Scindapsus: houseplant of the Month for August

Multitasker Scindapsus not only makes your home more beautiful with fabulously marked green leaves, but also helps clean up the air indoors.

Domestic wonder

Upwards, downwards – you can go in all directions with Scindapsus. This houseplant is easy to live with, and stands out because of its fantastic heart-shaped satiny leaves. They have fabulous markings with silver, pale green, yellow or whitish spots or a flame pattern. It’s also a reliable companion: if looked after well, this domestic wonder can grow very old yet remain beautiful.

Jungalow Scindapsus is a member of the Araceae family and grows in south-east Asia, Indonesia and on the Solomon Islands: so it brings the tropics to your home.

Give and take

If you look after Scindapsus well it will do something for you in return. According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Scindapsus is one of the plants that help improve the quality of the air in your home. It does this with very small stoma on the leaves. They remove carbon dioxide from the air, convert it to energy for growing, and exhale oxygen. The stoma also emit some moisture, so the plant helps prevent the air in your home from getting too dry.

 Green monkey – In tropical rainforests Scindapsus likes to climb up trees and then hang off stems.

 How to get the best from your Scindapsus

  • Scindapsus enjoys a light spot, but preferably not in direct sunlight or a draught.
  • Rule of thumb: the lighter the leaves, the lighter the position that the plant prefers.
  • The soil can be a bit damp, but try to avoid flooding it.
  • Some plant food once a month will make Scindapsus a power grower.
  • A session with a plant spray is greatly appreciated.
  • If the tendrils get too long, they can just be cut back.

 Happy home – Scindapsus is known as a lucky plant that helps to bring its owner wealth and good fortune. 

Scindapsus styling

The many forms of Scindapsus make the plant very suitable for homes with little space. Hence the tendrils can wrap themselves upwards around a pole like a slim green pillar and the plant can provide plenty of life high up in the room as a hanging plant. Because Scindapsus has a strong rainforest look, it looks best in a natural container: wood, leather, coarse earthenware in natural shades or hanging pots made out of coconut shells.

Houseplant of the Month

Scindapsus is the Houseplant for August 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

Plants can be bought at:

For more information see: is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.


Houseplant of the month for April: Hydrangea

Large umbels, fairytale colours, an excess of beauty – when the Hydrangeas arrive, spring has truly begun.

Flower bomb

The Hydrangea is a voluptuous beauty with many large flowers which can, surprisingly, change colour during flowering. The plant always makes a lavish impression, with large full umbels packed with small star-shaped flowers. Indoors it creates a romantic mood and catches the light in a fascinating way. The flowers are just like jewels: there’s always one that catches your eye, whatever angle you look at the plant from. The Hydrangea immediately makes you think of the long, light days of spring and the atmosphere of summer.

Hydrangea delights

  • Hydrangeas have a light sweet fragrance, and range from specially cultivated plants with one flower through to a sturdy shrub, and everything in between.
  • White, blue, pink, purple, lilac, red, green, mixed – the plant is available in astoundingly beautiful colours.
  • After flowering cut off the flowers and give your hydrangea a new life outdoors. Do this after the middle of May.

It’s all in the name

Hydrangea’s name literally means ‘barrel’. ‘Hydro’ is ‘water’, and ‘angeion’ means ‘barrel or jug’. The name points to the most important prerequisite for a beautiful Hydrangea: enough water.

Mother’s Day

The Hydrangea symbolises grace, beauty and abundance (because of the extravagant number of flowers and the generous full shape), but also gratitude and heartfelt feelings, making it a popular Mother’s Day gift.

Blue island

The plant is native to south and east Asia and North and South America. Some species have developed into large trees, whilst others remain small compact shrubs. On the Azores, Faial Island is known as the ‘blue island’ because of the abundant presence of Hydrangeas.

Beautiful colours

Blue Hydrangeas like to be given some potassium alum or aluminium sulphate from August – when they start producing new buds – to ensure an attractive colour. Pink flowers require chalk, and adding potassium alum to red hydrangeas turns them purple.

Love link

The Hydrangea is known in other languages as Hortensia: a name that was first used in 1771 by the French botanist Philibert Commerson. It’s suspected that he named the flower after the woman for whom he had a soft spot. Various ladies have been cited as his inspiration, including Queen Hortense, daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais and Napoleon, and Hortense de Nassau, daughter of the Prince of Nassau.

