A Horticulturist's Halloween

 

Happy Halloween: Meet 12 Strange And Bizarre Plants Worthy of Boos + Screams! 

 

1. Buddha's Hand (Citrus medica)

This extremely fragrant citron-variety of shrub or small tree has long thorny branches from which hang fruit segmented into finger-like sections. The usually juiceless and seedless fruit is commonly used in cooking for its zest.

2. Split Rock (Pleiospilos nelii)

The common name of this flowering succulent refers to the appearance of its leaves. Stemless, there is a deep fissure in the middle, with two or four opposite leaves surrounding it. Its resemblance of a small rock might have evolved as a defense mechanism against predators.

3. Brain Cactus (Mammillaria elongata Cristata)

The eery shape of this cactus generally occurs due to injury at a young age or genetic predisposition. Along it can expand and contract, its sharp edges should be handled with care.

4. Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis)

This tall, columnar species has is categorized by a shaggy coat of long, white hairs. Historically, the hair has been used as a cheap alternative to cotton. As the plant ages, it beings to lose its silvery mane.

5. Sticks On Fire (Euphorbia tirucalli)

This hydrocarbon plant produces a poisonous latex which can be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. The white, milky substance is used in traditional medicine in many cultures - yet research shows it might actually suppress the immune system.

6. Monkey Cups (Nepenthes)

This carnivorous plant has dangling pouches filled with a syrupy fluid that captures and drowns prey. Its name refers to the fact that monkeys have been observed drinking rainwater from them in their natural habitat.

7. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

The carnivorous flytrap's leaves are trigged by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces that help them know to snap shut, trapping prey. Although the speed of closing leaves vary depending on the environment and type of prey - it can generally be used as an indicator of the plant's health.

8. Dracula Orchid (Dracula sergioi)

The name Dracula means "little dragon", which refers to the two long spurs of the sepals enclosing the orchid's piranha-like mouth.

9. Ghost Plant (Monotropa uniflora)

This herbaceous perennial plant, also known as the corpse plant, is commonly white or pale pink with black flecks. It does not contain chlorophyll - instead it generates energy through parasitism - making it great for dark environments, like dense forest floors.

10. Doll's Eyes (Actaea pachypoda)

This herbaceous perennial plant and its globular white fruit with black, iris-like center are poisonous to humans. The fruit contains cardio-genic toxins which have a sedative effect on the human cardiac muscle tissue - but are harmless to birds, the plant's primary seed dispersers!

11. Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

A species of flowering plant with rare, black bat-shaped flowers that can grow up to a foot across while its 'whiskers' can grow over two feet long.

12. Devil's Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)

This inedible fungus has a mutually beneficial relationships with its host trees - it gives out minerals and amino acids in exchange for carbon. When the fungus is moist and healthy, its fruit bodies 'bleed' a bright red juice, while poor health and age make it become brown and nondescript.

 

 

Cat Friendly Houseplants

Happy National Cat Day! In honor of our feline friends, we're sharing our favorite non-toxic houseplants. 

Favorite Feline-Friendly Houseplants 

1. Watermelon Peperomia
2. Ripple Peperomia 
3. Rex Begonia 
4. Staghorn Fern  
5. Spider Plant 
6. Pony Tail Plant 
7. Majesty Palm
8. Maidenhair Fern 
9. Burro's Tail Succulent 
10. Snake Plant 

*The plants above are non-toxic or have an extremely low toxicity level. 

 

Ways To Protect Your Plants + Your Cat 

1. Place them out of reach on a high shelf or in a hanging planter
2. Add rocks to your top soil to prevent your cat from using it as a litter-box
3. Add some cat-grass or catnip plants to your houseplant collection to divert their attention
4. Surround your cat's favorite plant with prickly cacti or aluminum foil 
5. Spray your plants' leaves with rosemary - most cats aren't fans of the scent 
6. Pot your plants in ceramic, terra cotta, or a planter of an equally substantial material 
7. Put citrus peels in your plant's container 

 

Unsure where your houseplant stands? We recommend checking online at the ASPCA and also giving this post on Gardenista a read. 

 

Our Favorite Air-Purifying Houseplants

Americans spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors (Environmental Protection Agency). That indoor air can contain 10x more pollution than outdoor air - a consequence of toxic emissions from synthetic materials, airborne mold, viruses, pollutants, and reduced air circulation.

With winter approaching, as you spend more time indoors, you might find yourself unconsciously craving some greenery – and not just because it looks nice. Plants have been shown to naturally clean your air of toxins & chemicals, which improves indoor air quality and consequently your health and wellbeing. 

