Rebecca Straus

7 Big Leaf Houseplants to Bring Big Style to Your Home
Want to make max impact with your plants? Try one of these beauties.
Nov 21, 2019
The Difference Between Parlor Palm, Areca Palm, and All Those Other Palms
So you’re in the market for something tropical to make your home feel bright and beachy all year round. A palm sounds like it would fit the bill, but which one?
Sep 19, 2019
How to Get Rid of Mealybugs
As far as the ick factor goes, mealybugs are a 10 out of 10.
Aug 18, 2019
8 Foolproof Ways to Avoid Overwatering Your Plants
Since learning these pearls of watering wisdom, my plants have been happily swamp-free.
Jul 29, 2019
How to Prevent Fungus Gnats from Taking Over Your Houseplants
Beyond the ick-factor, fungus gnats are harmless to people and generally harmless to plants, so long as they don’t start breeding out of control because the larvae will feed on and damage plant roots.
Jul 26, 2019
Make Your Friends Green With Envy: These 6 Plants Are the Next Fiddle-Leaf Fig
Six up-and-comers that could soon surpasses fiddle-leafs as the darlings of the houseplant world.
Jun 1, 2019
6 Essential Tips for Container Gardening
For many apartment dwellers, growing flowers and veggies inside containers is the only way to have a home garden. And having a home garden is awesome! Spending time in the sun after being trapped at work all day can cheer you up. Growing your own food, herbs, and flowers is rewarding. Getting your hands dirty will make you feel closer to nature. Plus, container gardens can be as small or as big as you want.
May 9, 2019
Best Flowers to Plant in Spring
You may be thinking quintessential spring flowers like daffodils and crocuses are your best bets for spring planting. However, these early-season bloomers, along with tulips and hyacinths, grow from bulbs, and they get a headstart on the growing season with a fall planting.For that first sunny day of spring when you’re itching to get outside and dig around in the dirt, stick to planting colorful annuals.
May 4, 2019
These Indoor Vining Plants Give Your Home a Jungle Vibe
Aiming to achieve the indoor jungle look? Vining plants are the way to go. Whether you strategically arrange the stems around bookcases and window frames or allow them to go free-range, charting their own course, vining plants quickly up your home’s green factor. These five easy-care picks will stun in a hanging basket or high plant stand—and if you want to explore more plant options, check out our guide to the best indoor house plants.
Apr 29, 2019
5 Small Indoor Plants You’ll Want to Smother with Love
What is it about thumb-sized terrarium plants that makes me clasp my hands together and coo? If you’re in the market for a truly small plant, consider one of these diminutive options.
Apr 26, 2019
5 Confessions of a (Somewhat) Reformed Serial Plant Killer
Let’s just say that a lot of houseplants have suffered at my hands. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about caring for plants, it’s that nobody has a 100 percent perfect success rate. There are always missteps, even for people with degrees in horticulture and years of experience. The key is to take your errors in stride, and then apply what you’ve learned the next time around. Learn from my previous mistakes and (hopefully!
Mar 7, 2019
Air-Purifying Plants Aren’t a Complete Myth (Just a Partial One)
If you ever click on web articles about houseplants (and you’re reading this, so we’ll assume that’s a yes), you’ve probably come across the idea that houseplants purify the air inside your house by sucking up invisible toxins. If you’re thinking that sounds too good to be true, yeah, it kind of is. But it’s not a complete myth either.
Mar 3, 2019
5 Things to Know When Becoming a First-Time Plant Parent
So you are planning to expand your family. Congratulations! This is a very happy time in your life, and you should soak up every minute of joy. At the same time, there’s a lot you need to learn about your new household member-to-be. Here’s what you need to know: Obviously plants do not require the same amount of attention as pets or human children. You don’t need to take them for walks or feed them three times a day or play with dolls after dinner.
Feb 22, 2019
These Are the Best Plants for Your Living Room
You just can't go wrong with these guys.
Feb 14, 2019
5 of Our Favorite Plants That Are Really, Truly Pastel
Pastels are having a moment right now, even if you are so over millennial pink. And if you look closely enough, you can find hints of soft, pale hues all over the plant world. Here are five gorgeous houseplants that will help you move beyond just jungle green. Pink earth star, or cryptanthus, is a type of bromeliad. Cryptanthus actually come in all sorts of colors, as it is a very large genus, but the “pink earth star” variety is a dreamy shade of pale pink.
Dec 16, 2018
These Are the 10 Easiest Plants to Grow of All Time
You want easy? We'll give you easy.
Dec 12, 2018
5 Ingenious Plant Tricks You Haven’t Tried Yet
Tried-and-true tricks to keep your plants happy and healthy.
Dec 8, 2018
5 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Cacti
Cacti are weird plants when you stop to think about it. They don’t look particularly lush, like most other houseplants, and their stark appearance makes them feel a bit alien. In fact, they’ve been residents of planet earth for 35 to 40 million years, far longer than humans, and they’re a fascinating species. Here are five cool cacti facts that will make you look super knowledgeable when you tell your friends.
Dec 7, 2018
5 Beautiful Houseplants That Are Actually Purple
As any regular reader of design blogs knows, accent colors never fail to add some pizzazz to your decor. In the world of houseplants, you’re pretty much stuck with green as your main color scheme, but you can still add a pop of color here and there. There are actually a fair number of plants whose leaves are all or primarily purple, and these can add some visual interest to an otherwise monotone grouping. Plus, they’re freaking purple! What’s not to love?
