IslandersDelight.com strongly encourages eco-conscious lifestyle choices that reflect the core social and ecological values of many of the world's island cultures: beauty, balance, wisdom, simplicity, self-sufficiency, resilience, resourcefulness, mindfulness, music, humor, gratitude, generosity, community ... and love and respect for the wonder, regenerative capacity, and healing power of the natural world.
Gifting (or getting for yourself!) a delightful 'islandy' indoor planter from the IslandersDelight Etsy Shop is a truly joyful experience for eco-lifestyle aficionados of all ages and living styles. And to add to that joy, one dollar ($1.00) from every IslandersDelight Etsy shop sale goes to Miami-based nonprofit The CLEO Institute (https://cleoinstitute.org/), which seeks to educate and empower communities to demand climate action, ensuring a safe, just, and healthy environment for all.
GENERAL CARE GUIDELINES FOR YOUR (SHIPPED) HOUSEPLANTS
TRANSIT SHOCK: Some plants may exhibit mild TRANSIT SHOCK following shipping and many need a few days or weeks of TLC to recover to their full color and vitality. Don't be alarmed.
DEEP WATERING: The vast majority of indoor plants do much better planted in containers with drain holes where they can be watered deeply and thoroughly. Use ordinary tap water, filtered tap water, or preferably — especially if your tap water is very high in chlorine or chloramine — pure/distilled water. Adequate watering is achieved when excess water drains out from the drain hole in the planter (into a sink or a plastic drip tray). This 'deep watering' encourages healthy, deep roots and avoids the inconvenience and hassle of frequent, light waterings and the risks of overwatering. (Most houseplants can tolerate UNDERwatering more than OVERwatering.) Usually, after a deep watering, your plant can be left alone for several days (one to two weeks, typically) for the soil to dry out a bit before the next deep watering. Deep waterings have the added benefit of flushing out detrimental buildups of dissolved minerals from tap water and residue from water-soluble fertilizers. And planters with drain holes help prevent root rot (potted plants DO NOT like wet feet).
LIGHTING: Houseplants generally prefer medium to bright indirect light, but no direct sun.
FERTILIZING: Most houseplants require little, if any, fertilization. Too much fertilizer can cause excessive leaf growth and 'nutrient burn' (google it).
VENTILATION: Consider locating your indoor plants in well ventilated areas with lots of fresh, moving air. They will struggle (and mold will thrive) in musty locations where the air is stagnant and stale.
LOVE: Ideally, choose a location that you visit frequently throughout the day where your houseplants will get your attention on a daily basis; for it is said that houseplants that are acknowledged and loved grow faster, healthier, and happier!
And finally, get familiar with how to best care for your specific plants:
Crotons offer explosions of leaf shapes and colors. As a tropical plant, they come in more than 100 varieties. Leaf colors include yellow, green, copper, red, pink, orange, brown and ivory, which may spread over the whole leaf or appear as veining, spots, blotches or other patterns. Leaf shapes also vary: they may be slender and up to 18 inches long, flat and up to 6 inches wide, lobed, ribbed, crinkled or twisted into corkscrew shapes.
NATURAL HABITAT: Humid tropics.
SUNLIGHT: Prefers very bright, indirect light. In general, the more variegated and colorful the croton plant, the more light it will need.
WATER: Keep soil evenly moist, but more dry than wet.
TEMPERATURE: Keep the room above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and do not expose the plant to cold drafts.
HUMIDITY: As a tropical plant, it benefits from high humidity. Keep the humidity level at 40 to 80 percent. (If the humidity isn't high enough, the plant may drop some of its leaves.)
TIPS: Crotons are native to the humid tropics, so they will appreciate frequent misting or a boost in humidity from a pebble tray or humidifier. Plenty of bright sunlight encourages growth of brightly colored leaves. (In fact, the more bright sunlight a Croton receives, the more colorful its foliage!) While with less sunlight, new leaves will emerge with more green.
WARNING: Croton plants do not like to be moved, and when they are moved, they can quickly go into shock, which results in leaf loss (so best to avoid moving the plant as much as possible). In situations where moving the plant is unavoidable (such as when you buy one), don’t panic at the leaf loss. Simply maintain proper care and the plant will regrow its leaves within a short period of time.
Lucky Bamboo (aka Dracaena sanderiana) has long been an Asian symbol of good fortune and prosperity and therefore makes a fantastic gift. (It has been used for 5,000 years in the practice of Feng Shui!) Technically, lucky bamboo is not a 'true' bamboo (note that its stem is fleshy, unlike typical bamboo).
NATURAL HABITAT: Humid rainforest.
SUNLIGHT: It prefers an indoor low-light environment away from direct sunlight.
WATER: In a draining planter, it should be watered about once every 1 - 2 weeks.
TEMPERATURE: Average room temperatures.
HUMIDITY: Appreciates an occasional spray misting, but not necessary.
FERTILIZER: Fertilize very lightly, if at all.
COMMON PROBLEMS: The most common mistakes related to lucky bamboo are usually connected to the water. Chlorinated tap water will likely kill the plant over time, and water that is dirty or infected with bacteria can be also be deadly. Leaves that are yellow usually indicate too much sun or too much fertilizer. Yellow leaves and stalks suggests over-fertilization. Cut out the fertilizer and/or move the plant to a shadier location. Brown leaves usually indicate dry air (low humidity) or polluted water.
