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The Plant Hunter

Fall Plant Care

Posted by The Sill on

It's that time of year again... 

And as the temperature changes outside - your plant care routine should change inside. We know houseplants thrive during the spring and summer, but the real challenge is helping them survive during the fall and winter. 

The Sill houseplants: Olmsted with Staghorn Fern, August with Fern, Calvert with Succulent
Shop nationwide: The Olmsted USA; The August USA; The Calvert USA 
Shop local: The Olmsted NYC; The August NYC; The Calvert NYC 

That's where we come in. Modify your current plant care routine by following our top seasonal tips below: 

- Move Indoors 

If you moved any of your plants outside for the summer, it's time to bring them back indoors before it gets too chilly. Keep in mind they might have picked up a few pesky friends during their summer vacation - so check your plants carefully for pests before bringing them inside. 

- Dust Leaves 

Like dust accumulates on your bookshelf, it also accumulates on the porous surfaces of your houseplant. Lightly dust off leaves and stems with a damp cloth every week or so. Accumulated dust on leaves plug their pores - making it difficult for plants to "breath" and conduct photosynthesis. 

- Increase Humidity 

Indoor humidity levels drop considerably during the fall as buildings fire up their heating systems. This can be devastating for houseplants, considering most common varieties are tropical in origin. Try to mist your plants weekly, or invest in a humidifier. And remember to never place potted houseplants next to, or on top of, a heating system. 

- Maintain Light 

The angle of the sun changes considerably with the season, so pay close attention as fall settles in. Some plants might require a new location - i.e. a spot closer to the windowsill - to receive close to the same amount of sun as they did during the summer. In addition, rotate your plants every week or two so they receive light on all sides. 

- Forgo Fertilizer

Foliage growth slows down considerably during the fall and winter months, so withhold from using any fertilizer until next spring, which is the start of the growth season. 

- Water Less 

This is one of the most important tips to follow. Because plants growth rate is considerably slower in the fall and waiter, your plants won't require as much water as they did during the spring and summer. You might find yourself watering half, or even two-thirds, less frequently. For example, that snake plant might find itself thirsty once every six weeks, instead of every three weeks. And make sure to use tepid water - a freezing cold shower can shock your plants. 

* Nervous about under-watering? Follow your gut (or our guidelines below...) and remember you can always add water, but cannot extract. 

The Sill houseplants: Fiddle Leaf Fig tree
(When the radiator above goes on - we'll be moving the Fiddle!) 
Shop local: The Fiddle Leaf Fig 

Is my plant thirsty? 

1. Eye it. 

Small, tabletop plants typically need water as soon as the surface soil is dry. Take a peek under your plant's foliage to check the color, and consequently moisture, of its potting mix. Moist potting mix will appear darker than dry potting mix.  

2. Try it. 

Use your finger tip to check the consistency of the potting mix along the edge of the planter. If the first two inches of soil are dry - it's usually a sign that it's time to water your plant. Try to avoid poking around too much though. You don't want to damage your plant's roots. 

3. Lift it. 

Your potted plant will feel much heavier after it has been watered. If it feels considerably lighter than after you watered it last, chances are it's thirsty. 

4. Water it. 

When watering, pour tepid water into the planter by the base of the plant until the water begins to trickle into the saucer below. Let the plant soak up the water for about 15 minutes, then empty any remaining water from the saucer. Do not let your plant sit in a saucer of ideal water, which can potentially cause overwatering and root rot. 


October 19, 2015 by The Sill

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Back To School Essentials in Black

Posted by The Sill on

There's something wonderful to gain from fall back-to-school shopping, even if you're not technically heading back to school this September. The annual routine of searching for new clothes and new supplies can make you giddy and nostalgic. So in honor of the first day of fall - we picked out our favorite back-to-school essentials in black, because if we're going to hunker down and hustle this fall, we might as well look chic doing it. 

The Sill's Back To School Essentials: Black Medium Soft Cover Notebook with Gold Initial - Poppin, $11; Duckworth Revolver Jet Black Matte Eyeglasses - Warby Parker, $95; Classic Backpack Mid-Volume Black - Herschel Supply Co., $39.99; The Calvert NYC in Matte Black with Succulent - The Sill, $42; Ivanka Trump Checkered Open Front CardiganLord & Taylor, $99. Champion Originals in Black - Keds, $45. 


