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February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Posted by prairiemoon2 zone 6a/MA (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 16, 12 at 19:00

I am trying to make purchases of plants for a friend's office. I would like to help him to choose, purchase and install plants that will work well for him. The friend is not a gardener and has little experience beyond keeping to a weekly watering schedule with his last group of plants. He was not fertilizing, had some of them in the wrong location. A croton in too little light that lost most of it's lower leaves and the rest lost their color. I don't expect this friend to 'learn' how to take care of plants in general, so I am hoping to purchase the easiest, most difficult to kill plants and start over.

My biggest problem is finding good quality plants that don't cost a fortune. I asked around, went to the most recommended nursery in the area that was a 40 minute drive away, and was disappointed by the condition of the plants, the prices and the selection. I went twice and left with nothing. So, my next choice would be to drive down to Logee's in CT which is a two hour drive away. Not wanting to make that trip, I am considering ordering plants online.

So, if someone has a suggestion of a local nursery in the Boston area that I am unaware of, or has had a happy experience ordering plants online and can recommend someone. And isn't this too cold still to order plants by mail? I imagine I will have to wait for more than a month to do that. Also if I order online, I doubt I can get large plants.

I just find it so surprising that there is nowhere locally, I can find in the area to purchase plants that I am happy with.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hello Prairie
You mention CT and Boston I am sure a good florist in the Boston area can help you--are u looking for large plants ?
sounds like you are not from this area-I am in Plymouth and most of the local nurseries are closed til Spring--Hate to say it cuz the care they give plants is not too good--but Lowe's and Home Depot do have indoor plants year round--if you hit it right you may find fresh stock--Spring is right around the corner and winter has been mild so far--if this is a large office there are plants services that care for them too--Check on line and contact places-
Good luck and let us know how you do.
Mari


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Have you tried your grocery store? I know it sounds strange but I have found some really large plants at the grocery store.

I had to relocate years ago to train staff and did not want to invest in expensive plants for my temporary apartment or the office when I was only going to be there for 8-9 months but I could not imagine living or working and not have plants around.

I purchased 3 spiderplants, 2 Sansevieria, and 2 Golden Pothos. I put them in very pretty pots and made the pots the star of having plants in the office, All these plants were picked up at the grocery store. I went to Home Depot and picked out beautiful pots,

That is my suggestion. You do not want anything fancy for the office just greenery for visual and air cleaners for health.

I picked this large plant up at the grocery store in Oct.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grocery Store plant


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Actually, you've both given me good ideas. I did pass a few nurseries that were closed last weekend, too. I know there are a few Winston Florists in the area and they always have arrangements that are pristine and I did call them. They have potted plants for sale at one of their locations, but I'm afraid they are very expensive. $100. for a palm tree. I'm sure it's gorgeous, but...

Yes, the whole point of the plants is for air cleaning at the office and easy care and I think you are right, inexpensive easy plants are a better investment. I hadn't thought of the grocery store either, but come to think of it, I have seen plants at Whole Foods. I have steered away from the box stores, but it wouldn't hurt to find out when their next shipment comes in and check them out. They couldn't look any worse than the plants I saw at the nursery and I bet they will be cheaper. When I was at the nursery, I did decide on a Pothos and was going to go home with one. ($12.99) I picked it up and a cloud of fungus gnats came with it and I put it back.

Thanks for the suggestions, this may save me a 2 hour drive. :-)


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hi Prairiemoon,

Crotons are difficult plants..Attempting to keep a healthy specimen going, especially in an office, is very difficult. In most cases, inpossible.

Don't shop at florists...they're rip-offs. They sell basic plants like Dracaena Corn Plant for 75.00. Home Depot sells '8" potted Corn plants for 7.99 up to 5' tall, for 19.99.

You've been given great advice from the above posters..
If you decide to shop online, and want inexpensive, healthy, good-sized, '4" pots' plants, check out
accentsforhomeandgarden.

Before purchasing the right plant for your friend.
What type of lighting does this office have? Windows or artificial lighting? If windows, which direction do they face and how near the window would the plant be placed?
Toni


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Mahoneys' in Winchester, Ma. all the way! They are only 20 minutes from you and you will be hooked.

Logee's is very expensive for the size plants they sell because they are very exotic not to say hard to find. They are plants you definitly need to know how to care for.

Mahoney's has a HUGE selection of very nice plants and a worker there named 'Ann' that could answer all youur questions and get you started on the right track!


