February Houseplant Favorites

This month, I've picked out three plants (plus a bonus round) from my personal collection to share with you!

Tillandsia seleriana, an air plant from Owens Gardens out in Monroe WA! The next big event they will be at in the Seattle area is the University Street Fair on May 19th/20th, 2018. These kinds of conventions and street fairs are the only times you'll be able to buy direct from this grower. So, mark your calendars, PNW peeps! 

This T. seleriana is doing fantastic with supplemental humidity, heat and light this winter. It has even put out quite a few new tendril-like leaves and roots too! Super exciting stuff! 

If your climate is like mine, think twice about soaking your air plants in the winter. Standing water, cool conditions, low light all keep an air plant wet. And a wet, cold, air plant in the dark will quickly turn into a a rotted one. I've learned this lesson the hard way when my well-meaning, but totally inappropriate care dispatched two of my first gorgeous and large T. xerographica. Since that tragic event, I've started to mist my air plants lightly with a fine spray from a hand mister. So far, so good!  

Musa basjoo or 'banana plant' from N&M Herb Nursery located in Hubbard, OR. This plant was bought at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, here in Seattle, where they had a booth.

Holy cow, with how dark and dreary this PNW winter has been growth across my entire collection has been lethargic, at best. Yes, there are some things under supplemental light that seemed to perk up a touch. However, all of my plants, and myself included are ready for Spring! Acquiring the fast-growing banana plant has been a breath of fresh air and a flurry of foliage! This plant is working on it's 4th large leaf for me in the mere TWO WEEKS of it in my care. These plants are such rapid growers, it's really quite incredible. Outdoors and in optimal conditions, these will reach full size of 12-18 feet tall in a season. And for any of you PNW gardeners pining for that tropical vibe, these cold-hardy plants can be grown outdoors here! 

Davallia fejeensis, alternatively known as the rabbit's foot fern! This was a total clearance rack win from a big box hardware store. 

In my experience, it seems this fern doesn't throw quite as dramatic of a temper tantrum as a maidenhair or button fern might when it comes to humidity. Granted, this plant was also fairly established when I procured it. However, I do feel like this is a hardier plant as far as fern's go for our dry, climate-controlled air indoors during the winter. On top of its relatively hardy nature, it doesn't have that messy fern leaf drop like you get from something like a Boston fern. But my personal favorite part is the fuzzy rhizomes that creep out of its container! 

Bonus round! Oncidium 'Sharry Baby', a noID orchid from Trader Joes.

Orchids from the grocery store are notorious for croaking once you bring them home. Typically, a rotted root system from soggy or rotted growing media is to blame. My rule of thumb for these plants is to IMMEDIATELY repot or mount them. A lapse in priorities was had and this plant was repotted three weeks too late. Then, an ill-advised decision to rip off "that yucky old pseudobulb" was made. Despite a completely rotted root system, being repot into semi-hydro, having only one pseudobulb, being in bloom AND spike, this plant had a glorious, fragrant and long-lasting display of blooms. The second spike also held its buds and flowered! What a trooper! 

At the moment, my collection is 130+ plants strong and growing! If there is a houseplant you'd like me to share my experiences with you can leave a comment here on the blog, on my Instagram or YouTube channel! The world is your oyster!