Are Carrots Man Made? The Surprising Truth Behind This Common Vegetable

Carrots are a popular root vegetable found in many households and restaurants worldwide. However, many people are unaware of the origins of this vegetable and whether it is man-made or not. The question of whether carrots are man-made or natural has been a topic of debate among scientists and researchers for years.

According to the research, the modern-day orange carrot that we all know and love is, in fact, man-made. Farmers many years ago created this hybrid vegetable through selective breeding. The carrot we know today is a result of hundreds of years of careful hybridization and cultivation. While carrots are not entirely man-made, human intervention has played a significant role in their development.

Despite being man-made, carrots are still a highly nutritious vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for good vision, immune function, and skin health. Additionally, they are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an excellent addition to any diet. In this article, we will explore the history of carrots and how they became the vegetable we know today.

What are Carrots?

Carrots are a root vegetable that belong to the Apiaceae family, which also includes parsley, fennel, and dill. Carrots are known for their bright orange color, but they can also be found in other colors such as purple, white, yellow, and red. They are a popular vegetable used in many dishes and are also eaten raw as a snack.

The Origin of Carrots

The origin of carrots can be traced back to the Middle East and Central Asia, where they were originally grown for their leaves and seeds. The first carrots were not orange, but rather purple, white, and yellow. It wasn’t until the 16th century that orange carrots were developed in the Netherlands through selective breeding.

The Evolution of Carrots

Carrots have evolved over time through both natural and human processes. Wild carrots were originally small, tough, and bitter, but over time they were selectively bred by humans to become larger, sweeter, and more nutritious. Today’s carrots are the result of centuries of careful hybridization.

The Domestication of Carrots

Carrots were domesticated by humans over 5,000 years ago, and were originally grown for medicinal purposes. They were used to treat a variety of ailments, including indigestion, constipation, and even snake bites. As they became more popular, they were selectively bred to become larger and more palatable.

Overall, carrots are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that have been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. Whether eaten raw or cooked, carrots are a delicious addition to any meal.

Types of Carrots

Carrots come in a variety of colors and sizes, and they can be classified into two main types: wild carrots and cultivated carrots.

Wild Carrots

Wild carrots, also known as Queen Anne’s Lace, are the ancestors of modern-day carrots. They are native to Europe and Asia and have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Wild carrots have thin, white roots that are tough and fibrous, making them difficult to eat. They also have a bitter taste and a pungent aroma.

Cultivated Carrots

Cultivated carrots are the result of selective breeding and cultivation by humans. They come in a variety of colors, including orange, purple, red, black, yellow, and white. Orange carrots are the most common and were developed in the 16th century in the Netherlands. They were bred to be sweeter and less bitter than wild carrots.

Over time, carrots were bred to be larger, sweeter, and more tender. They were also bred to have a uniform shape and size, making them easier to harvest and sell. Today, there are hundreds of varieties of cultivated carrots, each with their unique flavor, texture, and color.

Here are some of the most popular types of cultivated carrots:

  • Nantes: These carrots are sweet and tender, with a bright orange color. They are cylindrical and have a blunt end.
  • Chantenay: These carrots are shorter and thicker than other varieties, with a conical shape. They have a sweet flavor and are ideal for roasting or grilling.
  • Imperator: These carrots are long and slender, with a tapered end. They are sweet and crunchy and are often used in salads and as a snack.
  • Danvers: These carrots are medium-sized and have a conical shape. They are sweet and tender and are ideal for juicing or roasting.

Overall, cultivated carrots are the result of human intervention and selective breeding. They have been developed over centuries to be sweeter, less bitter, and more tender than their wild ancestors. Today, there are hundreds of varieties of cultivated carrots, each with their unique flavor, texture, and color.

Are Carrots Man-Made?

Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables in the world, and they have been a staple in many diets for centuries. However, the question of whether they are man-made or not is still a topic of debate among experts. Here, we will explore the arguments for and against carrots being man-made.

Arguments for Carrots Being Man-Made

One of the main arguments for carrots being man-made is the fact that they come in a wide range of colors, including orange, yellow, purple, and white. This variety suggests that humans have selectively bred carrots to produce certain traits, such as color and flavor.

Another argument for carrots being man-made is the lack of wild carrots in existence today. While wild carrots do exist, they are not commonly found in markets or grocery stores. This suggests that the carrots we eat today are the result of human intervention and selective breeding.

Arguments Against Carrots Being Man-Made

One of the main arguments against carrots being man-made is the fact that they have been around for thousands of years. Carrots have been cultivated since ancient times, and it is believed that they were originally grown in Afghanistan and Iran. This suggests that carrots have been around for so long that they have had time to evolve naturally.

Another argument against carrots being man-made is the fact that they are part of the same family as other plants, such as parsley and dill. This suggests that carrots may have evolved naturally from these other plants, rather than being selectively bred by humans.

Overall, the question of whether carrots are man-made or not is still open to debate. While there is evidence to suggest that humans have played a role in the evolution of carrots, there is also evidence to suggest that they may have evolved naturally over time. Ultimately, the answer to this question may never be fully resolved.


Carrots have been cultivated and selectively bred by humans for centuries, resulting in the various shapes, colors, and sizes we see today. While wild carrots do exist, they are not commonly found due to over-harvesting and natural causes. 

Despite being man-made, all varieties of carrots are safe to eat and offer several health benefits. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

It is important to note that while humans have played a significant role in shaping the carrot, they have not been genetically modified. Instead, selective breeding has allowed for desirable traits to be passed down from generation to generation. 

Overall, carrots are a nutritious and delicious vegetable that have been enjoyed by humans for centuries. Whether eaten raw, cooked, or used in various dishes, they continue to be a staple in many diets around the world. 

8 Reasons Your Pothos Plant Has Long Vines and No Leaves

drop pothos with long vines with no leaves

As Jane Austen might have observed, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pothos plant in possession of long vines must be in want of leaves.” 

Allow me to elucidate the eight reasons your pothos may be experiencing such a peculiar predicament and proffer solutions to restore its verdant splendor.

The 8 Reasons Why Your Pothos is Growing Vines With No Leaves

1. Not Pruning

Much like the tangled romances of high society, a pothos vine with no leaves often finds itself in such a state due to a lack of proper pruning.

Regularly attending to your plant with sanitized shears, and trimming back overgrown vines just below a node, shall encourage bushier growth and prevent the lamentable condition of pothos vines no leaves. 

Moreover, consider propagating the cuttings, bestowing new life to your collection.

2. Nutrient Deficiency

Akin to the pangs of unrequited love, a pothos vine growing but no leaves may be quietly suffering from a nutrient deficiency. Yellowing or pale leaves bespeak of this malady. 

Fortify your plant with a gentle offering of liquid fish or kelp fertilizer or perhaps a slow-release granular fertilizer or high-quality compost. But take care not to overwhelm your beloved pothos with excess nutrients.

3. Overwatering

As torrents of rain may dampen a fine summer day, overwatering can bring ruin to a pothos long vines no leaves. Root rot and leaf loss are the harbingers of such a misfortune. 

To remedy the situation, ensure proper drainage by repotting your plant in a container replete with drainage holes. Utilize a well-draining soil mix, such as one containing perlite, and exercise restraint, watering only when the top 2-3″ of soil are dry.

4. Pest Infestations

Uninvited guests are never welcome, whether at a ball or upon one’s pothos vine with no leaves. Mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites plague these plants, causing leaves to fall and vines to wither. 

Address these vexing intruders by wiping leaves with a damp cloth, using neem oil for mealybugs and scale insects, or gently spraying spider mites away with water.

5. Inadequate Light

A pothos with no leaves is a plant languishing in darkness, like a heart bereft of love. Although pothos is known to endure low-light conditions, they do require a fair share of indirect sunlight to flourish. 

Relocate your plant to a spot near a window, where it may bask in 4-8 hours of bright, indirect light daily. An LED grow light may supplement natural light if needed.

6. Temperature & Humidity

A delicate balance of temperature and humidity is as essential to your pothos vines’ leaves as wit and grace are to a perfect retort. Maintain temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C to 27°C), avoiding drafts and sudden fluctuations. 

Humidity levels between 40-60% are preferable, which can be achieved using a humidifier or a pebble tray.

7. Root Bound

A pothos plant long vines with no leaves may be constrained by its roots, much like societal expectations limit the choices of our dear protagonists.

Examine the plant’s roots for signs of being root-bound, and if necessary, repot your pothos into a larger container with fresh, well-draining soil. Gently loosen the root ball before planting, and water thoroughly.

