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It’s Indoor Plant Week! Here Are Some New Plants to Try Growing

Ted Lare Home & Build-Iowa-Indoor Plant Week-variegated fiddle leaf fig plant

Happy Indoor Plant Week! In celebration of this special occasion, we’re giving you a virtual tour of some of the rarest and most fascinating plants in our garden center right now. If you’ve been eager to expand your indoor plant horizons and introduce some new plant babies to your collection, you’ll want to run—not walk—to pick up one of these exciting specimens!  

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Pothos ‘Silver Satin’

This stunning new indoor plant is so named thanks to its unique shimmery silvery-green foliage. Pothos ‘Silver Satin‘ grows fast, and pretty soon, its pot will overflow with a river of glimmering vines! Best of all, like all pothos plants, ‘Silver Satin’ is exceptionally low-maintenance, with moderate light requirements and low to moderate water needs. It thrives somewhere high up, such as an indoor shelf or hanging basket, or you can train it to scale a trellis or moss pole.

Monstera Standleyana ‘Variegata Aurea’

This fascinating new indoor plant is very different in appearance to the uber-trendy Monstera deliciosa, but in all the best ways! Monstera standleyana ‘Variegata Aurea‘ (we know, it’s a mouthful!) has superb elongated leaves with green, white, and pale yellow variegation. A skilled climber, it will happily scale a trellis or drape gracefully from an indoor hanging basket. Keep it happy in a pot of well-drained soil; over time, you’ll notice the monstera’s signature ‘Swiss cheese’ holes developing!

Ted Lare Home & Build-Iowa-Indoor Plant Week-fiddle leaf fig variegated
Fig Fiddle Leaf, Variegated

This one will be a true jewel in your collection! The variegated fiddle leaf fig has the beauty and elegance of the standard fiddles, with the bonus of stunning pale green and cream-colored margins. This plant is a stickler for bright, indirect light, but once you find the right spot for it, it will command the attention of anyone in the room. These fiddles are hard to find and even harder to keep in stock. The photos simply can’t do them justice!

Sansevieria Kirkii ‘Coppertone’

Nothing accents a house full of greenery like an indoor plant with contrasting colors! As you might have guessed by its name, kirkii ‘Coppertone’ boasts a warm color palette that sets it apart from other sansevieria cultivars. Copper and bronze tones mark the succulent leaves of this rare sansevieria. Its wavy edges add fun texture to your decor in any indoor living space. Like other snake plants, Sansevieria kirkii ‘Coppertone‘ is ultra-low-maintenance and practically thrives on neglect. How ironic, since this beauty is bound to become your new favorite!

Ted Lare Home & Build-Iowa-Indoor Plant Week-Ficus Yellow Gem
Ficus Yellow Gem

We’ve never met a ficus we didn’t love, and ‘Yellow Gem‘ is no different! The leaves of this new rubber tree cultivar have a really interesting quality, with a texture oddly similar to leather. Its vibrant green color is ultra-fresh and invigorating in any room. ‘Yellow Gem’ prefers to dry out between waterings; if you forget to water it for a while, it won’t mind one bit. You’ll love the low impact on your schedule and the high impact on your indoor space!

Monstera Dubia

The winding climbing habit of this indoor plant is unlike anything we’ve carried in the past. It climbs in a tight spiral formation around structures like moss poles, trellises, indoor pillars, or wherever you want to put this intriguing plant to work! Monstera dubia, also known as shingle plant, has lovely variegation and quick-growing vines and leaves that will have you check every day for new growth.

Have you started clearing some space for these amazing finds yet? Collect these and other exceptional new indoor plants at our Iowa garden center today! Be sure to pick out a gorgeous container for your new plants from our fall collection to give your space something fresh and fabulous.

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Hydroponic Houseplants and How To Grow Them

Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -clay aggregate hydroponic1

Are you fascinated by gardening but not so fond of getting your hands dirty? Try growing your houseplants hydroponically! This blog will cover which plants you can grow in water and how to do it. 

What is Hydroponic Gardening?

Hydroponics is a soilless technique for growing many types of plants, including houseplants, that uses a different medium to support the roots and grows the plants directly in nutrient-rich water. Hydroponic growing may help houseplants grow faster, and give you a first-hand look at your plant’s magical root systems during their maturation process. There are a few methods for growing your houseplants hydroponically, and all of them are equally fascinating.

Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -TYPES OF HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS

Different Kinds of Hydroponic Systems 

Hydroponic systems can be divided into six different types, including:

  • Water Culture Hydroponics: This is one of the easiest ways to begin your journey of hydroponic gardening! An air pump oxygenates the growing environment when houseplants are grown in deep water culture.

  • Wick System Hydroponics: This method involves using a cotton or nylon wick to absorb water and nutrients from a solution and deliver them to houseplants.
  • Ebb and Flow Hydroponics: This cheap and effective hydroponic growing method involves periodic flooding and draining of the nutrient solutions. The reservoir and plant tray are the two main parts of the solution. 
  • Drip Hydroponics: Drip hydroponics uses a pump to feed your houseplants with nutrients and water slowly over time. They are also known as “trickle” and “micro-irrigation” systems.
  • N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technology): No, we don’t mean the newfangled type of NFTs you read about online! NFT hydroponic systems grow plants without a substrate by coating the roots with a nutrient solution.

  • Aeroponic Systems Hydroponics: This method is notable for its high levels of success in hydroponic plant growing! The roots of the plants in aeroponic systems grow in the open air and are sprayed directly with nutrient water mix.
Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -monstera cutting growing in water

Which Houseplants Are Suited to Hydroponics?

While most houseplants are capable of growing hydroponically, some perform better than others under hydroponic pressure! The best hydroponic houseplants to grow indoors include:

  • Spider plant
  • English ivy
  • Lucky bamboo
  • Peace lily
  • Money tree
  • Pothos
  • Monstera
  • Chinese evergreen 
  • Orchid

How Do I Start?

Beginner hydroponic gardeners will ideally want to stick to the wick, water culture, and ebb and flow methods. Aeroponics and nutrient film systems are more advanced systems for growing hydroponic houseplants. The wick method is the easiest to put together and works well with most houseplants. To set it up, you will need to create a water reservoir that sits under the tray holding your plant and growing medium. Connect the wicks to your growing tray, set it up, and place it under a high-quality grow light or appropriate sunlight. Voila, you’re a hydroponic gardener!

Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -houseplant growing with no soil

Can I Transplant to Soil?

Yes, you can safely transplant hydroponic houseplants into potting mix. To ensure the best possible transition, monitor your moisture levels carefully, water immediately at the point of transplant, and cut back on watering gradually as the plant gets established in its new home. 

Growing hydroponic houseplants is a great way to develop a more profound appreciation for your plants’ unique but often-hidden root systems. For more tips on hydroponic gardening with your houseplants, visit us at Ted Lare Design & Build in Des Moines, Iowa, today. 

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To Trail or Train: Skills to Manage Your Vining Houseplants

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-trailing pothos plant

It’s no secret that vining house plants have minds of their own, but with a little persuasion and guidance, you can train your plant to grow in various ways for the perfect decoration in your home. Here is a guide on which vining house plants trail and how to help them grow in the right directions.

The Basics of Vine Training

The key to successful climbers is to train them young. Training your vining house plants in an upright growth habit as early as possible will help them continue growing this way for the rest of their lives. Of course, if you want your plant to grow with trailing vines that hang down, that’s a great option too! 

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-climbing ivy plant

When settling your plant into a new pot, consider how you want to encourage it to grow: do you want it to climb a trellis or pole, or do you want it to climb across your wall or around a door frame? If you choose a pole or trellis, insert it into the container before you plant your vines so that you don’t accidentally damage the roots. Then you can wrap it around the support so it can grow. If you want your plant to grow on your wall or around a window, you can use command hooks, metal picture hangers, plant vine clips, and string for cheap and effective options. 

If your plant needs some help staying attached to its support structure while it gets used to growing, you can use trellis clips or covered wire to keep it close to the structure while the new growth climbs. Once your plant is secure, you can easily remove these. Be sure you don’t tie the wire too tight and damage the plant!

Fantastic Climbing Vines You Can Train


Pothos plants are an excellent option for low-light environments and are easy to grow! They have a fast growth rate and are perfect for framing a bookshelf or training to climb across a wall. They have stiffer stems, so be delicate when arranging your plant. To encourage bushy growth, pinch your pothos’ leaves back routinely; this helps prevent your vining house plant from becoming thin and lanky. 

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-hoya carnosa


Hoya plants feature spectacular showy colored flowers and waxy leaves. Most varieties of these vining house plants can climb, but some have leaves that grow too large to climb and should be left to trail. A classic aesthetic for hoyas is a ring-shaped trellis in the container, creating a halo of waxy leaves and gorgeous blooms. You will want to be extra gentle when attaching your hoya to the trellis so that you don’t break any stems or leaves.

