Stewarts Office Plants

We supply many businesses across the South, from Sussex and Surrey, through Hampshire and Dorset to Wiltshire and Somerset. For more information about the services we offer visit our home page, or contact us here. In this blog you'll find news, interesting snippets, stories and pictures of our staff's adventures out on the road.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Feature plant: Aucuba Japonica

Here's an odd choice for feature plant.

Aucuba Japonica is (as keen gardeners will know) a common plant in the garden. So why am I talking about it on the Stewarts Interior Landscaping blog?

The answer is that it is one of the rare plants that will survive in a cool building and outside in the UK, and crucially is shade-tolerant.

This means, like a handful of other species, it is our go-to choice in a particular environment: dark, unheated indoor spaces. As I've blogged before, there is a right plant for every spot, just more choice in some places than others.

So for example in a porch, this is the default choice for us. I am reminded of it by the fact that this morning I am taking some out to plant in a bed between two flights of stairs at a shopping centre in Bournemouth. Technically it's outside but it's in deep shade and very sheltered. Aucuba, partnered with Ivy (a common choice) forms the planting scheme.



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Does the weather affect indoor plants?

OK, so something reminded me of this the other day. As per the post title:

Does the weather outside affect your indoor plants, and if so: how?

The knee-jerk answer is, "of course not, don't be stupid". Assuming your office or house is adequately heated and lit, what's happening outside should make no difference to the plants, right?

But experience tells me there are at least two ways that it can make a difference.

1. Prolonged dull weather in the winter

As you probably noticed, it rained most of the time this Autumn and over Christmas, and the sun very rarely shone. Low light plants would have been fine with this, but some of the more temperamental high light plants, most notably Ficuses, would not have enjoyed this. Even if the lights are on, plants like this are only used where there is natural light as well, e.g. by a window. Ficuses tend to drop leaves in the winter anyway (that's why I advocate feeding them a little all year) as their leaf count is a function of the light received, but if the winter is gloomier than normal, it can finish them off.

2. Prolonged wet weather in the summer

As I've previously blogged, indoor plants can suffer from a pest called Sciarid Fly. It's commonly thought that it comes in fresh compost, but this has been shown not to be the case; it is attracted to compost from the outside world. I have noticed a distinct correlation between warm, wet weather and incidences of Sciarid Fly in our plant pots. Clearly there are more of the flies around in the environment in these kind of conditions, waiting for Stewarts to provide them with lunch!

Finally an obvious one - though I've seen people do this: if you buy interior plants in cold weather (like today) be very careful with them when transporting them. Even a few minutes of a cold wind can kill a sensitive indoor plants like a Dracaena. Putting the plant in a big bag or fleece until it's in the warm.


Friday, January 08, 2016

Spot the mistake...

Happy New Year everybody!

In the lull between collecting all our Christmas trees, and getting back to the real business of looking after interior plants, I was clearing my phone out of pictures, and found this one I'd taken recently of a menu in one of our clients' canteens in Bournemouth.

Can you spot the error?