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Why The Pothos Is The Ultimate Plant For Beginners

The Pothos (botanical name: Epipremnum aureum) has a well-deserved reputation as the easiest houseplant to own. It develops long vining stems (that can grow up to 8 feet long!) with leaves that unfurl open and grow larger and more variegated with time. Though the plant grows best in bright light, it can survive even in dark corners of a home or office. It has lush leather-like leaves that come in all sorts of colors and varieties. The Pothos is also a terrific air purifier and it filters our indoor toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

It’s so hard to mess up with this plant that it’s been nicknamed the “Devil’s Ivy” because it’s just so darn hardy. It is the perfect plant for someone who’s never had plants before or thinks they have a black thumb (we wholeheartedly believe that plants are for everybody and a little basic plant care knowledge goes a long way).

The only serious mistake one can make with the Pothos is overwatering. If the roots are waterlogged they may develop root rot and begin deteriorating. But this is the case with almost all houseplants, and watering less often is easier than always worrying about maintaining wet soil.

The resilience and low maintenance qualities of the Pothos is why we’re excited to share it with plant lovers and aspiring plant owners across the country – and we’re shipping it for FREE anywhere in the USA! Check out the varieties of Pothos plants we have on our website available for delivery to you or as gifts to friends and family.

How To Tell How Much Light Your Plant Gets

Naturally, in almost every care instruction guide for a plant (indoor or outdoor), you’ll see a section on how much light the plant should receive. But the level of sunlight a plant should get is always described in terms like “high” or “bright” or “medium indirect,” and it’s not always obvious what that means.

Well, first, the difference between direct and indirect light is just whether the sun is hitting the plant straight on, or if instead the light is filtered through some window shades or translucent medium. A lot of indoor plants don’t like to get much direct sun, and even though they may like a lot of light, they don’t want to be soaking up rays all day.

But what consitutes “bright” light vs. “medium” light vs. “low” light?

A quick way to tell is just with a hand test. Take a piece of paper or some other plane surface and hold your hand about a foot away from it, between it and the light source. If you can’t see much of a shadow or it’s very faint, you’re getting low light. In a medium light situation you’ll see a blurry or fuzzy shadow of your hand, and in bright light you’ll get a crisp clear shadow.

Often if a plant is receiving insufficient light, it’ll cause spindly stems (that are reaching out to get closer to a light source), yellow foliage, and leaf drop. Too much light results in burned leaves or pale foliage. But these are just general guidelines – some plants behave differently.

Note that if you need to give a plant more light, being close by a large unobstructed south-facing window will likely give you the best brightest sunlight. Many houseplants also thrive in artificial light, thought this is usually a low light situation, because unless you have exceptionally bright indoor light bulbs it’s not nearly as strong as natural sunlight, which provides a broad spectrum of light.

The Best Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas in 2017

It’s hard to find a good Valentine’s Day gift that is creative, interesting, useful and affordable. Some of our ideas for gifts are below, so skip the roses and get something they’ll truly enjoy. All these gifts should work well for both men and women.

A unique reusable glass bottle shaped like a sheet of paper.

The Zanzibar Gem
An elegant and low maintenance plant, custom potted, and delivered for free with an optional box of chocolates.

Gemini Espresso Maker
Keep flavor and temperature intact from stovetop to cup with this exceptional espresso maker. Brew on your stovetop and the Gemini delivers two perfect cups simultaneously.

Diaries Made From Books
Charming upcycled diaries made using pages from old children’s books.

Love Poems Set
Let the experts express you love with this set of five anthologies of the best love poems ever written.

Are You Hurting The Environment By Gifting Roses?

Roses are a classic gift and as a result of their association with romance are in high demand during Valentine’s Day. In fact according to the National Retail Federation $1.9 billion is spent on flowers for the holiday.

But behind their pretty appearance, there’s an ugly fact. According to Scientific American:

[…] sending the roughly 100 million roses of a typical Valentine’s Day produces some 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from field to U.S. florist.

The vast majority of roses sold in the American market are grown in South America, and since roses can’t survive long journeys all those millions of flowers sold have to be flown here on airplanes – lots of airplanes. Rose farmers are also big users of pesticides (20% of which are “so dangerous they’re actually restricted in the US or Europe” according to the International Labor Rights Forum). And labor conditions at these farms are also far from ideal, where workers (mostly women and children) work for very little money.