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-philodendron on moss pole


There are many varieties of philodendrons, and many of them climb similarly to a pothos, but they prefer a rough, damp support that their aerial roots can cling to rather than stakes or framework. You can purchase a moss pole at your local garden center or DIY build one at home using some rough textured rope!

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-monstera adansonii


Monsteras are a staple houseplant for influencers and plant addicts alike. These gorgeous vining plants love to climb and adapt very well to moss poles and trellises. If you have a mature plant, it may need extra time and slow adjustment to climb the support structure; take it slow and use clips or twine if needed.


Visit us at Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center in Cumming, Iowa, for all your houseplant care needs, we can’t wait to help you get those vines climbing!

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Beautiful, Tropical, and Low-Maintenance: The ZZ Plant

Ted Lare Home & Build - Why You Need a ZZ Plant-ted lare garden center -zz plant foliage

ZZ plants, also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, have become wildly popular in the social media world of plant addicts thanks to their durability, striking foliage, and low maintenance requirements. With dramatic, dark, tropical leaves that provide texture and visual interest for different areas of your home, ZZ plants can handle almost anything. Even if you have a black thumb, this plant is for you. Find out why everyone needs a ZZ plant and how to care for them below.

Ted Lare Home & Build - Why You Need a ZZ Plant-zz plant in home office

Why Is a ZZ Plant Great? 

ZZ plants are a lazy plant lover’s best friend. Do you want a sun-loving houseplant for a sunny corner of your home? Do you want a plant that requires indirect light to set in the corner of your bedroom? The ZZ plant is always the answer! Here are the top reasons we love it: 

  1. They are extremely versatile and low maintenance.
  2. They thrive well in areas with both low and high amounts of light.
  3. They are adorned with dramatically beautiful thick textured leaves that will set a vibe in your home.
  4. They serve as air purifiers, removing pollutants like toluene, carbon, and xylene from the air.
  5. They are said to bring abundance and luck.

Decorating With Your ZZ Plant 

ZZ plants are as easy to decorate with since they can grow well in various light conditions. Depending on what area of your home you want to spruce up, you can hang your ZZ plant from the ceiling or place it on your desk to add an essence of nature to your work environment. They are excellent bedside plants, and you won’t have to worry about remembering to water them as often as other plants. However, it’s best to keep your ZZ plants away from your small children and pets, as their foliage is toxic. 

Ted Lare Home & Build - Why You Need a ZZ Plant-watering a zz plant

ZZ Plant Indoor Care 

Caring for your ZZ plant in Iowa is easy! Hydrate your ZZ plant every few weeks and allow your soil to dry out periodically between waterings. Your plant may require a bit more frequent watering if it is in a brighter area of your home. In darker areas, you can water low-maintenance houseplants like snake plants and ZZ plants as infrequently as once per month. Applying fertilizer every six months (or even monthly during its growth period) will also help your ZZ plant thrive, but it isn’t necessary. We mean it when we say ZZ’s are low maintenance! 

These plants can thrive under a wide range of lighting conditions, making them awesome for anywhere in your home. However, they prefer indirect sunlight because direct sunlight can cause leaves to scorch; nobody wants a ZZ with damaged leaves! Dust off its leaves every now and then to keep them looking fresh and shiny and to make sure they can absorb light well.

Ted Lare Home & Build - Why You Need a ZZ Plant-raven zz plant variety

ZZ Plant Varieties

  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’: A new variety that has dark purple-maroon foliage.
  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia’ Variegated’: a variety with green leaves that are variegated with yellow and white. These speckles on the leaves fade if the plant does not get enough sunlight. This variety can be more sensitive than others but is still extremely low maintenance. 
  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Zenzi’: A new ZZ variety known for its smaller growth habit, making it perfect for small spaces! This little plant reaches a height of approximately one foot, with a chunky stalk and classic ZZ foliage. 
  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Lucky Classic’: This variety stands out with feathery-looking leaves and a rounder shape than the others. Flowers may bloom during the spring and summer months. 

Visit us at Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center in Cumming, Iowa, to talk about how a ZZ plant can complement your home. 