Meet 6 of our favorite air purifying, and easy to care for, houseplants…

(Illustration by Liz Tafaro - follow her on Instagram for more awesome work @thingslizwants)

Plants clockwise from top left: 

1. Snake Plant

This no fuss tropical plant has thin, upright leaves with irregular banding that resemble the skin of a reptile. Its adaptations for surviving drought make it a suitable plant choice for anyone, anywhere. Unlike the majority of houseplants - it can even thrive in a dark corner. 
Low to bright, indirect light. Water 1x every other week. 

2. Golden Pothos

Nicknamed the cubicle plant at our office, the Pothos is our go-to for brown-thumbed clients. Like the similar-looking Philodendron, the Golden Pothos's heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines can grow to over 10 feet long. 
Low to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly. 

3. Rubber Plant

A popular houseplant, this variety of ficus has thick upright stems with glossy, oversized leaves that store water incase of drought. They prefer bright to moderate indirect light.
Medium to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly. 

4. Spider Plant

A Spider Plant is a spectacular choice for a hanging planter. From long, arching stems sprout both spider-like baby plant-lets and tiny white flowers during the growing season. 
Medium to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly. 

5. English Ivy

Considered an invasive species outside - pruned English Ivy, although a little more difficult to grow indoors, makes for a lovely trailing plant inside. They thrive in indirect bright light and a moist, humid environment. 
Medium to bright, indirect light. Water 1-2x weekly. Keep moist. 

6. Philodendron

In the right indoor conditions, the Philodendron's heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines can trail to over 10 feet long. This makes for a striking sight on a high shelf. Did we mention it has a reputation of being one of the easiest houseplants to grow?  
Low to bright, indirect light. Water 1x weekly.  

 

*NASA recommends 1 potted plant per every 100 square feet of space. For more information, see NASA's Clean Air Study and B.C. "Bill" Wolverton's "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office" (link). 

 

Fall in New York City

The Sill Team's Fall Favorites 

 

Welcome To New York City

There's something nostalgic about fall in New York City. Most of us were new to the city once. Many of us lost - and overly friendly - freshman, roaming subway platforms, asking the wrong people for the right directions. Wearing flip flops (which we now know are only acceptable foot-coverage in nail salons and locker rooms) and leisurely strolling down busy streets (find a park - people have places to go). But despite the road bumps, we're happy we came. And we're happy we stayed. If you love this city - it will love you back. Unconditionally.

Now it is time for you - the newest NYC transplants - to learn the ropes. It may seem strange at first, but in time, you too will call this city home. And in the meantime, we have a few tips to make that 200 square foot room feel like a little slice of familiarity… 

1) Printed Photos

Both Walgreens and CVS offer same day pickup. Upload your photos to their respective websites - you can even upload directly from your Facebook or Instagram account - and pick up your prints as soon as an hour later from your local store. Find frames at affordable home goods stores like Ikea and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

2) Potted Plants

Not only do plants enhance the appearance of a space, but they also… boost morale, productivity, concentration, and creativity; reduce stress, fatigue, sore throats, and colds; improve air quality, absorb toxins, produce oxygen and humidity; and improve dorm aesthetic, soften sterile interiors, plus reduce noise. Yeah - they're good at multitasking. 

3) Comfy Pillows

Chances are you're dorming. Chances are your mattress is not a tempurpedic. If you are going to splurge on any dorm decor, we urge you to splurge on your bedding. There's a whole slew of affordable mattress toppers and pillow choices out there - and they make all the difference. Make the little sleep you do get, good sleep. 

 

Looking for more dorm-decor inspiration? Follow our Back To School board on Pinterest! 

 

 

Rebecca Taylor x The Sill

Join us this Thursday, October 2nd, from 5pm to 8pm at Rebecca Taylor's Meatpacking Boutique! Get a first look at Rebecca Taylor's New Collection, 20% off all new arrivals, and a limited GWP mini succulent. A wonderful selection of our potted ceramics will be available for purchase. #PlantPopUp 

Rebecca Taylor 

Meatpacking Boutique 

34 Gansevoort Street 

New York, NY 10014

212-243-2600

Thursday, October 2nd 

5pm - 8pm 

 

 

 

Back To School Essentials

Whether you're a student of school or a student of life -- there's something wonderful to gain from back-to-school shopping. The annual routine of searching for new clothes and new supplies makes us giddy about the new year ahead, and nostalgic about the years passed. It helps us gear up, settle down, and get organized. We picked out our favorite back-to-school essentials in chic black to help whip us into hustle mode. 

