Lansdowne Florist

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7 stylish, easy-care houseplants

David Ragg

Houseplants are the must-have interior accessory of the moment. If you choose low maintenance varieties, they don’t need to be hard work.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Yellow Coast’

The Dragon Tree is quite possibly the perfect houseplant. It doesn’t need that much looking after and instantly makes a room look contemporary with its sword-shaped leaves. Growing to 50ft in its native tropical Africa, it will only reach 1.2-2m high indoors. Give it a well-lit position not in direct sunlight, and keep the soil moist but not wet.

Senecio rowleyanus

This curious trailing succulent also known as string-of-beads plant is super-hip on Instagram right now. Hang it high in a stylish pot so you can admire its beautiful cascade of pea-shaped leaves. It’s pretty indestructible, tolerating little watering and only needs a few hours of sunlight a day. Plant in a gritty cactus compost.

Echeveria Blue Prince

We love this stylish succulent for its striking green-blue rosettes. It’s perfect for a sunny windowsill, but you can move it outside in the summer months, if desired. The fleshy leaves remain on the plant all year round and in the summer it produces pretty sprays of star-shaped orange flowers. For the best results, grow in a gritty, free-draining compost and only lightly water so the compost is just moist.

Echeveria affinus

Another great succulent for a sunny windowsill. Hailing from Mexico, this evergreen drought-tolerant plant with red-tinged rosettes needs little attention. Just ensure it’s growing in gritty compost and is positioned in a warm, sunny spot. Keep it lightly watered so the compost is just moist - it doesn’t like sitting in wet compost, which may cause rotting.

Epipremnum pinnatum

The fabulous devil’s ivy vine, native to the French Polynesian islands, can be used to create a stylish indoor green wall. Allow the glossy leaves to clamber along taut wire or string that’s attached to a fresh-white painted wall. It also looks great trailing from a hanging planter or along a desk or table. Water freely when in active growth in spring and summer, but ensure the compost dries out in between waterings. Pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.

Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’

The latin word pictus means painted, referring to the silvery variegation of this lovely evergreen climber. This smaller-leaved variety would look best in hanging planters that allow the foliage to cascade downwards. Its natural rainforest habitat means that it won’t tolerate harsh direct sunlight but needs bright, indirect light all year round. It will do well in most areas of your home as long as there’s some light coming in, and it’s fine under artificial lighting too. Water thoroughly but allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Barely water throughout winter.

Scindapsus pictus ‘Treble’

A larger-leaved vine plant that looks great if allowed to grow upwards - up a plant totem or along taut wires on a wall. It doesn’t need a lot of light so will do well in most areas of the home as long as there’s some light coming in - a reason why it’s popular in artificially lit offices. These tropical climbers appreciate a cosy environment so keep them away from draughty windows, but equally don’t place too close to a radiator. Use a houseplant fertiliser about once monthly (not during winter) and water regularly so that it’s lightly dry at the top and moist near the bottom. They are very forgiving plants if they are a neglected once in a while!

How to get the best from your Summer Blooms!

David RaggComment

Everyone loves receiving flowers or maybe you just love buying them for yourself. However, it’s not always that clear on the best way to look after them. 

Summer flowers can often be a little on the “tender” side and do not always last as long as others, especially when the outside temperature is on the up. However, with the right practices you can make a big difference!

Here’s my Top 10 for keeping your blooms fresher for longer. 

1.    Always use a clean vase. Harmful bacteria can build up very quickly when an unclean vessel is used. Clean out ceramic and glass vases with mild detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and dry well.

2.    Use the flower food that should be provided. When you receive flowers, or buy flowers, from a reputable florist, a sachet or two of specific flower food solution should be included. If not, ask for some! Follow the instructions on the sachet and be careful not to overdose!

3.    Remove any leaves that sit below the water line. This will help reduce any potential bacterial build up in the water. It won’t erradicate it totally but it’s a massive help.

4.    Cut the stems at an angle with a sharp knife or garden snips for woody stems. By cutting at an angle you are exposing more of the internal cell structure in the stem, and it is this that takes the water up the stem. A sharp knife is the preferred tool of choice here as it produces a nice clean cut without crushing the stem at all. Harder, woodier stems are okay to be cut with snips or secateurs.

5.    Replace the water every other day. A minuscule amount of sterilizing solution will help if no flower food is left but be careful not to overdo it!

6.    Recut the stems by about 1-2cm each time you change the water This helps refresh the drinking mechanism of each stem. Flowers that are cut down to short stems will last longer - quite simply the water doesn’t have to travel as far to reach the flower!

7.    Avoid placing your flowers in direct sunlight or near any heat source. It seems fairly obvious, but this is often overlooked. Direct sun will have a massively detrimental effect of the life of your flowers as will any heat source nearby.

8.    Remove any wilting leaves or flower heads. This will encourage new buds to develop. Quite often the leaves on a stem of flowers are sapping the flower of it’s water supply, so removing them will help. Also, as individual blooms wilt on a stem, removing them will not only look nicer any slightly more immature blooms may be more encouraged to flourish!

9.    If roses flag at the head, cut the stem with a sharp knife and place it in 2cm of boiling water to force any air block out, then put it back in deep cold water. This is the most common cause of concern with roses. When a stem is out of water for any length of time, the internal stem structure is still trying to draw hydration up it’s stem. Of course when the stem is out of water, only air can be “sucked” up the stem, hence the air block. Other flowers can suffer in the same way as this, particularly those with woody stems.

10. Keep your flowers away from fruit. Ethylene gas is produced by fruit as it ripens and this has the same ripening effect on cut flowers. Fruits such as tomatoes, bananas and apple all produce high levels of the gas and therefore they will encourage the flower to up it’s own ethylene production and will cause more rapid aging.

Of course, you may have your own ways of helping your flowers last just that little be longer? If so, we would love to hear of any others tips and tricks that have made a difference!

David Ragg – Lansdowne Florist. Bournemouth’s only Town Centre Florist!

17 Amazing Houseplants that Clean the Air

David Ragg

We all know that houseplants are super popular right now. In fact I am often tempted to fill the whole store with plants such is the interest in all things green and gorgeous!

The other day I stumbled across this really great article about “17 Amazing Houseplants that Clean the Air” - it’s really worth checking out!

Houseplant crazy!

Visit the store to see our ever changing selection!

If you are looking for anything specific in plants, especially indoor plants, and you are in our local area then please let me know. I have access to literally 000s of options via our suppliers.