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Save water, it will save you later…
November 12, 2017
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RAIN WATER HARVESTING

Rain water harvesting techniques to augment ground water

Fresh water is scarce

  • Of the total water on earth, only 3% constitutes freshwater. Rest is saline water in the oceans.
  • 11% of the total freshwater on earth is groundwater available upto a depth of 800m which can be extracted for use.
  • Mindless extraction and over exploitation of very small quantity of this precious nature resource has caused a rapid depletion and deterioration in its quantity and quality both.

Ground water is pumped and consumed rapidly due to:
Population explosion, Rapid economic development, Water-hungry farms

When groundwater is rapidly consumed, recharge to the original levels by natural process can take months or years. If corrective actions are not taken, it may lead to famine due to collapse of agricultural output and severe potable water scarcity.

One of the easiest ways to recharge ground water is by implementing Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) in all

  • Residences with any type of roof
  • Shopping complex, railway stations, bus terminals, government buildings, schools, flyovers including temples, churches, mosques etc.,

RAIN WATER HARVESTING

In the present scenario management and distribution of water has become centralized. People depend on government system, which has resulted in disruption of community participation in water management and collapse of traditional water harvesting system.

As  the water crisis continues to become severe, there is a dire need of reform in water management system and revival of traditional systems. Scientific and technological studies needs to be carried out to assess present status so as to suggest suitable mitigative measures for the revival to traditional system/wisdom. Revival process should necessarily be backed by people’s initiative and active public participation.

Living creatures of the universe are made of five basic elements, viz., Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky, Obviously, water is one of the most important elements and no creature can survive without it. Despite having a great regard for water, we seem to have failed to address this sector seriously. Human being could not save and conserve water and it sources, probably because of its availability in abundance. But this irresponsible attitude resulted in deterioration of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality both. Now, situation has arrived when even a single drop of water matters. However. ” better late than never”, we have not realized the seriousness of this issue and initiated efforts to overcome those problems.

System of collection rainwater and conserving for future needs has traditionally been practiced in India. The traditional systems were time-tested wisdom of not only appropriate technology of Rainwater Harvesting, but also water management systems, where conservation of water was the prime concern. Traditional water harvesting systems were Bawaries, step wells, jhiries, lakes, tanks etc. These were the water storage bodies to domestic and irrigation demands. People were themselves responsible for maintenance to water sources and optimal use of water that could fulfill their needs.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

The term rainwater harvesting is being frequently used these days, however, the concept of water harvesting is not new for India. Water harvesting techniques had been evolved and developed centuries ago.
Ground water resource gets naturally recharged through percolation. But due to indiscriminate development and rapid urbainzation, exposed surface for soil has been reduced drastically with resultant reduction in percolation of rainwater, thereby depleting ground water resource. Rainwater harvesting is the process of augmenting the natural filtration of rainwater in to the underground formation by some artificial methods. “Conscious collection and storage of rainwater to cater to demands of water, for drinking, domestic purpose & irrigation is termed as Rainwater Harvesting.”

Why Harvest Rainwater?

This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions, as to why one should harvest rainwater. There are many reasons but following are some of the important ones.

  • To arrest ground water decline and augment ground water table
  • To beneficiate water quality in aquifers
  • To conserve surface water runoff during monsoon
  • To reduce soil erosion
  • To inculcate a culture of water conservation

How to Harvest Rainwater:

Broadly there are two ways of harvesting rainwater:

(i) Surface runoff harvesting

(ii)Roof top rainwater harvesting

Surface Runoff Harvesting:
In urban area rainwater flows away as surface runoff. This runoff could be caught and used for recharging aquifers by adopting appropriate methods.

Roof Top Rainwater Harvesting (RTRWH):

It is a system of catching rainwater where it falls. In rooftop harvesting, the roof becomes the catchments, and the rainwater is collected from the roof of the house/building. It can either be stored in a tank or diverted to artificial recharge system. This method is less expensive and very effective and if implemented properly helps in augmenting the ground water level of the area.