8. Diseases

The specter of disease casts a shadow over even the hardiest pothos long stem not leaves. Bacterial and fungal infections can lead to leaf yellowing, wilting, and loss. 

Prevent these afflictions by ensuring proper air circulation, avoiding overwatering, and promptly removing affected leaves. 

If an infection is suspected, apply a fungicide or bactericide according to the product’s instructions and monitor the plant vigilantly for signs of recurring infection.



N. (2023, March 24). 8 Reasons for a Pothos Vine With No Leaves + Easy Solutions. Nature of Home.

Fewer crops—like onions: How climate change has affected Idaho

Francis Dean // Getty Images

Fewer crops—like onions: How climate change has affected Idaho

The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is yet another reminder of the dire effects of climate change. While climate projections often look to the future when discussing the worst impacts of climate change, we are in fact already experiencing its effects across the United States. To better understand how climate change is impacting the country, Stacker compiled a list of the impacts of climate change in every state, using local and national news stories, government reports, and scientific journal articles.

While these impacts are weather-related—for example, heat waves, droughts, or storms—individual weather events cannot be attributed to climate change on their own. Rather, it is when these events are seen within larger trends that they can be understood as part of a pattern that has come out of the changing climate.

Keep reading to learn about how your state has been impacted by climate change, or read the national story here.

Idaho: Fewer crops—like onions

One way the state of Idaho is experiencing climate change is increased drought. It is estimated that, by 2050, Idaho will see a 110% increase in drought. However, the impacts are already being felt today. This past summer, farmers in western Idaho faced lower production due to a lack of melting snow, spring rain, and hotter-than-average temperatures. This dry spring led to a 15% to 20% loss in onion growing production, and also has been a threat to wildlife.

Across the country, there are trends of rising temperatures, storms of increasing frequency and severity, and more erratic precipitation patterns, causing disruptions to the food systems and sometimes even resulting in death. While the U.S. government has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, it is clear that the climate emergency is already taking place, and along with emissions reductions, mitigation of the impacts of climate change must be prioritized as well.

Read below to see how other states in your region have been affected by climate change.

Montana: Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers

Montana’s Glacier National Park is famous for its beauty, and of course, for its glaciers. However, due to warming temperatures, the park is losing its glaciers—and fast. Right now, the park has 25 glaciers remaining, a stark contrast from the 150 that existed there in the late 1800s. And the numbers will continue to drop, as scientists predict that the park’s glaciers could completely disappear within the next two decades.

Nevada: Extreme heat

Nevada experienced record-breaking heat in the summer of 2021. Las Vegas was especially impacted, as it is an urban heat island, and the county where it is located saw 82 heat-related deaths in 2020. While this heat does and will continue to impact everyone, it is especially bad for Nevadans who suffer from respiratory illnesses, who are elderly, and those who live in areas with low air quality, which are often people of color and those living in poorer communities. States at Risk estimates that in Nevada, around 70,000 people are part of these vulnerable communities that will be most impacted.

Originally published on Stacker.

10 Onion Growing Stages: From Bulb & Seed + Growing Tips

Like all root vegetables, much of onion growth is hidden below the soil surface. 

This article will unearth the truth about these versatile bulbs, explaining the best growing conditions for onions, the onion life cycle, and the onion growing stages. 

Plus, we’ll also debunk some myths about spring onions and scallions. 

Onion Growing Conditions

Likely native to southeast Asia, onions now grow in temperate zones worldwide. 

In the United States, onions grow year-round. California produces the most onions, over 25% of the nation’s total onion production. According to the USDA, the Golden State grew an estimated 1,902,600,000 pounds of onions in 2021. 

Onions are a hardy vegetable. But seedlings should only go into the soil once temperatures consistently remain above 28° F. 

Once planted, onions need at least six hours of full sun each day and prefer temperatures ranging from 55 – 75° F. Warmer temperatures tend to produce sweeter and milder onions. 

This bulb vegetable has shallow root systems, making it easy to grow onions in both pots and the ground. However, onion seeds will produce smaller, stunted bulbs without adequate space between plants.

These shorter roots require well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Onions will not grow well (if at all) in clay soils, which drain slowly and can become waterlogged. 

Onions prefer frequent watering but not soggy soil. Overwatered onions will begin to rot. 

The best time to plant an onion crop will depend on a few factors: onion variety, regional growing season, available sunlight, and whether you’re growing the vegetable by seed or bulb. 

Let’s look at the onion life cycle in a little more detail. 

Life Cycle of an Onion

The onion is a biennial plant, meaning it has a two-year lifecycle. 

onion growing stages chart

During the first growing season, the onion concentrates its energy on growing green vegetation and storing energy in the bulb. Therefore, farmers tend to harvest onions at the end of the first growing season, as this is when the bulb is at its biggest size.  

If left to grow into a second season, the onion will begin the reproductive process. Bulb size reduces as the plant redirects reserved energy into sprouting and growing a flower. 

This process is known as “going to seed” or “bolting”. Reaching this point of onion growth is only desirable for farmers who intend to harvest onions for the seeds rather than the bulbs. 

Remember: the bulb is where the onion stores energy, so draining this reserve causes the bulb to shrivel. 

Growing onions from seed reduces the risk of bolting. But it requires planning. 

Before planting onion seeds in the ground, you will need to grow seedlings for six to eight weeks in a greenhouse. 

Growing onions from tiny bulbs cuts the growing time in half. These bulbs, also known as onion sets, are onions harvested and stored during the previous year. Since these onions are in their second growing season, they are more likely to bolt. 

It is also possible to grow onions from transplants. Onion transplants are juvenile onion bulbs, fresh from this year’s season. This youthfulness means they are less likely to bolt than onions grown from sets. 

Onion transplants produce the biggest bulbs in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of work — making them a handy option for beginner gardeners. 

Whichever growing method you choose, remember the vegetable’s one-to-one propagation. One bulb will produce one onion. Likewise, one onion will grow from one onion seed. 

Onion Growing Time Lapse

If you’re more of a visual person like me, check out this onion growing time lapse video:

10 Onion Growing Stages of the Common Onion

1.) First is Planting

planting phase of onion growing stages

Different planting methods exist for growing onions, such as from seeds, onion sets, or mature plants. Onions are cool-season vegetables that can be planted in early spring or fall, depending on your location. 

For spring planting, wait until the soil temperature reaches a consistent 28℉ before planting onion sets or transplanting seedlings into your garden beds. This typically happens in late March or early April, just before the last frost date of the season. 

If you’re starting from seed, give yourself a head start by planting them 8 to 10 weeks ahead of time.

If you’re more of a fall gardener, you’ll want to aim to plant your onion sets in August or September so they have enough time to grow before the temperatures drop. As the cool weather sets in, your onions will go dormant, only to resume growth in the spring when things start to warm up again. 

Yarrow is a great companion plant to onions and can be planted together.

Planting from seeds is the simplest way to grow onions, while onion sets are easier to grow than seeds.

You can also use the bottom part of a mature onion plant to grow new sprouts. When planting, it’s important to wait for the right temperature and keep the soil moist.

Check out this video for more tips on planting onions:

2.) Germination

Germination is the process during which an onion seed develops into a plant. 

After a period of dormancy, several combined factors can initiate seed germination: water absorption, light exposure, temperature change, oxygen availability, and the passage of time. 

When the seed’s embryo absorbs water, the cells inside the seed expand. This process, known as imbibition, increases the seed’s respiration and metabolic processes. The organelles in the embryo experience structural changes. 

What does that look like to the naked eye? 

Roots develop downward, anchoring into the soil. These roots hold the seed in place and absorb nutrients and moisture. 

This process depends on temperature, humidity, and soil type. Well-drained soil rich in nutrients is optimal for growing onions, while clay soil should be avoided. If the growing conditions are not optimal, this onion growing stage may take a few weeks longer.

The lime green sprout develops upwards, pushing through the soil’s surface. Above the soil surface, this shoot allows the plant to perform photosynthesis. Photosynthesis produces food for the onion. 

From start to finish, onion germination takes about ten days. Temperature, humidity, soil quality, and nutrient availability all impact germination time.

3.) Vegetative Growth / Sprouting

sprouting phase of onion growth

The seedling rapidly forms vegetative growth over two weeks, during which proper moisture, warmth, and fertilization are crucial. 

During photosynthesis, the seedling converts sunlight into energy. The onion plant uses this energy to grow green vegetation. 

