Sept 2, 2022
Indoor Plants for Back to School
Plant and pot pairings for your study spaces
Whether you are back to the classroom or back to the office, placing plants in indoor spaces provides a multitude of benefits for students, teachers, and staff members as we all get ready to return to routine, hard work, and learning. We already know plants have the power to improve cognition, increase creativity, elevate mood, and promote collaboration while decreasing absenteeism and inefficiency. Compelling and convincing are the benefits of plants. Start small, start simple, but plant plants – because we know it’s important! Here are 5 plant and pot pairings picked to thrive under your tutelage.
Just hanging aroud
Grab a macrame plant hanger (we choose taupe), hand made by our local maker – Funky Fibers, and pair it with a simple sphere-shaped planter in brown. This pots’ 6.5” opening accommodates a 6” hoya in a grower pot perfectly! We chose the Krinkle 8 Hoya ‘cause she already got (kids don’t write like this at home) a good amount of trail on her.
Hoya care is easy once you get the hang (no pun intendo) of it. Hoya need consistent, bright light to thrive. We recommend the brightest spot in your space. If you can situate your plant in a South or East facing window your plant will be very happy.
When it comes to soil, we recommend a chunky, arid mix like Sol Soils Houseplant Mix. Hoya, like most plants do not like to sit in damp soil. Allow them to dry out between watering. You may be watering your Hoya once a week in the summer when bright sunshine and long days are abundant. Dial back on watering in the winter. Allow your hoya to dry out between waterings, then give a good soak.
Hoyas are known for their gorgeous, fragrant, waxy blooms. This is why hoya are commonly known as Wax Flower. Fertilize during active growth to promote bud and bloom formation. Use Schultz All Purpose Liquid Plant Food once per month.
To set about
The 7” Mittani Pot with Saucer in Terra Cotta is a solid choice for space. And we love it paired with the Anthurium radican x luxurians for it’s large, heart-shaped leaves that emerge a glossy copper color transitioning to green as they age. As an Anthurium, this one isn’t too picky and doesn’t require extra fuss and muss like its classmates the Clarinervum or the Crystallimum.
Place your Anthurium in bright, indirect light. An East facing window is perfect but keep newly unfurled leaves out of direct sun as they are tender and could suffer from sun scald. When it comes to soil, Anthuriums thrive in a chunky aroid soil, such as the Sol Soils Houseplant Mix. Water when the top 2-3 inches of soil dry down. At this time, give it a good soak in the sink, then let drain thoroughly. Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer during active growth and pull back during the winter months.
For the sill
Plop, plop, plop, three plants in a row. Our 15” oval shaped saucer fits 3, 4.75” Kendall Pots perfectly. Pair with three Peperomia and you have a plant collection in the making. For this trio (from left to right), we chose Peperomia Napoli Nights, Rana Verde, and San Marino.
Peperomia can handle both direct and indirect light. Like most houseplants, bright, indirect light is best. Plant in a well-drained potting soil such as Espoma’s All Purpose Potting Mix or mix your own! We recommend using 1 part Espoma’s All Purpose Potting Soil with 1 part Espoma’s Orchid Mix which is a mix of orchid bark, perlite, and charcoal that allows for extra drainage. The balanced blend of perlite, sphagnum peat moss, and humus is perfect for peps. Water your plant every 7-10 days or once the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. When it is time to water, give them a nice big soak at the sink. Peps don’t need a lot of feed, but when you do fertilize, reach for the Schultz!
For your desk
An Orchid, while stunning and statuesque (just like your posture when studying at your desk, right?), will bloom for several months at a time. There is nothing like an orchid flower – perfect and pristine they are sure to boost your mood and brighten your day. Plant or place in a simple terra cotta pot for ample air exchange.
Orchids will do great in an East facing window receiving bright sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon. During the winter months, make sure to protect your plant from chilly drafts. Orchids do like to dry slightly between watering. Water when the media is almost all the way dry, completely soaking the barky media when it is time for a drink.
Orchids generally need to be repotted once per year using a potting soil like Espoma’s Organic Orchid Mix. This chunky bark mix is the perfect balance of drainage and aeration – exactly what orchids and other epiphytes need. The best time to re-pot is just after flowering and when your orchids is showing lack of vegetative growth, yellowing leaves, or dead and damaged roots. Orchids need to be fertilized often to encourage growth and re-bloom. We have two orchid specific fertilizers available at Tonkadale: Jack's Classic Orchid Bloom Booster and Schultz Water Soluble Orchid Food.
Read all about re-potting your orchid here! A diverse selection of orchids are available to purchase in the greenhouse.
For the love of plants
Philodendron cordatum, also known as the heart-leaf philodendron is a trailing philodendron that never stops showing the love. In Latin, cordatum means heart. The more you know. We paired this plant with a beautiful ochre glazed container from our local ceramicist, Brett Monahan. Make sure to check out all the sizes, styles, and glazes. Extra credit if you can collect them all!
Like most philodendrons Cordatum thrives in bright, indirect light, but does tolerate low light situations. If your philly is not getting enough light, the leaf size will shrink, and the internodes will elongate causing a stretched and spindly appearance. Water when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. This is one that appreciates extra humidity if you have time, misting daily will promote larger leaves. A well-draining soil like Espoma’s Organic Potting Soil is a great choice for this plant. Trailing philodendrons can sit and dangle down a shelf or hang from a hook. Pinch and trim to keep them shapely. Easy to propagate so make sure to share with all the new friends you make at school!
Office hours are always in session here at Tonkadale. We have the syllabus for success as you navigate your PhD level plant parenting journey this school year and beyond. Have a great year!