Flowers and Plants for Housewarming Gifts

housewarming giftsExperts tell us that nearly 50 million people move annually, and in Sarasota, we know that many of them come here! Whether you need housewarming gifts to welcome new neighbors or to congratulate friends or family on their new purchase, Beneva Flowers has great ideas perfect for welcoming them to paradise.

Did You Know? In the days before electricity, housewarming parties were quite literally to keep the house warm – hence the term. When a newly married couple moved out on their own, friends and family would come over bearing gifts of firewood to get them through their first winter. Of course, in our part of the world, that particular custom may not have been so prevalent!  Continue reading

Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants

Persian cat and Yorkshire TerrierWe all love fresh flowers and plants for the beauty they provide and their wonderful aromas that fill our homes. Unfortunately, our pets don’t enjoy flowers the same way we do. Dogs and cats have a natural curiosity and tend to investigate anything new by smelling or tasting. Their inquisitive nature is often adorable, but can sometimes lead to trouble – especially for active pets that have a tendency to eat everything they see. It’s up to us to protect them by knowing which varieties of flowers are safe for pets and identifying which ones can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. While many plants will cause nothing more severe than mild digestive upset should they be ingested by pets, some can cause more serious health issues.

Non-toxic choices
Roses are always a safe choice when it comes to choosing flowers for a home with pets. Once their thorns are removed, they are usually harmless to most animals. Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons, and alstroemerias are also safe to have around pets, as are orchids and ferns.

Flowers that may be harmful
According to the ASPCA, Lilies (specifically Lilium and Hemerocallis) are considered to be the most dangerous flowers for pets, particularly for cats, and should be avoided if the pets will be left alone with them. Tulips, baby’s breath, birds of paradise, hyacinths, stargazers, carnations, and daisies can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested.

Alternative options
When sending a bouquet or plant as a gift to a pet owner, it’s always best to seek out a “pet-friendly” bouquet.

There are several options to consider when sending flowers to a pet-friendly household. Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) can be substituted for other lilies in bouquets, and ferns can be used in place of baby’s breath when accompanying roses or other flowers.

A common organic solution can also be used to deter pets from getting too close to potentially harmful flowers. A mixture of ten drops of citrus essential oil, one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be sprayed over the flowers and plants, and should repel even the most curious pets.

In most cases, pets and flowers can safely co-exist in the same house by taking a few simple precautions. Below are lists of some of the most common “pet-friendly” flowers and also of flowers that are known to be toxic. For a more comprehensive list, visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants, or consult with your florist for more information.

Brief list of “pet-friendly” flowers and plants:

  • African daisy
  • African violet
  • Alyssum
  • Bachelor’s buttons
  • Celosia
  • Common Snapdragon
  • Easter Daisy
  • Orchids
  • Peruvian lily
  • Brazilian lily
  • Rose

Toxic to both cats and dogs are:

  • Tulips
  • Azalea
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Aloe
  • Begonias
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Amaryllis.
  • Easter and stargazer lilies, can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by cats

It’s Time to Go Green with Amazing Indoor Plants

Cozy corner at home in the morning lightsWe often hear the term “going green” applied to energy-saving tactics such as recycling and renewable energy, but as our society focuses on better living and healthier lifestyles, literally going green with indoor plants is an incredible way to naturally enhance our overall health and well-being.

In addition to the established psychological effects that flowers and plants have on our moods and emotions, green plants benefit our physical health as well by purifying the air we breathe and replenishing oxygen supplies in enclosed spaces.

As the seasons change and the days get colder, we tend to spend less time outside and more time indoors where it is more difficult to reap the rewards of natural clean air. We all know that green plants make excellent indoor companions in our living spaces, but what exactly do they do for us?

Moisturizing the Air

Cooler temperatures tend to bring lower outdoor humidity levels which can lead to dry skin along with colds, sore throats, dry coughs and sinus problems for many people. Investing in a humidifier to bring the indoor moisture levels up is the best way to combat this issue, but green indoor plants also do an outstanding job in boosting oxygen levels and adding some moisture inside the home while also enhancing the beauty and style of your indoor spaces.

Purifying the Air

Among the most important benefits that green plants provide is air filtration. Plants work hard to combat harmful toxins and pollutants in the air. Our air contains dangerous chemicals such as: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and ammonia, which are byproducts of many of the household goods and materials that we use on a daily basis.