These leaves look like smaller, fleshier versions of those found on a mature onion. Although still tiny, these ever-elongating leaves increase the plant’s ability to perform photosynthesis.  

Once the seedling has produced several sets of mature leaves, the onion has successfully established in the soil. 

Note: If you started your onion plant/s indoors, it should be transplanted into the garden at this stage. But wait! Don’t forget to apply some mulch around the base of your precious plants. Mulch is like a cozy blanket for your onions, helping them retain moisture and keeping pesky weeds at bay.

4.) True Leaves Start to Develop

Picture this: your onion sprouts are now starting to look like real plants! They’ve grown a smaller version of dark green leaves, signaling the formation of true leaves.

At this point, your plant is on its own, relying solely on photosynthesis and the ability to produce glucose for energy.

As more true leaves develop, your sprouts will start to resemble leeks, and small onions will soon emerge.

Once the stalks have reached their full height and have that sturdy, dark green look, your onions are now considered scallions, green onions, or bunching onions – but their botanical name, Allium Cepa, remains the same throughout their growth.

Letting your onion plant finish this stage quickly is vital so bulb development can begin. The sooner the bulb starts forming, the larger your onions will be! Remember to watch your plant’s nutrient and moisture levels.

5.) Bulb Formation

After developing at least four robust leaves, the onion plant begins to direct energy toward bulb formation. Located at the point where the stem meets the root system, the bulb is the edible part of the common onion.

Vegetative growth and bulb formation occur simultaneously until the plant has produced eight to ten leaves. 

At this point, vegetative growth stops. However, bulb formation continues for a period of weeks to months. 

The plant transports food from the above-ground leaves to the scales below the surface. As they receive this energy, the scales swell. The scales eventually form rings around the bulb, providing a central storage tissue.

Length of Time & Varieties of Onions

The length of time for the bulbs to develop usually takes anywhere from 70 to 120 days. However, this time can vary depending on the onion variety and the growing conditions.

Different onion varieties have different day-length requirements for bulb formation. Short-day onions, which need 10 to 12 hours of daylight, are ideal for warmer regions with mild winters, while long-day onions, requiring 14 to 16 hours of daylight, are better suited for cooler regions with longer days.

Day-neutral onions need 12 to 14 hours of daylight and can be grown in most regions.

Long-day onions typically produce the largest bulbs, making them the most commonly sold variety. However, if you’re growing onions primarily for their green tops, then short-day onions are the way to go.

So sit back and enjoy watching your onion plant grow and develop those delicious bulbs, but remember, patience is key!

6.) Bulb Maturation

As the bulb matures, it eventually begins to emerge from the ground. Next, the above-ground leaves turn brown until this vegetation eventually droops toward the ground. 

If grown from seed, onion maturation takes about four months. Growing onions from sets decreases this time to just under three months. 

Also, look to see if the leaves of your onion plant are folding down; it indicates that the nutrients have moved from the top of the leaves to the bottom, leading to the swelling of onion bulbs. This is a sign that the onion is ready to be harvested.

7.) Harvesting or Reproduction

farmer harvesting onions

Determining when bulbs have reached full maturation depends on the regional growing season and the variety of onions you intend to harvest. (More on this topic in the next section.) 

When harvested too early, onions will taste bitter. But harvesting onions too late increases the risk of rotting. It can be tricky to judge when an onion is ready to harvest, so pay attention to how the top leaves appear. 

Brown, wilted top leaves and an exposed bulb indicate that the onion is ready for harvest. 

Harvesting onions is fairly straightforward. Use a digging fork to loosen the soil around the onions, then carefully pull out the onions. Or use a spade or shovel to dig out the onions. 

After removing onions from the soil, you need to cure them for about 20 to 25 days. This process allows the onion to keep its shape. 

To cure your harvest, hang onions in a dry place for four to six weeks. After curing, store the onions in a cool, dry place. They will last up to several months. 

Remember, onions are a biennial plant. So if you don’t harvest them at the end of the first growing season, they will continue their growth cycle in the following spring. 

Since the root systems have already been established, second-year onions will focus their energy on growing a flowery stalk for reproductive purposes. This process is known as bolting and causes onions to shrivel as the plant sends energy above ground. 

If left to continue this end-of-life cycle, onion stalks will produce buds with a white or purple flower at the top of the plant. 

8.) Flowering Stalks Begin

onion plant flowering, signaling the end of the onion growing stages

As the seasons progress and temperatures rise, the onion plant will persist in its growth. Eventually, the vegetative growth will cease and the plant will begin to sprout its flowering stalks. You’ll notice small buds emerging at the top of these stalks, which will eventually blossom into delicate flowers. 

The hue of these blooms may vary, depending on the specific onion variety, but typically they’ll be white, green, or purple. This floral display signals the end of the onion’s lifespan.

9.) Production of Seeds / Pollination

onion plant seeds

Bees, butterflies, and birds pollinate these flower heads, which contain the onion’s seeds. Once seeds appear, the plant has completed its life cycle. 

When the onion plant reaches the seed production stage, it will utilize all the nutrients stored in the bulb to generate seeds. If you were to harvest the onion at this point, the resulting bulbs would likely be dry and unappetizing.

However, there’s still a silver lining! You can collect and save the seeds to plant in your garden during the next growing season. This is especially beneficial if you’ve had a bountiful harvest and the specific variety of onion is particularly pleasing to your palate.

10.) Senescence: The Last of the Onions Growth Stages

Once the plant has completed its seed production, it has reached its final onion growth cycle stage. At this point, the plant will gradually deteriorate and ultimately perish, having expended all of its energy reserves.

We like to leave a few onions in the ground over the winter so that I can utilize their seeds for future plantings. However, this is a matter of personal preference, and you can choose to handle your onions however you see fit. 

Just be aware that if you do decide to use last year’s seeds, you won’t be able to start your new onion plants indoors.

Spring Onions & Green Onions

There’s a common misconception that both spring onions and green onions are both immature versions of common onions. Spring onions and green onions certainly look very similar, but they are not the same vegetable. 

Spring Onions

Spring onions are common onions that the grower has harvested early. Since they are the same species, the growing stages of spring onions and common are exactly the same. 

The only difference is that growers harvest spring onions before the bulbs reach maturation. Typically, growers harvest spring onions when the bulb has reached about an inch in diameter. At this point, the top vegetation is still firm and green, so these leaves are often left attached. 

Green Onions

Green onions, also known as scallions, are not the same species as common onions. Less than half an inch in diameter, the underdeveloped bulb looks more like a thick white stalk.

Although many commercial growers pass off immature common onions as scallions, true green onions come from Chinese onion or Welsh onion plants. 

Onion Growing Tips

Now that you’ve learned about the different onion growing stages, here are five growing tips to ensure success.

  1. When preparing the garden bed, make sure it’s fertile and has good drainage. Add compost, well-rotted manure or a small handful of fertilizer.
  2. Sow onion seeds shallowly and cover lightly, keeping the soil moist until sprouting starts. Sow a generous amount of seeds to allow for poor germination. Transplant seedlings from areas that have germinated well to areas that are sparse. Mulch the bed to reduce weeds.
  3. Sow onion seeds at the right time for your climate. In subtropical climates, sow towards the end of autumn. In warmer climates, sow through the driest part of the year. In cold climates, sow through spring.
  4. Grow the right variety of onion for your climate and match the variety to the daylight hours at the time of year you are growing them. Fast or early maturing varieties are preferred for winter planting.
  5. Crowd the onions in the garden bed to maximize space. This helps to prevent weeds and encourages the onions to grow taller instead of wider.

Common Problems to Avoid

It’s true that growing root vegetables can be challenging, but with proper care and attention, you can minimize the risk of crop damage and failure. Here are some common issues that may arise during onion growing stages, along with tips on how to deal with them:

Stunted Growth

If your onion seedlings are growing slower than they should, it could be due to poor soil conditions or lack of nutrients. Ensure that your soil is well-draining, loose and has a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. Additionally, apply a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients to the plants.

Leaf Discoloration

If your onion leaves are turning yellow, it could be due to nutrient deficiency, lack of water, or pests. Make sure you water your onions regularly and feed them with a fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Also, keep an eye out for onion maggots or thrips, which can cause significant damage to the leaves.

Wilting Plants

If your onion plants are wilting, it could be due to either overwatering or underwatering. Make sure you water your plants appropriately, based on the soil moisture level and the weather conditions.

