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Marigold & Parsley

Parsley and Marigold Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

When we brought our African Marigold flower and Parsley Plant in for the winter we were not sure how quickly and successfully they would transition from being outside to being inside. We are happy to report that parsley seems to be doing very well. We will be clipping her soon and adding her to a dish.

Marigold on the other hand grew very tall and bent way over as she reached for the sun. The single stalk that carries her bountiful blossom weighed down heavy as we tried to straighten her stem out by rotating her pot. When we rotated her pot she bent back to reach for the sun, as plants do, and bent her stalk. She is still repairing under a straw cut down the center and placed around her stem as a brace. We will let you know how she recovers.

What plants have you brought in for the winter? How are they doing? Where are you located? What is the climate like where you are?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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The 8 Best Indoor Plants: Top Picks From Plant Experts

Leah Koenig, Contributor
Source: Forbes

When it comes to caring for house plants, some folks are born with a green thumb while others swear they could kill a cactus. As a member of the latter category (or so I thought), I understand the hesitation that goes along with becoming a plant parent. I loved the idea of filling my space with the best indoor plants, but I was scared to end up with a bunch of dead foliage.

Indoor house plants from The Sill
Source: Forbes
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Then two years ago, a friend (who is also a gardening teacher) brought over a plant clipping to my apartment. She helped me settle it in a pot and shared advice on how to care for it. That gifted plant ushered me into the wide world of indoor greenery—my collection has grown to 11 house plants spread over three window sills—brightening my home and offering fulfillment along the way.

For aspiring plant parents who feel apprehensive about embarking on their own plant journeys like I once did, know that there are plenty of great indoor plant options for every skill level and environment. I sought out the advice of a few notable plant experts: Eliza Blank and Erin Marino, founder and marketing director, respectively, of The Sill; Christan Summers, CEO and co-founder of Tula Plants & Design; and Summer Rayne Oakes, founder of Homestead Brooklyn and Plant One On Me. They not only shared their extensive flora wisdom, but they also offered their picks for the best indoor plants, for beginners, less than hospitable conditions and beyond.

Check out their recommendations below, then read on for their expert tips on how to care for all your indoor plants.

  • Best Low Maintenance Indoor Plant: Marble Queen Pothos
  • Best Indoor Plant For Low Light: ZZ Plant
  • Best Indoor Plant For Small Spaces: Snake Plant
  • Best Flowering Indoor Plant: Anthurium
  • Best Indoor Plant for Clean Air: Parlor Palm
  • Best Indoor Plant For Pet Owners: Bird’s Nest Fern
  • Best Indoor Plant to Build Confidence: Philodendron
  • Best “Next Level” Indoor Plant: Monstera

Best Low Maintenance Indoor Plant

Known to be one of the easiest house plants to grow, the Marble Queen Pothos has lovely heart shaped leaves and growing vines that will quickly fill your plant shelf with beauty. Because it can thrive in low-light environments and with less-than-ideal watering practices, this very undemanding species is excellent for beginners or for anyone who is less than diligent about their plant care.


Best Indoor Plant For Low Light

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, better known as the ZZ plant, is another reliable house plant option for beginners. It can withstand all sorts of less than ideal factors, like infrequent watering or dry air. And, most importantly for apartment dwellers or those who live in other shady spaces, they can easily tolerate low light environments. Attractive as a standalone or grouped with other plants, the ZZ plant is a happy option for the kitchen or bathroom.


Best Indoor Plant For Small Spaces

Available in a number of different varieties, this cheery succulent grows straight up, which makes it a great choice for people with small spaces. Snake plants are also said to purify indoor air, so some folks like them for their supposed purification qualities too. Group a few in different sizes near a bedroom window and you’ll have a nice arrangement to bring a little green to your sleeping space.


Best Flowering Indoor Plant

Known for their lipstick red (or dusky pink) lily pad–like blooms, anthurium are gaining traction on the list of best house plants. “They have a retro, ‘Mad Men’ vibe to them,” Marino says. “And the flowers are actually a modified leaf so the plant is in bloom year round.” Use your anthurium as an entryway or living room centerpiece, or add it to a green collection for a pretty pop of color.


Best Indoor Plant For Clean Air

The Parlor Palm is a tropical choice that’s often touted for it’s ability to clear out benzene and trichloroethylene, two chemicals that are commonly spread from furniture off-gassing. It’s also really low maintenance, thriving in indirect to low light and only requiring watering once every one to two weeks, and pet-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about keeping it locked up away from your fur babies.