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Plant of the Month: Pothos

Posted by The Sill on

 Meet the easy, peasy, pothos -- 

The Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a trailing plant native to Mo’orea, French Polynesia. In the wild, a pothos vine climbs by neighboring trees by means of aerial roots which adhere to surfaces. The plant also produces trailing stems which take root when they reach the ground and grow along it. These trailing stems are the ones we normally see on the pothos plant when it is cultivated as a houseplant. It is not surprising that the pothos, with its many climbing root systems, can be an invasive species - and even cause severe ecological damage in some cases. 

As an indoor plant, it is often used in decorative displays in busy high-traffic areas like retail spaces and offices because it requires little care and minimal sunlight, yet is attractively full and leafy. They come in a variety of green-hued variegations to choose from (Golden Pothos, Jade Pothos, Marble Queen Pothos, and Neon Pothos just to name a few favorites...). And a major bonus - the pothos plant is effective at removing indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene - making it a great addition to living spaces. 

Wonderfully versatile, it can be grown in both soil and water - and is sometimes used on the edges of aquariums, where its roots can trail down to the water and absorb nitrates, which it uses for growth, making for a mutually beneficial relationship between plant and tank. 

The pothos can be toxic to cats and dogs, although it is not considered fatal. Symptoms include oral irrigation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the plant. 





The pothos plant is super tolerant of all light levels. It can do well in bright, indirect light - as well as low light. It has been nicknamed the cubicle plant due to its tolerance. The one thing it doesn’t like? Direct sun. If it’s too harsh for your skin, it is definitely too harsh for the pothos leaves.


Although there’s no golden watering schedule to follow, we recommend watering your pothos once weekly during the summer and every other week during the winter. We’ve all had those moments where we’re so busy we forget to water our plants - don’t fret - the pothos is a hardy fellow and can go weeks without water if necessary (though it might start to look a bit unhappy). Never allow excess water to sit in the saucer. Not only can it lead to root rot, but also pests.


If you’re a novice, we always recommend potting your plant in nutrient-rich soil in a planter with a drainage hole and saucer - but pothos plants will thrive in just about anything, including a vase of water. Note - they have trouble switching between mediums, from soil to water or vis versa, so we recommend only growing clippings in water and keeping them water-bound for the long run. 



Browse all our potted plants at and The Sill Shop at 84 Hester Street, NYC. 




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Terrariums 101

Posted by The Sill on

A low-maintenance terrarium is a great way to add life to your space if you lack the free time or the green thumb necessary to care for a bounty of houseplants. Terrariums make it possible to grow things in places that aren't exactly conducive to growth, and can pretty much be self-sufficient aside from the occasional watering. If you have both - the time and the thumb - making a terrarium can be a great way to experiment with new plant varieties, or an outlet of endless possibilities for your creativity.

There are two general types of terrariums:

1. Open

An open terrarium provides ample air circulation and low levels of humidity. It is perfect for assorted succulents and cacti

2. Enclosed

An enclosed terrarium, with a removable cover or lid, provides ample humidity and creates its own tiny ecosystem. The plants inside an enclosed terrarium release moisture, which condenses inside the vessel and trickles back into the soil. For an enclosed terrarium, choose varieties of plants that are compact and thrive in high humidity, for example miniature ferns


• Pick slow-growing plants that require less trimming and are less likely to outgrow the container quickly 
• If you're mixing plant varieties, choose plants that thrive in similar environments - i.e. prefer a similar amount of sunlight, humidity level, and watering schedule 
• For your terrarium, choose a clean, clear container with a large bottleneck or removable top. We recommend choosing something made of glass. On a budget? A mason jar with removable lid is an easy pick. 
• Before adding potting soil to your terrarium, layer a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom to create drainage. We'd recommend using lava rocks, followed by a thin layer of charcoal - but a mix of gravel, rocks, and sand works, too. Anything that creates crevices for water to trickle down into. 
• Add potting soil and lightly press down to remove any air pockets. 
• Arrange your plants inside. Make sure to not overcrowd the space - you want to leave room for new growth. 
• Once the plants are securely potted, use a paintbrush to remove any excess soil from the sides of the container or the leaves of your plants. 
• Make sure to place your terrarium in a spot that receives indirect light! A couple hours of full sun can easily fry the contents inside. 
• When watering, try your best to add water directly at the base of the plants - do not pour it on top of them. 
• Make sure not to overwater your terrarium! An enclosed terrarium can be watered about once about every two to three weeks, or even less. You can keep humidity levels high by misting weekly. An open terrarium can be watered once about every two weeks. Because there’s no drainage hole for excess water to be released - make sure not to soak the soil. It is much easier to add water than subtract!
• Let an enclosed terrarium breath every week or two by taking off the lid or keeping it ajar for a few days 
• If you see any dead or dying foliage inside, remove it immediately. 
• Rotate your terrarium so plants grow upward


