Low Light House Plants

spider plant

We all know that plants need sunlight for photosynthesis, which is vital for their growth. However, there are situations when one desires to grow plants indoors in offices or at home.

Low light house plants are the ideal choice because they grow without sunlight, requiring only bright indirect light. But how do you know which plants possess this ability to thrive in the shade, growing happily in indirect sunlight? Which plants are able to adapt to decreased sunlight if you move them inside?

Sorting this out can seem cumbersome if you’re new to low light house plants. This article helps to identify plants with these abilities, and the most effective ways of ensuring their survival.

Chinese Evergreen (aglaonema)

Chinese evergreenKnown for its resilience and beautiful features, the Chinese evergreen easily comes to mind first. Though it seems to prefer good light and relatively high humidity due to its tropical origin, the Aglaonema also thrives admirably well in low light and low humidity.

To recognize this plant, one just need to be observant of its graceful oblong leaves that grow from a central stem. The color of the leaves may be solid medium green or splotched with various shades of gray or lime green, depending on the plant species.

They should be ideally grown in a standard potting soil with bright reflected light and warm temperatures.  This plant’s ability to tolerate pot-bound conditions for a long time makes it a suitable low light house plant.

Chinese Evergreens require frequent watering, and regular application of adequate fertilizer is required. However, this may not be necessary in regions that experience cold winter seasons.

Dumb Cane (dieffenbachia)

dumb cane dieffenbachiaThis plant is sought after because of its generous size, impressive foliage and excellent tolerance of indoor conditions. Its leaves are easily identified, being variegated in greens and cream colors.

Its flowers also have a unique appearance, with calla lilies forming on mature plants. The young plants are known to grow on single stems, while the older plants tend to develop multiple stems.

However children must not be allowed to play with its leaves, as the acrid sap can burn the mouth and throat when eaten. In worst-case scenarios, it may actually paralyze a human’s vocal chords.

Like the Chinese Evergreen, Dumb Can tolerates pot conditions quite well, and only needs water when the soil feels dry to touch. Take care with excessive watering and sunlight exposure, as these may actually damage the plant.  In order to maintain its beauty, it is sometimes necessary to trim it back to 6 inches from the soil pot

ZZ Plant (zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plantZamioculcas zamiifolia commonly referred to as the ZZ plant. It is very slow in growing, but is greatly appreciated for its upright, glossy foliage that is vaguely reminiscent of cycad fronds.

It leaves grow from the swollen base, and its soil must dry out between watering to ensure that it thrives in standard indoor potting soil. Direct sunlight will naturally scorch its leaves, so the ideal light source should be filtered or reflected.

This accommodation sounds a bit tricky, but there are a couple of ways to address it. If the plant is near a window, you can apply a light filter, or even coat the windowpanes in a transparent paint. You can also use ambient light from shaded lamps.

Spider Plant (chlorophytum comosum)

spider plantAnother plant well known for its unique growth habit is the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). The mother plant resembles long, broad grass blades that splay out much like a spider’s legs.

It sends out long stem with baby plants at the ends. These baby plants starts as tiny white flowers at the end of the foot-long stems, protected by the long-leaved canopy of the mother plant.

Spider plants offer a robust and textured foliage to any corner of your home or office. The bright green spiking leaves, with their tiny flowers, are easy to care for with minimal need for direct light.

Conclusion

  • Chinese Evergreens produce lovely multi-colored leaves that enjoy bright reflected lighting.
  • Dumb Cane is a large plant that does well in containers, and produces gorgeous calla lillies.
  • ZZ Plants offer a robust foliage that thrives in indirect lighting.
  • Spider Plants provide prolific, bright green foliage that splays out much like monkey grass in your hedges.

It will be impossible to explore every available low light plant that does well inside your home, but these are a few of our favorites. With their unique characteristics and hardiness to indoor life, you’ve got some great choices for bringing new life to your home and office environments.

Top 7 Landscaping Design Trends of 2018

flower bed landscaping
landscaping stone walkway gravel
Landscaping Design – Flagstone Walkway with Rock Gravel

Are you looking to upgrade your lawn and improve the look of your landscape and curb appeal?

This year, it’s all about growing your own fruits and vegetables, growing native plants, and creating comfortable seating areas.

Water and energy efficiency is becoming more popular each year, so installing a water-preserving irrigation system is another eco-friendly choice.

Are you ready to transform your garden and turn it into an urban oasis? Keep reading to discover the most talked-about trends in landscaping design this year.

1. Native Plants

Native plants are among the most requested front yard landscaping ideas for 2018. Instead of growing plants that struggle in different climates, use plants that are native to the state you live in.

