How To: Revive Your Houseplants

We all want to be a good plant parent but sometimes vacation calls, or we get busy, or we get a little worried and a bit heavy-handed and our plants start looking a little sickly. No worries - it happens to all of us.

Here are the most common problems we see with houseplants and the remedies to make them happy again!


This is the most common problem we see. It’s a bit of “over-parenting” with the watering can in hand. No plant wants to bathe in water, let those roots breathe! The easiest way to avoid this issue is to use a pot with a hole that allows for drainage.

If you are realizing this may be occurring with your plant. It’s time to repot with new soil and trim those moldy, rotten roots for a fresh start!

Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves will wilt a little when they’re thirsty!

Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves will wilt a little when they’re thirsty!

Remember that now that winter is approaching you will be cutting back on watering to every week and a half or so depending on the plant, size of the container and how well it drains. Note that if you’ve got a plant near a heater it might call for more hydration than others!


If the plant is withering - it’s time to water. For those that prolonged your vacation and are returning home to a sad looking plant - plop it into the kitchen sink or bath and give it a good, long drink. It may be a good idea to give it another long drink the day after depending on how well the soil is soaking up the water.

For those who are weary about watering Pothos and Fiddle Leaf Figs are great about telling us when they want a drink. Their leaves will slightly wilt and once hydrated, will perk right back up! Sansevieria and ZZ Plants are low-water houseplants that can go weeks without a water - really the perfect plant for the world traveler!

This poor plant was ready for a repot weeks ago!

This poor plant was ready for a repot weeks ago!

Root Bound

Although plants often only want to move up only 2” a pot size at a time, it’s important to ensure they aren’t root bound. If you’re noticing roots emerging from the bottom of your pot - it’s probably time to repot. Visit us for soil and a new pot and let us help you get your plant a little more comfortable!

Sun Burn

If you’re noticing brown or black spots on your foliage, chances are your plant is suffering from sun burn. It’s time to back your plant up out of any direct sunlight. There’s nothing you can do for the burned leaves. If they are unsightly, trim them off and give your plant a little R&R in the shade.

The Plant Equivalent to a Vitamin D Deficiency

If your houseplant’s leaves are turning pale and/or yellow and dropping off - it may be requiring a little more light. Most houseplants besides Sansevieria and ZZ Plants require a minimum of sunlight a day to look and live their best life. When in doubt, place your houseplant in bright, indirect light - it is the most common lighting that indoor plants require.

We’re got pots for your new and existing plants!

We’re got pots for your new and existing plants!

For more info on how to revive your houseplants, follow the link here.  

And as always, come visit us in the Atrium! We’re here to help, whether you need a repotting, a diagnosis or just help finding a new plant pal!

Dorm Room Approved Plants Pt. 2

Heading off for school (or maybe your kids are) and looking to decorate with a little greenery? Here's our top picks for houseplants that don't require a lot of care and attention because let's face it, you're going to have a lot on your mind! 


Aloe Vera

We love aloe vera not just for it's looks but its first aid boasting skills too! An easy-care succulent that can live in a variety of conditions with no hand-holding in sight!

Light: A lover of bright light, keep it near your window for optimal sunshine exposure!

Water: This baby doesn't want to wade in water all day, so allow it to dry out between waterings. 



Looking for a pop of color for your space? These tropical beauties are more low maintenance than you think! Check out Bromeliads 101 for more info on the care and keeping of these terrestrial plants. 

Light: Choose a spot with bright, indirect light. 

Water: Water them from the top, pouring into the “cup” at the base of its leaves. They store their moisture there, so ensure that water is always present in its cup. For small Bromeliads that means roughly an inch, for larger plants maintain a few inches.


Also known as a Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue, the Sansevieria is one the hardest of houseplants. (See the ZZ Plant for another great option!) Boasting striped foliage and available in a variegated form too, we've always got a great selection of them in the Atrium! 

Light: Tolerant of low light, this is the perfect plant for those who like to sleep late with the blinds drawn, or those dark corners that are screaming for a little greenery. 

Water: This is the plant for those underwater-ers out there! It can go weeks (and some even say months) without a drop of water but to keep it looking its best, give it a drink every week or so. When you leave on winter vacation, don't worry about watering, we recommend backing off watering in the winter months when things are a little bit cooler. 

Spider Plant

The classic "clean air plant." The Spider Plant is great for a little movement and shape in your space. And we especially love when it begins to propagate and little baby plants start raining down from the mama! 

