Unique Cacti You Can Grow Indoors

Cacti are some of the most interesting plants on the planet. Almost every species is unique its own way. Most of them are easy to grow indoors and capable of surviving a wide range of climates. Here’s a list of some of the most unique cacti you can grow indoors.

Opuntia microdasys
Opuntia Microdasys

Opuntia Microdasys

Also known as the bunny ear cactus, this low-growing cactus originates from Northern Mexico but is now a common piece of living décor in many homes across the world. It is called the bunny ear cactus because it has no central stem but is instead composed of many different oval shaped pads. They greatly resemble bunny ears or the ears of a certain cartoon mouse. It is also sometimes called the polka-dot cactus.

Euphorbia Caput-Medusa
Euphorbia Caput-Medusa

Caput Medusae

Caput medusae roughly translates to “head of Medusa.” If you’re familiar with Greek lore, this is the woman cursed by Aphrodite to live with snakes on her head for hair. The Medusa’s head plant, as it is also known, got this name because of its many tubular stems that grow and curve in different directions resembling snakes. It is tough to grow this plant inside, but if you can manage it is unique and rewarding.

Astrophytum Capricorne
Astrophytum Capricorne

Astrophytum Capricorne

The goat’s horn cactus is a somewhat rare cactus that is very tolerant to drought and a variety of different climates. It looks very strange with a dull, greyish color, egg-shaped stem, and dozens of curved spikes. However, once it flowers it produces a very beautiful yellow flower with red in the center.

Astrophytum Asterias
Astrophytum Asterias

Astrophytum Asterias

A big name for a small cactus. It is more commonly known as the sea urchin cactus, the star cactus, or the sand dollar cactus. This particular cactus is native to the United States and Central America. It is small, spineless, and round. The body is then divided into several segments, which creates the appearance of a star on top of the cactus.

Oreocereus Celsianus
Oreocereus Celsianus

Oreocereus Celsianus

This strange and unique cactus is called “old man of the mountain” because of its many long, grey hairs. It originates from the Andes area of South America. These cacti can grow up to ten feet tall if planted outdoors, but when grown in a container they tend to remain much smaller. It thrives in cooler temperatures with little water.

Echinocereus
Echinocereus

Echinocereus

The echinocereus is actually an entire genus of cacti and most are referred to as a hedgehog cactus. They are perfect for beginners because of their small size. They are small, bushy, and have long, curved spines. Their flowers are bright red and many of them are edible as well as the fruits they produce. The flowers also tend to survive longer than most other cacti.

Schlumbergera also known as Christmas Cactus
Schlumbergera also known as Christmas Cactus

Zygocactus Truncatus

The Christmas cactus is as unique as it is beautiful. It is a hanging cactus that produces very bright and vivid flowers that may be red, yellow, pink, or orange. They tend to grow hanging from trees in the wild in areas with high humidity but can survive perfectly well hanging indoors. The flowers usually grow horizontally from the plant and the top side of the flower grows differently from the bottom side.

Six Life Changing Herbs That We Are Not Using Enough Of

For many home gardeners, growing herbs is a matter of adding flavor to omelets or give homemade spaghetti sauce a little more bang for the buck. However, the health aspects of many herbs present a compelling argument for growing herbs for health.

These herbs take no more work than your average herb garden and you will be feeling the healthy effects within no time. Take a look at six of the most beneficial herbs that few people use.

Summer Savory

summer savoryThis herb has a bit of a peppery bite to it making it the perfect seasoning for your beans and peas. Summer savory is wonderful for individuals with digestive disorders. In particular summer savory can be used as a tea to calm individuals suffering from diarrhea. Plant some of this today and next time you may not have to grab the pink bottle in the medicine chest.

Culantro

If you live in the Florida area you may actually have an issue with this herb already as it is known as an invasive weed in that area. Fresh CulantroHowever, this relative to cilantro is perfect for homemade salsas and chutney.

Culantro can be classified as one of those miracle herbs. It has the ability to calm upset stomachs and work wonders on flu symptoms.

In addition, Culantro is known for it abilities to lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Borage

Borage flowers (starflower) This herb is known for producing gorgeous flowers, but it is not used enough to appreciate the flavor that is similar to that of a cucumber. Borage is best used in salads and soups for a fresh and vibrant flavor.