Methods of Roof Top Rainwater Harvesting

In this method rain water collected from the roof of the building is diverted to a storage tank. The storage tank has to be designed according to the water requirements, rainfall and catchment availability. Each drainpipe should have mesh filter at mouth and first flush device followed by filtration system before connecting to the storage tank. It is advisable that each tank should have excess water over flow system.

Excess water could be diverted to recharge system. Water from storage tank can be used for secondary purposes such as washing and gardening etc. This is the most cost effective way of rainwater harvesting. The main advantage of collecting and using the rainwater during rainy season is not only to save water from conventional sources, but also to save energy incurred on transportation and distribution of water at the doorstep. This also conserves groundwater, if it is being extracted to meet the demand when rains are on.

Recharging ground water Aquifers

Ground water aquifers can be recharged by various kinds of structures to ensure percolation of rainwater in the ground instead of draining away from the surface. Commonly used recharging methods are:-

  1. a)         Recharging of bore wells
  2. b)         Recharging of dug wells.
  3. c)         Recharge pits
  4. d)         Recharge Trenches
  5. e)         Soak ways or Recharge Shafts
  6. f)          Percolation Tanks
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ITS TIME TO DO NOT TO THINK…PLANT TREE TO SAVE EARTH
November 12, 2017
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Save Earth, “before it gets too late”.

 

What causes Global Warming?

The main cause for global warming is considered as Green House Effect. Global warming is closely linked to the enhanced greenhouse effect which is an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere leading to an increase in the amount of infrared or thermal radiation near the surface. Also one of the major causes of global warming is Carbon Dioxide, which also adds in global warming.

Green house effect is the one to blame. As global warming is the increase in temperature of earth’s surface, which is caused by green house effect. Gasses like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide accumulate near the earth’s surface. They trap the heat over the surface of earth and increase the temperature of it.

But do you know that green house effect is also very important to maintain life on earth.

A major cause is deforestation. Due to deforestation the increase in carbon dioxide in atmosphere is seen. Actually forests trap a lot of carbon dioxide within them, but when they are cut down all that CO2 is released into atmosphere.

Due to increasing population in world, the needs for lands are increasing due to which forest need to cut down.

A “carbon sink” is a natural system that stores carbon over thousands of years. Such sinks include peat bogs and the arctic tundra. But if these sinks destabilize, that carbon will be released, possibly causing an unstoppable and catastrophic warming of the Earth.

According to scientists oceans store as much as 50 times more carbon dioxide than atmosphere. but these days even oceans are unable to store it. Oceans have a large amount of Phytoplankton which stores COin them. But due to dissolution of CO2 in oceans forming carbonic acid kill plants.

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Some Facts

Carbon dioxide is harmful for environment. But it is as useful too for environment.

Carbon dioxide is use by plants to complete their photosynthesis process to make food.

Large amount of carbon dioxide is very harmful for human beings and animals too. But plants grow upto 50 percent faster in very high amount of it.

Ozone is utmost important for earth as it prevents the incoming UV and infrared rays to come to earth. But it is also responsible for air pollution to some extent.

Ozone is utmost important for earth as it prevents the incoming UV and infrared rays to come to earth. But it is also responsible for air pollution to some extent.

Ozone can block the pores of plant leaves and then their photosynthesis will be slowed down.

CFL’s use atleast 60% less energy. If we switch to them then atleast 300 pounds of CO2 an year will be reduced. That means in India we can save cut down 87 billion pounds of CO2 each year.

Possible Consequences of Global Warming

Most scientists agree that the Earth is in fact experiencing increasing temperatures, and many believe that humans are enhancing this overall warming trend. The likely effects of global warming will not be limited to one country ? or even one continent ? and will permeate almost every aspect of the environment and of life for all living things. Potential effects listed here are just a handful of those discussed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) .

Rising sea levels are the most common concern; taking place with a thermal expansion of the oceans? A result of water molecules expanding in warmer temperatures, increased precipitation, and the melting of mountain glaciers. Because all bodies of water have varying shapes and ocean water tends to “swell” differently depending on its starting temperature, the change in sea level is not uniform over the surface of the Earth. In the 20th century alone, sea levels rose 0.17 meters predictions for the next century range anywhere from 0.18 to 0.59 meters. While smaller projections would likely have only relatively modest impacts, the higher projections could have dramatic effects on low-lying coastal communities.

