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Pet-friendly plants for green interiors

Not only are indoor plants beautiful and decorative, and fill with life any room in the house, they can also clean the air and improve your mood. However, some indoor plants can be dangerous for our beloved pets. Here we’re going to share our favourite pet-friendly plants so you can have a safe, green interior. 

Pet-friendly plants
Pet-friendly plants

How to regulate the temperature with plants

Have you ever heard about green roofs? They improve the energy efficiency of the building in which they are installed, due to the fact that plants absorb the heat of the sun and, in the winter, keep the heat inside the building. 

Plants can regulate temperature and humidity on their own. Have you ever walked barefoot on a grass lawn? It immediately cooled you down, didn’t it? The idea is to make use of this particular characteristic of plants, by creating green spaces both inside and outside our homes.

Create a green wall

If you cover your walls with plants, you will keep the heat away. You can do this with pots (if they are made of terracotta, so much the better) or with vertical structures that you can fill with soil and plants. 

If you are an expert DIYer, you can make these structures yourself using wood, a material that helps absorb the heat. Plus, you can make it to measure, according to the size and measurements of the wall you are going to cover. And don’t forget about balcony tiles, which will also be cooler if you cover it with wood.

Set up your vertical wall at a certain distance from the floor, to prevent your pet from reaching the plants. This way, you won’t need to worry about the plants you choose for the wall.

There is also the option of planting climbing plants and waiting for them to grow and cover the wall. But don’t even think about planting ivy, bougainvillea or wisteria, as they are toxic and are not pet friendly plants.

If you have no access to an outdoor space because you live in a flat, you can always choose hanging plants that you can suspend from the ceiling. It will be quite difficult for your pets to reach them, although one thing is for sure, cats will find it an irresistible challenge. If your plants were there before your pet arrived, and you have nice pots that you don’t want to get rid of, why not put them in macrame plant hangers? You could even make them yourself. It is both easy and fun! 

Which plants are toxic for pets?

No one knows your pet and how they behave around plants better than you. When you are planning on filling your home with plants, it is important to know which plants can cause problems if your pets chew or eat them. And when we talk about “toxic plants”, we should be clear about which part of the plant is toxic and in what quantities.

For example, the Cyclamen can cause many gastrointestinal problems in animals who eat their tuber or rhizome, which contains terpenoid saponins. Its leaves and flowers also contain these toxic saponins, but in lower quantities.

The leaves of the trendy Swiss Cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) contain calcium oxalate, which can cause issues with your pet’s oesophagus and gastrointestinal tract. 

Turning now to plants that are edible for humans, dog owners know very well that plants in the allium family (garlic, leek and onions) contain toxic sulfur compounds. What about parsley? It looks pretty harmless, doesn’t it? Well, parsley is toxic to both dogs and cats, although only if ingested in great quantities.

If you have a cat at home, you will have noticed that they like chewing its leaves in order to purge and vomit hairballs. For this purpose we recommend that you plant cat grass (Nepeta cataria) or Dactylis glomerata in a pot at home. They love the smell of cat grass, and if they get used to having it at home, they might stay clear of your other plants.  

Here is a list of some pet-friendly plants and those that are toxic, among which we can find the beautiful geranium, the ivy and other plants that are commonly seen inside our homes:

List of pet-friendly plants and of toxic plants

Did you enjoy this article on pet-friendly plants? Why not read our article on small space design ideas on a budget or our IATA-approved pet carrier buying guide!

Are you both a plant and pet parent? Share your plants and pets with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

You finally get home after a few well-deserved days off and rush to check how your plants are doing. Have any of them dried out? Has the home watering system not worked as you expected? Wait, before you throw them away, Ester Casanovas, gardening expert at ManoMano, has compiled some top tips on how to revive your plants that might have suffered during your holidays.

How to revive your plants step-by-step

Before we get down to work, check what went wrong: did you use a home method to keep your plants moist or did the person who was supposed to water them not do it properly? Make a mental note so that you can solve these problems on your next trip. Remember that you can always automate the watering of your pots with a drip irrigation system or solutions for less prolonged absences.

1. Cut off all dried leaves and flowers

Help revive your plants by cutting off dried leaves and flowers
Help revive your plants by cutting off dried leaves and flowers

What has dried out is dead and will not recover. The plant will thank you for it, as it will avoid sending nutrients to those unsalvageable parts during the hydration process. 

Use sharp pruning shears and clean them with alcohol between plants. If they have fallen ill during your absence, you will avoid possible contagion.

2. Check plants for pests

A weakened plant is often an easy target for different types of pests. Check the tops and undersides of leaves and stems, and use the most appropriate insecticide for the problem detected. If possible, remove the topsoil and throw it away: this will eliminate the possibility of some insect eggs hatching and will speed up subsequent hydration.