How to ensure that your Hydrangea remains beautiful for a long time

  • Hydrangeas love a light spot, but not in full sun. If the location is too warm, the plant will produce fewer flowers.
  • The Hydrangea is a keen drinker. Avoid drooping by ensuring that the plant always has slightly damp soil.
  • Because growing and flowering demands a lot of energy from the Hydrangea, you can help the plant by giving it some plant food once a fortnight.
  • Don’t feed it more than this, otherwise the plant will lose its compact shape.

 A drooping Hydrangea can recover completely if given sufficient water and placed in a cool spot

Chic & simple

Because the Hydrangea is already a spectacle in its own right, it’s best to keep the pot simple: grey terracotta, bleached terracotta or a LBP ( Little Black Planter). Choose a slightly robust pot to contrast beautifully with the elegant flowers.


Houseplant of the Month

Hydrangea is the Houseplant for April 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.


For more information see:

Facebook: mooiwatplantendoen

Twitter: @watplantendoen is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.


Photo caption
Houseplant for April 2018: Hydrangea

Garden Plant of the month for April: Petunia

The Petunia: easy care, lots of choice

With its large trumpets the Petunia proclaims in all directions that spring really has sprung. This colourful summer annual has diverse uses: in hanging baskets, containers, sacks on the wall and troughs. And when it’s planted in a bed, the Petunia likes to shine amongst the groundcover in borders. It has staying power: if looked after properly, the Petunia will flower until the frosts arrive and will create a sea of flowers in the garden for all that time.


Plain, spotted, striped, with single or double flowers, and that profusion of beauty in all the colours of the rainbow through to almost black – the choice of petunias is overwhelming, although they sometimes bear a different name. Well-known series such as Surfinia, Crazytunia or Cascadia hint at their specialism with their name: long stems, unusual flower shapes or a cloud of hanging flowers.

Petunia trivia

  • The plant is related to Nicotiana, the tobacco plant.
  • The Petunia was given its name in 1789 by French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836). He drew his inspiration from what he knew: at the time, ‘pétun’ was the local word for tobacco.
  • Artist Georgia O’Keeffe made her breakthrough in 1925 with a Petunia painting. She had planted purple and blue petunias next to her summer home on Lake George, and adored them so much that she recorded the flowers in sensual close-ups that became a sensation.
  • Bees love the Petunia’s nectar, so that the plant brings lots of activity to the garden.


The Petunia originates from South America, where the plant grows in Brazil and Argentina. In the wild the plants often look much more rangy than the profusion of flowers that growers have managed to produce through crossbreeding. There are hundreds of hybrids available, and breeders keep producing new cultivars with new colours or shapes or which are – for example – better able to cope with rain.

What to look for when buying

  • Generally speaking, the larger the plant you buy, the greater the chance that it will be a successful bloomer.
  • It’s particularly important for Petunias offered in very small pot sizes to check that the plant is rooted and shows signs of growth. These small plants are usually grown from seed, the larger ones from cuttings.
  • It’s important to keep the soil damp in order to prevent drooping.
  • Remove yellowed leaves and wilted flowers from plants that have been on the shopfloor for a while, and ensure sufficient light in order to avoid stretching.
  • As with all summer annuals, the earlier the Petunia finds a home for the summer, the better.

Sales and display tips

The Petunia is popular with garden lovers who specifically buy by colour and like to make their own arrangements in containers or hanging baskets. But the enormous profusion of flowers means it’s also a classic impulse buy, particularly if it is presented ready-made in a container, decorative bucket or basket. Display the loose specimens alongside containers with a reservoir which relieve the customer of effort. Don’t hang Petunia baskets too high (this often means that only the plastic container is visible), but from a rack in layers so that customers are mainly looking down on them. And present them mixed: a large table in one colour is more of the same, whilst a mixed table of petunias is an instant garden party.

Care tips for consumers

  • Petunias like to be out of the wind in full sun.
  • Keep the soil moist, water every day on sunny days, ensure drainage in pots and hanging baskets so that the roots don’t get too wet.
  • Be sparing with plant food: it particularly encourages the production of leaves and not necessarily of flowers.
  • Cut off wilted flowers stem and all.
  • If the Petunia is past its peak, prune it back and the flowers will return in full.