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Big Leaf Houseplants

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There’s no such thing as too large of a houseplant! Their beauty makes them almost impossible to ignore, which is also what makes them such good conversation starters when guests visit! Gathering tall palms around sitting areas with comfy lounge chairs inside your home is the best—the leaves create a canopy overhead that feels luxurious and serene. From banana plants to ficus varieties, these big leaf house plants could just be a perfect addition to your indoor houseplant collection. 


Having a croton plant in your home is great because it requires little light and has big bold leaves. There’s no need to water it more than once a week in most cases, depending on the humidity in your home. It still offers all the drama to your home decor for how little maintenance it requires! Leaf colors range from green, yellow, red, orange, cream, pink, and black to certain varieties with all of these colors combined. Your soil should be kept evenly moist, allowing it to dry out between waterings. Set your plant in a sunny area of your home.

-ted lare garden center -large leaf houseplants - ficus elastica

Rubber Plant – Ficus Elastica 

Rubber plants are the it-girl of the indoor big leaf houseplant world. They simply have it all. Adorned in large beautiful evergreen leaves, they boast impressive height and serve as great air purifiers in your home. Rubber plants are easy to care for and can survive even after being neglected for a few days. If you frequently travel or leave the house, you can return home knowing that your ficus houseplant will still be alive when you arrive home! Other big leaf varieties of ficus that grow well indoors include Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) and Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila).

Banana Plant 

The banana leaf plant has big, lush leaves that make it a great indoor house plant. Their interesting shape and unique coloring adds a splash of vibrancy to any room. Ideally, banana trees should be placed near a window so they can receive plenty of natural light and watered regularly. You can use artificial lighting if you don’t have a sunny spot for them in your home

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Unlike other houseplants, philodendrons don’t experience much scrutiny when moved between indoor and outdoor locations – they actually enjoy it!. Philodendron house plants thrive indoors year round trouble-free, but they also benefit from an occasional trip outdoors in a shady spot! Your philodendron houseplant will thrive best when fed a balanced liquid foliage houseplant fertilizer that contains macronutrients. You will want to water your plant with this fertilizer monthly in spring and summer months, and every six to eight weeks in the fall and winter. 

Bird of Paradise 

Not only is this exotic plant’s foliage decadent, but it can grow up to 8 feet in height! These tall big leaf houseplants are perfect for creating a statement in high-ceiling areas of your home. These evergreens should be kept in front of a window, ensuring that they receive at least 4-5 hours of sunlight a day.

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Areca Palm

If you’re looking to add a tropical vibe to your home, nothing beats a big leaf palm plant. It is characterized by many stems that produce graceful, arching fronds that are reminiscent of bamboo. Otherwise known as the butterfly palm or bamboo palm, this indoor houseplant requires bright indirect sunlight and grows to six to ten feet in height. 

Fiddle-Leaf Fig 

The grand stature and elegant leaves of the fiddle-leaf fig are great for bringing drama and height to your space! These indoor houseplants should be placed directly in front of a window inside your home. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s size will also determine how much light it needs to thrive. The bigger the plant, the more light it will need. Every one to two weeks, wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to get rid of dust and keep them looking beautiful. Dust removal will also allow more sunlight to reach the leaves and improve photosynthesis!

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The vibrant, paper-thin, heart shaped big leaves that adorn caladiums are just one of the few characteristics that make them so special. A large assortment of leaf patterns and colors are found on these big leaf indoor houseplants, from white leaves with green veins and borders to spotted and marbled patterns in red, pink, green, and white. Thriving indoors in direct sunlight, this spectacular plant is the perfect way to liven up any room inside your home. 

Monstera Deliciosa 

With big green waxy leaves, the Monstera deliciosa commands attention as soon as you enter the room. As hardy and easy to maintain indoor houseplants, they make great choices for home offices, bedrooms, and any other part of your home! A warm, humid environment, a substantial supply of water, and gentle sunlight are ideal for monstera houseplants. Place your Monstera where it can receive medium to bright indirect light. 


The needs are different for each of these big leaf beauties, but we would be more than happy to help provide you with the proper care regimen for each of your lush leafed indoor plants! Visit us at Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center in the Des Moines, Iowa region today to get your indoor plants thriving inside your home. 

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Adjusting Your Houseplants for Sunshine Throughout the Year

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We rely on leafy greenery during cold winters to liven up our interior spaces, but how do you get your houseplants to thrive indoors? Following our previous blog on watering through the year, this blog will cover how you can move your houseplants around through the entire year for the best sunlight conditions that complement their needs and their seasonal requirements.