An increase in global temperature will likely enhance the ability forsevere weather, which could mean stronger and more frequent storms. Warmer temperatures cause more evaporation of water, which, as part of the water cycle eventually leads to increased precipitation and further increasing the potential for flooding. While some parts of the world are projected to experience increased precipitation, others may experience higher levels of drought as places that are typically dry ? such as the centers of continents ? experience even more evaporation as global temperatures climb. Scientists, however, are trying to determine whether drought is actually increasing or if we are experiencing a shift in areas of drought.

Warmer winters mean that many deaths related to cold temperatures might be avoided and that the growing season will last longer, a possible upside to global warming. More people around the world die because of winter cold than because of summer heat. A decrease in winter deaths could offset a potential increase in summer heat-related deaths, or even lead to more lives saved as a result of the changed temperatures. With respect to longer growing seasons, there is already evidence in Europe that their growing season has been extended since the 1960s, with spring plants now blooming about 6 days earlier and fall colors coming 5 days later.

With drought affecting some regions and heat intensifying in the tropics, many areas will become unsuitable for agriculture. In tropical areas that are already dry and hot, the ability to harvest food will likely decrease even with small increases in warming. However, warmer temperatures and increased precipitation can also make previously marginal land more suitable for farming. Therefore, it is likely that, with a changing climate, a global change in the agricultural pattern will occur. Yet, it is unknown as to whether or not the increase in the usefulness of marginal lands will counterbalance an increase in drought and desertification.

Other species are also affected by global warming, most often by changes in migration patterns, shorter hibernation times, relocation to new areas, and extinction due to lack of adaptation. For example, many animals accustomed to living in the arctic regions, such as polar bears and penguins, have been forced further out of their native habitat in search of more accommodating habitat closer to the poles. Animals that migrate, such as birds and butterflies, have begun extending their migratory range closer to the poles, arriving sooner and departing later.

Go Green

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Trees produce oxygen whereby it absorbs harmful carbon dioxide and releases several thousands of rupees worth of life giving oxygen free of cost. The absorption of carbon dioxide that is a ‘Green House’ gas helps slow down Global Warming.

Global warming is caused by green house gases, which trap in the sun’s infrared rays in the earth’s atmosphere, which in turn heat up the earth’s atmosphere. The main gases contributing to green house effect are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and nitrous oxide. The largest producers of these gases are the thermal power plants, which burn the fossil fuels and produce these gases in large quantities. The second biggest sources of these green house gases are the road vehicles and industries. The concentration of various green house effect gases has substantially increased in the recent times.

Every area should have knowledge of the trees that can flourish in that area. Area heads/society presidents should encourage the planting of seeds

1. Plant a tree every weekend
2. Ask neighbors to take care of trees.
3. Tell children about flowering trees.
4. Give away an award to the child who plants max flowering trees..
5. School curriculum should also have save a tree campaign to save trees in school.
6. On every child birth, It is important to plant a tree to show happiness.
7. Encourage women to actively take part in planting trees instead of being busy in the boring serials
8. Men should take care of the trees around their offices on any day that they get time – some days are free sometimes  work  in office is less men can sure join to save trees, buy fertilizers etc or donate towards such causes.
9. Gift a child a tree and ask the child to take care Award him 1000 rupees if the tree grows to its full size.
10. Spread the uses of useful plants.

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Planting trees is not the only way by which we can preserve our environment.
It is so unexciting to read the same old message, rotting away on your newspapers, blinking on your inbox and plainly printed in your textbooks, about every degree warmer the earth’s getting, with every new thing you’re doing. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 290 (ppm – parts per million) in 1900 to nearly 400 ppm. However unnerving it is to ponder over the situation, it is way more important to do something about it But what?
Here are some really small steps to get closer to a peaceful earth: Change the way you think and do reduce waste and use paper wisely, use both sides n do not waste a single. Use recycled paper if you can

1. Plant a tree: A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%.

2. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb: CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb, about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year saved.
3. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner: Can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
4. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases:
5.Do not leave appliances on standby: Use the “on/off” function on the machine itself. A TV set that’s switched on for 3 hours a day and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.
6.Move your fridge and freezer: Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly Even better is to replace them with newer models.
7. At home: replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.
8.Cover your pots while cooking: Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!
9.Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean.