Also known as the starflower contains high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids which are known to promote healthy joints and skin as well as a boost to the immune system. Borage can also be used as a diuretic to help remove unwanted water and toxins from the body.

Lovage

Aromatic Herb LovageThis was an herb that was once very popular and for one reason or another fell out of popularity. It is a shame because Lovage has such a wonderful flavor, a cross between celery and parsley. Lovage is the perfect herb to bring new life to potatoes, eggs, soups, and salads.

Lovage has many uses outside of the kitchen including the treatment of colic in young children. Also can be used for abdominal issues such as reducing excessive gas and flatulence. Lovage has also been used for the treatment of migraine headaches and sore throats.

Sorrel

With perhaps one of the oddest names on this list, it also has one of the most peculiar tastes. It can almost be described as eating a green apple or kiwi. Sorrel can be used in salads, sauces, and soups.Green polygonaceae sorrel

Sorrel is an herb once you see the potential benefits from adding it to your diet you will be wondering why you haven’t already done it. Sorrel is rich in vitamin A and C, helping to prevent eye problems and heart disease respectively. A good provider of folate which has been shown to prevent cancer. In fact, one 1/2 cup serving of Sorrel provides the body with 102 micrograms of folate which is 26 percent of the recommended serving.

Chervil

The final rare herb on our list looks very similar to the ordinary parsley plant but has a slightly more anise flavor to it. Chervil can be used similarly as parsley is as a last minute additive. It is wonderful sprinkled over soups, salads, and pasta.

chervil herbChervil has been known to improve digestion, circulation
, and vision. Chervil can be used as a tea to simply wake the body up from a lethargic state. Consider this a natural energy drink that will make you feel incredible.

These six herbs have all but vanished from our herb window gardens and store spice and herb rack. While these are all delicious herbs to add zest and flavor to meals, they are so much more. These simple herbs have the ability to prevent cancer, heart disease, and vision loss. While these seeds may not be available from your local retailer they are online and would make excellent additions to any home garden. Try them out and see how different they make your meals taste and how they make you feel.

Intriguing Your Guests With Rare Flowers May be out of Reach

Setting up floral arrangements around the mailbox, entrance gate, or on a wreath hung on the front door, are all ways to welcome guests.

The joy for any at-home flower arranger is that special satisfaction in knowing that you have brightened people’s day with your own handiwork. Rare flowers may provide a powerful visual appeal of vibrant colors, shapes, and variations that most have never seen.

Even if you want to astound guests, rare flowers are probably out of reach both financially and for their inaccessibility. Some rare orchids will sell for $5,000 apiece. Even if you did have one, would you cut it apart for the sake of a few-day-long display?

Appealing to the inner nature lover in every flower arranger, we suggest incorporating the rare floral varieties in longer-lasting photographs and other artful displays. Sculpture, vases, images, and photographs are the main manners.

The Top Four Rare And Beautiful Flowers

The flowers we will highlight here are best left for pictures on the wall. They are rare, after all.

What screams out for its preponderance of gorgeous rarities are the little-seen beauties found only on their small tropical islands of origin. Volcanic islands seem to take the lead with rare flowers, perhaps for their elevated and fiery backdrop. Hawaii and Fiji take the top two spots followed by the Azores.

What’s Old Is New Again — The first rarity has an interesting past. Botanists who visited and studied plant life in the Azores 175 years ago had concluded there was one orchid species. In recent years, scientists decided to return to the Azores to study the rare orchid’s species.

Hochstetters-butterfly-orchidScientists were surprised to recognize not one, but two new rare orchids in the volcanic islands off to the west of Portugal. The Hochstetter’s butterfly orchid (Platanthera azorica) and the Platanthera micrantha orchid, also known as the narrow-lipped butterfly are the two new ones.

The next amazing beauty is found in Mauna Loa in Hawai’i’s Volcano National Park. The Silverswords are not only rare, but they are hardly ever seen despite the park hosting many visitors every year to the Kilauea volcano.

