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Must-Have Houseplants

Must Have Houseplants

Houseplants have evolved. From something you shove in a corner and dutifully care for out of guilt, into living and breathing trendy decor statements. Now very much in vogue, there are so many new opportunities to choose a houseplant that is not only stylish, but also matches your aesthetic and lifestyle. Each one of these plants have unique features that have earned them tons of attention on Pinterest, Instagram, and in the top decor magazines. Here’s our “must-have” list of popular houseplants:

fiddle-leaf figs placed indoors

Fiddle-Leaf Fig:
Even the New York Times loves and adores this trendy plant, calling it the “It Fig” when the fiddle-leaf graced its pages. The king of trendy houseplant decor, this plant features lush and tropical glossy leaves and a modern style that adds major style points to bright, airy rooms. First popular with the daring interior designers that brought it indoors, it has become increasingly popular and is now embraced by everyone that is on-trend, from Millennials to stylish homeowners. Bold, a deep green, and proud, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is the instant focal point of a room. They aren’t subtle, but just one is all you need to create a signature look.

Beauty isn’t always effortless. Fiddles have also earned a reputation for themselves as picky and finicky, needing just the right light, attentive watering and maintenance, and an aversion to being moved around. They’re famous for their big broad leaves, but these can need a bit of TLC to really make the plant the statement piece that you want. This bold beauty is definitely worth the effort you put in, but fiddles are best suited for plant owners that are confident in their abilities.

fiddle-leaf fig plant

Snake Plant:
Known commonly as Snake Plant, the Sansevieria is getting more and more popular by the week. One of its main draws is its striking vertical appearance and squiggly growth pattern, which makes it an ideal choice for adding personality to tight spaces that other plants might not fit. Not just convenient for corners though, the sleek lines on this plant bring an architectural flair to your home, along with air-cleaning properties. You’ll love having the presence of a plant to help make the winters easier to manage, but you’ll also love this plant’s ability to clear up airborne toxins like benzene, carbon dioxide, and xylene.

This plant doesn’t need a green thumb, meaning that it’s a great fit for anyone that falls in love with its beautiful lines. They’re drought-tolerant, thrive in nearly any light level except too much direct sun, and don’t need to be transplanted often. Keep their leaves wiped down from dust to have them looking their best.

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Air Plants:
For those who love decorating with plants but don’t have a lot of space to spare, air plants (also known as Tillandsia) are anything but your grandmother’s houseplant. They come in hundreds of shapes, textures, and sizes, all with a totally unique style. Because they grow without soil, creative and DIY plant lovers have taken to these plants enthusiastically, choosing to display them in stunning arrangements and designs. From tiny glass terrariums and cases to living driftwood sculptures, this is the most on-trend plant for people who embrace their plants by styling them in creative ways.

Air plants are practically designed to be experimented with, and with a little bit of nontoxic glue, you can make a living sculpture out of nearly any Tillandsia species. Take one home and you’ll have a conversation starter that will thrive with minimal care. While they don’t need soil, they still aren’t able to absorb everything they need through their pores and will need regular water baths. Mist them daily, but you might want to consider soaking them in water and allowing to drip dry every few weeks to keep them looking their best. Drip dry your air plant upside-down to prevent water from forming mold at the base of their leaves.
With minimal care requirements and a unique living habit that opens a world of possibility, it’s easy to see why these plants are taking over the interior design world.

fiddle-leaf fig plant

Zebra Plant:
We’ve seen succulents rise in popularity over the years, but the trend isn’t stopping, and people are starting to focus in on particular varieties of succulents and their unconventional looks. Zebra plants, also called Haworthia, are miniature and slow-growing plants that are some of the coolest-looking and trendiest succulent species around. They’re easier to care for than their other succulent relatives, and they look sharp in any display with their namesake crisp white lines running across the plant.

Needing bright and direct sunlight and very little upkeep, these petite plants are perfect for sneaking into your decor in unexpected places, from cute terrariums to mounted on fridge magnets. These plants stay quite small even after years of taking care of them, so find a spot for them that you can be sure that you get lots of opportunities to view them up close to appreciate everything about them that makes them so noteworthy and trendy.

fiddle-leaf fig plant

Boston Fern:
Some people still picture the fern as a Grandmother’s plant, meant for stuffy houses full of antiques, but we’re excited to prove you wrong and show just how on-trend and fashionable these plants actually are. While the plant variety is prehistoric, these tough plants help you out by pulling startling numbers of toxins from the air, and their leafy and bed-headed appearance gives them a unique charm that we’ve embraced once again. Perfect for the vintage-inspired designer and the modern decorator alike, adopting this plant is the perfect way to stay up-to-date with today’s design must-haves.

If you don’t want to clean up any dropped leaves, some other ferns might be better options for you, but we still love the old-fashioned charm of the Boston Fern. Thriving in well-lit rooms, these plants need regular watering and a little humidity to look their best. This plant will love you back with its powerhouse air-cleaning ability and retro charm.

Houseplants are an essential part of so many interior designs and it’s easy to imagine how you can build them into your home design. The world of plants is so diverse, there’s a trendy plant for any home, any lifestyle, and anyone. Fill your home with these lush green beauties to instantly freshen the look of any space.