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

The office is a good size office that is very bright with continuous windows along the west wall. The walls are painted an off-white. He has space for one medium size plant on top of a credenza right in front of the window, and wants to add a tall 5ft plant in a corner close to the window but it is partly shaded by vertical blinds so it would get filtered light. Then has space on the other side of the room for a few plants that would be about 6-8ft away from the window without direct sunlight but bright afternoon light.

He would like a Palm, but I have doubts he could manage to keep that healthy. He chose the Croton and liked it for the colors so it's too bad that one won't work out easily. For the tall plant, I am mulling over a Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica or Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) I have not grown either. Or a Schefflera.

I was thinking he might be able to grow a new Croton right in front of that West window, since he likes it so much, but if that sounds too tough, not sure what would work well there. I wish he liked Jade Plant or succulents but he doesn't. He loves fragrant plants and I thought about a Jasmine, but think that might be too challenging.

On the other side of the room, I was thinking Pothos, Grape Ivy, maybe Oxalis, Creeping Fig, Chinese Evergreen and maybe a Peace Lily somewhere.

Thanks for the online referral of accentsforhomeandgarden. I'll check it out. Thanks Toni. :-)

I did call the Home Depot near me today and they just had a delivery today, so I think I will check them out tomorrow.

Mike, thanks for the referral for the Mahoney's. I may be able to stop by there too.

Appreciate all the help! Thanks.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

  • Posted by deburn 6 - Boston MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 20, 12 at 22:25

Mahoney's also has a branch in Brighton, that's smaller than the one in Winchester, but still has a decent collection.

btw, I was at the Winchester location a couple of weeks ago, and my girlfriend bought a few plants for her apartment (I was a good boy and didn't buy anything!).

Of the 3 plants she bought, one had aphids and another had fungus gnats. I'm very happy with Home Depot - there are several of them around, they have a decent selection and great prices. And I cannot remember any instances of bringing infected plants home - though I do isolate them for a few days.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Thanks for sharing your friend's experience with Mahoney's. I've had similar problems with purchases from their greenhouse, unfortunately.

I did go to Home Depot on Saturday. They had just received a new shipment on Friday, so good timing. I was disappointed with the selection. They didn't have a lot of what I was looking for. They didn't have either of the Figs. They had a couple of Shefflera's but they were not in good condition. No Grape Ivy. They had a new shipment of palms and we ended up buying one with the expectation it may not be a long term success. It was $16. so we'll see how long it lasts.

When I got home, I was annoyed to google the type of palm, Majesty Palm...and evidently, it is one of the palms that is NOT recommended for houseplants. It is said to be a fast grower so they can produce them quickly and cheap, but that the conditions they want, are difficult for the average person to provide and then they start having trouble with them.

They did have some new 3" pots of succulents and I bought a few of those for myself. So, overall, I guess I would expect Home Depot to be hit or miss for me. I'll keep looking.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hey Deburn. How've you been?
Regarding Home Depot and Figs. Do you mean Ficus, Rubber Trees, Benjamina, etc?

I was once employed at HD, 'green house.'

95% of the time Ficus Benjamina had Scale.
I pointed it out to my manager, but he could care less..He looked at the Scale and shrugged..Nice, huh?

Unless a customer knows what to look for, they'll buy a Ficus, go home w/their new tree, only to watch it die.
If the customer has other plants, those too will contract Scale.

Guess it doesn't matter which nursery/box stores we buy from, ALL plants should be inspected and isolated, 'if possible.'

Moon, skip the Majesty Palm. They don't make good house plants. However, there are other Palms that do well indoors.

Seems your friend is pining for a Croton. Who can blame him/her? Crotons are lovely, leaf shapes differ and a healthy/new specimen has vivid colors. Deep reds, yellows, etc.

Aside from being Spider Mite magnets, if they're not given enough light, colors fade, revert to green, plus growth is spindly.

Grape Ivy is hard to find. I last saw hanging it at Walmart, and a seller on Ebay 'usually' has GI available--inexpensive. Got my GI from him a few years back. Grape Ivy is fast-growing, but if need be, can be pruned back.

Jasmine are a little difficult..fragrant but difficult.

If the west window is really bright, your friend might do well with Citrus or Murraya. Both types flower regularly, and aren't too difficult.

They require humidity, but not as much as most Jasmines.

But, there's still the problem with fresh, circulating air. Can windows be opened during summer months?
Too much heat is another issue.