Garden Plant of the Month

The Petunia is the Garden Plant for April 2018. The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant with an amazing look or unusual characteristics to put in the spotlight. Sometimes it will be a green star that’s highlighted, and sometimes an undiscovered treasure that deserves to be better known and merits a place in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony. Because everyone is happier with more plants.


More information:

Facebook: mooiwatplantendoen

Twitter: @watplantendoen is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland to help consumers discover that you feel better with plants around you.


Photo caption
Garden Plant for April 2018: Petunia



Flower of the month March: Spring Flowers


Spring Flowers in the March 2018 Flower Agenda!

The origin of ranunculus, anemone and Leucospermum

Ranunculus originally comes all the way from Central Asia. By a roundabout route the flower finally ended up in Europe, where it was given its official name: Ranunculus. The anemone originates from southern Europe and Asia. The South African Leucospermum originally grew on rocky slopes on the coasts in the south-west of the Cape of Good Hope.

Shapes and colours

The ranunculus comes in white, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple. Although originally orange, Leucospermum now also comes in ochre, lemon and a reddish colour. You can buy anemones in white, pink, red to violet and blue. There are around 120 varieties. Some have a single row of petals, others have more.

Care tips for customers
These care tips will enable consumers to enjoy their Spring flowers for even longer:

  • Use a clean vase and fill it with fresh water.
  • Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.
  • Trim the stems diagonally with a clean and sharp knife or secateurs.
  • Place the flowers in a cool spot away from the fruit bowl and not in the sun.
  • Replaced the water once every three days in order to enjoy your bouquet for as long as possible.

Symbolism of Spring flowers 
Spring flowers ranunculus, anemone and Leucospermum are bursting with symbolism, from pride and vanity through to expectation, consideration and honesty. Plenty of options for giving someone a real surprise.

Bouquet recipe with Spring flowers 
Close your eyes and picture the season of Spring. Which colours do you use? To really capture the feeling of Spring in a vase, it’s a good idea to use colours like orange, blue, purple and white. With so much colour, the vase doesn’t need very much else. A tall, cylindrical vase is contemporary, helps to elevate the your flowers and offers enough room for the large number of stems.

What you need:

  • Ranunculus
  • Anemone
  • Leucospermum
  • Fritillaria
  • Briza (quaking grass)
  • Fern leaf
  • Freesia


More information:

Garden Plant of the Month for March: Citrus trees


A lasting holiday feeling on your patio
Beautiful colours, sweet scents and – if you’re lucky – a modest harvest of fruit; all those on their own are enough to make a citrus tree a lovely addition to the garden. But this Mediterranean beauty is also evergreen, So you can enjoy it all year long. The trees of the mandarin, lemon, lime, orange, kumquat and grapefruit each look slightly different, but they all have a sturdy trunk with a green crown. Another similarity is that they produce lots of blossom, like a warm and sunny spot, and lend an exotic note to your patio or balcony. They’re classic container plants that need lots of light in both summer and winter.


The origin of the citrus trees

Most citrus trees originate from South-East Asia. The Romans planted the trees in their gardens in 200 AD. The first trees came to Western Europe in around 1200. Initially the plants were protected from frost in sheds using a fire. Later orangeries were built in which the ‘orange trees’ could spend the winter. Their orange fruit means that the trees give you a lasting holiday feeling in the garden or on the patio,  but also when the plants are placed indoors in the living room.

Citrofortunella microcarpa (Calamondin) is a cross between the genuses of citrus and fortunella. The other citrus species are virtually all imported from countries around the Mediterranean nowadays. Examples include: Citrus limon (lemon), Citrus reticulata (mandarin), Citrus sinensis (orange) and the genus Fortunella (kumquat) containing the species Fortunella japonica (small round fruit) and Fortunella margarita (oval orange fruit).