Nov 25, 2018
5 of My Favorite Tropical Plants, Because Winter Is Dead to Me
Most of the plants we grow in our homes come from the tropics. That’s because, from a plant’s perspective, our climate-controlled houses more or less resemble the year-round warmth of a jungle habitat. However, there are some universal challenges to growing tropical plants indoors, namely, humidity and water. Jungle plants are used to high humidity, so they can have a hard time thriving in the dry indoor air of North American homes, particularly during the winter.
Nov 19, 2018
4 Very Smart Reasons to Hang on to Your Eggshells
You’ve probably seen a post or two on social media at some point praising the ability of eggshells to add to calcium to soil. It’s true that eggshells are mostly made of calcium, and calcium plays a big role in determining the soil’s pH— a measure of a soil’s acidity or alkalinity—and an important factor in plants’ overall health. Here’s the thing: While eggshells can be beneficial for soil, it’s a slow burn.
Nov 17, 2018
5 Bad Houseplant Habits You Should Break Right Now
When you read articles about caring for houseplants, they typically tell you what you should be doing to get your green pups to thrive. But sometimes it’s more effective to hear the opposite—after all, you can’t learn from your mistakes until you know what they are. Here are five bad houseplant habits that all plant parents need to break right now. When I got my first couple of houseplants, back in my college dorm, I randomly chose a peace lily and a sage plant.
Nov 1, 2018
How to Get Rid of Mice at Home Once and for All
Winter is almost here, which means so are the mice.
Oct 27, 2018
The Very Best Indoor House Plants You Can Buy
Here's the dirt.
Oct 14, 2018
The 7 Most Photogenic Plants of All Time
There are some plants that we’ll never get tired of looking at on Instagram, no matter how many times they pop up in our feeds. Big and small, these showstoppers are the eye-candy of the plant world. With their broad, imposing leaves, staghorn ferns (Platycerium) demand attention in any space. The leaves have deep incisions, resembling a deer’s antlers, hence the plant’s name.
Oct 4, 2018
Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Houseplants Before Winter
Many houseplants hunker down for an extended period of rest, or dormancy, during the winter months. They’ll stop flowering and growing new leaves. Some species will drop leaves (even all of their leaves like shamrock plants) and that’s okay! You haven’t killed it. It’s getting ready to rest, just like trees and plenty of garden plants.
Sep 13, 2018
How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths in Your Kitchen
They are the bed bugs of pantries.
Sep 8, 2018
The Interior Trend with More Staying Power Than Cher
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate hanging planters. They’ve been popular for who knows how long, and show no signs of going away any time soon for good reason: They add a certain something to your space, no matter what the decor style, and are practical for a number of reasons. To start, they help you make the most of limited sunlight. I have exactly one sunny window in my otherwise dim apartment, so all of my plants need to share.
Sep 3, 2018
Neem Oil is the Best $10 You Can Spend on Your Plants
It will keep your plants healthier.
Aug 23, 2018
Handy Self-Watering Planters Will Help Keep Your Plants Alive
Although it seems so straightforward, watering your houseplants can be a surprisingly tricky chore. For a lot of people, the issue isn’t remembering to fill up the watering can once or twice a week—it’s figuring out how much water your plants really need. Enter self-watering planters. Your statement Monsteras and lemon trees will feel right at home in this modern square planter.
Aug 17, 2018
6 Cheap Under $20 Buys That Make Your Plants Happy
I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to gardening tools and plant supplies. Plants have simple lives: Sun, water, soil, and room to grow are all they need, and I appreciate that I don’t need to spend much money to keep them growing contentedly. However, there are a few houseplant accessories that are really nice to have, and the best part is that they don’t cost a bunch of money. Here are six items under $20 that will make your plants happy.
Aug 9, 2018
These Minuscule Wingless Springtails are Easily Mistaken for Fleas
I’m not typically squeamish when it comes to bugs. Until they get inside my house where they don’t belong, that is. The creepiest are usually those teeny tiny ones—like springtails—that are so hard to see I start getting paranoid that they’re everywhere. Springtails are minuscule wingless bugs found all throughout North America that thrive in dark, damp places.
Aug 5, 2018
Plant Swaps Are the Free Way to Add to Your Collection
Adding a few houseplants is a foolproof way to brighten up your decor while adding a aura of serenity to your space. Unfortunately, houseplants can get pricey, especially for big showstoppers or unusual varieties. Let’s be honest: it’s tough to pull out your credit card when you’re not sure a plant will actually survive your apartment’s environment, or the blunderings of your black thumb. But that doesn’t mean you have to live without indoor greenery.
Jul 25, 2018
Insecticidal Soap Is Our Favorite Solution to Common Plant Pests
Have you ever peeled back the leaves on a bunch of homegrown kale to discover hundreds of scaly little bugs? Those are aphids and the sight of them will make you throw away your kale and order pizza instead. And anyone who’s had a houseplant infested with spider mites will have been tempted to chuck said plant, pot and all, straight out the window. The damage they cause can eventually kill the plant, and the mites spread quickly.
Jul 21, 2018
Before You Buy Another Plant, Check Your Local Library
Do you dream of fragrant green herbs sprouting on your kitchen windowsill? Cherry tomatoes ripening on the vine just outside your door? If you’ve got a least a little patch of sun on a porch or balcony, you can grow a container garden. But before you head out to buy seeds, you might want to check with your local library to see if you can “check out” a pack or two. Yep, libraries aren’t just for books and movies anymore.
Jul 17, 2018
6 Fascinating Plants That Will Perk Up Your Lifeless Room
These will perk up a lifeless room.
Jul 15, 2018