TIPS: Use filtered, distilled, spring, or rain water — not tap water — as a water source for lucky bamboo. Raise the humidity level, if beneficial, by misting the plant every few days.
Parlor Palms (Chamaedorea elegans), also known as Neanthe Bella Palms, are very popular household true palms. They are commonly seen in dish gardens. Cultivated since the Victorian era, they are resilient to varying indoor conditions and are therefore easy to maintain and grow.
NATURAL HABITAT: Subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas.
SUNLIGHT: Thrives in medium to bright indirect light and can even tolerate low indirect light and fluorescent lighting. Not suited for intense, direct sun.
WATER: Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. (It is quite drought resistant.) Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light.
TEMPERATURE: Average home temps of 65°F-75°F or warmer up to 85°F. (If you’re comfortable, your parlor palm is probably comfortable, too.)
HUMIDITY: Prefers higher humidity but can adapt to a very wide range on indoor humidity conditions.
FERTILIZER: Feed with a highly diluted liquid indoor plant fertilizer once or twice during the growing season and not at all during the winter. These plants are light feeders.
COMMON PROBLEMS: Brown leaf tips could indicate under- or over-watering or temporary transplant shock from repotting.
PRECAUTIONS: This plant is not toxic to pets and boasts beneficial air-purifying qualities.
TIPS: Misting a few times a week makes this humidity loving plant very happy. Also, remove brown or yellow leaves as soon as they appear with a pair of sharp scissors to keep your plant looking healthy and allow it to spend its energy solely on new growth.
Dragon Trees are bold, attractive, colorful plants with sleek, spiky leaves that demand attention. They also go by the name “Dracaena marginata” or just “Dracaena.” These are tough, drought-tolerant plants with aggressive root systems that make excellent houseplants, as they are more forgiving than some of the other dracaena. They are sometimes grown as single-stemmed plants and sometimes grouped or even braided together in the same pot.
NATURAL HABITAT: Mauritius and Madagascar (large islands with tropical climates: consistent warm temps and high humidity).
SUNLIGHT: Prefers bright, indirect light, but will grow in low light. Direct sunlight should be avoided.
WATER: Keep soil evenly moist, but more dry than wet.
TEMPERATURE: Does well at room temps between 60°F - 77°F. HUMIDITY: Prefers standard indoor levels of humidity, about 40% - 60%.
HUMIDITY: Benefits from higher humidity levels.
WARNING: The Dragon Tree naturally sheds its leaves, so it is not uncommon for you to find them at the base of the soil or on the floor.
Monstera are species of evergreen tropical vines/shrubs known for their natural leaf-holes, which accounts for the common nickname: Swiss Cheese Plant. Two different species of Monstera are cultivated as houseplants - Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii. Monstera adansonii is distinguished from M. deliciosa by having longer, tapering leaves, as well as having completely enclosed leaf holes. Monstera deliciosa leaf holes, in contrast, eventually grow towards the edge and open up as they mature. Part of Araceae, the aroid family, they are one of the few aroids that produces edible fruit, particularly, Monstera deliciosa, though they rarely flower or produces edible fruit indoors.
NATURAL HABITAT: Native to Central America.
SUNLIGHT: Thrives in bright to medium indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun but can be acclimated to withstand it.
WATER: Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light. Monsteras prefer filtered water (or leave water out overnight before using).
TEMPERATURE: 65°F-85°F (18°C-30°C). (Best not to let it go below 60°F (15°C).)
HUMIDITY: Normal room humidity will do, but prefers higher humidity conditions.
COMMON PROBLEMS: Though it is an easy-going plant and is generally pest-free, treat any pests as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of horticultural (neem) oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant. Leaves turning brown and crispy at the edges may indicate a thirsty, underwatered plant or high salt build up in the soil. Wilting plant may be due to underwatering or a plant that is pot-bound. Yellowing leaves or black stems may indicate overwatering.
PRECAUTIONS: Irritating to cats, dogs, and humans only if foliage consumed. Best practice is always to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and pets.
Pothos plants (aka Devil's Ivy) have the reputation of being one of the easiest houseplants to take care of. They are known for their heart-shaped green leaves with variegation in yellow. In the wild, they are known to overgrow forest floors and tree trunks due to their aerial root systems. They are particularly beneficial for indoor settings because they can filter gaseous toxins like formaldehyde from the air.
NATURAL HABITAT: Southeast Asia.
SUNLIGHT: Thrive in bright, indirect light, but can tolerate medium to low indirect light. Not suited for intense, direct sun.
WATER: Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light.
HUMIDITY: Any humidity level will do.
TEMPERATURE: Average home temperature of 65°F-75°F. (Generally speaking, if you’re comfortable, pothos is comfortable.)
FERTILIZER: Pothos aren’t heavy feeders, but since there are no nutrients in most potting soils, lightly feed monthly to bi-monthly with any balanced houseplant fertilizer.
COMMON PROBLEMS: A wilting plant indicates a thirsty, underwatered plant. Yellowing leaves and black stems may indicate overwatering.
PRECAUTIONS: Poisonous but non-lethal sap causes skin irritation and burning of the mouth if ingested.
TIP: Keep out of reach of small children and pets.