What to Do After Extreme Heat Wrecks Your Garden

A few summers ago, not a single one of my pole beans bloomed, which is odd because they are one of the most dependable, fuss-free things to grow. I later realized that it was simply too hot. Temperatures above 90°F slow down plant growth, and temperatu…

A few summers ago, not a single one of my pole beans bloomed, which is odd because they are one of the most dependable, fuss-free things to grow. I later realized that it was simply too hot. Temperatures above 90°F slow down plant growth, and temperatures above 104°F put plants under serious heat stress. A plant under stress does not waste energy blooming—it’s in survival mode. Once the heat wave was over, the flowers on my beans appeared.

Heat waves are tough even for heat-tolerant and sun-loving plants such as tomatoes and watermelons, so it’s only natural when a garden takes a beating from record-high temperatures—even if you watered it properly during the heat wave.

Read More >>

How Plant Stylist Vionna Wai Designed a Serene, Oh-So Green Rooftop Space

We’ve teamed up with the audio innovators at Sonos to present Groove With The Seasons, a video series that showcases experts creating memorable hosting moments with the help of Sonos speakers.

Unlike my mother, I simply was not born with the gift of…

We’ve teamed up with the audio innovators at Sonos to present Groove With The Seasons, a video series that showcases experts creating memorable hosting moments with the help of Sonos speakers.


Unlike my mother, I simply was not born with the gift of a green thumb. For her, tending to our backyard garden and caring for countless house plants comes naturally; for me, keeping an unfussy philodendron alive is quite the accomplishment.

Read More >>

On Growing the Beautiful, Flavorful Curry Leaf Plant

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.

It was an especially co…

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.


It was an especially cold and sunless April in Chicago this year when Margaret Pak brought home her young curry leaf plant, so she decided to take it into the bathroom a few times when she showered to mimic the tropical air it’s used to (in India and Southern Asia), based on a tip from a local nursery.

Read More >>

The Most Popular Houseplant in Each State

If it seems like literally everyone has a monstera plant, well, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. In fact, it’s the most popular houseplant in 16 states, according to All About Gardening, which analyzed Google Trends data from the last five years to deter…

If it seems like literally everyone has a monstera plant, well, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. In fact, it’s the most popular houseplant in 16 states, according to All About Gardening, which analyzed Google Trends data from the last five years to determine which houseplant each state had searched for the most.

After the monstera, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, the next most popular plant, according to the study, was the fiddle-leaf fig with seven states searching for it, followed by the Chinese money plant with six states. Surprisingly, the hardy snake plant (one of our personal faves) was the most popular in just two states. The most popular plants in each state seemed to have surprisingly little regionality, indicating that plant parents searched for plants based on their own personal preferences, and less so based on the specific climate conditions of an area.

Read More >>

12 NASA-Approved Plants that Actually Improve Air Quality

Even if you’ve never given indoor air quality much thought, the past two years have likely changed that. HEPA air cleaners and negative air machines have become conversation topics, and indoor air quality is very much on everyone’s mind. You might be c…

Even if you’ve never given indoor air quality much thought, the past two years have likely changed that. HEPA air cleaners and negative air machines have become conversation topics, and indoor air quality is very much on everyone’s mind. You might be contributing to better air quality already, though, with your collection of indoor plants.

We’ve actually known that houseplants can do quite a bit to improve air quality since 1989, when NASA conducted a study to determine how popular houseplants contribute to air quality by removing toxins. Ever since, the plants that improve air quality have been nicknamed “NASA-approved plants”.

Read More >>

This Common Mistake Might Be Killing Your Indoor Plants

For the second time in a year, I went abroad on holiday, and my husband killed a plant. The worst part? He killed it with love—too much love, that is. He overwatered it.

What hurt the most was that it was a snake plant, aka, the most indestructible in…

For the second time in a year, I went abroad on holiday, and my husband killed a plant. The worst part? He killed it with love—too much love, that is. He overwatered it.

