Care For Christmas Cactus|Space Gardening

Good Christmas cactus care will ensure beautiful blooms in time for the holidays.

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This tropical cactus does not exist in the wild. It is a hybrid of Schlumbergera truncata and Schlumbergera russelliana that grow as epiphytes in the rain forests of South America.

Schlumbergera bridgesii has dark-green flattened stems composed of segments joined in a scalloped pattern. Flowers appear at the tips of the stems and are available in shades of pink, red, purple, yellow, and white. Newer cultivars bring together two colors, offering some exciting new combinations.

After your Christmas Cactus is through flowering for the season, it needs about a one-month rest. Water sparingly and stop fertilizing until new growth begins in spring.

Regular pruning will encourage the plant to branch out where the stem was cut, creating a fuller plant. Spring is the best time to prune it back, when it begins actively growing again.

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How to Get Christmas Cactus to Bloom Again

Growing this plant is easy, but there are a few things you should do to make it bloom before the holidays.

  • Shorter, cooler days and nights for about 8-10 weeks are needed for the plant to set buds. Moving it outdoors in fall is ideal, just keep it out of direct sun. Bring the plant back inside before the first frost.
  • Keep soil barely moist, but not too dry. Shriveled, limp stems are a sign that it’s too dry.
  • Once it starts budding, keep the plant in the same location. Changes in light and temperature by moving it around will cause it to drop its buds and flowers. Also keep it away from drafty areas like doorways and heat vents.

Repotting Christmas cactus plant is usually only necessary every 2 to 3 years. It prefers to be slightly pot-bound and blooms best this way. Wait till spring or early summer to repot — never while it’s blooming.

Christmas Cactus Care Tips

Origin: Hybrid with parents native to Brazil

Height: To 2 ft (60 cm)

Light: Bright indirect light

Water: Keep the soil moist, but not soggy while plant is growing. After flowering, water sparingly until new growth begins in spring.

Humidity: Moderate — about 50-60% relative humidity. Stand the pot on a dish of wet pebbles.

Temperature: To set flower buds, the plant needs cool 60-65°F/16-18°C days and 45-55°F/7-13°C nights. Once buds set, 70-75°F/21-24°C days and 60-70°F/16-21°C nights.

Soil: Well-drained potting medium is essential. Mix 1 part potting mix and 1 part fine-grade fir bark.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. After blooms have dropped, stop fertilizing for a month.

Propagation: Take stem segments in spring and place upright in moist perlite.

Wheatgrass Decoration|Space Gardening

Wheat grass centerpiece is not a new concept. I liked this idea very much, so thought to share with you all. You can use wheat grass to decorate your house when it is a party, wedding, birthday or even in Easter. Here’s what you will need to grow your own wheat grass at home.

Supply List:

  • Potting soil
  • tiny rocks or gravel
  • scissors
  • grosgrain ribbon
  • 1 cup of hard red wheat
  • 7-9 tea cups or other fun small containers for planting

For this project, I grew wheat grass in soil.

Growing Wheat Grass in Soil

Kids can complete most of these steps with your supervision and they love this project because the grass grows so quickly, it actually holds their interest.

1. Soak 1/2 cup of seeds in water for 24 hours (you can leave it for up to 48 hours if you tend to get distracted like me, and still plant it).

2. Put some gravel or very small rocks in the bottom of your container for drainage (I tried skipping this step once and my grass roots got moldy)

3. Fill it with soil, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the container and add a little water ( if your kids are doing this part, they may need a little help measuring, as you’ll see below 😉

4. Spread your seeds on top of the soil. You want your grass to be dense, so the whole surface of your soil should be covered with seeds, but they shouldn’t piled on top of each other. You may have left over seeds depending on the size of your planters.

5. Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil- just enough so they aren’t exposed.

6. Water twice a day.

7. Within about 48 hours, you should see little green sprouts- very exciting!

8. Transfer your planters to a sunny spot (near a window) and keep the soil moist. Watering 1/4 cup per planter, twice a day, worked well for me.

9. By day 10 you should have a very healthy crop of grass

10. Give it a hair cut (my daughter loved this part) and show it off.

Here are some ideas on how you can use wheat grass for decoration:
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Types Of Ferns To Grow Indoor|Space Gardening

crocodile fern

Crocodile Fern

1. Crocodile Fern:

We love this fern’s interesting texture. The bright green fronds have a decidedly reptilian look and it’s not tough to see where the common name comes from. It makes a bold statement: At maturity, each frond can reach 3 feet long.

Name: Microsorium musifolium ‘Crocodyllus’
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 4 feet tall and wide

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Lemon Button Fern

2. Lemon Button Fern:

Lemon button fern produces cute, golden-green fronds with rounded edges (that give it the buttonlike appearance). It’s an easy-to-grow fern that fits in well with a lot of decorating styles.

Name: Nephrolepis cordifolia ‘Lemon Button’

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

Size: To 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide

maidenhair fern

Maidenhair Fern

3. Maidenhair Fern:

Among the most loved ferns, maidenhairs offer fine-textured fronds on black stalks. The arching fronds emerge light green and darken a bit as they age.

Name: Adiantum raddianum ‘Fritz Luth’

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

rabit's foot fern

Rabit’s Foot Fern

4. Rabbit’s-Foot Fern:

This slow-growing fern offers dark green, fine textured fronds and fuzzy stems that creep down over the pot or along the soil. These stems are what gives the fern its delightful common name.

