10 House Plants to Benefit Your Health!

House plants add greenery to your house as well as benefit you in many different ways! As humans we breath in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This is the perfect case for house plants! They use the carbon dioxide we release and turn it into oxygen for us to use. House plants can often remove toxins from the air as well as release water into the air, providing us with humidity. Here are some of the most beneficial plants for us!
  1. Aloe Vera

    Not only is the gel inside of Aloe Vera helpful in healing wounds & sunburns the plant alone is able to help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products. When the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive the plants’ leaves will display brown spots.   

  2. Rubber plant

    A rubber plant is  a good plant for cleaning the air in your house. This plant is one of the easiest to grow, as it grows in areas of dim lighting. 

  3. English Ivy

    A study conducted by a NASA scientist listed English Ivy as the number one best air-filtering houseplant. This plant is most effective in absorbing formaldehyde from the air.  The plant is easy to take care of and effective.

  4. Peace lily

    Peace lilies are an effective plant for removing a number of toxins from the air. As well as the added benefits this plant house beautiful white flowers and indicated when it needs water. The leaves on this plant will begin to wilt, almost like the plant is laying down. Once it is watered the leaves will stand up again.                                                   

  5. Snake Plant

    A Snake Plant is the perfect addition to your bedroom, as this plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. All plants release oxygen, but generally just in the day time. A Snake Plant is one of the plants for uses very little water and doesn’t need much sunlight. 

  6.  Bamboo Palm

    The Bamboo Palm is also on NASA’s list of top effective clean-air plants. This plant helps remove benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. Palms need to be well water and be placed in a spot with indirect light.

  7. Philodendron

    There are many different types of Philodendron. You many of heard of a couple called a Spilt-Leaf Philodendron or a Heart-Shape Philodendron. This plant is similar to English Ivy in the way that it helps absorb Formaldehyde from the air. These plants are easy to take care of, they don’t like to dry out and prefer some sunlight. 

  8. Spider Plant

    The Spider Plant is one of the most popular house plants. This plant is on the NASA list as well, as it absorbs many different types of pollutants. These pollutants include Benzene, Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide and Xylene. 

  9. Red- Edge Dracaena

    This vibrant house plant can grow to massive heights, making it ideal for filling in a large area. A Dracaena is also removes a list of toxins from the air including Xylene, Trichloroethylene, and Formaldehyde. This plant grows best in direct sunlight with moderate water. 

  10. Golden Pothos

    The Golden Pothos is an effective plant for removing Formaldehyde from the air. This is  hanging plant, a perfect addition to a living room or dinning room. 



At our store: The Greenhouse At Cliffside we constantly have new house plants coming in. If you are looking for a special one, we can always bring it in.

Fungus On Plants! Let’s Talk Rust, Black Knot, & Leaf Curl!

RUST, BLACK KNow & Leaf curl! What to look for and how to treat them!

In this blog I will explain what to look for when dealing with Rust, Black Knot & leaf Curl. Also, how to treat and prevent these fungal diseases from coming back year to year. Millions of fungal diseases attack plants each year, these diseases spread through spores in the air. Whether you have a newly planted plant or a 100 year old plant, they are all just as susceptible to fungal diseases.


When you think of Rust you’ll tend to think of a rusty old nail. This is reddish-orange stuff  that forms on iron or steel when it reacts with oxygen and moisture. Rust also effects plants, it isn’t only one simple fungal disease, rust, is comprised up of multiple fungal diseases.

What To Look For

The first signs of rust are tiny spots or specks on your leaves, these spots can range anywhere from orange to rusty-brown, brownish-yellow, purple and red. If theses spots are leaf untreated the spots will become bigger and form a bump, similar to a pimple

This is the beginning stage of rust, the leaves will appear as though they are dying before turning orange/reddish.

This is rust in it’s worst stage. At this stage pimple or wart like bumps form on the leaves.

This is the rust in it’s middle form before going into the pimple stage.







how is rust spread

When the pimple or wart like bumps on the leaves burst open, tiny spores are released. These spores carry the fungal disease rust and are spread from the wind or water. As the spores spread in the wind they attach onto new plants.

prevent rust from forming

Because rust is spread in the wind preventative measures should be taken. Rust enjoy hot, humid environments so avoid over watering your plants and make sure not to top water. This is when water is left on the leaves.