What hurt the most was that it was a snake plant, aka, the most indestructible indoor plant known to us. Turns out, one thing can destroy it, and it’s not what you think—not too much sunlight nor too little airflow or temperature fluctuations (although all of those can affect its well-being to some extent). It’s giving it too much attention, when all it wants is to be left alone. Too much watering, and not even drainage, did my Sansevieria in.

Read More >>

How to Get Your Soil Ready for Gardening Season

I recently started thinking about what I’m going to plant in my garden this spring—it’s a nice mental escape from the current dreary New England weather—and as I’ve been researching different flowers and vegetables, I keep seeing references to “ideal s…

I recently started thinking about what I’m going to plant in my garden this spring—it’s a nice mental escape from the current dreary New England weather—and as I’ve been researching different flowers and vegetables, I keep seeing references to “ideal soil quality.” For example, the growing guides in Almanac always say things like, “Dahlias thrive in rich, well-drained soil. The pH level of your soil should be 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic.”

It makes sense that soil has a pH, but it’s never been something I took into consideration as I planted my garden. I’ve always considered soil quality to be “advanced gardener stuff”—after all, my plants grow just fine—but seeing repeated mentions of it has piqued my curiosity. As a result, I started reading about soil quality, plant pH, and soil testing, and eventually, even reached out to Vanessa Dawson, a gardening expert and CEO of Arber, an organic, non-toxic plant wellness company, for expert insights on soil quality and why it matters. Here’s what I learned.

Read More >>

The Best Houseplants Are Hiding at Trader Joe’s

While we’re (of course) big fans of all the frozen and dry treats Trader Joe’s has to offer, one of the best parts about the cult-favorite grocery store is their plant and flower section. Their seasonal flowers are notably at least half the price of st…

While we’re (of course) big fans of all the frozen and dry treats Trader Joe’s has to offer, one of the best parts about the cult-favorite grocery store is their plant and flower section. Their seasonal flowers are notably at least half the price of stems you’d find anywhere else, and with just a little finesse, you can create a totally custom arrangement for any occasion. Beyond the florals though? The. Plants.

You simply can’t go wrong with Trader Joe’s varied and affordable plant selection. From houseplants and herbs to seasonal flowers and container gardens, they really do have something for everyone. While their selection may vary depending on the location and season (think: succulents in the summer, mini pine trees in the winter), their prices alone make it worth a trip to your local store to check it out. If you’re looking for something particular, it’s worth following one or two Instagram accounts that report on all the new plant stock (yes, they exist), like this one or this one.

Read More >>

How to Kill Weeds Naturally—for Real

Every year between April and June, I go on a weed-killing mission to eradicate garlic mustard. I pull every one of these noxious, highly invasive weeds I can my hands on, and yank them out. Getting garlic mustard,—or any weed for that matter—under cont…

Every year between April and June, I go on a weed-killing mission to eradicate garlic mustard. I pull every one of these noxious, highly invasive weeds I can my hands on, and yank them out. Getting garlic mustard,—or any weed for that matter—under control is an incremental process requiring elbow grease, a tool or two, and persistence.

However, because more and more homeowners and gardeners are trying to steer clear of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicide products), they're turning to natural alternatives. And while there are tons of DIY formulas online, it’s not necessarily a great idea to mix up your own. Read on for for a little debunking, as well as other ways you can kill weeds naturally and safely. Oh, and how you can prevent weeds from growing in your yard in the first place, of course.

Read More >>

Think Gardening Only Happens in Spring? Think Again.

“Have you planted your garden yet?” is a question I frequently get in the spring. It always puzzles me, because to supply you and your family with fresh produce all season long, planting a garden is not a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing activity. For e…

“Have you planted your garden yet?” is a question I frequently get in the spring. It always puzzles me, because to supply you and your family with fresh produce all season long, planting a garden is not a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing activity. For example, to be able to harvest your own lettuce from spring through fall, you need to seed a small amount at regular intervals—about every two to four weeks.

Even in ideal weather conditions and with the best possible care, garden crops can fail. The more you diversify what you plant, and the more you spread it out over the gardening season, the better. It’s similar to smart investing, where a diversified portfolio is less likely to turn you bankrupt.

Read More >>