10.Take a shower instead of a bath: A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath.
11.Cut down on your polythene usage: Collect all when you for shopping & keep them in your treasure box, use them the next time.
12.Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible  Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year!
13.Think before you buy: One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide. Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can. Reuse your shopping bag. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen and Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
14.Spread awareness & Encourage others:30.Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions. You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging others to take action.
15.Encourage the switch to renewable energy: Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass.
16. Protect and conserve forest worldwide: Forests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere – deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
17. Change your traveling and driving style: Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates, sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. Keep your car tuned up, when just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars; nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.
18. Drive carefully and do not waste fuel: You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake, and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute.
19.Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated: Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

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Do not use plastic bags. Keep environment safe and healthy…
November 12, 2017
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Say No to Plastic

Why are Plastic Bags a Problem?

They are harmful to the environment.
• Takes 1000 years to decompose into smaller pieces, which seep down into the soil and release chemicals, which eventually reach the water supply.
• Kills animals in the water when they eat plastic bags thinking they are jellyfish
• Builds up in landfills
• Manufacturing of plastic bags is harmful to the environment because nonrenewable resources are used (petroleum and natural gas). The manufacturing process itself uses toxic chemicals, pollutes the atmosphere and consumes energy.
• The transportation of the billions of plastic bags produced annually means further energy consumption, largely in the form of more petroleum.
• Stores give out unlimited amounts of plastic bags for FREE even when the costumer doesn’t really need one
• Cost in terms of energy and manpower is greater than the value of the material produced

SHOPPING CULTURE IN EARLIER DAYS

Before the advent of poly-bags, people did shop, buy things, bring eatables from the market, and did the same marketing as is done now. How did they did it? The raw material for the bag was decided by its usage. Cloth bags for lighter items, Gunny bags/Jute bags forvoluminous and heavier goods. The cost did not justify use and discard attitude. These bags were washable and reusable lasting for six months to a year.

PLASTIC HAZARDSThe hazards plastics pose are numerous. The land gets littered by plastic bag garbage presenting an ugly and unhygienic seen. The “Throw away culture” results in these bags finding their way in to the city drainage system, the resulting blockage cases inconvenience, difficult in maintaining the drainage with increased cost, creates unhygienic environment resulting in health hazard and spreading of water borne diseases. This littering also reduces rate of rain water percolating, resulting in lowering of already low water levels in our cities. The soil fertility deteriorates as the plastic bags form part of manure remains in the soil for years.

Apart from causing soil pollution, sewage blockages, cattle and mainly marine creature’s mistake plastic for food directly or indirectly, blocking digestion and possibly causing starvation. About 44 percent of all seabirds eat plastic, apparently by mistake, sometimes with fatal effects. And 267 marine species are affected by plastic garbage—animals are known to swallow plastic bags, which resemble jellyfish in mid-ocean. Apparently according to one research plastics at oceans are actually degrading and releasing toxic chemicals and causing water pollution.

Is it not enough that we already burn tonnes of oil and destroy the delicate balance of nature; Is it not enough that our power hungry nature has pushed many a species to extinction? The excuse that the common man really don’t realize what he is doing to the Eco system is no longer acceptable. While a few of us burn ourselves day in and day out working to protect our fragile planet, the rest of us are happily dumping her with tonnes of garbage, and not just any garbage , the most toxic non-biodegradable, plastics. Let us be very clear here, we have only one earth and only one chance. The Earth will not take this hands down. She is raging, and when her rage will hit us with full force, there will be no light of the day for the human race anymore. Already the production of plastics uses up a lot of fossil fuels and is endangering marine life.  And if the lay man does not wake from his long slumber of sweet dream and face the reality, I am afraid there is no help for the turtles and other marine birds that have been affected directly by plastic pollution.

It has been observed that the animals eating the bags sometimes die. Plastic goes into the ocean which is already a plastic infested body of water. Fish and other marine species in the water ways, misunderstanding plastic garbage as food items swallow them and die.

