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! 

Apple & Pear Picking

Most apples are ready to pick when they separate easily from the tree. Lift gently and rotate the apple upwards to avoid damaging the spur (in layman's terms, we call it the stem.)

If you're second guessing yourself, cut an apple open and inspect the seed color. When the seeds are dark brown, the apples are ready. Although as we all know, taste is the best indicator. Note that if you're judging ripeness by it's skin color, cool weather or low light (as in foggy weather) can affect coloring. If you're harvesting apple for root cellar storage, pick them when  firm. 


To enjoy a range of varieties you don't normally see in store, and could possibly catch on our Bareroot Fruit Tree Availability List from Dave Wilson Nursery, visit us in the month of October and try our freshly harvest apples from Sebastopol-based Hale's Apple Farm! Stop in to try all our available varieties (there's quite a few!) and join us for Harvest Festival fun every weekend in October! 


Now onto pear harvesting:

European pears (such as Anjou, Bosc, Comice, and Bartlett) ripen best off the tree. Beware, they can taste mealy if allowed to ripen on the tree. Wait until they are the correct size for the variety, then lift the fruit upward without twisting (a Bartlett may need a slight twist). If the fruit slips from the stem, it’s ready, if not, wait a few days and try again.

Fun fact: We were originally a pear orchard, hence our name "Orchard Nursery!" As an ode to our beginnings, we have an espalier pear tree planted in the front of our shop, to your right as you enter. Read more about our history (been here since 1946!) here!

Lookout for our Bareroot Fruit Tree Availability List in fall where you can special order varieties and receive a 20% off discount with orders placed before December 1st!