I agree...it's too bad your friend doesn't care for succulents. There are so many available, beutiful plants, variegated or green..Many flower, but most aren't fragrant.

What about Hoyas? There are upright and hanging types..They need good light to bloom, and flowers are fragrant.

Orchids are fragrant..The easiest Orchid is Phalaenopsis..some Phalaenopsis are scented, too.

Wish I could be more help. Don't forget Ebay..You can find great deals on Ebay. Toni




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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

I am with Toni 100 % except for a Phaleanopsis. I couldn't keep one of these alive past 3 months and then or course I never asked my friend Toni to help me:-)

Now as for Mahoney's. There is NO place you can get plants that will guarantee a pest won't hitchhike. I have only had one instance of pest from Mahoney's and many more from HD and or nursery's.

I look at all the surrounding plants before I purchase one. If I see any signs of mealy bugs or mites, I walk out empty handed.

Now, if you want to get a nice plant that like almost any kind of light in any area of a building, get a Christmas Cactus.

Mike


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

I think you've gotten plenty of great advice from everyone here. All I can add is that I visited the HD by the Quincy Adams T stop about a month ago and they had a surprisingly large selection (much better than the one I went to in Somerville). There is also a Lowe's a few blocks away, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

While I haven't personally been to Mahoney's, I have several friends who have recommended the Winchester and Brighton locations to me. Not sure about the pest issue though. And as others have recommended, I would check out Shaws and Whole Foods, since they seem to carry an assortment of plants.

Not sure if this was helpful, but I thought I'd try!

Jeffrey


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hi Toni, I am actually surprised about the scale on the Ficus benjamina. Not that there would be any, but that the manager was so unconcerned. I had one Hibiscus that had scale on it and it was a losing battle trying to help the plant recover from it.

The figs I was looking for, are the Rubber Tree and the Fiddle Leaf Fig. They didn't have those, but did have some benjaminas.

Hard to believe but 90% of the palms at HD were Majesty.

On the Croton, my friend already had one and placed it about 8 ft from a West window. You should see what the plant looks like now...lol. Barely any color,
no lower leaves.

Grape Ivy has become hard to find and I don't understand it. In the 1970s, you
would see it everywhere you went. It is such an easy, attractive plant.

I was considering a Citrus, because his large West windows are completely unobstructed, but I was told they have to have a full sun/Southern exposure situation by someone working at a nursery I was at, but a trial has to be in order now. They do have a nice fragrance, if you can get them to bloom. I can get him a small inexpensive one to try. I think you are right, that the citrus might be easier than the Jasmine. He can manage to mist it.

Thanks for bringing up the summer month conditions. I keep forgetting about that. No, the windows do not open and they have air conditioning going all summer. He could certainly add a circulating fan, but with no open windows and air conditioning, I can't imagine that would help, except to make the plants colder. Maybe some, like Pothos, could manage, but I wonder if some of the plants might want to vacation at home outdoors in the summer? As long as he had some plants in the office to help 'clean the air', like the Pothos, maybe that arrangement would be best for the plants?

I enjoy orchids myself and I have the light conditions for them. I've been given a couple as gifts and they are fine for about 6 months. Which I didn't understand, because I have the light conditions for them and I'm pretty sure I had the watering right. I was reading about them last week and I notice that they like warm temperatures. 75-85F. We keep our house at about 65F most of the time in winter and then air conditioning in summer. So I can't help but wonder if that is part of the problem. I'm never going to keep it at 75-85F, summer or winter. (g) So I think I'm going to stop wasting money on them and stick to what likes my conditions.

Mike, good point about not being able to find anywhere that all the plants are clean. And I had not thought to look at the surrounding plants, good tip. On the other hand, from my own experience, some nurseries do a better job of staying on top of that, than others.

Mike, do you have Christmas Cactus? I am wondering about certain steps that have to be taken to get it to bloom? Don't you have to put it in a dark closet or something to get it to bud?

Jeffrey, you are right, each location of a HD or Lowe's can be very different from another. It may depend in part on the person in charge of the greenhouse area, I suppose. I still plan on checking out a few more stores as I have opportunity to. Mahoney's has a location out in Sudbury/Wayland area, that I've personally found to be better than others, too. Checking on Whole Foods this weekend and I'll have to look for a Shaws.

Everyone has been SO helpful. I really appreciate it!


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Oh yes I have CC and how! I have quite a few and the are one of the easiest plants I have ever grown.

