  • Use a well draining soil
  • Consider periodically turning your plant to get it to grow uniformly
  • This plant is pet friendly! While we don’t recommend allowing your animals to nibble on your plants, this one is rated as pet safe by the ASPCA

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Keep a look out for our blog post on plants that filter the air coming soon!

Meet the Aloe Vera

Various sizes of Aloe Vera

This next plant of the week hardly needs an introduction. If you’ve ever experienced sunburn, you are probably familiar with the gel-like salves often made from the aloe vera plant. Aloe grows naturally in arid climates and is suspected to have originated from the Sudan. Not to mention, it’s cool green color and spiky appearance is easy to love!

Occasionally, we will hear at Retreat that people have trouble with their aloe plants. One common area people can go wrong with aloe vera is over-watering this plant. You want to look for the soil to be dry at the first 3 inches or so in-between watering. You also don’t want to expose your aloe to too much direct sunlight. This is especially true if you have your aloe right in front of a window where the light through the glass can magnify and scorch the leaves. You’ll see the plant will actually develop an orange/red hue, which is sunburn! If your aloe is mushy it is likely getting over watered, if it is shriveling, it’s probably under-watered. Also important is to use a well-aerated, well-draining soil mixture for your aloe!

Scoop up any size aloe vera plant for 20% off all this week (July14 – July 21). You can also enter to win one this week in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winner must be able to pick up in store.

Quick Tips and Tricks for Aloe Vera:

  • Water once the first 3 or so inches of soil has dried
    • Over watering is common with this plant. Think of it’s watering needs a little like a succulent
    • How often you water is going to depend a lot on the environment it is in and how much light it is getting
    • A sign of over watering is the bottom of the leaves become mushy
    • A sign of under watering is the plant shriveling up
  • Your very brightest indirect sunlight is best
    • Some direct sunlight for this plant is fine, but be mindful not to put it right in a window where it can get sunburn—a orange/red coloring on the skin of your aloe
  • Use a well draining soil like a succulent or cacti mix
  • Consider periodically turning your plant to get it to grow uniformly
  • This plant is considered toxic to pets, so keep out of reach

Feel free to ask us more questions about aloe vera in the comments below!

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Meet the Split Leaf Philodendron

Three 4" philodendron on steps

The split leaf philodendron (also known as Monstera Deliciosa) is no stranger to most plant lovers, it’s a classic houseplant, and for good reason! The split leaf is a great grower, becomes quite large over time, and is not too difficult to care for. These traits make it a great houseplant choice for a lot of people. Just make sure you have a space to accommodate your plant long-term! Another thing to keep in mind when considering adding the split leaf philodendron to your collection, is that this jungle-native loves humidity. Consider placing a pebble tray near your plant, misting, or investing in a small humidifier to keep this plant happy! Check out our tips and tricks below for more simple care advice.

One reason in particular we were so excited to feature the split leaf philodendron, was that we were able to get several 4″ plants from our grower this week! We just love their adorable petite size, so we thought what a great oportunity to feature the split leaf as our plant of the week! If you frequent plant shops, you probably know the split leaf variety of philodendron tends to be a pricy plant, but the 4” size makes for a great budget-friendly starter. Of course, the discount will be valid for all the sizes of split leaf philodendrons that we carry. Whether, you are looking for something with mature splits already intact, or one of these cute little plants pictured, we’ve got you covered!

For this week (June 30, 2019 – July 6, 2019), we will be offering 20% off of any split leaf philodendron purchase. Take advantage of this sale while it lasts, or enter to win a split leaf philodendron on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

Quick Tips and Tricks for the Split Leaf Philodendron:

  • Bright Indirect Light is definitely best for this plant
    • This is the brightest spot you have, with no direct sunlight exposure
  • Water when first two-to-three inches of soil has dried
    • This plant enjoys being moist, but not soggy
  • This plant loves high humidity
  • Consider spinning your split leaf periodically to get it the most even exposure to sunlight as possible
    • This will help it both keep an aesthetically uniform look, and keep your plant happy and healthy
  • Periodically, you will want to gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth 
  • This plant is considered very toxic, so keep out of reach of curious eaters