While the science is still out on whether or not plants really purify the air—one study says that you’d need to have about 93 of them to really notice a significant difference—there’s something about being surrounded by greenery that just makes things feel cleaner and fresher.


Best Indoor Plant For Pet Owners

While ZZ plants and snake plants are inarguably great choices for beginners, they are unfortunately toxic to animals. “If you have a curious kitty or doggy, then I would recommend keeping those plants away from them,” Oakes explains. Instead, choose a Bird’s Nest Fern, a tropical houseplant with ruffle-edged leaves that provides a splash of green while being safe to furry friends.


Best Indoor Plant to Build Confidence

There is nothing like a healthy, quickly growing plant to amp up a new plant owner’s confidence. Philodendron vines deliver on this front, sprouting robust trails of vines dangling with heart-shaped leaves. “Philodendrons are easy to propagate, so before long you can take a cutting and make another plant,” Summers says. “Getting that positive affirmation makes you feel like a pro.”


Best “Next Level” Indoor Plant

Once you unlock your inner house plant mojo, Blank recommends graduating to a Monstera. The vibrantly green leaves are speckled with natural holes and lend a tropical vibe to the room. “They are still relatively easy but have a wonderful texture,” Blank says.


How to Care For Indoor Plants

Each expert I spoke with began with the same basic mantra: Light is food for plants. “Fertilizer offers extra nutrients and water helps, but your plant needs light to survive,” says Marino. She suggests standing near the window in your house or apartment around noon and noticing how hot and bright it feels. “You should be able to estimate if your apartment is relatively low light, medium light or high light at midday,” she explains. Assessing your home’s light situations serves as a guide for which plants you should choose to populate your sill (or mantle, shelf or desk).

“We think of plant buying a bit like matchmaking,” says Blank. We want your plants to fit your home, your style and your lifestyle.” Set yourself up for success by starting with low maintenance plant varieties, like a Marble Queen Pothos or ZZ plant, that can withstand a little accidental neglect while you travel up the learning curve.

Plants need good care in order to thrive, but new plant parents have the tendency to over-care for their plants. “Over-watering is the easiest way to kill your plant,” says Blank. “It’s easier to bounce back from under-watering than from over-watering.” Marino adds, “some people go into diagnosis mode the second they see a browning tip or yellowing leaf.” Her advice: don’t panic. “Just prune it right off and know that shedding is a natural part of the growth process.”MORE FROM FORBES14 Easy Indoor Herb Garden Kits, Plus Expert Tips For Growing SuccessBy Rachel Klein

Summers, meanwhile, advises against repotting plants too frequently. Some plant owners see a plant growing well and think that’s the time to switch it into a roomier pot. But that well-meaning impulse can backfire. “Repotting disrupts the plant’s root system, which means it has to focus on reestablishing its system instead of on new growth. You’re making it work harder than it needs to,” she says. Instead let your plants thrive in their current pots. “When you’re getting absolutely no growth — especially in spring and summer — then it is time,” Summers says. 

Just because some plants don’t need frequent watering doesn’t mean you should forget about them for too long. Take some time each day to touch base with your plant babies. “Developing a routine and ritual is important,” says Oakes. “If you get up to check on your plants when your coffee is brewing or tea is steeping, then you’re on the right path.” 

From YouTube and gardening books, to walking into a shop and chatting up the staff, there are endless sources to continue educating yourself about the house plants in your life. For those who can’t make it to a store, Tula offers robust educational resources like a plant care library. The Sill offers online workshops that answer burning plant care questions. And Oakes recently launched a 12-part mini course called Houseplant Basics that teaches the fundamentals of plant care. 

Which plant do you like for your home? Why? How was this article helpful?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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The Best Indoor Garden Ideas for Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside

Chopped Garden Fresh Parsley

by MELISSA EPIFANO updated JUN 9, 2020
Source: Apartment Therapy

Vegetable gardens, patio planters, and flower beds undoubtedly add appeal to any home and make for some really fun hobbies. But sometimes you just don’t have the space, or you might prefer to spend your time inside where the elements (and bugs!) can’t really get to you. In these instances, you can never go wrong with curating your own indoor garden.

Lucky for you, the options for indoor gardens are never ending. You can cultivate your own indoor lemon tree, start a delicious herb garden, grow a living wall—or, if you’d rather start simple, try nurturing a small collection of succulents. What makes the indoor version of a garden so fun is how easy it is to mix and match the most random and diverse group of plants and the ability for you to keep your garden blooming and sprouting year-round.