Light: Likes bright, indirect light

Water: Give it a drink regularly, every week in summer and less frequently in winter. 


Our favorite part about this plant is how it tells you when it's thirsty, it's leaves will begin to droop a bit and with one small watering, it's back to its happy, hydrated self! Easy as pie! It's leaf green leaves grow on winding stems that can be led up or down hooks, shelves or tables (even that mini fridge!) for easy, beautiful greenery. 

Light: Does well in bright, indirect light but if you've got a low light corner, it'll take it!

Water: Water weekly in the warmer months or if it's near a heating vent, and in winter less frequently. 


ZZ Plant

When customers are looking for tough houseplants, the ZZ and Sansevieria are our recommendations. It's thick stem can hold water for weeks, so when you forget to water this baby still looks great! Plus breathe easy, the ZZ is a clean air plant, helping to purify the air around you! 

Light: It'll take anything you've got: bright, medium, low and that spot you thought nothing could grow in! 

Water: Water sparingly, too much is about the only way to kill this plant. 



Check in with our staff in the Atrium and let us help you find the perfect houseplant today! 

A New Leaf

If you haven’t already heard, we are making some exciting changes in our florist greenhouse! But first, let’s take a look back at our “roots”…

Did you know that when we first opened, we had no flower shop? The greenhouses up on the hill were used for growing & selling African Violets and some azaleas. Once the Lord and Burnham greenhouse (a state of the art model at the time) was added, the florist department really took shape and in 1962 our “true” florist became a reality. This was the heyday of carnations, chrysanthemums, marguerite daises and roses. More blooming plants were brought in along with houseplants and a big fridge full of cut flowers for our newly hired designers.

Here are a few great pictures of those early days…

Terracotta chickens are still available, as well as the "bubble bowls!"

Terracotta chickens are still available, as well as the "bubble bowls!"

On trend: faux fruit, ferns and chrysanthemums!

On trend: faux fruit, ferns and chrysanthemums!

A coffered ceiling! Our collection of silks or "everlasting" flowers can now be found in this alcove!

A coffered ceiling! Our collection of silks or "everlasting" flowers can now be found in this alcove!

This is our upper greenhouse, now used as storage for our Garden Shop.

This is our upper greenhouse, now used as storage for our Garden Shop.

When reminiscing about our past, it reminds us that our business and in turn, our industry is always evolving and sometimes “everything old is new again”. As we welcome in the New Year we’re going back to our roots in a way and will bring you a wide selection of beautiful plants presented in a brand new environment. We are excited about our new look and invite you to come discover it for yourself. Please excuse our "mess” as we work on creating an inspiring place to let your imagination run free.

In order to accommodate a much wider assortment of indoor plants of all kinds, we’re making room by eliminating all of our fresh cut flower offerings. This will give us the freedom to make room for more of what you’ve been asking for! More blooming plants, tropicals, tillandsia, houseplants and all the lovely things that go with them that make your home, apartment, loft or office a welcoming place to relax and enjoy.

Naturally, we will be continuing to send our lovely things as gifts for all your special occasions! If you need a designer for weddings and events, we highly recommend contacting Laura Vance at (510) 575-5591 and Sue Hayashi-Smith at (510) 457-8352 for an elegant and exquisite design. 

Come pay us a visit as we create a new and exciting atmosphere for you to shop and enjoy! 

Love these old images of the nursery as much as we do? Then read on to The History of Orchard Nursery & Florist

Dorm Room Approved Plants

We all know someone with a loved one headed to college this time of year. Living in a dorm room is one of the most exciting parts of the college experience for most students. We, of course, think one of the best ways to make any dorm room feel a little more like home is to add plants! Here are a few that are sure to be great for small spaces and busy students alike.

1.     Money Tree (Pachira aquatic)

Money trees grow best in medium to bright indoor light and moist soil. While they don’t grow money (every college student’s dream), they are sure to add an air of sophistication and life to any space.

2.     Bamboo Plant (Lucky Bamboo – Dracaena braunii)

Bamboo prefers light to medium light and no direct sunlight. Water every few days or grow it in a water-filled pot/vase and then sit back and enjoy the energy and beauty it provides.

3.     Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies love light—the more the better, just no direct sun. Keep the soil moist. The Peace Lily will not only provide a fresh aesthetic, but will also work hard to purify your air.