Check out some other posts we have on philodendrons:

Read about the Philodendron Selloum here

Read about the Heart Leaf Philodendron here

Meet the Asparagus Plumosa Fern

two four inch asparagus plumosa ferns in white pots

This lacy beauty is hard to miss. You’ll often find them hanging around retreat. This dark green fern has delicate airy fronds that create a somewhat “fuzzy” appearance. They tend to send off long shoots, and several times in the past we’ve had to unwind them when they “grab on” to something near them. We like to think of them as a friendly plant! Just be careful when handling this fern as it does have thorns to be mindful of. The Asparagus Plumosa Fern has a pretty easy temperament, which makes them great for houseplant pros and novices alike.

These plants that hail from Southern Africa, are also fairly fast growers. So you will be able to enjoy watching it grow before your eyes. Interestingly, the asparagus plumosa fern is actually not a fern at all, but part of the lily family. Typically, ferns are considered safe for cats, dogs, and children. The Asparagus Plumosa Fern, however, is one to avoid. Anything in the lily family is considered toxic, so we recommend keeping it out of reach from curious eaters.

Scoop the string of bananas for 20% off all this week (June 24 – June 30). You can also enter to win one this week in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winner must be able to pick up in store.

Quick Tips for the Asparagus Plumosa fern:

  • Keep plant moist
    • Water when the first inch or two of soil feels dry to the touch
    • This plant also enjoys humidity, so you can try a humidifier, or place near a pebble tray to give it an extra boost
  • These plants prefer bright indirect light to medium light
    • Indirect is key with this plant, any direct sunlight and they can be susceptible to burning
    • You also want to make sure not to put this plant in too light of light or it can begin to yellow
  • Use a well draining soil to prevent the plant roots from becoming overly soggy
  • Consider turning your asparagus fern periodically so that it can have nice even growth
  • These plants are considered toxic so you’ll want to keep out of reach of curious eaters

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Green Envy

As we near the big reveal of our upstairs studio space, the Retreat team is buzzing with excitement. Lately, the conversation has been much about…greens! We know we want to include some striking green statement upstairs, but figuring out what shade of green is perfect for Retreat has taken some time. While hunter seems to be on the rise, we can’t help but feel like the dark, somewhat broody shade is not a match. From Chartreuse, to lime, to sage, to emerald there is no shortage of greens to choose from—each with such vastly different personalities. Then, once we figure out what personality of green is right for the space, we have to put it to the test.

For instance, how the color plays with the sunlight at different times of the day matters. Maybe the color shines beautifully as the filtered afternoon sunshine dances around the room, but come early evening, the color suddenly becomes lackluster. Or perhaps, the perfect green in an empty space suddenly clashes with the other décor elements we bring into the studio. Who would have thought that finding the perfect paint would take so much forethought?

How we Decided

When putting our greens to the test, we wanted to make sure they fit some criteria:

  1. It had to be a friendly, welcoming green
  2. We wanted it to fit the peaceful vibe of our shop
  3. The color had to be a good backdrop for our plants
  4. Lastly, we wanted the green to coordinate with the other items we are hoping to add to the studio space

Last week, we deliberated on the great green conundrum, and unanimously agreed on a green we would all like to try, and we just put some of the sample up on the wall. The color is called… drumroll…. Greenfield by Sherwin-Williams. It is a lovely shade that leans olive. It’s neutral enough, with a true-green character. We felt that it nicely strikes a balance between a natural, organic green and a more sophisticated, polished color. As we work on the space, we will be sure to keep the sneak peeks coming, and let you know if the color passes the test! Thanks for following along with all our updates!

As we are painting over here, we’d love to know, what’s your favorite green?

Want to read more? Check out some of our other blog posts here.

Meet the String of Bananas

Most people are familiar with the string of pearls—that bright green trailing succulent that looks like cascading peas on delicate stems. It’s been all over Instagram and plant inspo pictures for a while now, expertly staged on bookshelves, spilling over side tables, or hanging daintily in pots suspended from the ceiling. We love them at Retreat! They add so much character, and are amazing for adding a trailing element to our desert terrariums. String of bananas, the slightly less popular cousin to the string of pearls, does not get enough recognition, in my opinion. It adds a similar vibe to any space, but actually might be an easier plant to care for than the string of pearls. Its stems are just a little thicker and its leaves a little more substantial. Therefore, if you like the look of the string of pearls, I highly recommend giving the beautiful string of bananas a try.