3. Water your plants

A dehydrated plant requires careful watering, and we often make the mistake of putting it in a bucket for hours until it is waterlogged. It is true, a bucket will help, but so will a little patience and the knowledge that just because it is submerged for a long time, it will not recover quickly.

If your dry plant is planted in the ground, use a rake to create furrows in the soil: this will make it easier for the watering to penetrate deeply. If you have only recently repotted it, you can try removing it and the root ball: dip it in a bucket and wait until air bubbles no longer appear on the surface. 

Use lukewarm water to rehydrate the plants: most substrates absorb it better than cold water, and in this way, in addition to the plant, the dry soil will also be rehydrated, regaining its permeability.

If the plant is in a pot, proceed in the same way, but remove the plant from the pot.

4. Spray the leaves

Spray the leaves to gently rehydrate the plant
Spray the leaves to gently rehydrate the plant

Spray the leaves of the plant with a spray bottle, and take the opportunity to clean them if they are dusty. If so, then spray again and let it dry on its own. 

If its size allows, you can also put it in the bath or shower, spraying it generously.

5. Observe for a few days

Observe your plant
Observe your plant

Keep the soil moist for the next few days and watch closely for small changes. If the limp leaves stand upright again and the stems remain firm, it is very likely that the recovery process has been successful. 

A change of location can also help, especially if it is an outdoor plant that was in full sun: it will recover much more easily if it is in shade or semi-shade for a few days.

The leaves of plants can dry out due to both over- and under-watering.

Finally, we would like to add a note that may be useful in some cases: over-watering can cause similar symptoms to under-watering. The leaves of the plants also become limp and may turn yellow, which can lead to confusion. In this case, you will need to check the humidity of the soil and proceed in the same way but suspend any watering.

Observe your plant and its soil
Indoor plant revival

Remove the plant from the pot or soil with as much soil as possible in the root ball. Use kitchen paper to absorb as much moisture as possible and let it air dry for a whole day. 

Put the plant back in place and wait for the soil to dry out before watering again.

Did you enjoy this article on how to revive your plants after the summer holidays? Why not read our tips on how to care for your Monstera plant or even our house plant buying guide!

Are you going to try reviving your plants after your holidays? Share your results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

We all like to enjoy our privacy in our outdoor spaces and keep away from prying eyes or unsightly views. Here are some ideas on what privacy plants to grow alongside ways to build a plant screen for your balcony, garden or terrace so you can enjoy your outdoor oasis in private.

Privacy plants

The choices available to us for our plant screen will largely depend on the size of our balcony, terrace or garden. Bamboo, for example, is a great plant for privacy, but as it grows it can end up taking up a lot of useful space in a small balcony. 

Boxwood

shutterstock_1355766608
Privacy plants for your balcony (C) shutterstock_1355766608

Boxwood is an evergreen (it does not lose its foliage) low maintenance plant, ideal for areas where the weather allows you to enjoy the outdoors for many months. 
It can be grown in full sun and in partial shade, and it can also withstand below zero temperatures in the winter.

Bamboo

Bamboo is a luscious way for balcony privacy (C) Franco Mariuzza

Bamboo grows very fast and is a plant resistant like few others, easily withstanding both direct sunlight in the summer, and very low temperatures in the winter. Its leaves sprout from the base of the stem, so it is ideal for building tall plant screens or barriers. It can be grown in pots or planters, although its height and growth will be limited to the available space: the bigger the planter, the taller the plant will grow.

Horsetail

Horsetail is a good plant for privacy (C) Alesah Villalon

Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) is ideal for demarcating spaces or if we want to give our outdoor space a zen look. It can be grown in direct sunlight as well as in partial shade, and requires frequent watering, especially in the summer.

Hedges

Hedges provide luscious privacy
(C) Wonderlane

We cannot fail to mention hedge plants, even though they are usually planted directly in the soil. The cherry laurel has glossy round leaves, and is perhaps the smoothest to the touch of all the hedging varieties. Thujas are much more dense, and can grow quite tall. They can all be grown in large pots or planters in order to achieve the desired density.

Climbing plants

Climbing plants can provide a privacy screen
Climbing plants provide a vertical screen

All climbing plants can create a more or less dense screen to provide some privacy. However, some of them lose their leaves in the autumn, so keep this in mind if you need your screen during the winter months as well.

Jasmine

Jasmine provides beautifully scented privacy (C) Shutterstock

Not only can jasmine provide us with a beautiful privacy screen, it will also allow us to enjoy its wonderful jasmine scent during the whole summer. It is a hardy plant, which can be grown in partial shade as well as in direct sunlight when mature. Be careful if you transplant it in the middle of summer to an outdoor area with a great deal of sunshine.