Do Houseplants Prefer Direct Sunlight?

Many houseplants thrive in bright and sunny conditions, but not all can handle direct sunlight all day long! Most tropical houseplants are accustomed to growing on the forest floor under a canopy, so indirect light is best. The easiest way to know how much light your plant needs is by checking out the information card that comes with a new plant or by researching your plant varieties and their needs. 

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How Do I Know if My Houseplant is Getting the Correct Amount of Sunlight?

Plants can’t speak, but they sure know how to let you know if they’re getting the correct amounts of sunlight! Your houseplants will let you know they require more sunlight when they don’t flower, appear droopy, or their leaves are discolored. A houseplant that is overexposed to the sun will have dark or bleached spots on its leaves. In this case, low moisture in the soil beneath the plant causes the roots to harden. If your plants don’t seem happy, try moving them to a brighter or more indirectly lit spot, respectively, and see how they adjust.

How To Provide More Sunlight

If your plant looks like it needs more sunlight, try the following adjustments at any time of the year to make sure it has enough: 

  • Elevate your plants near windows with plant stands and tables
  • Use grow-lights to supplement winter lighting
  • Place your plants near windows and bright walls to help reflect light
  • Dust your plant leaves so they can absorb sunlight
  • Clean your windows well so that all of that sunshine comes through unimpeded

Indoor Plants That Tolerate Low Light

Low light refers to areas of your home that receive no direct sunlight, for example, near most north-facing windows in the winter. Try the cast iron plant if you’re searching for a houseplant that can tolerate it all; it’s an ideal option for new plant parents whose name speaks to its qualities since it grows well in shaded conditions and doesn’t require much maintenance. Other low-light houseplant options include:

  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Snake Plant
  • Pothos
  • Ivey
  • Calathea
  • Rex Begonia
  • ZZ Plant
ted lare garden center -aloe vera in full sunlight

Indoor Plants That Love Sunlight

Do you want a sun-loving houseplant for a sunny corner of your home? Croton plant is a thick leathery-leaved tropical beauty sure to add a brilliant pop of color to your décor and spice things up. Other sunlight thriving houseplants to include in your home are:

  • Jade Plant
  • Aloe Vera
  • China Doll Plant
  • Gardenia
  • Common Geranium
  • African Milk Bush
  • Umbrella Papyrus
  • Tropical Hibiscus
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Seasonal Lighting Adjustments

Your houseplants spend the spring and summer growing while they slow down in the fall and winter for a natural dormancy. While you’ll want to slow down the watering in the winter, your plants will need light, and it’s easy to forget them in shady spots when the season changes and the house is darker. Move your plants closer to the windows for better light during the winter, but keep them away from cold drafts. You can always use grow lights if that’s the best option for you. Once spring comes back around, you can slowly move your plants back to their original homes so that they can grow in their happy place. Your plants will thank you for the custom seasonal lighting!


Visit Ted Lare Garden Center for more information on adjusting your houseplants for the best light conditions. Our specialists are ready to help you!

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How Watering Needs Change For Your Houseplants Year-Round

-ted lare garden center - monstera watering can

Do you maintain a consistent schedule of watering your plants once per week all year long? Well, you may want to reconsider! The needs of your houseplants change with the seasons, and your watering schedule should change accordingly to produce the best results. Here’s how often you should water indoor plants in spring, summer, fall, and winter, and why it’s so important to change up your watering schedule. 

Houseplant Watering Needs in Winter

In winter, most houseplants enter a dormancy period, like hibernation; this is when your houseplants take time to rest and recharge for their next spring growth spurt, so you’ll notice their growth slows down considerably. Since they aren’t growing as much, they don’t need as much water. If you’re watering with the same amount you’re giving your plants in summer, that moisture will build up in the soil, and your plant won’t use it all. 

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Overwatering your soil is a recipe for fungus gnats—an annoying pest that buzzes around your houseplants like little flies. In extreme cases, overwatering can cause your houseplants’ roots to rot, which is very hard to cure. Houseplants that need more water can be reduced to twice-monthly watering, while you can water low-maintenance houseplants like Snake Plants and ZZ Plants as infrequently as once per month. 

If you leave on vacation over the winter, a watering orb can help keep your plants hydrated while you’re away, so you don’t have to hire someone to do it for you. 