Two four-inch and one two-inch string of bananas sitting on the stairs

What we Learned

When we first started carrying the string of pearls and string of bananas at Retreat, it took a little time to figure out what to do to keep them happy. These plants love the absolute brightest indirect light you can give them. Ours thrive in our window when it’s not too hot (otherwise they tend to scorch—but we have a pretty intense south-facing window), and they especially love to be parked directly underneath one of our plant lights. The other key to these plants is they really can’t tolerate over-watering. For our smaller 4” string of bananas/pearls, we wait about 2-3 weeks in-between watering. For the larger plants, we water about once every 3-4 weeks. Obviously, conditions like how dry your home is, what time of year it is, or how much sunlight your plant is getting can change how much you need to water drastically, but that might be a good starting point for you. The key is you want the plant to dry out completely in-between watering.

Scoop the string of bananas for 20% off all this week (June 17 – June 23). You can also enter to win one this week in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winner must be able to pick up in store.

Quick Tips for the String of Bananas

  • Bright-indirect light is really best for these plants
    • Avoid too much hot, direct sunlight as this plant can easily scorch
    • The brighter really the better for these plants; they love it right under our plant light
  • Water only once plant has dried through
    • Over-watering is one of the common things that goes wrong for people with this plant
    • When in doubt, you could try a moisture meter to make sure you aren’t watering too soon
  • Using a well-draining soil (like a succulent/cacti blend) is really important for this plant to ensure it does not retain too much moisture
  • One tip is to remember to rotate your plant, especially if you have one side of it facing a corner, or on a bookshelf, etc.
    • Rotating your plant allows it to have equal access to sunlight and fresh air and will help your plant stay beautifully even in its growth
  • These plants are considered toxic, so keep out of reach of curious eaters

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.

Meet Peperomia Prostrata

Peperomia Prostrata

Native to the rainforests of Brazil, this cute, crawling vine is perfect for terrariums and arrangements with other plants. The fact that it does not grow very big, loves humidity, and has an easy-going temperament makes it an easy favorite for small containers. As a bonus, it easily drapes and spills out of vessels to add visual interest. The peperomia prostrata has somewhat succulent-like leaves, making it fairly hardy, but don’t be fooled by its appearance. Unlike succulents, this plant of Brazil loves it’s humidity, and wants to be watered when the first layer of soil has become dry. It also cannot handle too much harsh direct sunlight, so it’s important to find it a spot with bright indirect light for this particular plant.

With more than 1500 species of peperomia, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what each species requires, and not all peperomia are created equal. You’ll notice some peperomia have very succulent-like leaves while others do not. As a peperomia owner, you’ll just want to consider the structure of the plant, and how it might be retaining water. Generally, the thickest leaved peperomias will need a little less water. They may also have deep crevices on their leaves. This allows the plants to store and retain more water making them a little more drought tolerant. Be sure to look into your particular variety of peperomia when adding one of these fun plants to your collection.

Scoop the peperomia prostrata for 20% off all this week (June 10 – June 16). You can also enter to win one this week in store, or online through our  Instagram and Facebook accounts. Winner must be able to pick up in store.

Quick Tips for the Peperomia Prostrata:

  • Water once the first top inch, or few inches, of soil becomes dry
    • Allowing the top-inch of soil to dry helps to prevent the soil from becoming too soggy
    • For better drainage (which this plant desires) consider using a soil/perlite mix
  • These plants also love humidity
    • Try placing your plants next to a humidifier
    • Their love of humidity makes them a great fit for an enclosed terrarium
  • Bright indirect Light is best for this plant
  • These plants are fairly easy to propagate
    • Like the String of Pearls, you can lay a strand of the peperomia prostrata down on soil, and it will develop roots there—amazing right?
  • This peperomia is considered non-toxic to cats and dogs by the ASPCA

Looking for more? Check out some of our other plant posts on our blog.