I have had them in East, North, South, and or West windows and they have always done well no matter what.
Blooming is usually induced naturally by occuring shorter days once the fall approaches. I find that when left alone, in their spot, they have no problems blooming. But, if you are one that likes to move them to different places as I was once, this will inhibit bud production for sure.

Mike>:-)

Hey, it is 60 today!!!!Yahoo.

Mike


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Moon have you walked around the other offices and see what they are growing?

I do not know if this applies to your friends job, office, even the city where you work, there could be a culture. I do not want to offend but from experience, as silly as it may sound I found out through experience. Even putting the wrong plants and decor can be a career buster.

I have had 2 jobs.. two different cities that I had a private office. One was in the South one was in the North. Just as how you dress was as different as what you put in your office.

The North everybody seem to have very conservative structural plants, Sanseveria, Schefflera, Peace Lily, ZZ plant - Zamioculcas Zamiifolia,

The Southern offices they seemed to have plants that had a little more flare it may have been because there was more sun in the winter. That is when I saw Crotons, African Violets, Prayer Plant, Bromeliads

That said, I know you said they do not like succulents and I and am not saying this is appropriate for an office in every situation, but I thought this would be really neat on a office cabinet. I could be wrong I am a strange bird. lol

Photobucket


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

PrairieMoon..Believe me, I was shocked, too, and angry.
I worked at one HD, but there are two nearby. Neither stores take care of their plants.

Two years ago, both HD's had beautiful, Crown of Thorns. Only problem was, each were wrapped in foil. I lifted one. Stagnent, 'stinky' water popped up, hitting me! It was disgusting. I said, loud and clear, "these plants are succulents and should not be wrapped in foil!"
People in the store all looked at me, lol. My dh is shy, he walked away, lol.
We went back a week later..every last COT was rotted..all sitting in water.
HD doesn't care..I learned that much as an employee..They lose plants then write them off..this way they don't lose money. You wouldn't believe the number of plants tossed in an inside dumpster.

Most likely, other HD's tend to plants properly. There's a good number of stores, all can't be like the two near our house.

If you ever find Scale on a plant, spray with Fish Emulsion. FE has an odor, 'though they now have an odor-less type,' I've never used the latter. FE sprayed on foliage prevents and kills Scale.

Isn't it amazing how many plants were available in the 70's? Those same plants are no longer around, or hard to find.
Swedish Ivy, Grape Ivy, Rhoeo/Moses in the Cradle, and so many others were always available. Except for my Moses which was started as a cutting, the others were ordered online..

Yep, HD and Walmart sell Majesty Palms..Don't know why...they die indoors.
Every so often, HD sells Rubber Plants in 4" pots. They're small, but will eventually grow large. I never see Fiddle Leaf Figs these days, except on Ebay.

Are you near KMarts? They sometimes have large, inexpensive Rubber Trees.

PM, Citrus do fine in an unobstructed west window. It would be a good idea summering outdoors, (even 2 months.) If you can find an inexpensive tree, go for it.
Look for a Kumquat. They're indoor-hardier than lemon, orange, lime or grapefruit.
Or a citrus relative, Murraya.
IMO, standards do better than bushy trees.

If you want to go basic, how about a D. Corn Plant or D. Janet Craig? And a few different variety Pothos..hanging?
All three require medium to bright light...the west window, especially if the office is on an upper level, might be too harsh.

What were your Orchids potted in? Soil or bark? Orchids are best potted in bark. Maybe light wasn't the problem?

Marquest, love your planters..Wow..you have the nicest pots around.

Strange about offices and plants. Guess it depends where one works.
My dh works in an office..he's got several plants growing in his window, and a Syngonium climbing around his office walls. lol.
Several employees liked the idea having plants around..now almost all have greens in their offices, lol.

Offices in downtown Chicago/malls hire people to decorate and care for plants..employees don't choose plants they want..types are discussed between managers and plant company. Toni


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Toni those are not my planters. I found them on the net last night looking for plants. But I am going in search of them. lol

Yes I think it depends where you work. I have worked in places that they said we could not bring any plants in and they had to come from the office coordinator in the HR department. It just depends where you work and what their rules arem


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Mike, I'm going to keep an eye out for a Christmas Catcus, thanks for the info on how they prepare to bloom.

Marquest, yes, I did have an opportunity to visit the offices. All of the offices have some kind of plant. I saw a lot of Pothos, a few palms, Peace Lily, a Corn plant. An orchid or two and I'm sure I've forgotten a few. I think it is a pretty relaxed atmosphere about plants.

