Monthly Gardening with Jennifer Brennan at Chalet Nursery in Wilmette

January 14, 2008 7:27:28 PM PST
Our expert green thumb stops by to give us some gardening tips for January.Orchids:
This is THE month for orchids. The bloom time is at peak levels. Chalet has a beautiful collection to use as visuals. The best ones for success in our home environments because they so not mind our warmer rooms and lower light levels are:
1. "Moth" orchids (Phaleanopsis spp.)
2. "Lady Slipper" orchids (Paphiopedilum spp.)

Green Trend:
One of newest trends is the "Green" trend to use more live plants in interior decorating. It is all linked to the carbon replacement. Plants produce oxygen, so you replace all the carbon produce by breathing, car exhaust or other human consumption. Very "Green" and very in vogue.

For success, it is wise to select correct plants for growing conditions. Most of our homes have relatively low light levels. The secret for success is 100 foot candles of light. If you do not have a light meter, the easy way to detect this is to try and read in the area where you will place the plant. If you can read without turning on a light, there is 100 foot candles of light and any of the following plants will survive:

1. Aglaonema spp. - Chinese Evergreen
2. Aspidistra elatior - Cast Iron Plant

1. Fatsia japonica - Japanese Aralia
2. Howea forsteriana - Kentia Palm or Paradise Palm
3. Neanthe bella - Parlor Palm

Bright But Sunless:
1. Bromeliada
2. Dieffenbachia amoena - Dumbcane
3. Monstera deliciosa - Swiss Cheese Plant of Splitleaf Philodendron

Caring for Houseplants:
Mid-winter is when many houseplants start to show signs of "cabin fever".
The main points to follow are:
a. Do NOT overwater - allow plants to drain well before placing back into saucers or decorative pots.
b. Increase humidity whenever possible with room humidifiers or placing plants in humidity trays.
c. Use a systemic insecticide as a prevention against insects like spidermites, aphids and mealy bugs.

Chalet Nursery
3132 Lake Ave.
Wilmette, IL