The adverse health effects caused by these chemicals depends on many different factors, but the less exposure we have to them, the better. NASA conducted a comprehensive clean air study in 1998 and found 18 of the most effective indoor plants for removing toxins from the air. Here are the plants they recommend:

Peace Lily Floor Plant by Beneva Flowers

Peace Lily Floor Plant by Beneva Flowers

– Dwarf Date Palm
– Boston Fern
– Kimberley Queen Fern
– Spider Plant
– Chinese Evergreen
– Bamboo Palm
– Weeping Fig
– Devil’s Ivy
– Flamingo Lily
– Lilyturf
– Broadleaf Lady Palm
– Barberton Daisy
– Cornstalk Dracaena
– English Ivy
– Variegated Snake Plant
– Red-Edged Dracaena
– Peace Lily
– Florist’s Chrysanthemum

Find Your Perfect Plant

With such a wide variety of plants to choose from, there are many outstanding choices for every room in the home or office. It is important to match the right plants to the right growing conditions as some require more light and more attention than others. Make Beneva Flowers your first stop when searching for that perfect plant. Check out our selection of green plants, or stop in and let us help you find the perfect plant for every circumstance.

Don’t forget Your Pets

If you are a pet owner, keep in mind that some plants and flowers are toxic to cats, dogs and other pets. Be sure to check the toxicity level of any plants or flowers that you introduce to your home.

Plants for HEALTH?

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that indoor air can be polluted with toxins by many different materials, but filling your home or office with certain plants can help battle this. Many elements, such as air fresheners and even furniture, can shockingly add to raising the toxin level in the air, like the common airborne vapor chemical called formaldehyde. Effects from formaldehyde inhalation can include neurological problems, respiratory problems, and more concerning, even cancer.

Not only are plants used for increasing oxygen in the air, they can also be a good tool to rule out negative pollutants, as well! There are many plants that can aid in keeping your indoor air as pollutant-free as possible, we encourage you read the list below to see some of our suggestions to purify your home or office. To shop for plants to place in your home, visit our website.

Improve Indoor Air Quality With These Plants!

Peace Lily: A trifecta of uses by filtering through formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.

Gerber Daisy: Helpful in removing trichloroethylene and benzene (which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent) from the air.

Spider Plant: This is one spider you will love, this plant battles many different toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

Bamboo Palm: Good for reduce pollutants with benzene and trichloroethylene.

English Ivy: Helps reduce fecal matter particles that are airborne along with formaldehyde.

Weeping Fig:  Filters out certain vapors that can accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.

Rubber Plant: Good for filtering a range of unwanted vapors, such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia.

Warneck dracaena: Battles pollutants in the air that are associated with oils and varnishes.

Aloe: Helps rid the air of formaldehyde and benzene. Also can be used as a topical aid.

Jasmine: While we didn’t find any evidence to suggest that the Jasmine plant thwarts of any formaldehyde or other toxins, this plant is certainly more than qualified to decrease anxiety and aid in a restful sleep. Read more here.

For more reading on purifying your indoor air, please visit this website.

~ your Beneva Flowers team

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How to Keep Plants Healthy During the Summer

Source: www.ehow.com   |   Click here for the entire article

By eHow Contributor , last updated November 10, 2011
How to Keep Plants Healthy During the Summer thumbnail

Abundant water is the not-so-secret ingredient to summer plant survival.

The hard work of preparing garden beds and planting new plants in the spring gives your garden a good start on the growing year. When the summer heat arrives, take a few extra steps to keep your landscape flourishing throughout the hot season.

Instructions

1:  Water, or course, is the key ingredient to keeping your plants alive during the heat. If you are accustomed to watering once a week, increase the frequency to twice a week or more often during the summer. When you water early in the day, give the plants a light misting. Don’t do this in the evening; water that remains on leaves causes plants to be susceptible to disease.

2:  Young plants and trees that were planted during the spring need extra care and attention. Whereas a fully grown older tree can go a week without any water, a young tree still needs help. Water them every two to three days.

3:  Water plants in containers every day. They should be fine in the summer sun, but if there is a heat wave, it may be necessary to provide shade by moving them under a tree until the heat wave passes. Because the soil in containers dries out quickly, potted plants need daily attention.

4:  Mulch landscape plants to help the soil retain moisture and to keep plant roots cool. Mulch the container plants, as well.

5:  During the hottest parts of the summer, do not fertilize your plants. They slow their growth during the hot days to fight the heat; you do not want to put fertilizer on them to encourage them to grow at this time. Flowering annuals are the exception to this rule. These short-lived landscape showstoppers benefit from regular feedings to keep their blooms lush during the summer heat.

6:  Keep your eyes open for insect infestations and treat the culprits as soon as you see them. Limit summer pruning to the removal of only dead or diseased branches.

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