Citrofortunella: mini-oranges

The genus Citrus includes fruit such as oranges, mandarins, lemons, grapefruit and kumquats. There is also a mini orange tree: Citrofortunella microcarpa. The name ‘microcarpa’ indicates that the plant bears a small fruit. It’s an evergreen tree, and the white flowers produce a delectable jasmine fragrance. The plants often bear buds, flowers and fruit at the same time. The plants come in various sizes, from small handy ‘table trees’ to sizeable trees with small orange fruit. You can make jam or marmalade from the fruit.


Caring for Citrofortunella

Citrofortunella likes a light, sunny spot and moderate (rain) watering. It also needs regular feeding. The plants like a slightly acid soil, so it’s a good idea to mix potting soil with some garden turf. You can pollinate the flowers yourself with your thumb or a brush in order to ensure that the plant produces enough fruit. It takes about a year for the fruit to ripen.

The plants can be placed in the garden or on the balcony or patio in full sun from mid-March to October. You should keep an eye on the night-time temperature, since the plants don’t like night frosts. And allow the plant to acclimatise to bright sunlight in the first few weeks, otherwise it will scorch. The orange tree can be brought indoors in October before the first night frost, and overwinter in a frost-free spot. This can be in the living room, or in a conservatory or greenhouse.


Citrofortunella training tips

These orange trees can be grown as a standard or as a bush. It’s best to prune in the spring to keep plants growing vigorously and healthy. After pruning the plant will produce more shoots, but it will then take a little while before it starts flowering and producing fruit again. You should therefore limit pruning to shaping the plant or removing stray shoots.  Do trim off the side shoots on a standard product, in order to achieve and retain an attractive trunk.


More information about Citrofortunella and other garden plants can be found at


Garden Plant of the Month

Citrofortunella is in the spotlight in March as the Garden Plant of the Month. ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative by Growers and horticultural specialists from the floriculture sector select a garden plant every month at the request of in order to inspire and enthuse. Because a garden isn’t a garden without plants.



Speciality orchids are the Houseplants of the month for November 2016

The range of orchids on offer is constantly growing. The focus this month is on six undiscovered treasures which push the envelope and offer supernatural beauty.


Exciting peepholes

Fairy tale shapes and supernaturally beautiful flowers: orchids are perfect natural elements for creating an otherworldly atmosphere. You can use them to create an indoor space which gives the feeling that anything is possible. The unusual semi-transparent structure of these houseplants – slim stem, heavy crown, bizarre tendrils – help to create exciting peepholes. If you play around with mirrors and perspectives, the flowers can appear to float through the room.


Beautiful alienation

This style trend includes watery patterns with spots and splashes, but also semiprecious stones, crystals and a starry sky. Combine the spectacular shapes of these remarkable orchids with shiny porcelain, iridescent glaze, pots with graduated colour and batik motifs for an extra-dreamy effect. Unusual colours such as dark green, dark red, lilac and grey-green contribute to the fantasy mood. The alienation is complete if the slender shapes of the houseplants contrast with twisted branches nearby.


Orchids and care

If the air indoors is very dry, e.g. as result of central heating, it’s best to mist orchid buds every day. That prevents them from drying out and not opening. All orchids look best with ‘loving neglect’. You only need to immerse the pot in water with orchid food for half an hour every 10-14 days, then allow to drain thoroughly. Remove wilted flowers and otherwise leave the plant alone.


Full & rich

Cymbidium does not resemble a classic orchid at all, thanks to the lavish quantity of grassy foliage. That makes it a beautiful full houseplant from which one or more branches emerge, on which a long series of beautiful cup-shaped flowers appear which can continue to bloom for two to three months. The flowers can be yellow, green, orange or cream. Place Cymbidium in a light spot but keep it out of direct sunlight..


  • In the wild Cymbidium grows from the tropical rainforest to the Himalayas, including places with winter frosts. Around 70 species are known.
  • Repotting the plant after flowering and placing it in the garden (it can cope with a touch of frost) increases the likelihood of a new wave of flowers.
  • The name Cymbidium comes from the Greek ‘kymbe’ which means ‘boat’, and refers to the hollow in the flower’s lip.
  • The orchid symbolises ethics and virtue; in Asia it is an honour and a sign of respect to receive or be allowed to give a Cymbidium.

For more information see:
Facebook: thejoyofplants
Twitter: @thejoyofplants is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to let consumers experience that you feel better with plants around you.