The various other alternatives:

  1. Use biodegradable bags made from fabrics.
  2. Ladies can fold a cotton bag or two in to their purses which can be used to quench their sudden urge for shopping.
  3. Nylon bags can be used and reused several times.
  4. Donate old news papers and magazines to small scale institutes that cut these old papers in to paper bags and packets.
  5. Use a wicker basket. (They can make a fashion statement today.)
  6. Educate the local retailers on the ill effects of use of plastics.
  7. Insist your local retailers to use plastic bags of thicker variety if at all he has to use.
  8. Offices can distribute canvas bags as New Year gifts instead of diaries and other sweet nothings.
  9. Better still buy a foldable shopping trolley. When you can buy a stroller for your new born this is not impossible you see.
  10. The common man is already burdened with spiraling prices, so I don’t wish to suggest to the government to impose a plast-tax. Mere ban will fail, as it has in the previous.

All we need to do is come back to the simpler lives we once lived. Break away from the habit of buying avoidable plastic bags. Carry a cloth/jute bag always. Bring awareness about the harmful effects of plastic to the people around you.

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Bromeliad Various /enjoy it it is very nice
November 12, 2017
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Bromeliad Plant Features

Bromeliads are bold, stylish houseplants that work especially well in contemporary, modern, and tropical decor styles. Bromeliads have colorful, long-lasting blooms (which last for weeks) that contrast beautifully against the strappy green leaves. You’ll typically see them flower in shades of pink, red, orange, and yellow.

In addition to their exotic look, bromeliads also improve indoor air quality, helping clear air of indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde (which can be released by paint, gas-burning appliances, and clothing that has been dry cleaned).

Note: After the main flower on your bromeliad begins to fade, the mother plant will begin to decline. But you’ll see baby bromeliads (called pups) developing around the base. Grow these out and enjoy more bromeliads!

Bromeliad Questions?
Our experts can help. Just send us an email and someone will get back to you!
Bromeliad Growing Instructions

Indoors, most bromeliads grow best in medium or bright light. Some can take direct sun on their foliage, but others prefer the protection of a sheer curtain or translucent blinds if grown in a sunny window.

Water most bromeliads enough to keep them moist, but never wet or saturated. You’ll find many bromeliads are drought tolerant and survive if you forget to water them from time to time.

Outdoors, bromeliad care depends on the type; some can handle full sun and others prefer shade.

Note: Bromeliads are not intended for human or animal consumption.

Light

Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light
Colors

Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Silver, Variegated, White, Yellow
Water

Medium water needs
Special Features

Colorful foliage
Purifies the air
Super-easy to grow

Varieties: Our Favorites
Guzmania spp. Guzmania Bromeliad

Guzmania spp.

Guzmania is one of the most common bromeliads grown as a houseplant, and one of the most stunning. Its green leaves are topped by clusters of red, orange, yellow, purple, or white flowers.
Neoregelia spp. Neoregelia Bromeliad

Neoregelia spp.

Neoregelia bromeliads are grown more for their foliage than their flowers. Many feature new growth that comes out in bold tones of pink, red, purple, or orange.
Ananas comosus Pineapple

Ananas comosus

Ornamental pineapples are fun bromeliads that have spidery leaves and miniature pineapples that develop on top of the flower spike after the flowers fade.

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Lipstick Plant Aeschynanthus spp./enjoy it
November 12, 2017
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Lipstick Plant Plant Features

Lipstick plant is a beautiful flowering indoor plant prized for its shiny foliage and interesting flowers. It gets its name because the flower buds peek out of dark-colored tubes, looking like a miniature tube of women’s lipstick.

This tropical houseplant puts on a lovely display in front of a bright window and is an excellent choice for adding a splash of color to brightly lit kitchens, bathrooms, and dining rooms.

Lipstick Plant Questions?
Our indoor plant experts love to talk about growing houseplants such as lipstick plant. Just drop us an email!
Lipstick Plant Growing Instructions

Grow lipstick plant in a medium to bright spot. The more light it gets, the better lipstick plant will bloom. If you have a lipstick plant that won’t produce flowers, try moving it to a brighter spot.