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Houseplant Watering Needs in Spring

The longer days and brighter sunshine in the spring will awaken your plants from their dormancy. Their new flush of growth will begin, and you can increase the watering to once weekly for thirstier plants and twice monthly for low-maintenance indoor plants. It’s worth mixing a bit of water-soluble houseplant fertilizer and applying it every month or two—this will help provide all the necessary nutrients your plants need to grow leaves, spread their roots, and potentially flower, depending on the variety. 

ted lare garden center - watering a zz plant

Houseplant Watering Needs in Summer

Hot summer temperatures and bright sun can dramatically affect your houseplants, even if you have air conditioning in your home! Bright, direct sunlight through a south or west-facing window can easily dry up the soil in your plant’s pot. If you notice that your plant looks tired and dehydrated, you may need to water it twice per week. Moisture-loving plants like ferns will need special attention when it’s so bright out. 

Continue adding some fertilizer into the soil to help your plant continue through its active growing season. A slow-release granular fertilizer sprinkled across the soil surface can help provide a controlled release of nutrients steadily over the year, but you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t contact your plant’s foliage. 

Houseplant Watering Needs in Fall

As the days shorten and the sunshine isn’t quite so bright, your plants recognize that it’s time to wind down. They won’t stop growing altogether, but they won’t require quite as much watering as in summer. Scale back to once every 7–10 days, and stop using fertilizers after September. Using fertilizers in late fall or winter will confuse your plant and wake it from its dormancy or continue its growth for longer than it should. Your plant needs that rest time—it’s part of its natural growth cycle, and if it doesn’t get enough rest, its future growth will be leggy and lackluster. 

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If you find that your plants are soaking up all the water from the soil very quickly, regardless of the season, it may be root-bound. Check to see if the roots are thick and fill the entire container. Repotting is best left for spring or early summer, and you should use a pot that’s two inches larger than the previous pot. Gently loosen the roots, and they’ll be able to spread in their new container. Now the soil will stay moist for longer after watering!


Now that you’re a bonafide watering wizard, why not try some more advanced and exotic specimens? We have an incredible variety of houseplants for sale in Iowa for beginners, seasoned experts, and everyone in between. Feel free to ask our staff for recommendations based on your skill level and the amount of sunlight you get through your windows. There’s something for everyone at Ted Lare Garden Center!

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How to Level Up Your Houseplant Style with Artsy Pottery

Ted Lare- How to Level Up Your Style With Pottery-face planter

Pottery is an ancient art form that’s been around for tens of thousands of years—it’s no wonder why there are so many incredible styles to explore! If you’re keeping your houseplants in the plastic pots they came in, you’re missing out on an opportunity to really elevate the design and aesthetic of your living space. And unlike paintings or sculptures, pottery is a form of art that’s incredibly budget-friendly so that you can collect plenty of fabulous pieces to spruce up your scenery. 

Here Are Our Favorite Pottery Styles to Display All of Your Gorgeous Houseplants 

Whether you prefer sleek, simple, neutral palettes or you like to experiment with bold colors and patterns, there’s no shortage of incredible pottery to discover.

Ted Lare- How to Level Up Your Style With Pottery-solid color pottery

Solid-Color Pottery for High Contrast Palettes

We have solid-color pottery in every color of the rainbow. For maximum impact, pick a complementary color that contrasts with the main color in your room—either the walls or the furniture. For example, orange walls will look amazing with turquoise colored pottery, and jade green walls will look fabulous with pink pottery. 

Ted Lare- How to Level Up Your Style With Pottery-astrology pottery

Get Witchy With It!

Oh, my stars! We have some dazzling pottery with creative motifs that are positively enchanting! Our astrology-inspired constellation pot has metallic gold detailing that would pair beautifully with a Gold Dust Croton or Golden Pothos. Our spherical eye pots have a contrasting midnight blue base—they look just like a crystal ball! It would look likely with a purple-tinted plant, like Tradescantia. 

Cute Face Planters for Trailing Plants

We have a soft spot for face planters—they have so much personality! We recommend planting trailing plants in these pots to make it look like they have hair. Trailing succulents like Hoyas, Burro’s Tail, String of Pearls, and String of Hearts are especially pretty! Spiky plants like Haworthia and Aloe work, too—they give those little pottery people more of a punk rock aesthetic. 