Those are very unique planters for those succulents. lol They go well with them!

Toni, I don't understand HD's company philosophy I suppose. Maybe they think it would cost more to hire enough people to keep up the care on the plants then to just take a loss? I even wonder if they hire someone who actually has experience in the horticulture industry to manage the department? Well, you know that old saying 'Buyer Beware'.

Thanks for the tip on Scale. I am an organic gardener, so that is a whole lot better solution than some of the other suggestions I've heard.

Happy to consider a Citrus and a summer outdoor is a definite possibility. Kumquat.....interesting!

My friend doesn't like the Corn Plant or Janet Craig. Pothos definitely. Going to get a couple of them and place them on the opposite wall to the window.

Two of the Orchids I had were potted in bark and one was in moss.

Well, I did get out yesterday to Whole Foods. I was surprised to see the
flower department had been scaled back since last time I was there. NO houseplants at all. Just cut flowers and orchids. It may be a temporary situation and there are lots of other locations to check out.

Went to Mahoney's in Winchester and I wish I could give them a good report, but.... They did have some attractive chinese evergreens, but an 8 inch pot was $39.99. I thought that was pretty outrageous. In one side of the greenhouse, they had a whole back wall of standard Hibiscus, that were covered with aphids. I can't exaggerate how many aphids were on the plants. Maybe a 30-40 feet row of them up against the glass and I didn't even touch them or get close enough to inspect them. Just a casual view and it was like an aphid factory over there. There were at least 7 plants that had aphids covering buds, foliage and it looked like they had just had lots of tiny babies. It's not like they don't have enough help. There always seems to be plenty of help there, so why they can't practice better standards of care, is a mystery. You would think they would be concerned about having an epidemic of them in the rest of the greenhouse. They were marked on sale, originally priced at $100. marked down to $45. So, again I left with nothing.

I have a standard Hibiscus at home, that summers in the garden, and it's doing very well this winter. No pests, no dropping leaves. I find it an easy care plant indoors. I have obstructed West windows so it doesn't get a lot of light either. Doesn't seem to be bothered by lack of humidity. I rarely mist it. I don't fertilize it to try to keep it blooming, so it will have a rest over the winter.

So, I'll keep looking. I have a few more places to try and I will look for a
Shaw's etc. Other nurseries will be opening for the season, soon. I have a nice variegated Pothos at home that I took cuttings from and I can pot that up for him if worse comes to worse. It would be small, but at least healthy.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Morning,

Marquest..I'm sure you'll find the planters, lol. You have the nicest pots ever.

Any company that doesn't allow outside plants inside cares about their plants. Who would blame them? Who'd want their well-tended plants suddenly infested?

I don't know if florists and nurseries still do this, but there was a time people brought their sick plants in to be diagnosed and treated.

PM. Like I said, HD wrote off plants. 'At least they did when I worked in the gh.'
At the time, they never had sales or reduced prices. If they marked down price, they lost money. That's the reason they wrote them off as a loss. By writing them off, HD came out even.

Every Sun, after closing, the manager announced each dept and how much $ was made.
They ALWAYS announced Garden last. Ohhhh, thinking about this still makes me angry..lol.

Believe me, no one had horticulture experience, including the garden dept. manager.

HD hired part-time temps for outdoor, garden plants from spring until late summer. Temps came in 5 days a week to water, dead-head, and sell plants.
They had some knowledge about annuals, perennials, herbs, but nobody could ID one house plant from another. Heck, no one cared.

40.00 for a Chinese Evergreen? Were they green or red?
That's expensive.
You'd get a better bargain buying Agloanemas on Ebay or Thailand..lol.

Aphids..That store should order a few thousand ladybugs..lol..The ladybugs would eat healthy and Hibs insect-free...Yuck!

I refuse using chemical insecticdes. One reason is we have birds. Chemicals can kill a bird breathing the air, or entering their pores.

Fish Emulsion saved my Olive Tree and two Citrus. One day after spraying, every, single Scale died, and luckily never returned.
I also use FE as a preventative by spraying 'among other ingredients,' once a month in winter.

Orchids have different needs depending on type. Some require bright light, others semi-shade. Humidity and proper watering is very important. All it takes is practice.

I too feel Hibs are easy house plants. However, my four get a special Hib, slow-release fertilizer. Don't know if it's coincidence...before using Hib fertilizer, Hibs died. lol. Perhaps it's all in my mind..lol.

