Best Houseplants San Francisco

flora grubb!We asked three of SF’s top grow-it-alls — Succulence’s Ken Shelf, Crimson Horticultural Rarities co-owner Lonna Lopez, and Flora Grubb of Flora Grubb Gardens — to share their secrets.

What’s a cool plant idea for the type of person who could kill a cactus?
KS: Cactus mostly like to be left alone in a nice bright space, so if you’ve killed it, it’s either too dark or you’ve given it too much water.crimson! hosta (great flowers) or a fern — something that won’t mind being dark and wet.

LL: I’d suggest a large table terrarium with plants that are planted in soil because it functions like a mini ecosystem.

FG: For indoors, our customers love sansevierias (snake plants) because they tolerate low light, prefer minimal water, and look chic in all kinds of containers. There are many types, from classic Mad Men-era Black Gold — with dark emerald and gold-edged leaves — to cylindrica, whose uber-exotic, bold look would be right at home in a sculpture gallery.

flora grubb!How about for work-at-home types looking to amp up their creative juices?
KS: How about a hanging string garden? Wrap bromeliads in sphagnum moss and hang them together in a surrealistic space-scape. Or start planting everything in your closet/storage area/garage: Put a burro’s tail (sedum morganianum) in a vintage boot and hang it off the wall with a long hook or glue magnets to the bases of your air plants and stick them all over the fridge. Get really creative by hanging some dischidia (planted in giant sea snail shells) from your shower ceiling.

LL: Try to find a cool, glass vessel and make a terrarium out of it with air plants.

FG: Food gardening: Start simple with bowls of herbs on a sunny, cool windowsill (or, better, in an accessible spot outdoors). At lunch, add fresh tarragon or thyme to your salad dressing or garnish your paleo lamb chop with rosemary. Combine the joy of cultivating a bit of nature with the creativity of cooking. It’s the perfect break from desk work.

crimson! haworthia!

Houseplant help!

2004-11-08 13:40:24 by brown_thumb_inside

I've been learning-through-doing on my houseplants, but I could use some experienced advice (books just are not helping!). Some of my plants have done great, some have lingered in a half-life for years and some just die on me.
First, how can I keep my ivy alive?!? I've tried all kinds of lighting situations, from low, indirect light to full sun and they always die! I've tried watering less, watering more. The leaves just turn brown and drop, no matter what. What kind of light is best? How/when to water? Do they need a particular temp or humidity condition to thrive??
Also, my coleus never seem to do well

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