Ted Lare- How to Level Up Your Style With Pottery-face planters

Spark Joy with Adorable Animal Pottery

How could you possibly resist these cute little planters? Kids and adults will get a kick out of these charming pottery pieces. Try to pair them up with plants that fit with the animal. For example, our fox planter would look perfect with a fluffy, shaggy fern. The sloth pot would look so sweet with a chubby, rounded succulent. The unicorn pot needs something pretty and pink, like a Caladium or a Lady Valentine Chinese Evergreen!

Neutral Toned Geometric Patterns

Neutrals are great, but you don’t want your scenery to look dull or lifeless. The perfect solution? Planter pots in neutral shades with detailed, intricate geometric patterns! They bring that effortlessly cool, high-fashion vibe that’s stylish without trying too hard. Pretty much any plant will look amazing in a neutral planter—the naturally vibrant foliage will take center stage!

Multi-Colored Pottery Glazes

Moody maximalism is all the rage in the world of design. Eye-catching splashes and streaks of color are reminiscent of abstract painters like Jackson Pollock and Andre Derain, bringing an artful eccentricity to your space. Have fun mixing and matching colorful pots and plants of all shapes and sizes—like a gallery wall, but with pottery! We particularly love mixed glaze effects on pottery—the chemical composition of the different glazes creates such interesting textural effects as they fire in the kiln.

-glazed houseplant pottery
Ted Lare- How to Level Up Your Style With Pottery-linework plant pot

Trendy Modernity with Line Art Motifs 

Line art is such an interesting form of illustration. It’s contemporary and simple, yet inspiring and quirky. These simple motifs use crisp lines to create charming illustrations, like portraits, rainbows, and botanical imagery. They’re like a classy cartoon! Your simple green houseplants will look far more impactful in one of these on-trend pottery pieces!

There’s plenty more where that came from! To see even more incredible pottery for sale in Iowa, visit Ted Lare Garden Center and browse through hundreds of different options to suit every style and budget.

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Moving the Party Outside: Bring These Indoor Plants Outdoors!

Ted Lare-The Best Indoor Plants for Moving Outside -palm fronds outdoors

Sunny summer weather always has us moving the party outside—nothing beats outdoor entertaining! As it turns out, many of our indoor plants feel the same way and will be very appreciative of some sunshine and fresh air. Plus, you’ll love having a patio full of all your prettiest plants—it makes the backyard party zone extra stylish! 

Start Moving These Indoor Plants Outside so You Can Party in Style

Some indoor plants love full sun, while others do better away from direct sunbeams, so you have to think strategically about where you place them in the yard. Here are our favorite indoor plants to bring outside and things to consider when transitioning from indoors to out. 

Remember: when you bring your indoor plants back inside at the end of summer, you need to debug them first. A non-chemical insecticide like neem oil, insecticidal soap, or pyrethrin spray will help kill any bugs hiding out in the leaves, preventing them from spreading to your other houseplants. 

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Potted Citrus Trees

Fruit trees love to soak up the sun, so you can expect an impressive crop yield if you bring your potted lemon, lime, orange, or calamondin trees outside. They prefer 8 hours of direct sun per day, so pick a super sunny spot in the yard for them to bask in those rays. Once they start bearing fruit, you can whip up some tasty cocktails to enjoy outside at your next backyard party!

Areca Palm

Tall potted palms like the Areca Palm always bring beachy cabana vibes to the backyard. Intense direct sun may scorch their leaves, so try to place them somewhere North or East-facing or in a spot that receives gentle morning light and afternoon shade. These indoor plants are perfect for making patio seating areas feel a little more homey, and the taller varieties create a pretty leaf canopy to sit underneath with a book and a drink. 

Ted Lare-The Best Indoor Plants for Moving Outside -croton outdoors


This tropical technicolor dream plant reminds us of neon party lights! Crotons thrive in direct sun—the more sunshine it receives, the brighter its colors become. When indoors, once weekly watering is necessary, but they may need more water in hot outdoor conditions. If its leaves start to droop, it’s a sure sign your croton is thirsty.

Ted Lare-The Best Indoor Plants for Moving Outside -weeping fig

Weeping Fig

The Weeping Fig, or Ficus Benjamina, is often grown as an indoor tree but will gladly spend some time outside with your garden plants in summer. Their leaves are a bit more sensitive to direct sunbeams, so they’ll do nicely underneath some dappled shade under taller trees or by a North- or East-facing wall. This indoor plant likes to soak moisture in through its leaves, so if you aren’t getting much rainfall, generously spritz the leaves with water every few days.