This will help them thrive much faster and as a result, you’ll save water, money for maintenance, and energy needed to keep them alive.

You may be tempted to spruce up your yard with exotic trees, shrubs, and fruits, but they need very specific weather conditions, soil, and maintenance.

For example, if you want to grow cacti that love arid soil, heat, and very little water, you can’t expect them to thrive in areas where it rains several months a year.

Growing native plants is better for the environment, the ecosystem in your area, and your wallet. Most native plants don’t need human intervention to grow because they’re already adapted to the environmental conditions.

2. An Outdoor Kitchen

Cooking and eating ‘al fresco’ is one of the most popular backyard landscaping ideas of 2018.

If you have ample space, invest in a fully stocked kitchen with a fridge, stove, barbeque, and a sink.

Add a dining area where you can have family meals, invite friends for dinner cookouts and BBQs, and host birthday parties.

If you love cooking, but don’t want your entire house to smell like food, an outdoor kitchen is perfect to keep the odors outside your home.

Most outdoor kitchens are built to withstand the weather conditions and come with a sturdy cover for when you’re not using the elements.

3. Water Efficiency

In 2018, landscapers are installing more water-efficient features and irrigation systems.

Being eco-friendly is not only good for the environment, but also for the small ecosystem that is your backyard.

You’ll also save a lot of time and money if you have drought-tolerant plants, gravel, and artificial turf instead of real grass.

You can also add deck space and concrete sitting areas that don’t require a lot of maintenance.

Another great option is having compost bins that you can use to fertilize your natural lawn, plants or the vegetable garden.

4. Fruit and Vegetable Garden

The 2018 trends in landscaping design are all about growing your own vegetable and fruit garden.

Whether it’s a horizontal or a vertical patch, the ‘garden to table’ approach is a great way to stay healthy and have immediate access to fresh food.

You don’t need to have a green thumb or a big space. You can grow tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, herbs, berries, and different fruits, depending on the climate in your area.

If your community regulations allow it, you can also get a beehive and have fresh honey anytime or some chickens for fresh eggs each morning.

5. Water Features and Fire Pits

Some of the most innovative landscaping design ideas include custom-made fire pits and water features. This will give your yard a personalized touch, but also a natural look and tranquility.

Fire pits serve as a central point when entertaining and will make your space warm and beautifully lit.

Water features like fountains, ponds, and small streams are a trendy, yet timeless component if you want to add some zen into your backyard.

Both fire and water are natural elements that will add to the eco-friendly theme.

6. Comfortable Entertaining Spaces

In 2018, landscape trends aim for comfort and expanding the coziness of your home outside.

Warm lighting, soft outdoor furniture, swing chairs, and even a jacuzzi will make your backyard a safe haven of contentment.

In the warmer months, you can set up an outdoor cinema and invite people over for a movie night. If you have an outdoor kitchen, you can make popcorn and snacks or entertain guests for a dinner under the sky on a full-size dining table or bench.

Find a space in the yard to create an intimate, cozy reading nook. Add a sun shade for daytime reading and a few lamps for nighttime. Install drawers or a small cabinet to store your books, blankets, and supplies.

Based on the season and the weather, add heaters and coolers to make your stay outside more pleasant.

Another way to make your backyard more useful is to build an exercise, yoga, and meditation corner.

7. Green Grass

Having a backyard that is green, lush and healthy is popular year after year. You can opt for artificial turf to save time and money in the long run. It’s also easier to maintain if you want your yard to look fresh year-round.

If you want your backyard to be all natural, go for real grass. Bear in mind you’ll have to fertilize it and water it throughout the year.

Another issue with natural grass are pests, weeds, and animals that can destroy your lawn if you’re not careful.

Natural lawns also require constant mowing for curb appeal and maintaining the health of the grass.

This can prove inefficient if your goal is to have an eco-friendly and energy-efficient backyard.

Which of These Landscaping Design Ideas Will You Use for Your Own Backyard?

Whether you love having people over for an outdoor dinner or create a serene space where you can relax, these landscaping design trends are just what your backyard needs in 2018.

Are you ready to overhaul your landscape? Let us help you create the outdoor space of your dreams! Click here to get a free estimate for your lawn and landscaping needs and we will get in touch with you soon.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services, contact us today.

Looking for more curb appeal inspiration? Visit our blog for more landscaping tips and tricks.

Fertilizing Lawn in Fall

fall lawn fertilization

fertilizing-the-lawnOur feet love passing through our fine, green grass. But are you aware your lawn does even more than feeling and looking good? Lawns enhance the air quality, lower the surface temperature and generate oxygen. That is another purpose of making sure your lawns remain healthy to enable they keep creating these perks.