Misshapen Bulbs

If your onion bulbs are not forming properly, it could be due to inconsistent soil moisture levels or soil compaction. Make sure you water your onions regularly and loosen the soil to allow room for the bulbs to grow.

Pests and Diseases

Onion maggots, thrips, and fungal diseases like downy mildew and white rot can cause significant damage to your onion crops. To prevent these issues, practice good crop rotation, maintain good hygiene by removing infected plants promptly, and use natural or chemical pesticides as needed.

FAQ About Stages of Onion Growth

How long do onions take to grow?

This depends on many factors, such as the type of onion, climate, and growing conditions. But, generally, onions take about 3-5 months to mature from seed to harvest. However, some fast-maturing varieties can be ready for harvest in as little as 60 days, while others can take up to 7-8 months. So, consider the type of onion and the climate when deciding when to plant them to ensure a successful harvest.

How do you know when onions are done growing?

Onions are done growing and ready to harvest when the foliage starts to yellow and fall over. This typically occurs in late summer or early fall, about 100-175 days after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions.10 Onion Growing Stages: From Bulb & Seed + Growing Tips

This article was originally published at Nature of Home.

Lemon Tree Growth Stages Guide + Unbelievable Growing Trick

lemon tree

Editors note: We should all be growing as much food as possible. This excellent article shows how you can grow a lemon tree from a store-bought lemon!

If you’re a fan of freshly squeezed lemon juice and love gardening, why not try growing your very own lemon tree? And the best part is, you don’t even need a big backyard to do it! Lemon trees can thrive both indoors and outdoors, making them a great addition to any space.

But before you start growing, it’s essential to understand the life cycle of a lemon tree. Unlike other fruit trees, lemon trees grow much faster and can even bear fruit in as little as two years.

We’ll cover the seven stages of lemon tree growth stages, each with its own unique characteristics. By understanding these stages, you can better monitor and care for your tree, ensuring its optimal growth and fruit production. 

So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting journey of a lemon tree!

Lemon Growth Time Lapse Video

If you’re like me and are a visual learner, here is a video showing a lemon tree growth time lapse:

The 7 Lemon Tree Growth Stages From Seed

Did you know that every magnificent citrus tree starts from a tiny seed? It’s true! But for that little seed to transform into a thriving seedling, it must germinate first. And that’s just the beginning!

As the seedling grows, it requires the proper care and environment to thrive. But if you provide it with everything it needs, your new lemon tree will mature into a stunning plant that produces delicious fruit. And the best part? Also, you can grow lemons year-round in the right climate (USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11).

Of course, caring for a lemon tree takes some effort. First, ensure it has well-draining soil, is watered regularly, and is exposed to warm temperatures. And, you can give it an extra boost by fertilizing it with lemon tree-specific fertilizers.

But trust me, it’s all worth it. Seeing your little tree grow and flourish into a mature lemon tree is a rewarding experience. So, let’s explore the exciting stages of growth that your lemon tree will go through!

1.) Germination: Let the Magic Begin!

Lemon tree seeds are small, smooth, and have a milky white hue. If the environment is optimal, they can germinate into a new plant in 5 to 7 days. At this stage, you will observe the emergence of roots and tiny leaves as your lemon plant begins to form.

2.) Seedling Stage

Once your lemon seed has germinated successfully, you will see small green leaves emerging from the soil. The sprouts will continue to grow and produce new leaves, eventually developing into established stems and leaves.

It’s important to remember that during this early stage, your plant is delicate and needs plenty of water, especially the hot summer. After three months, you can then transplant the seedling to a full-sun location in your garden, as lemon plants require ample sunlight to thrive.

3.) Youth & Maturity

As the young seedling grows, it will gradually become a sapling, and during this phase, it is important to shield it from cold temperatures. Over time, the sapling will develop denser leaves, more robust trunks, and branches with thorns.

Now, your lemon tree has grown into a mature plant with a sturdy trunk and branches! Nevertheless, you still need to take good care of it to ensure it stays healthy during this lemon tree growth phase. 

Ensure it receives plenty of sunlight, sufficient nutrients, and water. However, take care not to overwater it, as this can result in root rot and completely destroy your plant.

Although they are not frost-hardy, mature lemon trees are more tolerant of colder weather.

4.) Flowering & Fruiting

At two years of growth, your tree should begin forming buds during winter. Then, as temperatures rise in early spring, beautiful flowers will begin to emerge from the flower buds, producing little white blooms.

One great thing about lemon trees is that they are self-pollinating, which means they don’t need help from other pollinators to produce fruit. As the flowers fade, they will give way to young lemon fruits that eventually ripen into juicy treats.

Remember that your lemon tree needs the proper amount of water to produce those delicious fruits. If you’re growing a container lemon tree, be sure to provide the pot with adequate drainage to prevent root rot.

5.) Ripening Lemons

It takes around 4 months for lemons to mature. You’ll want to make sure to keep your citrus tree well-hydrated and fertilize it regularly. Also, be mindful of pests, particularly aphids, which can harm your tree and impact fruit production.

If you spot an infestation, quickly prune off affected branches or leaves to prevent further spreading and apply pesticides as needed.

Mature lemons have smooth, yellow skin and are oblong in shape. The fruit size can vary based on growing conditions and the type of lemon tree you have. 

Note: Meyer and Eureka lemon trees typically produce the tastiest fruit.

If you come across a particularly large lemon with thick skin, it may have originated from a type of grapefruit or tree rootstock. Keep an eye out for these unique varieties in your lemon harvest!

6.) Harvesting The Lemons

It’s essential to wait until lemons are fully ripe before harvesting them. Green lemons are still unripe; if you pick them prematurely, they will not continue growing and developing.

Instead, wait patiently until the lemons have ripened to a rich, sunny yellow color. At that point, you can confidently harvest them and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Difference Between Immature Lemons and Mature

An immature lemon is a lemon that has not yet reached its full size and has not fully ripened. Immature lemons are typically green in color, smaller in size, and have a more tart taste than mature lemons.

On the other hand, a mature lemon is a lemon that has reached its full size and has ripened to a yellow color. Mature lemons are larger than immature lemons, have a sweeter taste, and are typically juicier. The skin of a mature lemon is also smoother than an immature lemon’s.

It’s essential to wait until lemons are fully ripe before harvesting them to ensure they have the best flavor and texture.

7.) Drying

If you don’t pick the lemons, they will become discolored and withered. Ultimately, these lemons will detach from the tree.

Your tree will keep producing fruit until it reaches a ripe age. After that, cultivators usually save the seeds and promptly begin cultivating a new lemon tree.

Unbelievable Trick: How to Grow Lemon Tree From Seed Using Eggs Shells & Carton

Check out this trick to growing citrus trees using egg shells and carton:

FAQ About the Growth Stages of a Lemon Tree

How Tall is the Average 1 to 2-Year-Old Lemon Tree?

A 1-2-year-old Eureka Lemon tree is typically 1-2 feet tall. Eureka lemons are the type you would usually find in grocery stores.

How Long Will it Take to Grow a Lemon Tree Fully?

When starting a lemon tree from a seed, you should be prepared to wait up to 7 years for the tree to produce fruit. However, if you opt for commercially sold lemon trees, they are usually grafted onto the rootstock, which can shorten the time it takes for the tree to bear fruit. 

Typically, a grafted lemon tree takes around 2 to 3 years to start bearing fruit. However, the exact timeline can vary based on several factors, including the conditions, lemon tree variety, and the age of the lemon tree when it was planted.

How Many Times a Year do Lemon Trees Produce Fruit?

Again, this depends on the type, but a Meyer lemon tree can yield fruit up to four times yearly.

What Environment is Best for Lemon Trees to Grow?

Lemon trees thrive in a warm, sunny environment with plenty of water and well-draining soil. They prefer temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29 degrees Celsius) and cannot tolerate frost or extreme cold. Growing lemon trees in containers that can be moved indoors during winter is suitable if you reside in a colder climate.

This article was originally published on Nature of Home.

Top 15 Rare Pothos Varieties: From the Rarest to the Most Expensive Plant Types

This article was originally published at Nature of Home. Check out this rare pothos plants!

We all know and love the common Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum). But did you know that the Pothos genus comes with more than just the Devil’s Ivy’s golden variegation? There are cultivars with white variegation, exciting leaf shapes, and so much more!

What Makes a Rare Pothos?

Rare pothos plants are just like regular plants, but they will have something ‘special’ about them, making them stand out from common pothos varieties. The most obvious example is variegation, but special features can also be in growth patterns, leaf sizes, or leaf shapes.

