Friday, 11 January 2019

Houseplant of the Month - January - Kentia Palm

January 2019: Kentia Palm Houseplant of the Month

The story of Kentia Palm 
Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana) is a plant with a relatively small base from which slender stems grow upwards bearing soft, elegant green palm leaves. It’s one of the few palms that thrives on little light, low humidity and cool rooms. Kentia Palm is also an attractive feature in the home: the light passes very attractively through the elegant leaves. 
Kentia Palm is a member of the Palm family, and grows on Lord Howe Island east of Australia beneath the foliage of larger trees. This means that it’s used to getting little sunlight. In the wild the palm can reach a height of 18 metres and a width of 6 metres, with 3 metre long leaves. The cultivated variety sticks to a more modest scale. 
Low energy consumption 
The palm trees are propagated from seed, and all the seed is still imported from Lord Howe Island so that authenticity is guaranteed. High temperatures are required to be able to interrupt the dormancy, up to 35-40°C. The entire process takes at least 30 weeks. The plant itself grows slowly - the cultivation time depends on the size and density of the plant. The denser a Kentia Palm is, the more seed has been used. The taller the plant, the older a Kentia Palm is. Even the smallest pot size is already almost a year old before it becomes available, whilst the larger specimens can easily take seven years to grow. This partly explains the relatively high price of Kentia Palms. One advantage is that the plant is grown as sustainably as possible, with a relatively low energy consumption, which is something that increasingly appeals to consumers. 
Kentia Palm is available from pot size 13 for the smaller sizes from 40 cm tall up to substantial 7 metre high palm trees in pot size 46. 
What to look for when buying Kentia Palm 
  • Check that you’re buying the right plant. Younger plants in particular are often mistaken for Areca Palm (Dypsis). The difference can be seen from the stems above the soil. Kentia Palm’s stems are green with brown fibres on the stem, whilst Areca Palm’s have red spots. Kentia Palm’s leaves are also wider than those of the Areca Palm. Since the plants differ considerably in price, it’s worth doublechecking. 
  • Check that the Kentia Palm’s pot size, density and height are right for the price.
  • Kentia Palm must be free of mealybug, scale insects and red spider mites when purchased, which can be identified by greyish leaves and is caused by being kept in conditions that are too dry. 
  • Brown leaf tips indicates insufficient humidity or over-watering. Black spots often show that the salt concentration in the potting soil is too high. This can be prevented by flushing the pots with water.

Care tips for customers 
  • Kentia Palm is one of the few palms that can tolerate relatively little light. If the leaves turn pale green to yellow, it’s getting too much light. If few new shoots develop, the Kentia Palm’s position is too dark. 
  • The palm tree does best with slightly damp soil, but at the same time it shouldn’t be so wet that there’s water in the bottom of the pot. 
  • Taking it into the shower or placing it outside in a light rain shower will refresh the plant nicely and prevent red spider mite.
  • Yellow, old or ugly leaves can be cut off. 
  • Kentia Palm likes to be at room temperature; below 10°C is too cold.
  • Give some plant food once a fortnight between April and September to encourage growth. Kentia Palm does not grow in winter and does not need feeding then. 

Display tips for Kentia Palm 
Kentia Palm is one of the most popular, easiest and strongest palm species for use in the home, office, school or public spaces. The dark green feathered leaves not only create atmosphere, but also help to improve the air in the room. It’s an excellent alternative for filling the green gap left in many homes after the Christmas tree is thrown out. Kentia Palm is very suitable for the interiors trend of creating peaceful-looking groups with identical plants in different sizes. This display also emphasises the attractive green look that particularly appeals to customers when the world outside is still bare. 

For more information about the 2019 Houseplants of the Month selection, click here.
We can source these plants for you to create your own display in your home. Get in touch and speak to Sandra who will advise on sizes and costs.
Sandra x

Friday, 4 January 2019

Flower of the month January - Tulip


Tulip: In the January Flower Agenda

Fresh green foliage, unique shapes and fabulous colours: the tulip (Tulipa) is the ideal way to kickstart the year and bring a bit of spring into the home. Because the bulbs require more time to bloom outdoors, tulips that are grown as cut flowers get special treatment. The grower gives the bulbs an artificial winter period, after which the higher temperatures in the greenhouse make them think that it’s spring and so start flowering. The bulbs are therefore really tricked and ‘forced’ to flower in the greenhouse so that florists and consumers can enjoy these spring flowers early. 

The tulip is native to Iran, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. Nomads brought the bulbs to Turkey, where they became incredibly popular. Ottoman sultans wore a tulip as a symbol on their turban: 'tulip' comes from the Persian word ‘tulipan’ which means ‘turban’. Nowadays tulips are particularly associated with the Netherlands, the largest supplier of tulips as both bulbs and cut flowers.

