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!

From The Orchard: Stone Fruit

We're getting close to that time...the annual harvest! Read on for tips on timing and best practices when harvesting peaches, pluots, plums and nectarines! And hey, this might even help when picking out fresh stone fruit from the grocery!



Peaches and nectarines are best when tree ripened, meaning when they're at that perfect point to pluck them off the tree and take that first juicy bite. 

Peaches ripen from the bottom up toward the stem and from the smooth side toward the split side, so giving them a feel on the upper "shoulder" closets to the split will tell you if a peach is ripe. If it gives a little, it's ready. If it's feeling a little firm - give it a day or two. There should be no green on the fruit and it should come off the branch with a slight twist.

Aim for harvesting while still a little firm because as we all know, soft peaches don't store well! But an overload of fresh fruit is always a great excuse to get cooking! Check out this recipe for Roasted Stone Fruit with Shortcake.  



Plums usually ripen between July and October. Alike peaches and nectarines, they ripen best on the tree. Ripe plums should come off the tree easily with a lift and slight twist. If you are planning to dry the plums, you can let them fall from the tree naturally, but check often as ripe fruits attract pests. Here are some delicious recipes to enjoy your harvest.

Overwhelmed with your harvest? We have the perfect solution...

stone fruit simple syrup.jpg


Perfect for your sangria, sweet tea and other summer drinks - cheers! 


1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups water
8 pieces assorted stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums)


Simple syrup is a sugar syrup made with a ratio of 1 to 1, sugar to water.  In this version, you use 1 cup of sugar and 1 ½ cups water and submerge 8 pieces of stone fruit, sliced to impart more flavor.  
Bring the sugar, water and fruit up to a simmer, and simmer until the liquid has reduced to the 1 to 1 ratio, and the fruit has given the syrup its flavor, aroma and color, roughly 1-2 hours on simmer. Strain out the fruit and store the stone fruit simple syrup in the fridge for up to 6 months.
The syrup can be used in tea, sangria, cocktails, over ice cream, to moisten layer cakes, or made into sauces.

Recipe and image via PCFMA.

Blueberries 101

A plant native to North America, the Blueberry is almost the perfect fruit: beautiful, ornamental, easy to grow and contains a high concentration of antioxidants. 


The trick to growing blueberries is good soil. With a little bit of attention to proper soil conditions, blueberries will thrive in the landscape and especially in containers - where you can really control the soil conditions. Blueberries like well drained acidic soils. They prefer a low pH of 4.5 to 6.0 with 5.5 being optimal. They also like to grow in actively decomposing organic matter. To help ensure these optimal soil traits in your garden we recommend planting with Master Nursery Acid Planting Mix.


In hotter climates, such as Lafayette and the rest of Contra Costa County, blueberries prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. While in cooler climates, such as Alameda County, blueberries prefer sun all day. 

Delicious berries just about ready for picking!

Delicious berries just about ready for picking!

Chill Hours

Many varieties of fruiting plants need a specific length of time in dormancy - essentially, in temperatures below 45 degrees - in order to set fruit. Highbush varieties are categorized into 2 groups based on their chill requirements:

  • Northern Highbush, "High Chill" varieties require 800-1000 chill hours

  • Southern Highbush, "Low Chill" varieties require 150-800 chill hours


  • Contra Costa County averages 700-1000 chill hours

  • Alameda County averages 400-700 chill hours


This means that Northern Highbush varieties should only be grown in Contra Costa or similar counties. Southern Highbush, on the other hand, can be grown in Alameda or Contra Costa - it is perfectly fine for plants to receive more chill hours than needed to set fruit. 


In spring, apply either E.B. Stone Organics Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Food 5-5-3 or Master Nursery Camellia, Azalea, Gardenia & Rhododendron 4-8-5. Typically you will want to fertilize once at the beginning of spring and again later in the season. 


Pruning is important for a blueberry's overall health, appearance and fruit production. When pruning, keep in mind the following:

  • Minimize or restrict fruiting in years 1-3 to encourage vegetative development.

  • Maintain a balance between vegetative growth, root development and flowering/fruit set.

  • Develop the overall plant shape; encourage upright growth, strong canes and an open central canopy.

  • Thin out excess flowering and fruiting to improve fruit size and quality.

After your blueberry plant fruits in 1-3 years, it is still important to prune 1-2 times a year. This is will open the canopy of the plant to allow light and ventilation to reach the inside of the plant. This will encourage fruiting in the inner part of the plant and reduce occurrences of foliar diseases. 

It is also important to eliminate smaller, horizontal branches which produce few fruit and are more difficult to pick. 

Early, Mid and Late Fruiting

Different blueberry varieties ripen at different times throughout the fruiting season - for our area, anywhere between May and early July. You will typically find varieties labeled as early-season, mid-season or late-season. We always recommend that home gardeners choose varieties with different fruit times to ensure a longer harvest. Blueberries produce more fruit when planted near different varieties so why not take the opportunity to also extend the harvest?

Plant Characteristics

It can be tough trying to pick out "the best" blueberry variety. Just remember they all make beautiful shrubs and produce delicious berries; you really can't go wrong! Here's a few of our favorite varieties that might work well in your garden...


A "berry-of-all-trades", known for its adaptability, long bearing season, high fruit yield and disease resistance. So consistent that it is the leading commercial variety in North America. If you want a proven strong performer look no further than Bluecrop. 

  • Nothern Highbush / 800 chill hours

  • mid season harvest

  • large berries

  • classic & sweet flavor

  • 4-6 feet, compact and mounding shape

  • red fall color

  • heavy fruit yield

Pink Icing

Pink Icing


This variety is great for both patio pots or in the landscape. Pink Icing flaunts colorful foliage with shades of pink, blue and green in spring, leaves then turn an iridescent turquoise come winter.

  • Southern Highbush / 500 chill hours

  • mid-season harvest

  • 3-4' tall, mounded shape

  • pink, blue green spring color then turquoise in winter

  • great for containers and landscape


Bred and developed over 50 years ago at Michigan State University to be the most cold-hardy blueberry variety. Northland is easy to grow and adaptable to many different soil types. The berries are excellent for jams and baking because of their high sugar content and are known for their amazing flavor with characteristics that are more akin to the wild lowbush species than the other highbushes. 

  • Northern Highbush / 800 chill hours

  • early-mid season harvest

  • medium-sized berries

  • fresh & sweet flavor

  • 4-7 feet, upright shape

  • yellow and orange fall color

  • perfect for baking




A great cold-hardy variety that bears consistent crops even in wetter soils. Has one of the most low and spreading forms of any Northern Highbush. Patriot has excellent ornamental qualities with its showy white blooms in spring, dark-green summer foliage and fiery orange-red fall colors, making it great in the landscape and in containers. 

  • Northern Highbush / 950 chill hours

  • early season harvest

  • large berries

  • delicate & sweet flavor

  • 3-5 feet, open and spreading shape

  • red, orange and yellow fall color

  • great for containers


Our berries are fruiting now, come in and make your selection today! 


The Herb List

Each Spring, we bring in an abundance of herb varieties for your to choose from. Whether you're looking for Sweet Basil to make a classic pesto sauce (one of the best Basils to use!) or something a little more unusual, we've got it!

Check out more information on each herbs including growing habits and pairings below and visit us for garden-fresh herbs today!