Tag Archives: plants


Burro’s Tail, Donkey’s Tail – Sedum morganianum

Aahhh… the Burro’s Tail.  This is a beautiful hanging plant.  Trailing vines can get 6 feet long and in spring will produce little pink flowers.  Its fleshy leaves resemble jelly beans and grow in a spiraling pattern from the stem


Burro’s tail is a succulent and propagates very easily.  Place any of the leaves in soil and within a week they should sprout roots and become another trailing vine.  The plant is very delicate and leaves will fall from it very, very easily if it is bumped or moved.  Take care when touching the plant because of this.  Though the vine may look leggy where leaves drop, it will grow many little branches in those bare spots within a week or two.  In other words, this plant expands rapidly!

The growing season for Burro’s Tail is Spring and Summer.  Water two or three times a month during sunny months (how often depends on how bright of light they are getting) and reduce watering quite a bit in the colder months – keeping the roots from getting bone dry by watering once a month in the winter.

Care Tips

Light:  Partial to Full Sun

Water:  water regularly in the summer and once a month in cooler months.  Burro’s tail is drought tolerant.  Do not overwater!  It is best to watch the plant for signs of needing water:  the leaves will pucker like a raisin when dry and will plump out as soon as it is hydrated.

+This plant is not known to be toxic+




The name Lithops comes from the Greek word lithos which means stone-like or stone appearance.  Hence, the common name for this fascinating plant:  Living Stones.

Lithops originate from South Africa and are normally found in rocky terrain.  They are a miniature favorite of succulent collectors and amateurs alike.  They are somewhat easy to grow as long as they are watered lightly and very infrequently.  Lithops are accustomed to growing in very dry conditions.  Water only during their growing season, which is late winter to early summer.  During the rest of the year, watering them so lightly as if you are ‘only taking the dust off their fleshy leaves’ is enough.  In fact, Lithops have been known, in their natural habitat, to adapt to very long droughts by pulling themselves so far into the ground as to become nearly subterranean.  This protects them from the harsh sun and winds.

Flowers are large for these 1 inch plants and very daisy-like in appearance.  They are either yellow or white.  Lithops produce blooms during the height of their growing season: from March until May.


Care Tips

Light:  A sunny spot is best!  Some amount of direct sun is essential.  Place on a windowsill.  Lithops will grow tall and narrow when lighting conditions are not bright enough.

Water:  very sparingly.  Water during the growing season – from Winter until early Summer, but only lightly.  Hold back on watering during the hot summer months.  You do not want soil to become bone dry so it is best to merely mist your lithops when it is not in a growth period.  They will shrivel when they are in need of water.  However, new growth occurs between the fleshy leaves.  As these new leaves emerge, do not be alarmed as the old leaves shrivel up and die – the plant is regenerating rather than reproducing (kind of like a snake shedding its skin).

+Not Toxic!+

+there are many varieties and they look great when planted together, perfect for a tiny low-maintenance collection+



Alocasias are true amazonian beauties.  Indeed, they are as tropical looking as plants get.  Large, striking foliage with a rubbery and shiny surface sets them up as a beautiful decorative plant.

Alocasias are referred to as aroids – that is, they are members of the Araceae family, along with philodendrons and arums.  A quality which all aroids share is that they produce a bizarre combination of spathe and spadix known as the inflorescence, and sometimes referred to as a flower.


In some aroids, this flower can smell quite terrible but with the Alocasias, it does not have a scent and proves to be quite insignificant compared to their showy leaves.

Though Alocasia is referred to as a tropical plant, it comes from a dry tropical climate in Asia.  The members of the Alocasia genus are easily prone to rotting if care is not taken to let the soil dry out quite significantly before being watered again.

**It is important to note that Alocasias do best when potted up with another plant – typically a fern that will spread its roots and soak up water from the soil to keep the rhizomes of the Alocasia from having too much moisture.


The Araceae family is one of the most poorly known families of plants with large percentages still new.

One of our favorite attributes of this plant family is the way new leaves unfurl as they grow.

Care Tips

Light:  Partial Sun to Partial Shade

Water:  Let soil dry well between waterings.  This family is prone to rot if overwatered.  Hot tip:  plant a fern or other water-loving variety in the pot with your Alocasia and you will have the best luck!

+Alocasia is toxic if ingested but is not known as a skin irritant+

Alocasia sting ray





Crown of Thorns

Latin name Euphorbia Milii and it is also nicknamed as the Siamese Lucky Plant.

The Crown of Thorns is a woody, spiny, climbing plant that will grow into a large shrub in its natural environment.  Its thorny branches are pliable.  Indoors, this plant will grow to a maximum of about 3 – 4 feet.  Young plants are covered with oval shaped leaves and the plant will produce less of its foliage as it gets taller and older.

Crown of Thorns flowers year-round!  It likes moisture and if you continue to water it regularly throughout the winter, you will be rewarded with a bouquet of bright little round blooms – either a deep pink or lemon yellow.