One of the best ways in keeping your lawn and garden vibrant, fresh and healthy down to their roots is the application of fertilizer. 

Get to know why fall is considered one of the best time for lawn fertilization and learn all you have to know concerning the best period to fertilize. Should you fertilize first? Wait until the rain comes? Or wait for the best period of year to fertilize your lawn?

Fertilizing After Summer Heat

Summer heat isn’t good for your lawns.  Your grass roots use up a lot of nutrients from the soil when it’s very hot.  So applying a fertilizer at the end of summer helps to replenish those nutrients.  Fall’s temperature is cooler and offers the best setting for these lawns to regain their strength.

Fall is the perfect and most important period for lawn fertilizing because:

  • Fall’s morning dew gives moisture which enable turf to absorb the fertilizer.
  • The grass can still build stamina before the cold winter.
  • Roots grow more quickly in fall, requiring more nutrients
  • Improving root growth in fall results to a greener, healthier lawn in spring.

How to Fertilize Lawn in Fall

There are many ways in applying lawn fertilizer. Making use of a spreader gives even greater coverage compared to when fertilizing using hands. Applying fertilizers with hands usually ends up in burns at areas the fertilizer is over concentrated and result in areas that end up not getting enough fertilizer required.

Rotary or broadcast spreaders are simple to use and they do not result to striping like the drop spreaders. The benefit of the drop spreaders is that there’s no chance of spilling fertilizer on sidewalks, streets or driveways.

After applying these fertilizers, thoroughly water the lawn. Watering cleans the fertilizer remains off the lawn to prevent burns, and it aids the fertilizer to easily sink down to the soil to enable it work even faster. Keep the lawn away from pets and kids for the period of time on the label, which is often a day or two.

Types of Lawn Fertilizers

Not all fertilizers are the same.  If you use a lawn care company for fertilization service, make sure you know what type of fertilizer they are using, in case you need to apply yourself later on.  Keep these things in mind…

SLOW RELEASE FERTILIZERS

You do not need to utilize these fertilizers very often, but they are more expensive.  3 or 4 times per year would be enough, if only using this type of fertilizer.

FAST RELEASE FERTILIZERS

You get faster results when using a fast release fertilizer, but you need to apply these fertilizers in smaller dosage and more often. You may get your lawn burnt if you use a fast release fertilizer too frequently.  6 to 8 times per year would be good for this type.

WEED AND FEED

Try identifying the weeds before making use of a weed and feed Fertilizer and ensure your weed is also listed on this product label. Take good care around shrubs, trees and garden plants.  Just use this type on lawns and hand pull weeds around your plants.

ORGANIC MATERIALS LIKE MANURE AND COMPOST

The importance nutrients are not always as concentrated in materials like these, so you need to utilize a lot. Dry or compost manure before putting it to your lawn, and also be informed that most manures, especially horse manure, may also contain weed seeds.

LIQUID FERTILIZERS

Best used for pots and containers.  Liquid fertilizers are not often recommended for lawns, due to the difficulties in applying them and they need to be applied often.

Overall, fertilizing your lawn in fall should be easy-peasy with the above tips.  Let us know if you have any more questions.

Best Shade Trees Around Pools

Whenever someone mentions a pool, all that comes into your mind is the aspect of sunlight. Pools are very excellent when it comes to keeping so many families outdoor and giving them some bit of entertainment during the hot and sunny days particularly those that are experienced during the summer season. It’s increasingly very necessary these days for so many pool lovers to access some shade while at the pool.

There are so many reasons why so many people prefer shade including protecting themselves from the UV rays, avoiding the hot sun and sunburns. This has made so many pool owners look for solutions for shade.

There are so many solutions for shade in pools but planting trees near a pool can offer a number of benefits to the pool users including enjoying the nature and beauty of trees.

Some of the best shade trees around pools include:

Palm tree

Palm trees are a good choice of trees for both privacy and shade around pools. They can work for both tropical and non-tropical landscaping and they can grow to a height of 50 feet. It has a smooth trunk and a canopy with dark green leaves with double rows of lanceolate shape and is at least 18 inches long. During summer the female palm produces flowers that range in white, grey and cream colors. The stalks of the queen palms need to be pruned carefully to prevent them from dirtying the pool environment.

Queen’s palm is moderately drought resistant and it is sun resistant, making it a very good choice for shade trees around pools. It can also do well in wet soils.

Juniper tree

This type of tree can be ideal if you are looking to have a traditional look around your pool. Generally, they are hardy and they can withstand harsh conditions like drought which means that they can be ideal for both privacy and shade.

Skyrocket is a type of juniper tree is compact and narrow, has gray and green foliage and can reach a height of 40 feet making it so great for privacy and shade.