At Léon & George we sell beautiful easy-care plants. Plants are elegant and can last for years, unlike cut flowers which have an average life of 2 weeks before they wilt and rot. Plants also have incredible health and psychological benefits when used in indoor spaces. But best of all, plants are much more environmentally-friendly. In fact, our plants are all grown domestically, most of them right here in California. And to offset some of the effects of transporting them, we also work with a foundation to plant a tree in a US National Forest where it is most needed.

So this Valentine’s Day, and for any other occassion, consider skipping the roses and gifting a plant instead. The Earth will thank you for it.

If you’re convinced and would like to gift someone a little bit of nature, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of resilient easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to anyone’s door in San Francisco.

Introducing The 20-Day Challenge: Flowers vs. Plants – What's the best gift for Valentine's Day?

When you think about Valentine’s Day, you probably conjure up an image of a beautiful bouquet right? Us too! We’re wild about bringing nature in all forms into homes and offices, and flowers are absolutely a part of that. But we also like things that last a long time, and we don’t like to see things die. So what if I told you there was an alternative to gifting flowers for your loved one? One that they can appreciate both now and later.

Today, we are introducing our 20-day challenge: Flowers vs. Plants.

With this challenge, we are going to show that for the same price (or lower) as a premium bouquet from an established flower delivery service, you can get a beautiful longer-lasting and elegant plant.

To test this out we decided to order flowers from The Bouqs – they have a solid selection of bouquets organized by occasion. Since we’re coming up on Valentine’s Day, we ordered the “Deluxe Romantic” bouquet for $75.

To challenge the Deluxe Romantic, we choose our very own “Zanzibar Gem” with the Venus Copper pot for $59 (and free shipping). This is a beautiful and very resilient plant, with long elegant stems and leaves that form feather-like shapes. Some say the Zanzibar is eternal… just like your love!

So for 20 days, we are going to take a picture every day of both the bouquet and the plant and post a side-by-side comparison on our Instagram for you to judge.

As for the flowers, here is what we received from The Bouqs:

Collage of The Bouqs

After few minutes of setup, we had a pretty nice bouquet. Although, you can see that what was advertised on the site was not really what we received (product picture on the left, and on the right is what we received - minus the vase):

The bouquet we received

The challenge is starting today and you can already see the first day on our Instagram page

5 Things To Know About Watering Your Plants

Watering an indoor potted plant seems obvious, right? You just take the water and pour it in – what more is there to know!? Well for the most part, that is it. But if you want to ensure the perfect environment for your leafy friend, here are a few tips:

1. Avoid overwatering

This is the big one. Plants that have more water in the soil than they can consume will develop root rot. This happens when roots can’t get the air they need because they’re surrounded by water for an extended period of time, and start to decay. Avoid this by using lighter soils (really when we say soil, we mean potting mix), as well as pots with drainage holes, and simply watering your plant in moderation.

2. Feel the soil before watering

The best way to know if a plant needs water is to check if the soil is dry. Gently stick your finger in the top part of the soil and check the humidity. If it’s still wet, it means it probably has enough water for now. If there’s some decorative moss over your soil, make sure to feel below it. Do note that generally plants in smaller pots will need to be watered more often simply because there’s not as much potting mix to keep the moisture in.

3. Water the soil evenly

Make sure to water all around the plant, not just in one area. The plant will develop more evenly and will be less stressed if it’s getting water through all its roots.

4. Use room temperature water

Don’t use water that is too hot or too cold. Plants like to be comfortable too!

5. Water less during the winter

Plants use less energy during the winter because it’s not their growing season. There’s less light and part of their natural lifecycle results in them being slightly dormant that time of the year. Which means they also need a bit less water than normal, so be mindful of that.

If you’d like a little bit more nature in your life, with plants that are easy to water and very adaptable to different watering habits, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to your door in San Francisco.

Boost Your Work Productivity With a Desk Plant

The research is clear: plants are good for you. But they can also help increase productivity at work, according to researchers from Washington State University. They found that:

“Productivity increased 12 percent when people performed a simple task on a computer in a room with plants compared with workers who performed the same task in the same room without plants.”