Water lipstick plant enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet or saturated for extended periods. Don’t let lipstick plant wilt, but also take care not to overwater it. If this houseplant stays too wet, it will suffer from root rot.

Fertilize lipstick plant monthly in spring and summer to help it produce lots of flowers. Use any general-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the product’s packaging.

Note: This plant is not intended for human or animal consumption.

Light

Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light
Colors

Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Variegated
Water

Medium water needs
Special Features

Purifies the air

Complement your Lipstick Plant with these varieties:
Alsobia
Alsobia is a related plant that likes similar conditions to lipstick plant. It has charming white flowers.

Ivy
Accent lipstick plant’s beautiful flowers with a companion planting of variegated ivy.

Varieties: Our Favorites
Aeschynanthus longicaulis Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

Aeschynanthus longicaulis

Black Pagoda lipstick plant is grown more for its mottled, variegated foliage than for its smallish green flowers.
Exotic Angel
Aeschynanthus ‘Cassiopeia’ Cassiopeia Lipstick Plant

Aeschynanthus ‘Cassiopeia’

Cassiopeia is a dramatic variety that has bright red flowers that emerge from dark purple-red buds.
Exotic Angel
Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Curly’ Curly Q Lipstick Plant

Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Curly’

Curly Q is a unique variety that offers dark green leaves that curl and twist, giving the houseplant a unique, unusual appearance.
Exotic Angel

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Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum /enjoy it
November 12, 2017
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Spider Plant Plant Features

Spider plant, also sometimes called airplane plant, is a houseplant that’s withstood the tests of time. As popular today as it was generations ago, spider plant is wonderfully easy to grow. It thrives in bright light, but tolerates low light. It doesn’t mind being watered frequently, but it can a while without water and still look good.

Spider plant is typically grown in hanging baskets because of its gracefully arching leaves and stems that jet from the plant and carry baby plantlets on it. It grows just as beautifully in traditional containers on mantles, in windowsills, and on tabletops, though.

Spider Plant Questions?
Our houseplant experts are happy to help. Just send us an email!
Spider Plant Growing Instructions

Grow spider plant in just about any room of your home. It’s an especially good choice for bedrooms and offices because the houseplant is remarkably good at filtering out indoor air pollution. Spider plant grows best when watered regularly — once a week or so — but doesn’t mind if you miss a week every now and again.
Discover other low-water houseplants!

The ends of the leaves sometimes turn brown and crispy; if this happens, try increasing the humidity around the spider plant to alleviate the problem. Brown leaf tips may also be the result of too much fertilizer.

Note: Spider plant is not intended for human or animal consumption.

Light

Indoors: High light
Indoors: Low light
Indoors: Medium light
Colors

Green, Variegated
Water

Medium water needs
Special Features

Purifies the air
Super-easy to grow

Complement your Spider Plant with these varieties:
Fern, Houseplant
Spider plants grow well in hanging baskets with houseplant ferns!

Dracaena
Low-growing spider plant is a brilliant accent to upright plants such as dracaena.

ZZ Plant
No-fuss spider plant grows well with easy-care ZZ plant — and variegated varieties are perfect for adding a splash of color to ZZ plant’s dark green foliage.

Varieties: Our Favorites
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’ Bonnie Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’

Bonnie spider plant is an interesting houseplant that has leaves that curl and twist.
Exotic Angel
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Hawaiian’ Hawaiian Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Hawaiian’

Hawaiian spider plant is an interesting variety that has variegation on its new leaves; as the leaves age, the variegation fades — giving this houseplant a multicolor look.
Exotic Angel
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie Variegated’ Variegated Bonnie Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie Variegated’

Variegated Bonnie spider plant has curled green leaves striped with creamy white.

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Juncus Juncus spp. Juncus spp. Juncus spp. Juncus spp. /enjoy it
November 12, 2017
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Juncus Plant Features

Juncus is an unusual houseplant, annual, or perennial that has wonderful, gray-green textural leaves. Some varieties have extra interest because their leaves twist and curl as they grows, making them look like living sculptures. While these exotic plants look hard to grow, they’re actually easy indoors and out!

Indoors, use juncus to add flair to your desk at work or school, or as a dramatic accent in your kitchen, living room, or den. Its gray-green leaves are a lovely neutral color, making it work with just about any interior color scheme — and any type of pot (especially the warm, earthy tones of the classic clay container).