Many rare houseplants are cultivated in labs nowadays, which means that for some varieties, only limited specimens are available, making them even more valuable. 

Pothos plants will become rare when there is a limited supply available of them. Sellers can ask high prices for rare plants because buyers cannot find the plant elsewhere easily. When plants become expensive, they are almost always seen as a rarity because only a few people can afford one. 

However, when more people get their hands on a plant and start to sell cuttings for lower rates, the value of the plant decreases as the availability rises. This rise and fall in prices mean that plants that were once rare can become very common and affordable over time.

Top 15 Rare Pothos Varieties

1.) Pothos Manjula

This plant is likely not considered rare nowadays. However, it is worth purchasing to expand your Pothos collection. The Pothos Manjula has striking white, cream, and green variegation. 

If you own this stunning plant, give it bright sunlight or grow it under a grow light to help bring out all the beautiful colors in the leaves!

2.) Harlequin Pothos

This hyper-rare variety is similar to the Manjula pothos, but the two have some key differences. Harlequin Pothos grows only white and green variegated leaves, while Manjula’s leaves have a harmony of greens, creams, whites, and even yellow. 

Unless you are a rare houseplant collector or seller, and your goal is to own every Pothos variety on the market, there is no need to spend a lot of extra cash on the Harlequin. Most people cannot tell the difference if you grow the plant in your home!

3.) Cebu Blue Pothos (Epipremnum Pinnatum)

What makes Cebu Blue Pothos so special is the color. As the name suggests, the Cebu Blue Pothos has a faint blue tint to its leaves. The Cebu Blue is a trendy variety among plant collectors. It is fast-growing, relatively low-maintenance, and has a fascinating leaf shape. 

As the plant matures, its leaves will grow splits and holes, similar to a Monstera! You can encourage this plant to mature by letting it grow on a moss pole or totem. You will be surprised at how fast this beautiful plant will grow!

4.) Marble Queen Pothos

The Marble Queen Pothos is a stunning plant that grows large leaves with lots of cream-colored variegation. Due to the large patches of white or cream on the leaves, Marble Queen Pothos does not grow very fast. 

Provide it with bright, indirect light and apply a balanced fertilizer to this plant twice a year to encourage healthy growth, and you will be sure to get the most out of this stunning Pothos. 

5.) Pothos Silvery Ann 

This Pothos truly stands out due to its shimmery, silvery foliage. This variety is often seen as a higher variegated version of the similar Silver Satin Pothos, which often only has specks of silver on its leaves. 

Silvery Ann pothos will make a great addition to any home decor and look stunning when grown as a hanging plant on a plant wall or from a shelf.

6.) Silver Satin Pothos (Scindapsus Pictus)

The Silver Satin Pothos is a classic, which makes it impossible to imagine a houseplant collection without one. The silver specks stand out on this beautiful plant’s dark green leaves and can be grown effortlessly in various conditions.

Whether you have a dark space in your home or want to display this plant in your window, this silver pothos will adapt quickly and produce many stunning vines!

7.) Neon Pothos

Named after their impressive light-green, almost yellow hue, the Neon Pothos will brighten up any location. However, due to the light-colored leaves, you will want to ensure that this plant gets bright, indirect sunlight. It will not grow well in dim locations in your home.

Do not mistake the Neon Pothos for the very similar Neon Philodendron! While they are the same color, you can tell the difference by the leaf shape. Philodendrons have heart-shaped leaves, while Pothos varieties have more elongated and pointy foliage. 

8.) Snow Queen Pothos

Often mistaken for the Marble Queen Pothos, the Snow Queen Pothos is one of the most wide-saught after Pothos cultivars. This plant can be hard to find, as sellers often sell other plants under its name for high rates.

The Snow Queen is so unique because it has highly variegated leaves. Maybe even the most out of all the Pothos varieties! Leaves may sometimes even be completely white with just some specks of green. This plant is an impressive addition to any houseplant collection. 

9.) Global Green Pothos

The Global Green Pothos stands out due to its unique variegation. Rather than white, cream, or yellow, this plant grows leaves with variegation in different shades of green! 

The Global Green is often mistaken for a different type of pothos: the Emerald Pothos. But the difference lies in the shape of the variegation; Global Green Pothos has darker variegation on the outside of the leaves, and Emerald will have darker insides!

10.) Jessenia Pothos

Give Jessenia Pothos bright indirect light exposure to bring out all the beautiful colors this plant has in store! Low light conditions can result in a loss of variegation on the leaves. This plant will happily trail from your ceilings or bookshelves if it gets the needed light.

The leaves show lime-green and yellow stripes in a marbled pattern. You want to see this plant in real life to appreciate its beauty truly!

11.) Pothos N’Joy

Even though this plant is relatively new, the Pothos N Joy is not uncommon in a collectors’ home. This adorable plant grows smaller leaves than your average Pothos, and they have some thrilling variegation. 

The N-Joy Pothos is often mistaken for the Pearls and Jade Pothos. The difference between the two is that the N’Joy has a higher contrast on the leaves. Pearls and Jade Pothos will have shades of green and cream, whereas the N-Joy mainly has dark green and white.

12.) Shangri-la Pothos

Perhaps the most unique and exciting plant on this list! The Shangri-la Pothos is genuinely outstanding, and you only need one look at it to understand why. This stunning cultivar was made in a laboratory in Japan, meaning that there is only a limited supply available of this plant, which adds to its rarity and uniqueness. 

This Pothos will require more attention than most. Give it high humidity and keep the soil slightly moist to encourage healthy leaf growth on your Shangri-La Pothos. 

13.) Baltic Blue Pothos

People will often think Baltic Blue is the same plant as Cebu Blue, and while they are similar, they are not the same. The Baltic Blue tends to grow darker leaves and fenestrate earlier than the Cebu Blue, making it a good option for impatient plant parents. 

The Baltic Blue Pothos is a plant that will thrive when grown as a climber. Offer the plant a moss pole or trellis to encourage leaf maturing and fenestrations. 

14.) Scindapsus Treubii

First, let us admit that this is not a true rare pothos plant. However, it is related to philodendrons and pothos. And it can be rare and is worth considering.

The Scindapsus Treubii has two varieties; dark form and ‘moonlight.’ The dark form has dark-colored leaves that are so deep green that they almost appear black. On the other hand, the moonlight has shiny, silvery leaves that resemble the light of the moon at night.

It goes without saying this is an impressive plant! It’s also very low-maintenance and does not require constant attention like some other rare Pothos varieties. Its easy-care requirements make the Treubii a great plant for friends and loved ones to present as a gift!

 15.) Pothos Skeleton Key (Most Expensive Pothos & Rarest Pothos Variety)

This is the rarest and most expensive Pothos on this list. The Skeleton Key is named after its distinctive leaf shape, resembling a key in the shape of a skull.

The Pothos Skeleton Key has made its way onto many plant collectors’ wishlists over the past few years. But finding it is not easy, and people will often sell cuttings with only two leaves for over sixty dollars!

FAQ About Rare Types of Pothos

What is the Rarest Pothos Type?

The rarest Pothos type is debated and can vary depending on location and availability. However, some of the most highly sought-after and rare Pothos varieties include the Pothos Shangri-la, Pothos Skeleton Key, and Pothos White Ghost. These varieties are known for their unique leaf patterns and difficulty propagating and finding in the market.

Where Can You Find Rare Pothos?

You can find rare Pothos plants both in stores and online. However, ensure you purchase yours from a reputable seller and know what you are looking for! Don’t fall for low prices; if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. 

Pothos Trailing: How To Get Your Pothos To Trail Faster

a pothos plant trailing

Pothos are excellent houseplants. We wanted to share this article by Nature of Home because it teaches you how to get them to trail and look beautiful!

Adding trailing houseplants to your home decor is becoming more and more popular. If you want to create a rustic cottage look in your home, trailing plants are for you! One of the easiest and low-maintenance houseplants to do this with is Pothos. Its fast-growing vines will soon take over your furniture and walls.

But what if your Pothos doesn’t seem to trail, or it’s simply not looking how you want it to? Encouraging your Pothos trailing is effortless once you give it the right care and conditions.

Do Pothos Plants Always Trail?

trailing pothos plants in kitchen

If you’ve ever seen a beautiful, mature Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) in the wild, with massive leaves and stunning variegation,  you will have noticed that it’s almost always climbing up on something; trees, buildings, or even rocks! The Pothos plants grow something called aerial roots, which are small ‘air’ roots used by the plant to attach to surrounding objects and climb up. 