Banana tree

This kind of trees grow very fast and can grow up to a height of 15 feet within few weeks. They have very broad and long leaves that form a canopy around pools to provide shade. They can grow under warm conditions and at any type of warm soil.

For Tree Services in DFW contact us for pricing.  We can help with tree planting and upgrading your landscaping and dreams come true.  For Pool Service in DFW contact Sun Valley Pool Service.

Planting Trees in Clay Soil

clay soil percent category illustration
clay soil percent category illustration
Illustration of clay soil chart percent category triangle

Before planting, it is best to select trees that are tolerant of clay soils, then planting them correctly.

Clay soils are usually alkaline with pH ranging from 7 to 8.5. It is important to have the soil examined before planting because some plants grow with specific pH preferences, before selecting plants that will flourish in your soil conditions.

Guidelines for planting trees in clay soil.

  1. Dig a hole 12 inches wider than a root ball, and then leave 6inches of space on all sides.
  2. In thick clay-based soils that drains inadequately, dig a shallow hole so the root ball sits about 3 to 6 inches. Before planting tree, loosen 3 inches of soil in the base of the hole. Remove container by laying plants sideways and sliding the container from the plant.
  3. Carefully place plant into the hole, ensure that the tree is placed in good upright position. Fill the space around the root ball with soil that has been mixed with peat moss; add manure to the space around the root ball with the mixed existing soil. Liquid or granular upstart can be added at this time as well. 


Clay needs added preparation to help plants grow. Here are some tips to help newly planted plants grow better.

  • Never work clay soil when it is wet or bone dry.
    If the soil is too wet, it will form hard clumps. If it is bone dry, it will shatter into dust hence turning into mud, and to brick when it dries. Dry soil should be watered and allowed to soak in for a day or two.
    Examine the soil by compressing the soil into a lump, place a finger into the lump. If it dents like clay, it is too wet. If it crumbles, then it is perfect to work with.
  • Improve the existing soil
    Filling the hole with rich soil can cause root rot. Rich soil will take in water quickly, but very slow to drain away through heavy clay soil. When an existing soil is enhanced, water effectively moves from the improved soil to the existing soil, excluding blue clay. Roots will not thrive in blue clay due to lack of oxygen.

Hydration

When you water, always allow the water to soak the entire ball of soil in the hole. Afterwards let the surface dry at watering interval. During hot weather planting, water is needed almost every day, but it is vital to let the soil surface dry out between watering to avoid soil diseases. After few of weeks of watering, the plant should need watering less often as the root system grows wider.

Water should be administered to all newly-planted shrubs and trees regularly or as needed throughout the entire first season. This is important because the plant’s root system is not yet strong enough to the support the plant. Nevertheless, avoid watering excessively. Remember to check the moisture content of the surrounding soil before watering.

The most frequent causes of tree failure are over watering.

All trees should perform optimally with regular fertilization and appropriate water watering routine. Note that tree planting start in early spring. Overall it is best to stop fertilizing trees in August. This gives the plant time to slow down and harden before winter.

 

How to Care for a Philodendron Plant

philodendron plant caring for

philodendron plant caring forCommonly kept indoors as a houseplant, philodendron plants are easy to care for, and come in many different shapes, sizes, and varieties. Like most other plants that originated from tropical America, the philodendron enjoys bright, filtered light, or low light. Their broad waxy leaves cannot handle full direct sun, and require a place inside the home that gets bright light out of direct sun. They can, however, survive in areas of the home with lower light also, but will not thrive in areas that are too lowly lit. Like most tropical plants, they enjoy an area where there is enough light for you to read comfortable without straining your eyes.

To water your philodendron, it is important that you do not water over the plant, and that you avoid getting the leaves too wet during watering. Wet leaves can rot and disease can form, so it is best to gently lift the foliage up and water around the base of the plant. The soil can become somewhat dry between watering, but it is important to make sure that they are not dried out too often because their growth can be stunted, and they may lose some of their foliage. Try to keep the soil evenly moist, and ensure that there is no excess water building up in the base of the pot.

More about the philondendron-plant.pdf

The ideal temperature for a philodendron plant is a bit warmer than room temperature, or 75-85°F (24-30°C), but can tolerate lower indoor temperatures too. They can be fertilized in the spring and mid summer with a general liquid indoor houseplant fertilizer. You will want to regularly wash the leaves of your philodendron plant as soon as you see dust building up, to ensure that the pores of the leaves do not become clogged and that your plant can breathe more easily.

If you need more plant advice contact the Landscapers in Frisco

Summer lawn care tips

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Lawn Care Business Tips #4 – No More Excuses

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