Outdoors, juncus is perfect for garden beds and borders, as well as adding fantastic texture to container gardens.

Juncus Questions?
We love chatting with other gardeners. Just drop us an email!
Juncus Growing Instructions

Indoors, grow juncus as an exotic houseplant in medium to bright light for the best effect. It can take direct sun on the foliage, even in Southern climates. Water the plant liberally as it likes moist soil. In fact, it’s tough to overwater this unusual houseplant! Juncus appreciates fertilizer once or twice a year. You can use any houseplant fertilizer, following the directions on the product packaging.

Outdoors, grow juncus in sun or shade. It does best in evenly moist or even wet soil. While it doesn’t require fertilizer outdoors, you can fertilize juncus with any general-purpose fertilizer. Follow the directions on the product packaging. Pruning typically isn’t necessary.

Note: Juncus is not meant for human or animal consumption.

Light

Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light
Outside: Part sun
Outside: Shade
Outside: Sun
Colors

Green
Water

Constantly moist soil, Medium water needs
Special Features

Deer/rabbit resistant
Purifies the air

Varieties: Our Favorites
Juncus ‘Blue Dart’ Blue Dart

Juncus ‘Blue Dart’

Often grown as an annual, ‘Blue Dart’ is an easy-care perennial in Zones 2-9. It grows 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Its blue-green foliage is wonderfully textural in container gardens, window boxes, as well as beds and borders.
Juncus pallidus Javelin Javelin

Juncus pallidus Javelin

Javelin juncus adds unique texture to landscapes, gardens, and container gardens with its structural grass-like leaves and easy-care nature. Drought tolerant, it grows 48 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 8-10 as a perennial; it’s treated as an annual in colder-winter areas.
Juncus Twisted Arrows Twisted Arrows

Juncus Twisted Arrows

Twisted Arrows is unique because it’s not technically a plant variety — instead, it’s two types of juncus grown together! Twisted Arrows grows 14 inches tall and 18 inches wide.

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Stromanthe Stromanthe ‘Triostar’ /enjoy it
November 12, 2017
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Stromanthe Plant Features

Stromanthe is a strikingly beautiful houseplant that never fails to catch the eye. It has an exotic look with its dark green leaves that are delightfully variegated with streaks of pink and cream. As if that’s not enough, the backsides of the leaves are a lovely shade of pinkish-purple.

As a young plant, stromanthe is an eye-catching addition to a coffee table or side table (or desk in the office). As it grows (slowly — very slowly!) becomes larger and better suited to use as a floor plant.

Accent stromanthe’s colorful foliage with an interesting container. A dark brown or black container, for example, can help to highlight the exotic variegation. Or use a purple container to accent the color of the undersides of the leaves.

Stromanthe Questions?
Just drop an email to us; one of our houseplant experts will get back to you!
Stromanthe Growing Instructions

Grow stromanthe in a medium or bright spot indoors. The more light it gets, the better the variegation will show. In hot-summer climates, it’s helpful to give it a little protection from direct sun in the afternoon hours to prevent sunburn.

Water stromanthe regularly — when the soil surface just starts to dry. Take care not to let stromanthe dry out.

Fertilize stromanthe, if you wish, during the spring and summer months. This exotic houseplant grows faster when fed, but doesn’t require it to put on a show in your home or office.

Like many tropical indoor plants, stromanthe likes above-average humidity. In especially dry air, the leaf edges or leaf tips may turn brown. Remedy this by supplying the plant with more humidity. It’s also helpful to keep stromanthe away from drafts of hot or cold air.

Stromanthe is not intended for consumption by humans or animals.
Special Care

Stromanthe also makes a beautiful summer annual for shaded deck or patio planters. And in frost-free climates such as South Florida, it’s a lovely evergreen perennial for shaded pots or gardens.

Light

Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light
Outside: Shade
Colors

Variegated
Water

Constantly moist soil
Special Features

Purifies the air

Complement your Stromanthe with these varieties:
Dracaena
Upright dracaenas make a fun partner for colorful stromanthe.