Does that mean we can conclude that Pothos are strictly climbing plants? Not exactly. When there is nothing to climb onto, Pothos will happily trail down. As trailing plants, their vines can reach 40ft in length.

As the plant ages and matures, it will naturally look for something to climb, even when grown indoors. But, if no support is available, it will start to trail down and reward you with fast-growing, long vines. Like the common houseplant Philodendron, Pothos plants can be grown trailing and climbing.

When grown as indoor plants, you will find many different types of Pothos. The most common pothos variety is the yellow-variegated Golden Pothos, also known by its common name: Devil’s Ivy. Other equally beautiful varieties are Neon Pothos, named after its neon green leaves, and Satin Pothos, with specks of silver. Further, you can find Pearls ‘n Jade Pothos with white variegation or Jade Pothos, which is plain and green.

7 Ways: How To Get Pothos to Trail Faster

If your Pothos seems to grow slowly and you want it to start trailing, there are a few ways you can encourage your plant to grow longer vines. 

The most crucial part is that the plant is in good health and gets the right conditions to thrive. Luckily, Pothos care is easy, and promoting healthy growth is as easy as providing the right conditions.

1. Your Pothos Well-Hydrated

watering a pothos plant

To grow and thrive, all plants require ample amounts of water. When you give your Pothos too little water, its leaves may curl, turn yellow, and eventually stop growing

On the other end, overwatering can cause your plant’s roots to rot, leading to death. Maintaining a good watering schedule ensures your Pothos remains healthy and happy. 

Allow the top inch or two of your Pothos’ soil to dry out between watering. Allowing only the top to dry out helps to keep the soil slightly moist but never waterlogged. This way, the roots will always have access to sufficient moisture, but they are never getting suffocated by too much water.

Pots with drainage holes in the bottom will help prevent overwatering your plant. These holes allow any excess water to drain out of the pot, which prevents the roots from sitting in moisture for too long and suffocating. 

2. Give Your Pothos Plenty Of Light

pothos with light shining on a wood table.

You may have heard that Pothos are low-light plants, and while this is partly true, you will always want to ensure that your plants receive enough light to photosynthesize and produce energy.

When you place your Pothos in low light conditions, it will not be able to create enough energy to grow well. This is why you often see low variegation, small new leaves, and leggy stems on Pothos in dark corners.

Too much direct sunlight can cause burnt leaves, so protect your Pothos against harsh direct light.

Giving your Pothos bright indirect light will allow it to grow fast and put out healthy, strong leaves! Additionally, when placed in brightly lit conditions, variegated varieties such as Marble Queen Pothos will have brighter, stronger variegation. 

3. Encourage Trailing With Pruning

showing pothos pruning with scissors

Pruning your houseplants will encourage them to put out new leaves faster and promotes bushier, fuller growth on your plants.

Also, remove dead leaves regularly so the plant won’t waste energy sustaining dead foliage and focus all of its resources on new growth. 

When cutting your Pothos, cut right below a leaf node. A node is the thick, dense part of the stem where aerial roots grow. It’s also where the new leaf will sprout! You can use the cut ends of the trailing vines for propagating!

Simply stick the stem cuttings into a vessel of water and refresh the water once a week. Ensure that at least one node is submerged in water and place the propagation in bright indirect sunlight. Soon, you will see roots growing! 

4. Fertilize Your Pothos As Needed

showing plant growth with pothos fertilizer

Sustaining all leaves, an extensive, big root system, and growing leaves all take a lot of building blocks. Pothos is a plant that doesn’t need much additional feeding, as it can grow very well on minimal nutrients. Naturally, they grow in a poor, nutrient-deficient soil type. 

But at some point, even Pothos can benefit from some extra help. Fertilizing your plant regularly will help ensure it has access to all the essential nutrients it needs to grow and thrive! 

Feed your Pothos once at the beginning of spring to help kickstart the new growing season, then again at the start of summer to give it a little extra push where needed. Use an all-purpose, balanced houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half the recommended strength. 

Avoid fertilizing your Pothos too much. As said above, these plants don’t need a lot of extra food. Overfertilizing your Pothos can result in burnt roots and even kill your plant over time. Make sure to water your plant well before applying fertilizer to reduce the chances of root burn. 

5. Offer Your Pothos Support

pothos climbing a moss pole

Since Pothos are natural climbers, they will often grow faster when given some kind of support. When you give your Pothos something to climb on, it will be encouraged to mature faster, resulting in bigger and stronger leaves. 

You can add support to your Pothos using moss poles or a trellis. Alternatively, you can train your Pothos to climb up your wall using wall hooks or pins. 

6. Protect Your Pothos Against Pests

When your Pothos becomes infested with pests, it will soon stop growing, and leaves may become discolored or deformed. This happens because pests like spider mites or mealybugs (common among Pothos!) feed on the nutrient-rich sap inside of your plants, essentially draining the life out of your plants!

Protect your Pothos from pests by regularly rinsing the leaves, spraying with a neem oil solution, and checking on your plants often. Isolate infested plants immediately and treat the bugs with a pesticide right away. 

7. Most Importantly: Patience!

If you’re doing everything right, but your Pothos doesn’t seem to be trailing well, it may simply not be old enough. As the plant ages and grows bigger and bigger, it will eventually begin trailing.

But don’t worry. Pothos are fast growing, so the wait won’t be too long. During their growing season, they can grow 12 inches of new vines. But know that this will only happen if your Pothos plant grows in the right conditions. 

2 Trailing Pothos Ideas to Display Your Plant

Hanging Basket

pothos plant in a hanging basket

The most common way to display the beautiful vines with heart-shaped leaves of the Pothos plant is by planting them into a hanging basket and hanging them from the ceiling, the wall, or the window. 

Since Pothos is toxic to pets, such as cats and dogs, placing yours in a hanging basket will ensure that it stays safe from the jaws of your furry friends. Always keep toxic or harmful plants out of reach of pets or children. 

Dangling From A Bookshelf

If you’ve got an empty space on your bookshelf, consider adding a trailing Pothos. The trailing vines will look stunning as they drape down from your shelves! A bonus is that houseplants can improve indoor air quality, which can help reduce the scent of musty books over time. 

If your bookshelves hang high, dust will soon collect on your plants, inhibiting the light your plant receives. When you place your plant with your books, please dust the leaves regularly and ensure that your Pothos gets all the light and water it needs.

Top 10 Most Useful Plants for Food, Medicine, and Materials

motherwort plant

We had the share this article by Nature of Home. Plants are amazing and more people need to be aware of their benefits.

What are the most valuable plants you know for food, medicine, and materials? One of the better-known is the Aloe Vera plant. It has incredible medicinal value. However, after someone asked a popular online forum for other examples of useful plants, these are the top-voted choices you probably have yet to hear of.

1. Moringa Oleifera

Moringa Oleifera plant

Moringa Oleifera is a tree with leaves rich in proteins, calcium, iron, and vitamin C. One shared, “They grow so fast and have so many nutrients that I haven’t bought meat in seven months. I prepare the leaves in many ways. 

The leaves are helpful for tea, juice, and cooking. My favorite recipe is fried rice with onion, bell pepper, carrots, eggs, and moringa. They burn easily, so add them last.”

2. Dandelions

dandelion flowers and salve

Many in the thread agreed that dandelions grow anywhere and are helpful in many ways. The leaves are a nice bitter green that gets much less bitter when sauteed like spinach or can be served raw in recipes that call for ingredients like arugula. 

It’s more nutritious than spinach, kale, or other popular greens. You can make syrups, whines, and many other things with flower heads. The heads are an attractive-looking edible garnish. The dandelion flowers and stems have a much more palatable, non-bitter flavor. 

One added, “The roots can be roasted to make a lovely tea, similar to regular black tea but without caffeine. I like to have it at bedtime.”

3. Yuca (Not Yucca)

yuca root

Have you ever heard of Yuca? It’s not just a word that sounds like someone’s name, but a nutty and delicious root vegetable that is a staple in many parts of the world. Native to South America and also found in Asia and parts of Africa, this starchy tuber is a fantastic carbohydrate source many enjoy.

However, there’s often confusion between Yuca and another plant that sounds almost identical: Yucca. Although they share similar names, these two plants are entirely different. Yucca is a spiky plant that’s native to the southeastern United States, and while it does bear edible seeds, flowers, and fruits, it doesn’t have an edible root.

