Archive for August, 2012

Back to Air-Scrubbers!

The next plant that NASA suggests as a GREAT air-scrubber is the Lady Palm, or Rhapis excelsa.  This plant grows in either dry OR humid climates and in temperatures of 20 to 100 degrees F.  It is very tolerant of any soil type.  Almost best of all, it is very resistant to most insects. What more could you ask?

The Lady Palm comes in all green, as well as variegated varieties.  Normally it is a huge plant growing well over 10 feet in height as well as width, if grown outside.  However, inside they don’t grow that large and there are dwarf types to be had as well.

It’s leaves are relatively thick and broad, which explains why some folks call it “broadleaf lady palm”.

The Lady Palm multiplies by rhizomes which quickly gives the plant a delightful fullness.  It also means you can share your bounty with friends!

This plant doesn’t need direct light, so putting it in a bright corner will make for a great spot.  Allow it lots of space to grow.  It probably won’t get as tall when grown indoors, but it can still become a significant member of your horticultural collection.

Any time you see dead leaves, cut them off.  If it’s just the leaf tips that are brown, you can trim that off without removing the entire leaf.  Most of this “brown leaf tip” occurs because the plant is not thoroughly watered.  Be sure when it is watered that the entire root ball is hydrated.  It should never dry out completely.  At the same time, you sure don’t want it to be WET.  This could cause root rot, which is as bad, or worse than the drying out business.

Here is a page that will tell you all you need to know about Rhapis excelsa.  Visit it, and learn!

If you are interested in the names of the dwarf  varieties of Rhapis excelsa, here’s a site that names them.  It also asks you to buy them…no need for that, but at least you’ll know what to ask for at the local nursery.

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We then went to the home of a friend at Willapa Bay, Washington.  He had the most glorious gardens.  I have posted them here for your enjoyment!

Lovely lavendarImagine this in Washington?

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Sidewalk planters in Astoria, ORI’ve spent the last number of days on a trip to Long Beach, WA and Astoria, OR.  It was a wonderful trip with much to see and learn.

In Astoria, OR the sidewalk planters were delightful, brightening up the town and various establishments.

We had lunch at “Baked Alaska”.  Their planter outside looked like this!The planter outside "Baked Alaska", where we had lunch.

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In researching, and looking for the plant that will give you the most “bang for your buck”, I came to a web-site that gave me the following information.

“Even in huge, busy cities, outdoor air is cleaner and preferable to indoor air. Why is that? One reason is that trees and plants are constantly cleaning the air outside. This suggests that the eco-minded homeowner or office dweller should go out and buy some plants – but which ones? With all the hype of “going green”, every plant on the market is being promoted as an air purifier! But not to worry – NASA has conducted an official study on the top 10 air purifying plants, assigning each one a score based on how well they remove chemical vapors, resist insects, and how easy they are to maintain for your home or green office space.

The Areca Palm



(Images via Plant Directions, EnvicoGarden)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.5

The top air purifying plant as ranked by NASA’s study is the Areca palm tree. Dubbed “the most efficient air humidifier”  the Areca can be counted on to keep your home or office moist during dry times and continuously remove chemical toxins from the air. During winter time, it can literally replace the use of electric humidifiers altogether!”

I will keep looking for more plants that will come up to that “8.5” score.  This Areca Palm is a pretty large plant.  I know I don’t have room for anything that large, but there are those of you that DO.  Anyway, stay tuned!  I’ll definitely find some that are smaller!

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