Hope you find suitable plants for your friend. Does he have plants at home? Is he searching, too? Toni


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Getting closer to finishing up my project of new plants for my friend. We went to another nursery yesterday. Lake Street Gardens in New Hampshire. They send me emails and the latest issue reported they had citrus plants and Kumquat among them.
So off we went. I take a trip up there a couple of times a season but had never been there this time of year. So deserted...lol. But the greenhouse was nice and warm and sunny. A hoop house really. A small place and small selection. I did find a Grape Ivy, but I didn't think they looked quite healthy. Blotchy color on some of the leaves, just not happy enough to buy one. I had two other choices in mind for the location I wanted to put that and decided it was time to forget the Grape Ivy and go with one of the other choices. Variegated creeping fig or Oxalis. They had both and my friend chose the Oxalis. They were out of the Kumquat, unfortunately, but he showed me a Meyer's Lemon that was about 3ft high....$60. for it. I asked for a small size and he had a 4 inch pot for $8.99. That will give my friend a chance to see if his conditions and care will allow him to grow the citrus. When I got home, the tag said 'Lime Bearss Seedless' so I was disappointed, but after looking it up, I think it will work out just as well.

They had Hibiscus in 4 inch pots for $7.99 and I was excited to see they were a named variety. I've been looking for one for myself for awhile. They looked really healthy and in that small size I spotted one that already had a bud on it. It was named 'Kona Double Pink' and although I was unfamiliar with it, I had wanted a double. Very happy when I looked it up when I got home, that Logee's carries it for $16.99 and had a photo of it. Link below. I'm still looking for a tall plant and maybe a Chinese Evergreen and Peace Lily for a bright corner for my friend.


So far, these are the plants he has.....

Pothos
Oxalis
Burro's Tail
Aloe
Citrus 'Lime Bearss Seedless'

Toni, your experiences with Home Depot are a cautionary tale for sure. I have purchased some plants at HD but very few. Multiple trips to HD and Lowe's have discouraged me from buying much there and last year, I avoided them all together.

Fish emulsion will be the fertilizer of choice. It's all I use at home.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hibiscus 'Kona Double Pink'


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hey PM,

Hope you and you friend had fun yesterday..plant shopping is a ball.

60.00 for a Meyer's Lemon!! Outrageous.
I'm going to be honest with you. All but two of my citrus were bought as grafted, Standard trees.

Two smaller citrus, 'gifts, bought at Logee's are nothing but tiny, non-grafted seedlings. Before purchasing a citrus from Logee's, I'd sow seeds from store-bought fruit. lol.

Be patient. Soon you'll be able to get beautiful 2-4' citrus for 15-20.00. I don't want to discuss the topic now, not until the time is right and everything is set.

The thing is, I have better luck, 'as far as Citrus,' w/grafted trees. Your friends citrus might do fantastic. Just wanted to explain the difference.

Is NH warm enough to keep plants in a hoop house?

Oxalis requires much more light than Creeping Fig. Opposite care needs.

What color Oxalis did he get? Green, purple, other?
Purple Oxalis is my favorite..Easy care and numerous blooms.

The Hibiscus Kona Double Pink is absolutely beautiful.. Wow! Did you get one for your friend or you? lol.

Does your friend know how to care for plants, PM?
Or will you tend to them?

My succulents, ferns and palms are fertilized w/FE. Palms and ferns get acidic fert, too, though.

PM, most likely, all HD's differ. When the first HD opened nearby, their plants were amazing. Huge Bottle Palms, 'displays,' and others. As time went by, those who cared for plants messed up. All the display plants died.
People who work in garden know nothing about plants. They don't give a hoot. If employees were paid on commission, they might take time to learn names and care..since the loss isn't coming out of their pockets, they water, 'even if plants don't need a drink,' then go home.
They figure, people will buy plants, whatever's left will be dumped. HD writes off their losses, get reimbursed.

Your HD might be totally different than those here. Only you'd know by checking their plants. Do they look healthy? Do you see webbing or anything other than leaves? Is soil too wet? Plants that are wrapped in foil should not smell stagnent.
So, please don't judge your HD by mine. Think I mentioned above..when we were in GA, we stopped at a HD..They're plants were in perfect health. Several, 'not one' employees were tending different sections.

Next time you visit HD, and you're thinking about buying a plant, check for insects AND over-watering. Especially succulents.