Treatment for rust
  • Prune or pick effective leaves. Be sure to not prune the whole plant if effected.
  • Once finished pruning make sure to disinfect your tools will a mild bleach and soap solution.
  • Make sure to rake up any fallen leaves or effected part of the plant. These parts should be thrown away or burned as compost will not kill the spores.
  • If your plant still needs some help apply a copper fungicide or sulphur dust to the affected parts of the plant.


Black knot is a fungal disease that effected many different types of trees. This fungus can be present in natural areas or landscaped areas. Some trees are able to withstand many knots (galls) where as, some are unable to withstand any. These knots can cause leaves to wilt, leaves to die, shoot death as well as bench death.

What to look for

Black knot looks like its name indicates, knobby swollen black growths called galls grow parallel along the length of stems and branches. In the beginning of summer new growths will appear to be covered in a velvety olive green coloured spore. By the end of the summer, these green coloured spored will have matured and turning black and hard.  It is possible to may not notice black knot on your tree until winter because they stand out again the white snow and blue sky. On a single tree only a few galls could exist or as many as a canopy full of galls. Large rough black galls that are often cracked can occur on the main trunk of the tree and may ooze sticky liquid.

The canopy of a tree full of galls.

A close up of a gall on a branch.

A large black gall on the trunk of a tree.






How is Black Knot Spread

The fungus overwinters in the galls. During wet periods in the spring, spores are expelled and windblown to infect young green shoots or wounded branches. Once the spore attaches itself to the new tree is begins to immediately infect the tree with the fungus. The fungus contains parasites that causes the tree to release chemicals calling for excessive cell growth and enlargement of the tissues resulting is a large black gall. A gall is comprised of fungal tissue and plant.

Preventing black knot

A simple way to prevent black knot is to not plant any plants around other infected plants. If others are infected where you’d like to plant, read the treatment below.

Treatment for Black Knot
  • Pruning a black knot or simply cutting down the infected tree is one of the easiest solutions.
  • Apply a fungicide containing one of the following ingredients: captan, chlorothalonil, thiophanate-methyl, or lime sulphur.
  • For complete instructions on how to prune a gall look at this website: https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/black-knot/

Leaf Curl

Leaf curl is as the name indicates is the curling of the leaves on the plant. This is an other airborne fungal disease which is hard to prevent.

What to look for 

Leaf curl is a distinctive and easily noticeable disease. Signs of leaf curl appear as soon as leaf buds start to emerge. When the leaves emerge they will have a red colour to them and a twisted shape. As the leafs continue to develop they become increasingly distorted. When fully grown the leafs may look thick and rubbery compared to normal leafs. With the leafs continually becoming attached by leaf curl they will change from normal green to red and purple, ultimately a whitish bloom covers each leaf. The bark of the plant is variety effected, as well as the fruit, but it may fall of do to limited strength in the plant.

The leaves of a plant effected by leaf curl.

The later stage of leaf curl where the leaf begins to change colours.







How is left curl spread

The fungus survives winter by attaching onto the bark and buds of  a plant. As the temperature begins to warm up the rainwater washes the spores into the buds where is attacks the leafs.

Preventing leaf curl

The most effective way of preventing leaf curl is to plant your tree under your overhanging roof. In the winter wrap your tree with burlap or a material similar to avoid winter rainwater from forming and building up on the buds.

treatment for leaf curl
  • Spray the trees in the winter well before budding with a copper-based mixture and/ or a lime sulphur mixture.
  • If your plant has leaf curl one year, it doesn’t mean it will the next year as well. Let leaf curl run its course.

If you are unsure of which fungal disease your plant has send us a photo or bring in your plant for us to identify. We will be able to tell you which fungus your plant has and give you a fungicide to treat such diease. 


How To…Water Your Plants In The Heat!

When it comes to watering plants in the extreme heat it can be tricky! Here’s a few tips on how to make sure your plants are getting enough water in the heat.
  1.  Water your plants deeply. This means give your plants a good soak the morning before the heat wave, or if your unable to do so, give your plants a good water the night before.
  2. Water your plants in the morning or later a night, this allows less water to evaporate from the soil and for the water that does get onto the leaves to dry off to avoid damage.
  3. Water well established planted once to twice a week. You can gauge if you’ve given the plant enough water by making sure the soil is moist 1 inch down from the surface.
  4. Irrigate slowly. You can achieve this by either  a dripper system or by taking your time with the hose. The slower/ longer the water is on for the deeper into the soil it seeps. Deep watering encourages deeper root systems and protects your plant against drought.
  5. Watch your plants leaves. If your plants leaves are wilting during the day, but in the morning seem fine, your plant has sufficient amount of water. If your plants leaves continue to stay wilted into the morning, your plant may be over watered. You can test this by sticking a finger in the soil to determine how moist the soil is.
  6. Be sure to water your lawn at least every three days. This will prevent your lawn from drying out and becoming yellow.