Name: Humata tyermanii
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

staghorn fern

Staghorn Fern

5. Staghorn Fern:

Among the most spectacular of ferns, stag horns don’t need to be grown in soil so you often see them mounted and grown on walls or posts. They offer deep green, antler like fronds that definitely make a statement in your home’s decorating scheme.

Name: Platycerium bifurcatum

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

Size: To 6 feet tall and wide

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Birds Nest Fern

6. Bird’s Nest Fern:

Another of our favorites, bird’s nest fern is a slow-growing plant with bright green fronds that radiate from the center of the plant, creating a vase or bird’s nest shape. It’s versatile and easy to grow.

Name: Asplenium nidus
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 5 feet tall and wide (but usually 1-2 feet indoors)

silver brake fern

Silver Brake Fern

7. Silver Brake Fern:

Create a distinctive look in your home with this fern. The crested fronds are almost spidery and bear a bright silvery stripe down the center.

Name: Pteris cretica ‘Mayi’
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Kangaroo Paw Fern

8. Kangaroo Paw Fern:

This interesting fern offers shiny, dark green fronds in an unkempt mound reminiscent of Medusa’s hair. Like rabbit’s-foot fern, it bears creeping stems that may grow down the side of its container!

Name: Microsorium diversifolium
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Boston Fern

9. Boston Fern:

The most common indoor fern, Boston ferns are long-lived plants that can reach more than 5 feet tall and wide at maturity (though indoors they rarely reach that size). Fern breeders have released a large number of varieties — from selections with golden fronds to fantastically frilled fronds. Shown here is ‘Fluffy Ruffles’.

Name: Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 7 feet tall and wide (but usually 2-3 feet tall and wide indoors)

Miniature Waterfall In Your Terrarium|Space Gardening

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Making a waterfall in your vivarium or terrarium is an easy way to add visual appeal. Your pet will love the increased humidity from a waterfall, and the water movement will facilitate beneficial bacterial growth in your substrate, keeping wastes down and your reptile’s or amphibian’s habitat clean and fresh. There are several basic steps involved in constructing a waterfall for your vivarium or terrarium.

Instruction:

1. Place your pump. Generally, place it in a back corner.

2. Install the tubing by attaching it to the pump. We strongly recommend using reinforced tubing. Use about 6″ more tubing than you think you’ll need – you don’t want to cover the end of the tubing with foam when you make your background.

3. Place any fake rock/wood/hardscape in place, then foam it with Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks filler. Wear gloves and protect your work surface!

4. Let the tank sit for about a week to allow the foam to cure.

5. Use a serrated steak knife to trim and rough up the foam. Carve it how you like, and make sure all surfaces are roughed up so silicone will stick better.

6. While wearing gloves, apply GE Silicone II Window + Door or aquarium safe silicone to the foam. Cover all exposed foam.

7. While the silicone is still wet, sprinkle on dry coconut fiber or sphagnum peat. Press the substrate in with gloved hands.

8. Stand the tank up and remove any loose coco fiber. Use silicone and dry coco fiber to cover any exposed patches of foam.

9. Let the silicone dry for several days, until there is no longer a vinegar smell to the tank.

10. Once cured, use a razor blade to scrape any excess silicone off of the glass. Then, use a shopvac to remove any extra coco fiber or bits of silicone that are not attached to the background. Using the razor blade, cut off any excess hose that sticks out of the background.

11. Add your substrates, and plant!

Starting Indoor Garden|Space Gardening

Indoor gardening is fun and rewarding! Here I am going to share how to grow herbs and vegetables for your kitchen, and other indoor plants to decorate your home! Let’s unleash that inner gardener!

Are you a beginner gardener? Do you find all the info on the web daunting? I did too, but through my gardening adventure I’ve been building this site, writing articles and how-to in plain English so you can understand.

My Experience

Like you, I’m pretty new to the gardening game. The thing that got me interested in creating a garden indoors was cooking. There’s nothing better than a flavorsome meal with fresh herbs! I’ve been actively gardening for just under two years and really enjoying every moment of it.

Let’s Get Digging

There are lots of exciting things to learn about indoor gardening. It’s amazing how much you can grow indoors, and how creative you can be. There’s just so much more to it than popping a plant in a container and watering it! Here are a couple of things for you to get started with!

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  • Creating a productive indoor vegetable garden: You can grow vegetables in container for your kitchen. And the fun part is you can grow them beside your kitchen window.
  • Getting full enjoyment out of an indoor herb garden: Herbs are another good choice for indoor gardening as they grow in small pot and in medium lights.
  • Alternative ways of gardening such as hydroponics and aeroponics: Hydroponics and aeroponics are another type of indoor gardening. I will discuss about it in my upcoming posts.
  • Fantastic indoor plants to brighten up your home: Many indoor plants such as pothos, mother-in-laws tongue, palm trees, etc. are good for your indoor environment. These plants are known as air purifying plants.
  • Terrariums, wonderful mini-greenhouses can make fantastic decorations for your home.

My indoor gardening journey of discovery has led me to discover so many different aspects to gardening indoors. I’ve learnt lots of useful tips and how to make a hanging planter to accent my balcony garden.

Beautiful flower pot framing house entrance

Beautiful flower pot framing house entrance