Kamal Meattle, a business owner gave a TED talk about this very same effect, and how his employees became significantly more productive after he introduced plants in their workspace.

Your office may already have scattered plants throughout, but maybe you could benefit from one on your desk. Check out our plant offering and see if you’d like any of our plants delivered to your office!

If you’re convinced and would like a little bit more nature in your life, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to your door in San Francisco.

The 3 Main Benefits of Plants

1. Air purification

In 1989 NASA conducted a research study on how to best clean the air inside its space station. It concluded that certain common houseplants – which we sell! – are extremely effective at removing toxins like benzene and formaldehyde from the air. And of course plants also convert carbon dioxide into oxygen as part of their photosynthesis process and are great for reducing the effects of sick building syndrome, which is basically the bad feeling you get when you’ve spent too much time indoors. Kamal Meattle gave an excellent TED talk on how he increased productivity at his company by introducing plants in his employee’s workspaces.

2. Increased happiness and well-being

Beyond the health effects of just breathing cleaner air, studies have proven that plants in indoor spaces are associated with “increased pleasantness, lower anxiety, and lower blood pressure.” They also help people heal, and it’s been shown that patients in hospitals recover faster and use fewer painkillers in rooms with live plants. Imagine that kind of effect in your everyday life!

3. Decor upgrade

Every interior decorator knows there’s nothing like plants to instantly boost the appeal of an indoor space, and no home is complete without a few leafy friends. Even if you take plants on their aesthetic value alone, they are very effective at making a place feel lively. Baasically, plants are an instant and easy way to upgrade a room and make an impact.

If you’re convinced and would like a little bit more nature in your life, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to your door in San Francisco.

Making Sure Plants Survive Your Vacation

Your plants can be okay even if you’re not around to take care of them. With just a tiny bit of advance prep, you can leave home for weeks at a time without killing off your leafy green friends.

Some tips:

  • If you’re leaving for a week or less, a good soaking will be all you need. You normally don’t want to oversaturate the soil with water, but this is an exception. As always, be sure not to leave any standing water in the saucer, as that may result in pests or root rot.
  • If you’re leaving for a couple of weeks, after watering as described above, try putting some moss, leaves, wood chips, or pebbles on top of the exposed soil. Basically any natural material than can keep moisture in. Our plants at Léon & George come with green moss on top that’s decorative but also helps the soil retain moisture.
  • If you’re leaving for a really long time, well that sounds pretty exciting, but it also means you’ll have to cover the plant in a plastic bag to help keep moisture in. Make sure the bag sits above the top of the pot, and keep it off the foliage with some sticks. Cut some slits in the bag to make sure the plant can still breathe. Alternatively, you may consider simply asking a friend to come water the plants for you.
  • Plants that like humidity may do better in the bathroom while you’re gone, provided there’s a source of light in there. But remember not to give plants more light than they’re used to getting, because that might stimulate growth which uses up more water.
  • For the same reason as above, don’t feed the plant any fertilizer in the days and weeks before you leave, as that will also stiumlate growth at the wrong time.
  • Prune off any unhealthy, dead or dying leaves by plucking them off if they come out easily, or by cutting them with a sharp scissor at the base of the stem. In doing so, the plant will waste less energy trying to keep those leaves alive.

If you’re looking for a quick and stress-free way of getting beautiful houseplants, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to your door in San Francisco.

Looking For A Gift? Try a Plant!

Finding a good gift is hard. It can be really time-consuming to find something of value that the recipient will appreciate and that they don’t have already. But if you’re at a total loss of which gift to get for a holiday, a birthday, a housewarming, or really any occassion… try a plant!

Plants are a symbol of life and representative of the beauty of nature, and we’ve documented their health and aesthetic benefits.

Flowers are another great choice for a gift when you don’t know what else to get, but they’re more ephemeral, and some people feel weird about gifting flowers to a male. While we disagree and think everybody appreciates some colorful bits of nature in their life, plants are a more accepted gender-neutral gift. They’re a perfect gift for a person of any culture or religion, and many plants are very easy to take care of and there are styles – small and large – that fit everyone’s decor.

If you’re convinced and would like to gift someone a little bit of nature, try Léon & George. We have a great selection of easy-care plants and beautiful pots and deliver them right to anyone’s door in San Francisco.