Powdery Mildew..How To Combat It!

The photo on the right  shows what powdery mildew looks like on the leaf of a plant. It can look similar like a silvery  residue. There are many different species of the fungal disease; powdery mildew. Like most diseases each species effects a different type of plant. Unlike, most fungal disease powdery mildew does not require moisture to infect your plant. This disease survives in warmth, meaning it can infect plants under a wide variety of circumstances.

Identifying powdery mildew.

Plants infected with this disease will first appear to have tiny cooking flour spread onto the leafs, stems and sometimes fruit.  These spots start out as small as a pencil lead and can take over a whole leaf/plant.  Mildew usually only effects the tops of leaves, and will target younger leaves first, turning them yellow and causing them to fall off. As the mildew continues to effect the plant, entire leaf  will be completely  covered in mildew.

Cause of Mildew

Powered Mildew is everywhere, because it is a fungi it has spores. These spores spread through the wind, insects and  splashing water. Most commonly mildew is prone to grow in areas of high humidity, crowed planting, and areas with poor air circulation. A very common cause of powdery mildew is top watering. This is when you water with a hose or watering can hitting the leaves of the plant. Plants, should be watered at he base.

Treatment Of Mildew

  • Remove and destroy ALL effected plant parts.
  • Thin out your plants, by pruning to improve air circulation.
  • DO NOT fertilize till powered mildew has been combatted, as the spores will target new growth.
  • DO NOT top water plants.
  • Apply a fungicide. Make sure the fungicide is appropriate for powered mildew and the particular plant you are using it on.
  • If you don’t want to use a fungicide, 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of water will do the trick.

Our fungicide Spray

Lawn Fertilizer…Explained!

Fertilizing your lawn will make a world of a difference! This is how to create the dreamy green golf course look for your own house.

To cover the basics of lawn fertilizer we first must understand what the numbers on fertilizers mean. There will be three different, very distinct numbers you will see on any fertilizer. These number stand for Nitrogen-Phosphorus Potash (Potassium). NPK is also a common term for those numbers.

Nitrogen is responsible for your plant to grow strong. This is the number most important for the greening factor of lawn.

Phosphorus is responsible for the growth of roots to develop into a strong foundation.

Potash(Potassium) is responsible for improving overall health of the plant and making it disease resistant.


When to Fertilize? Three times a year is a perfect amount. Once in the early spring when the snow just melts, summer, and fall.

Why Fertilize? Similar to other plants your lawn is using up the nutrients you give it, over time the nutrients become depleted causing you to have an unhealthy lawn.

What Type of Fertilizer Should I Use?

In the early spring (April)  you will want to fertilize your lawn with a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and lower in Phosphorous and Potash. A fertilizer we carry for this time of year is 32-4-8, 34-0-0, or 9-3-6 with moss control.

Again, In the late spring and summer (May-July) You want to move into a more balanced fertilizer. A fertilizer we carry for this time of year is an 18-18-18. If you find that your lawn isn’t as green as you’d like it to be at this time of year you can use a product called ironite. This will green your lawn without effecting the other nutrient levels of the soil.

In the fall (August-September)  we want to ween the grass off high nitrogen and phosphorus so that it can prepare itself for winter to come. At this time of year a fertilizer that is high in Potash should be used. One we carry has the numbers 15-0-30.  This fertilizer allows the grass to be as healthy as possible going into winter and becoming dormant. Although, we don’t tend to think about it a fall fertilization is very important to prevent snow mold and winter kill.

Fertilizer For New Sod or Seed?

When it comes to fertilizing new sod or grass we want to concentrate on establishing the root system in the fresh grass. A fertilizer for Sod or Seed should be high in Phosphorus compared to Nitrogen and Potash. The fertilizer we carry has the numbers 16-32-6. This will help the roots establish while still helping the lawn green.

Fertilizing With an Organic Fertilizer

It is safe for pets and children, organic lawn fertilizer can be used. The only downsize to using organic fertilizer is that your NPK values will be less. Our organic fertilizer for example has the numbers 8-2-5. While  low numbers still will get the job done, it may take longer for it work.