Coleus, the most colorful houseplant.

Did you ever notice that most houseplants are just green? Sure some have flowers but most of them spend the vast majority of the time only green. It's kinda boring. Except for Coleus. It's pink, ruby, burgundy, yellow, white and green color variations are quite striking and can provide a pop of summer like color even in the dead of winter. Unfortunately, many gardeners don't realise that you can grow it as a houseplant!

Coleus as a houseplant

Coleus is actually a perennial. It's a tender perennial that is often used more like an annual, but in the right conditions it can grow year round. Luckily, you have those conditions inside your house! Outside it's only hardy above zone 10. 

Coleus suffers cold damage at around 30°F, so if you have one growing outside you'll want to take cuttings or bring it inside before it gets too cold! It's super simple to grow more plants from cuttings, though..all you need is water.

10 Essential oils you absolutely need

Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular for many different uses. People use them to support their health, clean their homes and even for pets. With so many uses and so many oils out there how do you know where to start? Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a huge EO kit then find themselves only using 2 or 3 of them! So what essential oils are the most popular and/or most needed in the home?

top 10 essential oils

If you're just getting started you'll want to read how I got started using essential oils cheaply for some tips on how to buy quality EOs affordably. Luckily the first 6 on my list are very common, so you should be able to find them for a great price at the places I mention in that post. You don't have to jump in with both feet, start slow to avoid getting overwhelmed and spending more money than you should!

Before we go any further I need to note that: while essential oils should not be a substitute for professional medical care, they can be successfully employed for many minor complaints, and as adjuncts to other therapies. As with any natural healthcare it's important to know when to use home methods and when to seek a professionals opinion.

How to Debug and Clean plants to bring indoors for winter

It's getting cold here this week and I needed to bring my houseplants back in for winter. Plus, I have a few tender perennials that I take outside every summer. Those need to come inside, but I absolutely do not want to bring bugs in again! A few years back I ended up with Aphids on my miniature pepper plants inside my house! I am not dealing with that again.

Debug and Clean plants to bring indoors for winter

Ideally, you want to start bringing plants inside before the weather gets too cold. I'm so bad about this! I try to push it as long as possible so they can enjoy the outdoors and forget to check the forecast every week for temperatures that are going to be too low. Then suddenly I realize we're due for a frost tonight. Don't be like me! Start bringing your plants in before any chance of frost!

The perfect time to bring plants in is when outside temperatures are very similar to your house temperatures. This way there will be less shock when they move indoors. Considering that most people keep their homes in the 65-70 range, late September is probably when you'll want to do this. 

One of my favorite plants to bring inside for winter is the coleus, which makes a marvelous houseplant! Before you bring them in though, you need to clean the plants and debug them. Here's how I do it.

Crispy Wave, the oxygen bomb your house needs!

I've been a little infatuated with tiny plants lately. It started in spring when I was buying some bedding plants and the nursery had an assortment of 'miniature' plants. I had to buy a crispy wave plant and a mini cyclamen. Of course I know that many of these 'mini' plants are going to grow up to be full size. Since the Crispy Wave fern is excellent at purifying the air and adding oxygen to it, I was willing to take that chance! 

Indoor plants to filter the air

One of the things that attracted me to this plant was that it only needs filtered light not direct light, so setting it a few feet back from the window would be perfect! Since I was looking for a small plant for on the coffee table this seemed like a good fit. I bought the little plant and took it home. It was to replace a succulent that had been left outside one cold night.

You see, the husband tries to take care of my plants and he had taken that one outside on a sunny spring day only to forget it out there overnight. By replacing it with a plant that does not need direct light, he wouldn't be tempted to take it outside and (hopefully) this one would live a good deal longer!

That might mistake proof this plant, but one of the main reasons I chose this plant was because it said right on the tag 'The Natural Air Purifier'. While all plants help improve air quality, this sounded like it was going to do a better job than usual, plus it is known to live quite long for a potted plant. Sounds perfect!

Find your first predicted frost date

Garden season is almost over and as we're still trying to squeeze the last few bits of produce out of the garden, now we have to worry about frost! Seriously, these nights are getting cold! While many plants like peas and kale do perfectly well in cooler temps, others will die off at the first frost. Knowing your first expected frost date is important when harvesting your garden produce.

First frost date in fall

Frost tolerant vegetable plants like: broccoli, peppers, pumpkin, squash, beans and many others will be perfectly fine through a few frosts. Unfortunately the tomatoes are going to need harvested because they probably won't make it. So that's why it's important to know your first expected frost date. To find out that date you'll need to know what growing zone you're in.

Luckily the are really easy to find out. I'll show you how.