So if you’re ever talking about Yuca, make sure you’re thinking of something other than Yucca. While the names might be confusing, there’s no mistaking the delicious taste of this root vegetable!

Yucca is great for adding more fiber to your diet. One noted, “When I was younger, my mother would soothe our stomach aches and indigestion with small amounts of yuca. Then, she would add some ginger and a small amount of garlic. It did the trick every time.”

4. Stinging Nettle

freshly harvested stinging nettle

Stinging Nettle can be used for so much. It’s super nutritious and great for seasonal allergies. You can add the leaves to soup or even make tea with them. It is also possible to dry the leaves, grind them into powder, and add them to capsules to create supplements.

5. Willow Trees

willow bark tea

Willow trees are some of the most beautiful and helpful trees you can grow. Willow bark contains salicylic acid, which helps with pain, inflammation, stiffness, and even period cramps. Willow bark has been used through the generations for medicinal purposes.

6. Hemp

hemp plant

Hemp is a plant with multiple purposes. You can use it to make clothing, paper, food cultivation tools, and much more. Hemp grows quicker than most plants, and with all of the possibilities, hemp could replace many of our non-renewable materials.

7. Plantain

plantain trees

Plantain fibers are tough and pliable, which allows them to be used in survival situations to make fishing lines, braiding, or sutures. In addition, the leaves are commonly used in salads when young. 

They become tougher as they get older and more prominent, and many countries use them instead of plates. The leaves contain calcium and nutrients. You can also grind plantains into a flour substitute.

8. Cattails


One ecology expert explained, “Cattails are the mother of all materials. While it has nutritious edible tubers, shoots and green flower heads, and pollen, it is often risky to consume them from unknown sources due to human contamination. 

However, they unequivocally shine in their abundance of uses as materials. The roots contain thin, strong fibers that make for very strong cordage. 

The stalk has many benefits in weaving, wattling, and basketry, making it an excellent structural material; pounding and washing away the stalk may also produce fibers for cordage, but doing so is often lossful overall. 

The mature seeds make for a fantastic insulating material for shoes, primitive pillows, and plushes. Finally, the leaves may be used for basketry and weaving. Overall, an amazing plant.”

9. Chestnut Trees

chestnut tree

Chestnut trees are incredible. The wood is perfect for building because it is so strong. In addition, the chestnuts are an abundant food source that often goes overlooked. They are comparable to sweet potatoes with their carb content and are high in protein and fat.

Popular Reading: 10 Beautiful Household Plants That Are Toxic for Cats

10. Bamboo

bamboo tree forest

Finally, many agreed that bamboo might be the most helpful plant on this list. It grows extremely fast and is near impossible to over-forage. 

Bamboo can be turned into tool handles, bows, fishing rods, spears, arrows, farming tools, pipes, containers, building materials, ladders, shelves, rafts, furniture, baskets, and more with minimal effort.

We hope you enjoyed these Reddit recommendations for the most useful plants.

6 Steps: How to Propagate a Pothos Plant

how to propagate pothos plants

Pothos plants are beautiful, easy-to-care-for additions to any home. So if you’re looking for a way to add more greenery to your living space without wasting your time and energy, propagating pothos plants is the answer! 

We’ll show you how to propagate pothos plants so that you can create more plants and enjoy their beauty for many years to come.

Understand the Basics of Pothos Propagation

Propagating pothos plants is a great way to increase the size of your indoor garden with minimal effort. All you need is some cuttings, soil, and water to start.

The first step in propagating pothos is to take cuttings from an existing plant. Choose stems at least 6 inches long with several leaves on them. 

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, as these will be planted in soil.

Once you have your cuttings ready, fill a pot about 2/3 full with fresh potting soil and start placing the cuttings around the edges of the pot, adding soil as necessary to keep them firmly in place. 

Water the soil, so it’s moist but not soggy, and place it in indirect sunlight or a bright window sill.

Keep an eye on your cuttings for signs of root development over time. When roots begin to form, you can transplant them into individual pots or mix them into other containers with similar-sized plants. 

Make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times while they’re growing! With a bit of patience and care, propagating pothos plants can be an easy and rewarding experience!

Choose a Healthy Pothos Plant

Choosing a healthy pothos plant for propagation is essential in growing new plants. 

When selecting, it is crucial to look for stems that have at least three leaves and are free from disease or stress. 

Cut the stem just below the roots using a clean and sterile cutting tool. Once you have your healthy cutting, you can propagate it in water or soil. 

Place the cutting into a jar of water for water propagation and wait until roots form. For soil propagation, prepare a pot with houseplant soil mix and insert the cutting so that only two-thirds of it is below the surface of the soil. 

Make sure to keep both methods consistently moist and in indirect sunlight while they root. With enough patience and care, you will soon see your pothos plant start to thrive!

Tip: Use Sharp Pruning Shears

Using a sharp pair of pruning shears is essential. Pruning shears help you shape your plant and keep it neat while allowing you to propagate new plants from the cuttings. 

Pruning shears should be sharp enough to make clean cuts on the stem but not too sharp so that they can damage the leaves or cause any harm to the plant. 

It’s vital to use disinfected pruning shears before each use to ensure that no disease or pests are spread during pruning. More on that is below.

Once you have your supplies ready, trim off any excess vines or stems with your pruning shears, making sure to make clean cuts close to the nodes so you can propagate easily.

Before Starting: Clean Your Tools with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an essential tool when it comes to cleaning your gardening tools. Not only does it help kill off any fungal spores that may have found their way onto your tools, but it also ensures that you’re not transferring bacteria or other organisms from one plant to another. 

To properly clean your gardening tools with rubbing alcohol, follow these steps:

  1. Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 9 parts clean water in a spray bottle.
  2. Thoroughly spray the blade and handle of each tool with the mixture and let sit for at least 3 minutes.
  3. Wipe down the blades and handles with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any debris or dirt particles that may be present.
  4. Allow the tools to air dry before using them again on plants or pots.

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent choice for cleaning gardening tools because it is non-toxic and has antifungal properties, so you can rest assured that no harm will come to your plants.

1.) Cut Stems at a 45 Degree Angle

Cutting stems at a 45-degree angle is crucial in propagating pothos plants. Using sharp and sanitized scissors, cut the stem just below a node. 

A node is a spot where a stem is connected and looks like tiny bumps on the vine. 

Cutting at an angle will provide more surface area for rooting hormone and water, which will help promote healthy root growth for your new pothos plant cutting. 

When taking cuttings from the parent plant, choose a 3- to a 6-inch-long piece from a healthy portion of the stem. This will help ensure that your new cutting has all the necessary components to thrive and grow.

2.) Place Cuttings in Water Immediately

If you’re looking for an easy and fast way to propagate your pothos plant, cuttings in water is the way to go. This propagation method is simple, fast, and can be done with just a few supplies.

To start:

  1. Gather your supplies. You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or pruners, an old glass or jelly jar, and some tap water (preferably room temperature).
  2. Once you have these items ready, determine where to make the cut on the main plant.
  3. Make sure it’s a healthy stem with at least two leaves.
  4. Cut the stem below the second set of leaves, ensuring each cutting has at least two leaves attached.

Once you’ve snipped off all your cuttings, fill your jar with water and place them inside, resting them on the side of the jar if needed. 

Place this jar out of direct sunlight and watch as new roots form over time! If you have a heating mat available, it will help speed up root formation for your pothos plant

3.) Change Water Regularly

Water is essential for keeping plants healthy, and it’s essential for pothos plants. Pothos are easy to propagate in water, but they need to have the water changed regularly to stay healthy.

To change the water for your pothos plant, first, gather the supplies you need:

  • A healthy pothos plant.
  • A pair of sterile scissors or gardening shears.
  • Tap water.
  • A small clear container such as a Mason jar or glass vase.

Then, use the scissors or shears to make several one-inch cuts from the main stem of your pothos plant. 

Place these cuttings into the jar with fresh tap water on its side so it can take root properly. Place the jar in a sunny spot and regularly check to add or replace water.

It’s important to remember that you should change out the water every one to two weeks because oxygen does run out of it over time. If you want your pothos cuttings to keep growing and healthy, give them clean, fresh water regularly!

Rooting Hormone May Help

Rooting hormone is a plant growth regulator that helps stimulate root growth in cuttings. This can be an excellent tool for propagating plants, as it can help increase the success rate of cuttings by providing the necessary nutrients and hormones to promote root formation.

 It’s especially beneficial for more difficult-to-propagate plants like pothos, as it can help speed up the process and increase the chance of success. 