With over 600 cultivars the choice of tulips is extensive. The flowers are often even-coloured, but are also available with flames, coloured stripes and coloured edges. Tulips are classified by flower shape: single and double flowered, parrot tulips, lily-flowered tulips or in the form of fringed or Crispa tulips. The double tulips that resemble peonies are particularly unusual.  

What to look for when buying tulips
  • The weight determines the tulip’s appearance. Large bulbs produce the heaviest tulips with the biggest flowers.
  • The height and stage of ripeness must correspond. This stage of ripeness is expressed in numbers from 1 (unripe) to 5 (ripe).
  • When buying tulips the flowers must be free of pests and diseases. Tulips can sometimes show botrytis or yellow leaf tips. Weak, shiny spots on the stem indicate ‘tippers’ or ‘water stems’, which will not be sturdy in the vase.
  • Some growers pre-treat tulips in order to reduce the growth of the stems and counteract leaf yellowing.
Display tips 
The 2019 trend is for very traditional or very contemporary arrangements. For traditional arrangements think of the atmosphere of an old still-life: deep, saturated colours in a jug or earthenware pot or a tulip vase. The modern style is full of twists: tulips where only the flowers are visible above the edge of the opaque vase, or which are placed so deep in a transparent vase that it almost looks like a terrarium. Their smooth stems make tulips ideal entry level flowers for millennials and centennials who are ill at ease with leaves and forms. 

Care tips for customers  
  • When choosing a vase, allow for a few centimetres growth.
  • ​Make sure the inside of the vase is clean, and fill it with cold tap water. Add the supplied cut flower food to the water.
  • Make sure there are no leaves hanging in the water. Remove the bottom leaves if necessary. Cut 2 to 3 cm off of the stem.
  • Place the vase in a draught-free spot, not in the sun or near a source of heat but as cool as possible. Do not place the vase near fruit; this will accelerate the ageing of the flowers.
  • Tulips drink a lot of water. Regularly check the water level in the vase and top up with cold tap water if necessary.
  • Trim drooping tulips again, wrap them in strong paper and leave them to drink their fill in the water for an hour. They will then be beautifully upright again.
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Tulips are excellent flowers for a winter or spring wedding. For examples of our designs se the right side menu. Below are a few favourites to save you searching
Bride's Teardrop bouquet

Bride's hand tie posy

Tulip buttonhole

Bride's spring hand tie bouquet

Tulip vase display

Bride's white tulip bouquet

If you like some of the designs you see and love tulips, why not get in touch to see how we can incorporate this flower in your wedding designs.

Sandra x

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Pantone colour of the year 2019

According to Pantone the main on trend colour this year is living coral.

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral

Why? You may ask is this important?

Pantone has for many years been an influencer on colours for fashion, home furnishings and design. Every year we see more items available on the colour hue that is deemed as this years must have's. It keeps items fresh and makes us spend more on items to keep up with fashion.

Will this transcend into your wedding?
Maybe? There will be more bridesmaids outfits in this and other similar and toning shades, Mother of the bride outfits and fabrics to tie in the whole look.

Does this mean you need to follow suit?
Absolutely not! Be your own fabulous self and if you decide on pink, purple or yellow as your wedding colour then go ahead. Sometimes an en trend colour means there are a lot of similar weddings out there but if it IS your colour you can still make your day personal to you.
The same can be said for general fashion - if you love and follow it then great, if you just buy what suits you, whatever the fashion, then keep on doing what you do. 

Trends do filter down whatever your taste or all you bridesmaids would still be wearing fluff ball dresses circa 1980!

If you are thinking of styling your wedding with 'Living Coral' then these are a few of our past weddings using similar hues.
Bride and bridesmaid hand tie posies of coral roses, call lily and carnations with ivory hydrangea.

Bride's teardrop bouquet of a mix of coral, russet and pink roses

A bride's bouquet of a mix of coral roses, ivory roses and freesia

Coral rose buttonholes with lace detailing

Tall table vases with coral roses and carnations, blue hydrangea and ivory freesia, roses and veronica

Spruce up your table plan with our flower mirror filled with lots of lovely coral, orange and ivory blooms.

For more ideas on this colour, search through the menu on the right. 
If you love what we do, get in touch and book your no obligation consultation here at The Studio or at your chosen venue.

You can see available times online at
Click wedding consultation, see times, Sandra’s Flower Studio, see times and all available slots at The Studio are there. To book at your venue please phone or email.

Sandra x