To bring some greenery into your home and experience all the benefits different plants and flowers have to offer, see the ideas below to get started on your own indoor garden.

1. Similarly Sized Collection

Use a small cluster of mid-sized plants, like the ones in this Oakland home, to help take up awkward blank space. Their medium size makes a bigger impact than a small succulent display, but these plants aren’t as high maintenance—or difficult to move around—as large indoor trees.

2. Outdoor-Indoor Hybrid Garden

A half-and-half garden helps blend the inside and out, making your home feel even bigger. This colorful home in Mexico is the perfect example of how to make both an indoor and outdoor garden work with your style.

3. Eclectic Indoor Garden

Mixing and matching plants and pots, like the residents of this vintage Australian home did, makes for a visually interesting display for anywhere in your home. Old canisters, handmade pots, and antique finds all work well together.

4. Hanging Herb Garden

Your dinners will seem even tastier with a fresh herb garden at your fingertips. A hanging setup like this means you don’t even have to sacrifice any counter space to grow a small collection of herbs.

5. Indoor Garden Closet

Commandeer a set of shelves or closet for your indoor garden, as seen in this plant-laden Brooklyn apartment. If you already have enough storage space for clothes, what better way to deck out an empty nook than with plants?

6. Small Terrarium Garden

An indoor garden doesn’t need to be over-the-top or take up ample space, as proven by this terrarium in a comfy Austin home. A few glass display cases and a handful of your favorite air plants or succulents is all it takes to form a mini plant world.

7. Colorful Hanging Garden

One bonus to indoor planting? The ease of mounting planters from the ceiling to create a hanging garden. This maximalist Chicago home shows how colorful plant hammocks and a variety of leafy friends can make a fun statement in any room.

8. Mini Succulent Garden

If you have a tiny empty corner, you have room for an indoor garden. The owners of this Scandinavian-inspired Airstream trailer created a mini succulent collection that still adds a boost of greenery but takes up little room in their small home.

9. Floating Shelf Garden

Floating shelves let you display plants from floor to ceiling, as seen in this Brooklyn apartment. You can place plants based on their light preferences, or even rotate them as needed to keep them healthy.

10. Unique Indoor Garden

For a splash of personality and color, arrange your plants around and inside your non-working or faux fireplace like the tenants of this San Francisco apartment did. You can do this with working fireplaces, too, as long as they’re not getting use—so it’s a great display for warm spring and summer months, when the fireplace won’t be lit.

11. Indoor Greenhouse

As seen in this Nashville home, adding a few fronds and leaves to a mudroom or laundry room space instantly gives it greenhouse vibes. The plants help enliven these utilitarian spaces, adding interest to a room that doesn’t always get a lot of love.

12. Kitchen Garden

While herbs are popular for kitchen gardens, they’re by no means the only plants that can thrive in your cook space. The residents from the same San Fransisco home from above also allowed plants to take up room in their kitchen for a lively, fresh display.

13. Bathroom Indoor Garden

Convinced you have, like, zero room for an indoor garden? This Philadelphia row home will make you think twice. Your bathroom can be a glorious location for plants, whether you stack a few on a shelf, hang one from the ceiling, or drape one from the shower head (or all the above).

14. Indoor Cactus Garden

Terracotta pots and cacti are a simple but striking display when wall-mounted in cutout shelves, like in this poppy RV home. You could DIY your own version with wood boards and a jig saw.

15. Wall of Plant Cuttings

If you’re in full plant parent mode and have started to amass cuttings of your favorite plants, take a cue from this Charleston home and hang them in a chic wall display until they’re ready to be repotted.

Re-edited from a post originally published 5.17.16

Which indoor garden style is best for you? Why? Which plants will you be bringing in doors this fall and winter?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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What your Plants need from Soil

How to Fertilize Indoor Plants | A Beginner's Guide

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Fertilizing Plants
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Soil is the life line of your plant. Your plants get nutrients from the soil. The soil is where your plants draw some of its ‘food’ from. So, whether it is a house plant or a garden plant, one must make sure that it is properly fertilized. House plants must have fertilizer because it depletes its soil and is not outside. Plants in outside soil may or may not be properly replenished by being outside, so it is still important to make sure that your plants get the appropriate fertilizer aka ‘food’ aka nutrients it needs from the soil. In fact when one waters one should water the soil rather than the plant. How has this article helped you? Ever wondered why your house plans seem to die slowly? But you watered it, right! What is the importance of fertilizing plants particularly plants in containers? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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MiMi’s Flower

cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

MiMi’s flower has come a long way since they were just a couple of seeds. Her flowers’ have begun to finally blossom into beautiful clusters of deep lavender. They began as a few seeds in a growing kit. MiMi and Mom have since gotten their own growing kit with 2 different flowers. MiMi’s gift blossomed into a wonderful exploration between MiMi and Mom into starting their own kitchen garden. And the Cynoglossum Amabiles are a wonderful addition to our front porch. What easy and simple ways can you start your own garden along with MiMi, Mom and many others. Since the beginning of the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for various reasons. Do you think starting a garden as a response to the pandemic is a good idea? Why? Share your thoughts below by posting a comment. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