BTW, Scale were mostly on large trees. Ficus, Scheffs, etc.

Have a nice weekend, well, what's left of it. Toni


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Priarimom, sounds like you got your friend into some succulents. From your list I am thinking those are going to be the winners.

My purple oxalis takes a break about now there is only a few leaves maybe 3 in a pot that usually is so full you cannot see the pot. So if you see it do not think the plant is dead. It does take a break. It will look like the entire pot is dead and dying. He might have to put it aside or behind something until it starts to grow again.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Well, I had NO idea you were willing to drive to Lake Street! That would of been my first choice for you. In fact, it never occurred to me because the word Boston threw me off.lol

That is the place I frequent the most and in fact they offer free classes and the owner is the nicest man you will meet. Their plants ARE clean and half of mine are from them. I will show you someday. Hey you should sign up for their free classes.

I said Mahoney's because I never had an issue in the past except for once, and I am good friends with the help at the one here in Chelmsford which has good clean plants.

I LOVE Lake Street Gardens and many of the plants they offer there are not sold anywhere locally except for maybe Logee's! The owner, in talking to him, has decided to broaden out to rare and hard plants to find per conversation:-)

I am sooooo happy you found this place! Just ask Chris, he loves that place too.lol

Hello Toni!!! You certainly know your plants and I love them all! You are so kind to help out.

Marquest, what's up? We have been thinking of you:-) Are you still holding that barbecue for us this summer?

Mike


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Yep Mike.....The grill is fired up. or I should say the electric bill is paid. lol I use a electric grill. I do not like the gas grills.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Toni, Yes, what is more fun than plant shopping? Yes we had a very good time.

I assume the Hoop House in NH may be heated? Not sure.

They had both colors but we went for the Green Oxalis with the white flowers.

The Hibiscus is for me...lol

My friend can do the basics so I am trying to make it as easy as possible.
I will be able to check on them, especially until he gets the hang of it.

As for the help at Home Depot not knowing the info on the plants that are offered, it is so surprising. It’s not like they have to be horticulturists or have such a large variety of plant material. Plus there seem to me to be so many amateur gardeners that are actually shoppers there, you’d think they would try to hire someone like that to have some basic knowledge. It would make it more profitable for them, I would think.

Well, we have four HD locally that I have visited, and one of three is better than the others. One is like the one you described.

Marquest, yes, I was reminded in the HD that my friend had expressed a liking for Burro’s Tail at one point and they were small inexpensive plants. The Aloe was too cute to pass up and small. I think succulents are just the easiest, to take care of, so I really encouraged him to try a couple of small ones.

Thanks for the warning on the Oxalis. It could go home for a few weeks break if need be.

Mike, someone on GW recommended Lake Street to me about 3 years ago and I like their perennials, shrubs and selection of annuals. It’s about a 40 minute drive for me and closer than Logee’s in CT. I bought a very pretty variegated Jade Plant there last summer, while shopping for perennials for the garden. I was not sure houseplants were in ready supply, but they had some healthy selections and that is my #1 priority. I would go back. I have noticed they offer classes, although I haven’t found the time to
do that.

I haven’t been to the Chelmsford Mahoney’s. I see Weston Nurseries has a new
location in Chelmsford, too. I got out that way once last summer.

Here is the 'Lime Bearss Seedless'.....

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm sure you are right, Toni, that a grafted tree is the best way to go, but this is just an experiment really, to determine if my friend can provide the care. If it goes well, we would probably really enjoy getting a larger grafted plant.

And you have me curious about the grafted plants that might be available. Very mysterious...(g)


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Marquest, are we having a Bar-B-Q party at your place? LOL.
Some people use gas, others electric, we use the old-fashioned type: Charcoal. Umm, the taste is sooo char-co-ly. lol.

When we lived in Chicago, most weekends we'd drive to the country and camp..me a camper, lol.
Anyway, we bought a 2.00 metal grill, divided in 3 parts. The main part is where food was cooked, the other two held the main part upright.
We collected wood pieces, 'from trees,' lit and up went a nice fire.

Taste of food was unbelievably good. For breakfast we'd have eggs, toast, 'cooked on the grill,' bacon, orange juice and milk..Foods were kept in a cooler.
Lunch and dinner. Steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Umm, those steaks were delicious!

Marquest, you set your Oxalis in dark when it goes dormant? Hmm. I keep in an east window, on a second shelf which gets some light. Dormancy lasts 2-3 weeks..what about your Oxalis?