The origins of Crown of Thorn plants take them back to Madagascar.  However, it was in Thailand and China -there they consider 8 flowers blooming at once to be lucky- where it was first hybridized.



Care Tips

Light:  Sun to Partial Shade

Water:  water regularly, when soil is 50% dry or dries completely.  Crown of Thorns is very drought tolerant so it can be treated like a cactus.  However, regularly watering produces flowers year round.  It is possible to overwater so make sure soil is never soggy.

Propagation:  This plant can be easily rooted from cuttings.  Let cut branches callous over before being given rooting hormone and putting in soil.

+This plant is very easy to grow but it is a slow grower!+

+Its sap is pretty fantastically toxic, so use care when taking cuttings and repotting (wear gloves)+

Epiphyllum ric rac (left) and Epiphyllum zig zag (right)



Epiphyllum Ric Rac, Queen of the Night, Fishbone Cactus, et al

‘Orchid Cactus’ – Epiphyllum anguliger

Epiphyllum is a genus of succulent/cacti originating from hot and tropical regions in Central and South America.  We have a variety of Epiphyllums at The Palm Room – ric rac being one of our personal favorites because of their unique foliage.

This plant is known to grow amongst the branches of trees and flower profusely in mid to late Spring.  Epiphyllums are epiphytic, meaning they use aerial roots to absorb moisture from the air and climb a supporting structure.  Flowers are white, big (up to 8 inches across), and fragrant- and bloom only at night.

The foliage resembles the zig-zag ribbon you may have seen on clothing or quilts – known as ‘ric rac.’ It is leathery in texture and can grow 2- 3 feet in length.  Propagation is easily done through leaf cuttings.

Care Tips

Light:  Partial Sun/Partial Shade.  Epiphyllum can easily tolerate full sun but is happiest in a few hours of either morning or afternoon sun.

Water:  Allow soil to get about 50% dry between waterings.  Do not overwater but water somewhat regularly.  An every other week regime might be the ideal but Epiphyllum can handle a drought.  The foliage tends to shrivel a bit after this plant flowers, but do not increase watering.  Except this as a fact of nature and soon the leaves will plump up again.






Calathea rufibarba – ‘Velvet Calathea’ or ‘Furry Feather Calathea’

Calathea is a beautiful genus of foliage plants.  Though we are highlighting rufibarba  in this post, the care tips below can be applied to all calatheas.  We will highlight those others at another time!

Rufibarba is nicknamed the ‘Furry Feather Calathea’ because its wavy leaves and stems are covered with little hairs that give it a velvet feel.  The undersides of these leaves are purple.

Because of their tropical climate requirements, Calatheas work very well in terrariums. However, their beautiful purple and emerald foliage makes them great anywhere.



Care Tips

+a shady tropical!+

Light:  partial shade to full shade – all Calatheas prefer low light conditions and though they can handle some direct sun, they are known to fold their leaves in reaction to it.

Water:  water regularly, when soil begins to dry.  This may most likely be as often as once a week.

+Calathea is not a toxic plant.






Jade – Crassula ovata

We have both Jade and its smaller leaved variety Crosby Jade available almost always at The Palm Room.  Both are classified under the latin name Crassula ovata.

Jade is a wonderfully easy plant to grow, particularly if you are one to neglect watering your plants.  Originally from South Africa where elephants are known to feed off of it.  Jades can grow to 10 feet outdoors in their natural habitat but are more commonly found to reach 4 – 6 ft tall in homes.

The trunks of these plants will thicken with age.  They store water in their leaves and therefore do not need any more than to be watered once a month most months of the year.  Less often in winter, and slightly more often in hot summer months.

Jade is an easy plant to bonsai.  It loves having its branches trimmed, branching more and thickening its trunk every time you do so to it.  See our ‘Trimming a Jade’ tips in this Plant Care Tips section of our blog.  And see below for care tips on getting your Jade to grow into a gnarly trunk, a beautiful specimen.

Care Tips

Light:  Partial Sun to Full Sun

Water:  minimally.  On average, water once a month.  Slightly less often in winter, and slightly more often in summer.  A cool dry spell in winter will encourage flowers

Flowers:  Pink, purple, or white, in mid winter when conditions are dry and cool

Propagation:   Let cuttings callous over for a few days and then insert the cutting in soil.  Roots easily and makes great gifts for friends.  Jades benefit from ‘haircuts’ so don’t be shy.  Take into consideration that it will later branch at the place where you have made the cut.  This plant also looks good as an unruly specimen, so if you prefer it is also cool to hold off trimming branches until the plant begins to get top-heavy and/or scraggly.

Opuntia linguiformis variegata ‘Prickly Pear Cactus’

This gorgeous, broad leaved cactus grows moderately fast and roots easily from cuttings.  It hails originally from South Texas.  The variegated specimens we have at The Palm Room right now are distinctive for their two shades of green along the multiple cactus pads.