Silversword PlantThe Silverswords, also known as the Mauna Loa silversword (Argyroxiphium kauense), sits perched out of people’s view, yet in plain sight. The tall spiky stalks hit full bloom for a couple of weeks, disperse their seeds, and then lie flowerless once again. They are doubly beautiful for their flagrant appeal as well.

It turns out that the National Park rangers and other staff planted the Silversword in its natural element to flourish, rather than go extinct. They figured rightly that some places are actually out of reach of humanity’s destruction. Though, one may wonder if the volcano will agree with their conservation efforts or not.

Medinilla waterhouseiFiji provides the backdrop for number 4 in the list of rare flowers. Tagimaucia, or Medinilla waterhousei is akin to the rainforests of Fiji on its one island, Taveuni.

Its name means blood tears, for a Fijian tale where a girl was bad to her mother, ran off into the forest, and got lost. She ended up climbing a tree and crying blood tears.

While the more common flora and fauna of your area may provide a beautiful entryway to your guests, you may feel free to endlessly share tales of these 4 beautiful flowers that are very rare. Look beyond the rose bushes, winter berries, honeysuckle, and marigolds for your stories of exotic and intriguing flowers to share with your friends and family at the next big gathering.

Fascinating and Unique Plants that can grow in the Midwest

In order to have an attractive and inviting home, it is vital that you have plants and decorations that improve the curb appeal of your property. While you can depend upon the typical choices of gardeners in the mid-west, you can incorporate one or more of the following plants to create a stunning presentation you and your neighbors will appreciate:

Windmill Palm Tree

Though palm trees are frequently associated with tropical weather, this hardy tree, which hails from China, is able to withstand sub-freezing Chinese Windmill Palm In Bloomtemperatures. It can reach 40 feet in height, though many prefer to keep them groomed to half that size. The spread of leaves on a full-sized plant will range from 6 to 10 feet at the top.

Although these can thrive when planted in the ground, they also make excellent container plants, giving you more control over the size and location of your easy to care for evergreen palm. The flowers are a creamy yellow, and it produces blue fruit in season. You will need to provide partial shade, and make sure that the soil is well-drained.

Musa Basjoo

With proper care and mulching, this plant, which is sometimes referred to as the Japanese Fiber Banana, can withstand extremely cold temperatures. Reaching up to 12 feet when fully grown, it is a perfect container Musa Basjoospecimen and does well indoors or outside. Requiring plenty of sunlight and fertilizer, the Musa Basjoo does produce decorative, inedible bananas. It requires a great deal of water, and growth is slowed dramatically when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, though it will increase once the weather warms.

Swamp Milkweed

This herbaceous perennial is native to Missouri and is not prone to disease or attracting harmful insects. The Latin name, Asclepias incarnata, is in honor of the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios. Typically found in wetlands, such as river bottoms, Swamp Milkweed Flowerthe stems release a milky white sap when opened, hence the common name. It typically grows to around four feet in height, and produces clusters of white, pink and mauve flowers which are known to attract butterflies. The colorful bushes require wet soil and an abundance of sunlight.

Cranberry Viburnum

Viburnum

This gorgeous shrub will make a fabulous addition to your garden with the variety of colors it produces throughout the year. During the spring, the bright white flowers make a striking contrast to the rich green foliage. During the fall, the leaves change into a wide range of colors, including a rich reddish-purple. Even during the winter, the cranberry viburnum adorns the plant with small red fruits. If desired, you can even turn the delicious fruit into jams and other desserts.

Cup Plant

This lovely perennial brings to mind sunflowers, with their bright yellow flowers that can reach 4 inches in width easily. Though native to Illinois, they can thrive throughout the mid-west with the right cCup Plant Flowerare. The design of the flower holds water, which provides an even greater attraction for the wildlife that visit. Birds, and goldfinches in particular, enjoy the flowers of this plant, which reaches between three and six feet when fully grown.

When working on your new landscape design, decide which of these fascinating plants will make a great addition to your home. Whether you want to use some of the more tropical plants to create an oasis near your outdoor bar-b-que, or want to spruce up your border with one or more of the shrubs, this list is sure to give you some fabulous ideas that you can use. Enjoy the new garden that you have created for your home!