Hey Mike..Helping people is something everyone should do, right?
You've helped quite a few people over the years, too. Isn't it a good feeling? People come to you for advice with citrus...and other plants.

PM. Yes, plant shopping is fun..I recently found out, a place here in IL, Botanical Gardens, has plant events throughout the year.. From March-Oct there's different fairs..each fair sells plants, lol
Bonsai, Orchids, C&S's, Gesneriads, and more.
I've written dates, and plan on attending once a month.

Do they sell tropicals from the hoop house? I'd assume heating a hoop house would be very expensive. No?

Good, you had to get a plant for you, too. lol. Your Hibiscus is gorgeous.

When I started working at HD, I thought it terrible employees knew nothing about plants. And I mean NOTHING! If anything, they were more interested in containers, lol.

The Bearss seedling is cute..It's best your friend start out with a simple, inexpensive citrus.

I'm sure with your help his plants will do well. Is he happy with those he has?

Toni


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Oh my! Prairie, that is a beauty! I love teh perfect look in that perfect pot with that perfect color. Your friend will love it and the fact it is in a lcay pot will give your friend a good head start!

I saw them there and they also have all kinds of grafted for the future!

Yumm. A barbecue it is then! lol

Mike


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hello again....

Question about that Citrus plant pictured above....my friend has had it at the office for about a week and the first 3 days it was cloudy, but since it has been sunny, it seems to be sucking up moisture. He watered it on Tuesday because it was wilting and it revived and then this morning it was wilting again.

I am not sure what to suggest besides watering it often. It was just transplanted from a pot that was about one size smaller, so I wouldn't want to put it in a larger pot yet. It is in clay and it gets a lot of sun The one thing I was thinking was that it hasn't any mulch on it. Wondering if that would help at all? Or should he just be watering it every day? Every other day? I wouldn't want him to be waiting for it to wilt every time it needed watering.

He did mention that he already had sun at 10:30a the other day. I thought that was a little early for a true Western exposure, so wondering if he has a Southwestern exposure? Which would be a good thing.

Any thoughts?


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Howdy...Clay sucks up water.
When clay pots are used, before adding a plant, they need soaking. Of course, in this situation, the Citrus is already potted so it can't be done. LOL

Soil in clay, placed in a sunny area, especially if temps are warm to hot, is bound to dry fast.

Forget the moss. Decorative or otherwise. Moss is a Fungus Gnat attraction. These pests make homes in moss.
I'd rather water daily than place moss on a plant that dries quick.

Perhaps, the container should have been two sizes larger instead of one?? If roots were really tight in its previous pot, one size up might not make much difference.

Other than daily drinks, the only other option is repotting again. Let's say the orignial pot was 4", up'd to 5". If roots are tight-fitting a medium to large 6" might be an improvement.

Over-potting isn't a good idea, especially if your friend can't keep his hands off the watering can, lol.

Soil makes a difference, too. Soil-less mixes dry faster than prepared soils. Moreso in clay.

What will you/he do? Toni


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

I'm not sure what would be attractive in your friend's situation, but I have just placed two short pieces of board over the top of the pot over the soil (with a cut out from the side for the plant to get through) to keep the hot sun off the soil in a pot outside on my porch last summer, and it worked just great. It cut down on the number of times I had to water it to keep it moist.


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RE: February in Boston MA area, want to find houseplants, advice?

Hi Toni .... Yes, I thought it would be healthier to put it in clay, to cut down on any possibility of fungal problems. I actually don't think he will have a problem watering it even every day. It is a small plant and the only one he will have to water often.

Bark mulch was what I was thinking of, not moss.

I suppose the rule I was trying to follow, was not potting up to larger than one size larger. Also, the roots were not tight. But, in hindsight, the reason for that, is not to keep the root zone too moist, which is certainly not the case. So I could probably repot it to a larger size, but I think I'd like to let it grow a little in the pot it's in before repotting, so, I will suggest to my friend that he water every other day and if that doesn't work, I'll repot it. I just can't see telling him to water daily, because, without observing the plant on that schedule, who knows if it could cause problems, that he would be slow to recognize.

Yes, I would love to use a home made soil recipe like Tapla has been recommending for some time, but I have not been able to find the ingredients for it in my area. And I checked the thread about where to find in each state, but nowhere near me.

aseedisapromise....love your screenname :-)
That is an interesting solution. Since this is in an office environment, I don't think it is a solution he would use. But thanks for the idea.


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