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Top New Edibles of 2018

“I like being able to tell people that the lunch I’m serving started out as a seed in my yard.” 

– Curtis Stone

One of the best parts of summer is growing your own fresh fruits and veggies right in the backyard. Meals never taste more delicious than after a fresh harvest. Save the trip to the grocery store and bring your own produce section home, only an arm’s length away! Here are some of our top choices for new edibles in Iowa this year.

Gigantic Verde Tomatillo 

These small, husked cousins to the tomato are packed full with flavor and are staples in Mexican cooking. The Gigantic Verde Tomatillo variety brings more delicious flavor and excitement to the table than its predecessors and tomato cousins. The larger yields, fruit, and juicier sweetness of this tomatillo makes it the perfect flavor for a salsa verde to bring freshness to your favorite summertime snacks.

Plant your Gigantic Verde Tomatillo in full sun against a trellis or stake to keep fruit off the ground. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, throughout the season for the best-tasting fruit. Harvest your tomatillos when they feel firm to the touch and the husks have broken open slightly. You know when they are ripe as their green flesh transforms to yellow. Eat them right away by removing the husk, or leave it on and your tomatillos will stay fresher longer!

Brandy Boy Tomato

An awesome beefsteak variety, the new Brandy Boy Tomato is a tasty way to change it up this year. This tomato is a cross of the heirloom tomato Brandywine and Better Boy. The result is a tomato that has a delectable sweet and tangy heirloom flavor, but with better disease resistance and a tidier growth habit. Try them in a homemade pasta sauce or even diced into a delicious bruschetta!

Tomatoes need plenty of sun and moisture to grow. Plant them in rich, moist soil and keep them well-watered throughout the season. Mulching plays an important role in growing tomatoes for both moisture retention and protection. Tomatoes’ delicate roots can be prone to many problems, including rot if damaged, so protecting them is key. Grow them against a stake or tomato cage for big, juicy fruit and harvest when they are heavy and firm to the touch.

Pixie Grapes

These perfect patio grapes are a cousin of grapes we often find in our houses in a tall, stemmed glass. Their mouthwatering, crisp, sweet flavor will probably taste similar to many wines! Homegrown grapes are a decadent treat all summer. These grapes got their start in vineyards and have been perfectly designed to fit in a patio container for delicious flavor at your fingertips all season.

Prep your pot with moist, well-draining potting mix with an organic, slow-release fertilizer for an added boost. Plant your Pixie Grapes in full sun with a small trellis to support your grapevines as they grow. You’ll know they are perfectly ready with a quick taste-test – sweet means just right!

Pictured below: Artwork Broccoli (left), Dragon Roll Pepper (right)
Images from: All American SelectionsBurpee

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Artwork Broccoli

We’re all familiar with our big, bushy broccoli varieties with short stems and thick stalks. Breaking tradition comes the new Artwork Broccoli. These little bite-sized broccoli heads harvest piece by piece, rather than as one, large head, so the flavor is always fresh day-of. Their long, flavorful shoots are just as earthy and sweet as the tops, making the whole thing amazing for every broccoli recipe, especially stir-fries.

Artwork Broccoli needs full sun and consistently moist soil to grow. Plant in a rich, well-draining soil and mulch to keep moisture even all season. Harvest the central crown of the broccoli first – the top of the stalk – when it reaches 1” in diameter. Do this first and enjoy the sprouting of tasty shoots all along the length of the stalk throughout the summer.

Dragon Roll Pepper

These popping peppers offer a slightly spicy, yet sweet flavor with a bit of smokiness and have become a culinary delight at farmers markets and restaurants across the nation. Starting off fairly mild, Dragon Roll Peppers will mature with a bit of kick, but only about 1/10th of a jalapeno. Just a bit of spice makes these the perfect snacking peppers on their own. They add awesome flavor when diced raw onto fresh tacos or for roasting. They are certainly a talking point of any dinner party.

Plant them in a hot, sunny spot in your garden. Warm and moist soil gives these peppers their edge, so mulching will keep them at top performance. Water regularly and feed them with an all-purpose vegetable mix to give them a boost if they need it. Harvest your peppers when they are still green by cutting off part of the stem.

Pink Icing Blueberry

Named for the blue and green foliage that is dusted with pink edges, Pink Icing Blueberries are the must-have berry for your garden this year. They’ve got adorable foliage that makes them a great accent plant for your garden or patio, and they are rich in delicious berries to enjoy all summer. The big, juicy berries are so flavorful and sweet that you’ll have a hard time holding yourself from eating them all right off the plant. If you can, though, try them fresh with some Greek Yogurt or baked into mouthwatering muffins.

Pink Icing Blueberries will perform best with at least six hours or more of sun. They are self-pollinating, so they do not need another plant to produce fruit, but they will have better yields if you plant more than one. They will need a rich, acidic soil to grow, so having compost or peat moss on-hand for amendment may be helpful. Water them regularly and deeply to provide plenty of moisture to your growing fruit. You’ll know they’re perfect for eating when the little berries are full of color and no longer green.

Enjoy a fresher taste in your kitchen this summer with some irresistible new fruits and vegetables. Add a twist to your cooking, baking, or even just snacking with a flavor for every palette. No matter who’s coming over, you’ll have something fresh for everyone with these top new edibles of 2018!