Bougainvillea

Luscious flowers for the garden
Bougainvillea (C) David Clode

This shrub can be grown in large pots or planters, and requires regular pruning if we want to guide its growth. If you have the space to grow it in a big pot, don’t hesitate to do so. Its blooming in summer is absolutely spectacular and will fill your terrace or balcony with gorgeous colour.

Ivy

(C) Dalia Mu

If your balcony or terrace receives little direct sunlight, ivy will grow there very easily. You can guide its stems so that they attach to the balcony railing, or you can grow it as a hanging plant in pots or planters. Little by little you will manage to build a dense screen to keep your terrace safe from prying eyes. We must warn you, however, that both its leaves and fruit can be toxic when ingested. This is something to keep in mind if there are children or pets in the house.

Privacy plants: vertical structures, pots and planters

Privacy plants for your garden
(C) Shutterstock

In good-sized terraces we can combine tall pots and planters to divide the space, gain height for our plants and create a good privacy screen. At ManoMano you can find a great variety of options.

Stackable pots and vertical gardens can also provide some privacy if we place them in strategic places or hang them from the railings. We can grow flowers, ferns, scented herbs and small vegetables, all depending on the amount of sunlight available.

In addition to the plants themselves, planters, pots and planting structures can help us gain some further privacy.
On a balcony with railing, for example, we can grow all kinds of plants by placing some planters on the floor and hanging others from the railing. You will need to know how each of the plants grows, in order to achieve the privacy screen that you want. Lastly, let’s not forget that some plants can take longer to grow, so they won’t be able to create a privacy screen immediately. In these cases, we can use other, more conventional, solutions to gain privacy on our terraces or balconies, such as privacy screens, retractable side awnings or even roller blinds that we can roll out and back in at our pleasure.

Best privacy plants for your garden (C) Annie Spratt

Did you enjoy this article on the best privacy plants for your balcony, terrace or garden? Perhaps you’d be interested in reading our BBQ buying guide or seeing our 4 tips on garden lighting.

Share your results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

In this article, we’ll be showing you seven kinds of fruit that are particularly easy to grow from seeds, either directly in pots or in your garden. With a little effort, you can get your five-a-day and save money too!

Have you ever dreamed about having your own fruit tree?
Almost any fruit you eat at home can be reproduced from its seeds. So, what are you waiting for? 🙂

1. Cherries

Cherry trees are super resilient when it comes to cold weather, so an ideal choice even during the winter months.
To grow your own at home, simply follow these steps:
1. Wash the seeds, known as stones, and make sure you remove all the pulp.
2. To speed up the germination process, gently rub your cherry stones on a rough surface.
3. Place all the stones on some damp kitchen roll in a plastic container and put the container in the refrigerator.
4. Once you see that they are germinating, plant them in the garden.

After that, you’ll need a bit of patience: cherry trees can take up to five years to bear fruit, but it’s well worth the wait!

grow cherry trees from seeds

2. Lemons

You can grow your own lemon tree directly from the seeds of a lemon. It grows nicely in both pots and the garden.
However, bear in mind that lemon trees are very sensitive to cold. For that reason, we recommend planting your seeds at the onset of warm weather.

lemon trees

3. Mandarin oranges

As with lemons, you can also plant mandarin oranges or tangerines from their seeds in either pots or in the garden.

mandarin oranges grown from seeds

4. Apples

Once you have removed the seeds from the apple, you get them to sprout.
To do this, you’ll need to wrap them in some damp kitchen roll, place them in a closed bag and leave them in the refrigerator.
Once they’ve sprouted, they’re ready to plant!

grow loquats from seeds

5. Loquat

Once the seeds have germinated, you can easily transplant them.

This tree for this citrus-like fruit grows in all types of soil and requires little care.
To grow from seeds and plant them:
1. Clean the loquat seeds making sure to remove all the pulp.
2. Put some kitchen roll in a container, place the seeds on top and then add some damp kitchen roll over them.
3. Close the container and wait for a few weeks. Once the seeds have sprouted, it’s time to plant them.

coltivare a partire dai semi

6. Pears

The first step towards having your very own pear tree is to germinate the seeds by placing them in a glass with cotton wool and water.
When you see that they are growing, you should transfer them to a pot.
After a while, your pear tree will get bigger, showing you that it’s time to move it into the garden.

pears

7. Avocados

To grow an avocado tree, you must first remove the stone from the fruit and wash it.
Next, insert three or four toothpicks into the centre of the stone and carefully place it in a glass of water, as shown in the photo. After a few weeks, you will see a root begin to sprout from the bottom. Once the root has reached a length of 10 cm, you must remove the stone from the glass, take out the toothpicks and plant it in a pot.
Smashed avocado anyone?

grow an avocado tree

Did you already know these fruit trees could be grown from seeds at home?