We don’t have many, so hurry!

Care Tips

Light:  Full Sun, or as much sun as possible (in the window is best, yes it grows very well in the Pacific Northwest)

Water:  minimally.  About once a month.  Treat it like the cactus it is.

Propogation:  The pads can easily be rooted by snipping them off, dipping in rooting hormone, and planting in soil.  If you don’t have rooting hormone, let the cut edge callous over for a couple days before planting the cutting in soil.  Mist the calloused edge before planting and keep dry for a month before watering again.

*The fruit, leaf pads, and seeds are all known to be edible.  However, the little clusters of spines are slightly toxic so take care in handling the plant


We don’t have to be *Energy People* but as Artists and Designers we know these stones are the finishing touch to potted plants and terrariums

Gemstone energy radiates like the sun and it is a unique experience to invite timeless energy from precious stones into your home.  Here is a description of some (but not all!) of the crystals we have at The Palm Room and their celebrated healing powers.

Ocos Geodes are geodes that have been cut and polished on one side to enhance their natural colors and beauty.  They are found in Brazil, near the Oronoco River.
Geodes, in general, are meant to help with psychic energies – maintaining mental clarity during decision making and relieving stress from the individual who holds them close.

Lepidolite is not a gemstone, but a rare purple variety of mica.  Known to be a protection against self-imposed pollution, carriers of lepidolite can use it to clear the negative air after a fight, relieve the mind of problems from the past, and aid people with a degenerative disorder or trying to overcome a dependency on alcohol or drugs.  It screens out negativity.

Chrysocolla is known to be a musician’s stone because it enhances love and appreciation of music.  Some say it also protects the home.

Petrified Wood is the result of a tree from so long ago that it turns to stone via permineralization.  Possibly inspired by that formation, petrified wood is said to instill wisdom in those that possess it, and a protective against ageism.   Petrified wood is also known to be a good stone for anyone living in an old building with possible structure problems.

Selenite is a stone of partnerships.  Said to boost communication and sex drives.  Those that possess this stone may also see through lies and deciept.  The Greek word ‘selenite’ means ‘moon rock‘ because of the pearly lustre of this stone, which catches the light and glows in a way reminiscent to the moon’s glow.

Black Tourmaline, when heated, obtains an electric charge and can attract little metal objects like paperclips.  It is recognized as one of the strongest dispellers of negativity, promoting balance and mental grounding.

Kyanite is a stone of attunement and balance.  Held during meditation, it is known to relieve the mind of ideas of fate, calm the psyche, and assist in logical, rational thought.  Blue kyanite is specifically said to assist with lucid dreaming.

Selenite Rose is similar to other selenites, but the gemstone has formed rosettes.  This gem supposedly helps to find the ‘inner truth’ and ‘angelic guidance.’

Green Calcite.  It is told that burying Green calcite in your garden helps beautify the garden with the help of the ‘earth spirits.’  Kind of ritual prone, it is also said that burning green candles around it for a little while each morning brings money and prosperity.

Orange Calcite has been dubbed the creative and sexual stone that creates a warm and comfortable environment when placed in rooms where people sit.

Green Tiger’s Eye is an optically reflective form of a quartz stone.  This green variety is also known as Hawk’s Eye.  South Africa is the only place where both Tiger’s Eye and Hawk’s Eye are found, near the diamond mines.  It is well-known as a good luck charm.

Citrine is the yellow member of the large quartz family. Quite rare in nature, but amethyst and smoky quartz can be heated to the point of turning into citrine.  This gemstone is said to be very good for automatic writing.

Quartz is the second-most abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental quartz.  Some say every child should be given a quartz to carry with them through life.  Sources say it enhances its energy over time and will ‘act as their own personal talisman.’  This is the most versatile of crystals.  It stimulates positive energy.

Green Fluorite is said to be the stone of order and cooperation.  If put in the garden, it will most likely attract butterflies.  According to folklore, it is the home of the rainbows.

Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata

Native to arid regions in Mexico, the ponytail palm, in its natural habitat, can tower over houses.

As a specimen plant indoors, it is extremely unique.  Ponytail palms are most attractively planted in shallow dishes.  They can grow to about 6 feet indoors.  This interesting plant will occasionally sprout little offsets.  These can be removed and planted individually, however a mature clump of ponytail palms growing atop one another is a highly prized possession among plant enthusiasts:

Care Tips

Light:  Ponytail Palms enjoy bright light and can be acclimated to full sun.  Keep in a bright to sunny spot

Water:  During the growing season (spring/summer) water weekly.  In dormant times (fall/winter) water sparingly – once a month.  Water is stored in the bulbous trunk so it is drought tolerant.  Do not overwater.

+So easy to take care of!  This plant can take lots of abuse – it is a Palm Room favorite+

+no parts of this plant are known to be poisonous if injested+