 

The Sill's Back To School Essentials: Duckworth Revolver Black Matte Eyeglasses - Warby Parker, $95; Every Day Umbrella Signature Zig Zag - Kate Spade Saturday, $35; Matte Black Pencil Set of 6 - Made By Girl, $5; Matte Black Calvert Assorted Succulents - The Sill, $42; Classic Backpack Mid-Volume Black - Herschel Supply Co., $39.99; Life is Good Wall Art Black Frame - Poppin, $65; Saturday Morning Mug Signature Zig Zag - Kate Spade Saturday, $10. 

 

 

 

Green Leaf Giveaway Series: Of A Kind

To be frank - we have conflicting feelings about the fourth installment of our giveaway series. Why? Because the giveaway is so freaking cute we want to keep it for ourselves. This jungle leaf card holder, handmade in Los Angeles, is made with Massachusetts-sourced kid leather, with padding and a magnetic closure. It measures 6 inches by 3 ½ inches, with two 3 ¼ inches wide card slots. Perfect for carrying a few business cards and your Amex. 

Of A Kind is one of our favorite online marketplaces. It focuses on new designers with unique products and stories -- making the act of shopping as much about the experience as it is about the product (something we strive to do here at The Sill). It has become our go-to for hunting down one of a kind gifts for loved ones and the occasional pick me up for ourselves. If you're not already familiar with the site, we urge you to check it out. 

To enter to win a jungle leaf card holder, all you have to do is:

  1. Follow @TheSill on Instagram and Twitter
  2. Follow @OfAKind on Instagram and Twitter 
  3. Retweet our contest on Twitter for 1 entry here 
  4. Regram our contest on Instagram for 1 entry 

Questions? Feel free to shoot us an email at help@thesill.com - and good luck! 

 

 

Fall Plant Care

Autumn is fast approaching in NYC and we couldn't be more excited. There is something nostalgic about fall. To celebrate, we're… 

1. Layering… bring on the sweater weather :)
2. Planning our Halloween costume (a little DIY inspiration)  
3. Sipping on anything pumpkin-flavored
4. Potting our miniature Fall Collection
5. Tweaking our plant care routine (get our top tips below!)

FALL PLANT CARE

As the temperature starts to change outside, your plant care should change inside. Follow our top plant care tips for fall to keep your houseplants healthy and happy…. 

1. BRING INDOORS

- If you moved any of your houseplants outside for the summer months, it's time to bring them back indoors before it gets too chilly. Keep in mind they might have picked up a few friends during their summer vacation, so check your plants carefully for pests before bringing them indoors. (Find expert tips for dealing with pests here.) 

2. DUST LEAVES

- Like dust accumulates on your bookshelf, it also accumulates on the leaves and stems of your houseplants, clogging the porous surface and making it difficult for them to "breathe". Lightly dust your houseplants with a damp cloth every week or so. 

3. INCREASE HUMIDITY


- Indoor humidity levels drop considerably as buildings fire up their heating systems. This can be devastating for your houseplants, considering most of them are tropical in origin. Try to mist your plants daily, or invest in a humidifier. And never place plants next to or on top of a heater. 


4. MAINTAIN LIGHT 

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

5. WATER LESS


- Because plants growth rate is considerably slower in the winter, your plants won't require as much water as they did during the summer. You might find yourself watering half - or even two-thirds - less frequently. For example, that succulent might be thirsty once a month (instead of once a week). Nervous about under-watering? Follow your gut - or our guide.

 

Shopping and Potting at Darling Boutique

Join us for an evening of *shopping and potting* at the beloved West Village boutique Darling. Shop two floors of beautifully curated clothing and accessories -- all at 15% off -- then join The Sill team in the back garden to pot your very own houseplant while sipping on champagne.

Choose from a wide selection of our locally made ceramic planters and a variety of easy-care, apartment-friendly plants. Not sure what plant is right for your space? We'll help! Don't want to get your hands dirty? We'll pot! Planters start at $28 -- which includes a plant of your choice, potting materials, a helping hand, and care instructions. 

 

Shopping & Potting with The Sill
Wednesday, September 17th 
6pm - 8:30pm
1 Horatio Street 
(W 4th Street & 8th Avenue) 
New York, NY 10014
646-336-6966
www.darlingnyc.com