Here are some ideas of where to plant your results and for those of us with no garden, here is a even a list of what plants can you grow from waste food!

Need to find tools for your planting projects? Visit our ManoMano site for all your gardening & home improvement needs.

Who wouldn’t want to own a big house with a huge garden, where you can grow flowers, plant herbs and spend relaxing afternoons outdoors? While it’s a beautiful image, life often forces us to settle for a flat in the city with – if we’re lucky – a small balcony far away from nature. And although you likely won’t grow a real vegetable garden on your balcony in the city, that doesn’t mean your green fingers must stay idle. In fact, a small herb garden takes up very little space, especially when you suspend it on a wall to optimise the vertical space at your disposal. And the best part of it all? Upcycling tin cans to make your gardening dreams come true!

herb garden

What you’ll need:

Process:

1 – Tin cans

Step 1: Collect your cans

Many of us buy canned goods without giving it a second thought. Instead of recycling them, you can upcycle tin cans for DIY projects like this one. Any tin is suitable for this project as long as it offers sufficient space for small plants such as herbs.

upcycle tin cans

Step 2: Drill and sandpaper

Before getting started, we recommend sanding the top edges of the tin cans with a piece of sandpaper. As this part can sometimes be jagged and sharp, sanding it first will prevent injury later.

sanding top of the tin can

Next, create a hole at the bottom of the cans. Simply use a screw for this step or make the job easier with a small drill.

putting a hole in tin cans

The hole becomes very important later on in the project.

Step 3: Get painting!

After sanding and drilling, we are are ready for a colourful makeover! We prefer spray paint, which gives you a glossy finish and won’t leave traces from the paintbrush. Depending on the effect you’re going for, you can also use other kinds of paint.

Upcycling tin cans

Basically, all kinds of paint are fine as long as you use one that is water-resistant.

Step 4: Finishing touches

After painting your cans, you can decorate them any way you choose and using a technique you enjoy. We love a finish that is minimal, elegant and rustic at the same time.

wrapping twine around can

The technique above is relatively easy to follow: glue some twine around the bottom of the can using a glue gun or a decent amount of PVA glue.

2 – The wooden shelf

Creating your wooden shelf doesn’t take a lot of work. What’s more, even those with minimal DIY skills can do it!

Step 1: Attach the brackets

We recommend starting the job by attaching small L-shaped brackets directly onto the plywood, placing one in the middle and the other two at the same distance from the edge of the wood.

attach L-shaped brackets on to plywood

Use wood screws for this, but make sure they aren’t too long. For the perfect finish, they shouldn’t poke out on the other side of the wood.

Step 2: Make holes in the wall

At this stage, place your shelf on the wall where you want to position your garden. Next, mark dots that match the holes in the brackets using a pencil. Finally, make the holes with a drill and insert wall anchors that will serve to support the entire structure.

Step 3: Add protection

If you want to protect the shelf from rain, apply a coat of clear, weather-resistant varnish.

Add weather protection to the shelf

This extra layer of protection will keep your creation in good condition by repelling water from the surface, so it won’t soak into the plywood and rot the shelf.

3 – Creating your herb garden

Step 1: Join your cans to the shelf

With everything painted, you can now add the cans to the shelf.

Screw cans to the shelf

Since the garden will be outside and therefore exposed to the weather, we recommend screwing the cans to the shelf. That way, you prevent the risk of wind toppling your cans and ruining the plants inside.

Attach the cans to the wood and screw the shelf into the wall using the anchors you have positioned.

Step 2: Herbs

It’s now time to organise your herbs on their new shelf! Put your favourite herbs in the cans, in whichever order you like best.

To give your herb garden a little something extra, you can add small tags (once again from plywood) where you can display the name of each variety. To do this, we recommend painting the wood cut-outs with black acrylic paint and then sticking lettering decals on them, preferably in white.

creating labels

However, for those of you with a steady hand, why not show off your skills and write the names of the herbs you’ve chosen in chalk? Finally, attach the tags to small wooden clothespins using a glue gun, and then attach them to the designated cans on the shelf.

4 – Sit back and enjoy your garden!

Upcycling tin cans is not just fun: the result looks great and the process is accessible and affordable as well. With this setup, even if you live in the city, you’ll only have to step out onto your balcony and make use of your small herb garden to prepare mouth-watering meals made even more delicious because they are locally sourced.

reuse tin cans

The garden can also be adapted to different spatial requirements. For example, you can make several shelves and position them above one another, make ones in different shapes or shorter ones and turn them into a corner unit.

When it comes to different styles and colour combinations, the possibilities are endless! Now it’s your turn to choose the ones that best suit your home and tastes. Happy DIYing!

Did you like this article on upcycling tin cans? Our indoor herb gardening for beginners guide is a great way to complete your knowledge! Or how about creating a herb garden for cocktails?