- Air Plant Terrarium (assorted air plants, sand, decorative rocks) 

- Assorted Succulents & Air Plant Terrariums  (potting soil, succulents, air plants, decorative rocks) 

- Low-Light Bottleneck Terrarium (low-light plants - shop Short, Tall, & Colorful)  

- Succulent Terrarium (succulents, soil, sandy topper - shop Assorted Succulents

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Tastemakers: Adina Grigore

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We're picking back up our Tastemakers series with Adina Grigore of the Brooklyn-based skincare line S.W. Basics. A quality over quantity approach to skincare - S.W. Basics products are made from scratch and contain five ingredients or less. Did we mention they make your skin look and feel dreamy? 

(the dreamy S.W. Basics cream - photo by Liz Andrien) 

Name: Adina Grigore
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Most Stressed Person at S.W. Basics
Favorite Plant: Aloe, obviously

Can you share a little background about yourself, your skincare line S.W. Basics, and your new book Skin Cleanse? 

Sure! I'm a south Florida girl living in a NY world. Well Brooklyn, but let's be honest that's really more NY these days than NY is, you know? I started S.W. Basics out of my kitchen in 2009, then went full-time-whole-life in 2011. Now we're available nationwide in Target. This year my book Skin Cleanse came out, a guide to ditching your addiction to beauty products and getting better skin.  

What was the inspiration behind S.W. Basics? 

My extremely sensitive skin and body, and my anger towards the rest of the beauty industry. I wanted to make products that were simple, wholesome, more affordable, and didn't make women feel badly about themselves. Everything in the line is 100% natural, five ingredients or less, and we're certified organic. I believe that simple products work better and that a simple life is generally better, too. 


(S.W. Basics skin product & Skin Cleanse book - photo by Liz Andrien) 

What’s your favorite skincare product? 

This changes all the time but currently, and most of the time, our cream. I'm always dry and oily and in summer also peeling from too much time in the sun, so I drench myself in this product. It's gold.

What’s your top skincare tip(s)? 

Don't ever believe a beauty product will solve all of your problems (and don't blame the product when it doesn't!), wash your face with just water once in a while, hydrate your insides more, and try to mute out the BS that makes you feel flawed and ugly. You look great. 


(founder Adina Grigore - photo by Liz Andrien) 

What's a secret skill you have? 

Ha! I can tap dance! 

What's the best present you've given or received? 

When I was on my honeymoon, my sis and her girlfriend cleaned our apartment like nothing I've ever seen before. I'm talking whole new place. I think it was hard, they were kind of grumpy about it. But wow was that nice. I'm wondering how I get them to do it again.

If your space was on fire, what's the first thing you'd grab to save? 

My little mean black cat!

What's on your to-do list today? 

Get through 100 emails, make dinner + lunch for tomorrow, shower, watch Game of Thrones!


(the S.W. Basics HQ - photo by Liz Andrien) 

What is your favorite plant and why? 

Aloe because I'm a living cliche. But come on, what an under-appreciated plant! I'm not sure why they aren't in every house. It's a free first aid kit.  

Do you have a green thumb? 

NO. The only plant I've kept alive is my aloe. Because as if aloe wasn't already awesome enough, it also grows no matter what you do.

Any plant care tips you can share? 

Buy aloe. 

What tops your houseplant wish list? 

More of a green thumb, and plants that don't need light because our railroad apartment is like a cemetery for green things.  


(the S.W. Basics team in BK - photo by Liz Andrien) 

P.S. Use the code 'THESILL20' for 20% off your purchase at! Expires 9/30/15. 



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