Cynoglossum Amabile – MiMi’s Flower
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Growing & Harvesting Carrots in Containers

Harvesting Carrots from Containers

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Growing & Harvesting Carrots in Containers
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Its amazing what you can grow in containers. No more limits for the urban and container gardener. Are you ready to grow your own carrots or vegetable? Which one(s) would you like to grow? What questions do you have? Leave us a post. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Watermelon, Greenhouses & Indoor Gardening

Sugarbaby Watermelon Shidonna Raven

When we decided to start our garden, as you know, it began humbly with a mere 2 packs of seeds destined for the kitchen window. It quickly grew into over 30 seeds. We planted each one. Some where successful and others were not. But, as Eliot Coleman will tell you, even the experienced farmer learns through trail and error. When we started we began in our mini greenhouse, which is really our garage with 3 windows. We were so excited to get started that we begun at the end of the winter season, which was at the very very beginning of the growing season for many of our seeds in our zone (Virginia, USA). When you began before the last frost has past, you must start inside with the seeds that can be transplanted. Then once the frost has past and its growing season has begun one can transplant them outside. So, because we began early we started in our mini greenhouse and got a jump on the season. Greenhouses can be used year around for various reasons. However, they are key when you want to grow outside of a seeds growing season by either starting early or extending the season.

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom
Pumpkin Flower in Bloom

The watermelon you see (1st image) in our outside garden started as a seedling in our mini greenhouse. The mini greenhouse presented several challenges to us with its high moisture and low light. We discovered there were many other factors that were hindering the success of some of our seedlings. When we had questions and were left scratching our head when our seedlings ran into trouble, we turned to Richard Bray’s book “Greenhouse Gardening” for answers to our questions. Understanding greenhouse gardening is understanding how to garden indoors whether one has a kitchen herb plant or a simple house plant. He helped me to understand factors such as heat, ventilation, watering and sunlight. This book was a tremendous resource that helped us grow our watermelon successfully. We had to sow her several times. At first she did not sprout successfully. But, once we understood greenhouse gardening more, we were able to grow her successfully into a plantling. Now she is in the garden outside thriving. We located “Greenhouse Gardening” for an absolute steal. We love deals around here. Click the link below to get yours. We can not wait to see her fruit. I know someone who is a huge watermelon fan! So we are happy to report that she is doing well and in the same row as pumpkin. Stay tuned to see her progress.

What information do you find helpful? How did “Greenhouse Gardening” by Richard Bray help you? Email us photos to share with the community. Which one do you prefer: pumpkin or watermelon? We have big fans of both. As usually, we are all waiting to taste!

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Prince Charles Highgrove Gardens

The Highgrove Gardens

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Prince Charles Highgrove Gardens
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

It is said that Highgrove Gardens is one of the most important contemporary gardens in England. Prince Charles has spend over 30 years developing this garden as a beacon of hope for Organic Gardening. Where there is Organic Gardening, not far off typically is Organic Food Consumption. Where are the gardens in your community? Do you have a garden? Even a few herbs in your kitchen is a great start. What did you like about this garden?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Help Growing Herbs Indoors

Top 6 Struggles of Growing Herbs Indoors (w/ solutions)!!!🌿🌿🌿 // Garden Answer

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Growing Herbs Indoors
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

I know some of you have started gardening at home and some have taken plants in. We are super proud of you for getting started growing. As Brother Butler says, you will not regret it. This “article” is for you. We have struggled too. Beginning a garden can be a serious undertaking and learning curve. But, worth it. So this “article” is here to give us some tips on how to grow successfully indoors. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Grow Indoor Kitchen Herbs

10 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors on Kitchen Counter

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Growing your own kitchen herbs
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Beginning to grow herbs in your kitchen can be easy, fresh and delicious. Which herb in this video would you like to start with? Do you think you are ready to start growing an herb indoors in your kitchen? No, what questions do you have. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.