Bird of Paradise

This high-impact tropical indoor plant has colossal leaves with fabulous texture—and who could resist those amazing orange and indigo blooms? Some summer air will help this beauty to produce even more of its signature blooms. It loves direct sun, but a bit of afternoon shade is welcome during the hottest, driest months. Mist the leaves with water to keep them moisturized—Bird of Paradise loves humidity, and we don’t always get much of that here in the Midwest. 

Ted Lare-The Best Indoor Plants for Moving Outside -Tradescantia


An absolute must-have for hanging baskets and container gardens, this indoor plant has a trailing habit with ultra-vibrant vines that spill down the edges of its pot. It’s amazing how quickly they grow when they’re outside! Hang some tradescantia around your patio to create a canopy of jewel-toned color. Direct sun may scorch their leaves, so try to put them somewhere shielded from that bright afternoon sunshine. 

On the hunt for new indoor plants near Des Moines? Visit Ted Lare Garden Center to see all the latest varieties for every budget and skill level! If you have any questions about moving your houseplants outside, feel free to ask our experts, and we can give you some helpful pointers. 

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An Easy Guide to Getting Rid of Fungus Gnats in Houseplants

Ted Lare-How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats-yellow gnat trap

There has been a huge increase in fungus gnat problems in recent years, leaving many plant owners scratching their heads. Where are these bugs coming from, and how do we get rid of them? We put together this guide to help houseplant collectors understand why fungus gnats appear and how you can eliminate them for good. 

What Causes Fungus Gnats in Houseplants?

Fungus gnats earned their name because they eat fungal growth. What causes fungal growth in houseplants? Overwatering! 

We’re seeing way more gnats these days because people are spending more time at home. When you’re at home most of the time, the temptation to water your plants is high, and people are overdoing it! Too much water will hurt your plants far more than not enough water. If you’re seeing gnats buzzing around your plants, you have to kick that habit of overwatering, and quick!

Ted Lare-How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats-fungus gnat up close

How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Plants

The tricky thing about gnats is that you aren’t just dealing with the mature flies—they lay their eggs in the soil, which eventually hatch into larvae. The larvae mature, lay more eggs, and the vicious cycle continues. The mature gnats don’t do much damage—they’re mostly just annoying—but the larvae pose a bigger problem: they chomp on your plants’ roots. If you neglect to deal with the problem, your plants could sustain significant damage.

To get rid of all the gnats buzzing around your house, you will have to target both the mature insects and their larvae. They mature and reproduce quickly, so a combined approach using several pest control methods will work best. 

Let the Soil Dry Out

Since overwatering is the cause of fungal growth that gnats feed on, the first thing you have to do is stop watering and let the soil dry out. Don’t worry about your plant getting thirsty—it’s much easier for plants to bounce back from underwatering than overwatering. Once the soil has remained completely dry for a few days, resume watering, but don’t go overboard! Containers with drainage holes can help stop excess moisture from pooling at the bottom. 

Ted Lare-How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats-houseplant sticky trap

Sticky Traps

Traps are a great quick fix for getting rid of buzzing gnats, especially if you have company coming over. Just stick a few sticky traps in your plants’ pots, and the bugs will get stuck. Toss them in the trash, and you’re good to go.

Neem Oil

You can make a great homemade spray for fungus gnats with just water with a few drops of neem oil—a potent essential oil that kills mature flies and larvae, no chemicals required! Shake it up in a spray bottle, coat the leaves and soak the soil. Repeat the process every few days until no flies remain. 

Ted Lare-How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats-Pyrethrin Spray

Pyrethrin Spray

Pyrethrin is an all-natural insecticide that comes from the chrysanthemum flower. Spray it all over the leaves and soil to kill mature insects and larvae. Make sure you don’t use pyrethrin on outdoor plants—it kills butterflies and bees, which is a big no-no! 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix peroxide and water at a 1:4 ratio; pour this into the soil, and it will kill larvae while also helping to clear out fungus and harmful bacteria. After a few weeks, add some compost or fish emulsion into the soil to help replenish the healthy bacteria. 

Replace the Soil and Clean the Pot

In severe cases, your best bet may be to replace the soil entirely with a fresh batch and thoroughly sanitize the container. Be careful not to jumble the roots around too much. Your plant is probably already stressed out, so proceed with caution! 


If you’re dealing with fungus gnats in Iowa, Ted Lare Garden Center has everything you need to send those bugs packing. Visit us soon to stock up on all the necessary supplies!