Impatiens, New Guinea
Outdoors in container gardens, New Guinea impatiens are a shade-loving favorite to accent stromanthe’s tropical foliage.

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Elephant’s Ear Alocasia spp. /enjoy it
November 12, 2017
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Elephant’s Ear Plant Features

Elephant’s ears are stunning houseplants. They often feature dark, shield-shaped foliage that may be accentuated by white veins running throughout the leaves. The plants will flower occasionally, sending up a spike with a calla-like white, light yellow, or cream bloom, but the foliage is the reason the plant is grown. Elephant’s ear is the perfect plant for high-humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Elephants’ Ear Questions?
Just drop us an email! Our experts are happy to chat about your African mask plant!
Elephant’s Ear Growing Instructions

Elephant’s ear grows best in bright light. Too much direct sun, especially in hot-summer climates, can burn the leaves, so these exotic indoor plants benefit from the protection of a sheer curtain from the window. Being true tropicals, they love humidity, so boost moisture levels in the air if it’s especially dry. Water as needed, when the top inch or two of the soil dries to the touch.

Fertilize elephant’s ear a couple of times a year to keep it healthy. The best seasons are spring and summer. Use any fertilizer formulated for use on houseplants.

Note: Elephant’s ear is not meant for human or animal consumption.

Light

Indoors: High light
Colors

Green, Purple, Silver
Water

Medium water needs
Special Features

Colorful foliage

Complement your Elephant’s Ear with these varieties:
Calathea
African mask plant and calathea have brilliantly variegated foliage that look great together.

Red Aglaonema
Add color to African mask plant with the bold red and pink shades of red aglaonema.

Fern, Houseplant
Contrast African mask plant’s bold foliage with the soft texture of a fern.

Varieties: Our Favorites
Alocasia infernalis ‘Black Magic’ Black Magic Elephant’s Ear

Alocasia infernalis ‘Black Magic’

This exotic houseplant has dark, purple-black leaves that look like they’ve been lacquered. It’s a slow grower that likes high humidity and grows about 10 to 12 inches tall and wide.
Exotic Angel
Alocasia ‘Amazonica’ Polly Elephant’s Ear

Alocasia ‘Amazonica’

This houseplant has scalloped, purple-green leaves accented with silvery-white veins. It grows 18 inches tall and wide. It’s also often sold as Alocasia Poly.

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Ric Rac Cactus Cryptocereus anthonyanus
November 12, 2017
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Ric Rac Cactus Plant Features

Ric rac cactus is one of the most exotic — and easy — cactus houseplants you grow! It shows off distinctive foliage — the stems are serrated and lobed, like a backbone and have a thick, leathery texture that perfectly suits their dark green color. If it gets enough light, ric rac cactus will reward you with stunning pink and white orchid-like flowers.

A trailing houseplant, ric rac cactus grows best in hanging baskets. In nature, it cascades dramatically from tree branches in tropical rain forests.
Ric Rac Cactus Growing Instructions

Grow ric rac cactus in a bright spot, but protected from too much direct sun. If you grow this plant in sunny south window, put up a sheer curtain to diffuse the light and help match the rain forest conditions this plant is used to.

Like many cacti, ric rac cactus can go long periods without water, but grows best if you water when the top inch or so of the soil dries out. They don’t tolerate drought the same way their desert-dwelling cousins do. That said, take care not to overwater ric rac cactus; it will rot if the soil stays moist or wet for extended periods of time.

Because it comes from tropical rain forests, ric rac cactus likes more humidity than the average cactus. It grows just fine in average household humidity conditions.

You don’t need to worry about repotting ric rac cactus; it grows and blooms best when somewhat rootbound. Only repot every four or five years.

Ric rac cactus is not intended for human or animal consumption.

Light

Indoors: High light
Colors

Green, Pink
Water

Medium water needs
Special Features

Purifies the air

Complement your Ric Rac Cactus with these varieties:
Christmas Cactus
Christmas cactus is related to ric rac cactus and likes similar conditions. If you can grow one, the other should thrive with it.

Orchid Cactus
Pair ric rac cactus with bold, dramatic orchid cactus for an unbelievable combo!

Orchid Cactus

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