The use of rooting hormone is optional for all plants, however. Easy growers like pothos will often root just fine without it. Dip the cutting ends into a powdered or liquid solution to use rooting hormone before planting in a soil medium or water. 

This will provide extra nutrients and hormones that stimulate root formation and ensure your cuttings take off quickly.

Wait for Roots to Grow Long Enough 

Rooting and propagating pothos plants can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. 

All you need to do is wait for the roots of the cuttings to grow long enough before you can transplant them into soil. This process is usually done by keeping the soil moist and waiting for roots to form, which typically takes just a few weeks. 

If your pothos cuttings are not rooting, it may be due to cold water or incorrect season. 

Remember that warmer water is critical for successful propagation, and wait until the roots are at least 2 inches long before transferring your cutting into the soil. 

With patience and care, you will soon have healthy pothos plants growing in no time.

4.) Plant New Cuttings in Potting Soil   

Newly cut pothos plant cuttings can easily be propagated in potting soil. To get started, fill a pot about two-thirds full with a mix of potting soil, coconut coir, and perlite to ensure good drainage. 

Then, remove the first leaf above the cutting’s end and dip it in the rooting hormone for optimal growth. 

Place the cuttings around the edges of the pot and add more soil as needed to keep them standing upright. 

Water thoroughly and place them in an area with bright indirect light for several weeks until new leaves grow on the stems. 

With patience, you’ll soon have beautiful pothos plants that you can enjoy for years!

5.) Place in Bright, Indirect Sunlight                     

Pothos plants need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. If you are growing your plant indoors, the best place to put it is near a window that doesn’t get direct sunlight. 

You can also use artificial lighting if necessary. The important thing is that the light should be bright and indirect.

If you are propagating pothos cuttings in water, you should place them in a container and set them in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid putting the cuttings too close to the light, which could lead to burned foliage.

If your potted cuttings are planted in soil, ensure they receive plenty of bright, indirect light and water them well. 

Monitor the soil’s moisture levels regularly and keep it evenly moist for optimal growth.

6.) Keep Soil Moist, Not Saturated       

Watering your pothos plant is integral to keeping it healthy and thriving. 

Keeping the soil moist but not saturated is key. The best way to achieve this is to water your pothos when the top inch of soil feels dry. 

It’s also a good idea to poke a few holes in the surface of the potting mix so that excess water can drain out and keep air circulating around the roots. 

Use room temperature or slightly warmer water when watering, as cold water can shock and damage the plant’s delicate roots. 

Finally, never let your pothos sit in standing water, as this can cause root rot. Following these simple steps will ensure that your pothos remains healthy.

  – Consider Using Fertilizer for Growth and Color

Fertilizer can be a great way to help your pothos plants grow and produce vibrant colors. 

When using fertilizer to help your pothos plants reach their full potential, it’s essential to use a high-quality liquid fertilizer that is balanced and applied every 2-3 months. 

Don’t forget to keep pests at bay as well! Once your plant’s roots reach two inches long, you can either place them directly into soil or continue to grow them hydroponically. 

Place the cutting near indirect natural light to stay cool and dry. With proper care and feeding, your pothos will soon be thriving.

  – Avoid Direct Sunlight and Drafts

When caring for pothos plants, avoiding direct sunlight and drafts is best. Instead, pothos should be placed in an area with bright, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. 

Filtered bright light works best for this plant, as the direct, intense sun can cause damage. 

It is also essential to keep the growing medium well aerated and allow the plants to dry out slightly between waterings. 

The ideal spot for a pothos plant is near a window that receives bright indirect light away from cold drafts.


Propagating pothos is a great way to multiply your single plant and have more beautiful plants in your home. 

There are three main methods for propagating pothos: layering, water propagation, and stem cuttings. 

Layering is the simplest method and requires the least amount of effort. All you need to do is choose an offshoot from the mother plant, lower its aerial roots into a pot filled with soil, and then cover them with soil. 

For water propagation, take 3-4 stem cuttings with at least one node each, put them in a glass jar filled halfway with room temperature water, and keep changing it every few days. 

For stem cuttings, snip off stems at a 45-degree angle below the node so that they contain one or two nodes each. Then, place the cuttings in soil or water and wait for roots to appear before transplanting them into separate pots. 

Experiment to find which method suits you best, and you’ll be a pro in no time!


A Horticulture Information article from the Wisconsin Master Gardener website, posted 15 Jan 2007PDF

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Diseases: Identification and Control in Commercial Greenhouse ProductionPDF

Epipremnum aureum – FL – PDF

How to Propagate Pothos – Beginner Guide – Link

20 tips to help your houseplants survive the winter


20 tips to help your houseplants survive the winter

It may seem like winter is nothing but a death sentence for your beloved houseplants, but the coldest months are simply the time to use more specialized plant care. Far from being a period of inactivity or failed household foliage, winter can still be a healthy time for your plants. Winter even has the potential to bring out the most vibrant colors and blooms of the entire year for some plant species, including camellias, winter jasmines, and many types of witch hazel.

During winter, many plants undergo dormancy, in which they are still alive but suspend the growing processes. Different plant species employ a variety of genetic adaptations designed to maintain health against the dropping temperatures and lack of sunlight. For instance, seeds from plants native to colder climates spend the winter metabolizing to prepare for spring. Photosynthesis and respiration both slow down for many plants, minimizing the amount of sugar the plants have to metabolize in the cold. A plant shedding its leaves is also strategic, as doing so allows for nutrient conservation.

Eventually, once temperatures rise again, plants will know to end their dormancy periods. This is largely due to plants’ “temperature memories,” which enable them to keep track of interactions between proteins and measure time and temperature to deduce when spring has arrived.

Of course, even if your plants have their own methods of fending for themselves against the harsh elements of winter, a little specialized cold-weather care can go a long way, too. Stacker used a variety of home and gardening resources to compile a list of 20 tips to help you better care for your houseplants in the winter. They vary from techniques to manipulate light and heat to watering, cleaning, and potting methods that can keep the cold from getting the better of your plants. It should be kept in mind, however, that these tips are largely generalized; the specific needs of plants differ based on their species and origins. It’s always important to research each particular plant type beforehand.

Read on to learn how to best care for your indoor plants through the year’s coldest months.

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Make up for lost sunlight

One of the biggest threats to your plants’ well-being during winter is a lack of sunlight. To compensate for this, put your plants in a nice, bright spot to make the most of daylight hours—however short they may be. If you can, rotate your plants throughout the day to guarantee that each side gets its fair share of rays.

Nor Gal // Shutterstock

Ease up on fertilizer

Winter is a hibernation period for many plants, and they require a lot less fertilizer than in the spring—and sometimes none at all. Check the specific requirements for each type of plant you have, but mostly, you’ll want to hold off—or at least cut back—on fertilizing plants during the winter since they’re not actively growing.

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Be on the lookout for pests

Certain pests spring to life during the winter, targeting indoor plants in particular. Keep a careful eye on your houseplants to make sure they aren’t infested. If you find bugs like aphids or mites on your plants, isolate infested plants and treat them with pesticide or a gentle dish soap solution.


Use a grow light on dark days

Some winter days are so short and overcast, the sun barely peeks out at all. To make sure your plants still get the light they need, use an LED grow light—or, as a cheaper option, screw a full-spectrum light bulb into a nearby lamp—to illuminate the leaves and keep them healthy.

JRP Studio // Shutterstock

Be mindful of vacation care

Many of us travel during the winter holidays, but definitely make sure to not leave your plants out in the cold when you do. Water as normal before leaving, but then consider placing your plants in the bathtub together so they can take advantage of a slightly more humid atmosphere while you’re gone. For longer trips, consider having someone come by and care for the plants in your stead.

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André Hofmeister // Flickr

Wash your windows

Placing your plants in front of a sunny window won’t do much good if the window is too dusty or grimy to let the sun’s nutrients in. Wash your windows on both sides so the maximum amount of sunlight is getting in.

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Dima Berlin // Shutterstock

Pay attention to humidity levels

Winter is notoriously dry, and your houseplants may suffer from the lack of moisture in the air. To keep things just humid enough, consider buying a humidifier to keep the atmosphere just right.

rattiya lamrod // Shutterstock

Keep your plants together

There’s power in numbers, and clustering your plants together during the winter can help them share nutrients and moisture. There are many easy DIY fixes to accomplish this, including moving your plants onto a large plate or building them a nice indoor window box to act as a kind of seasonal co-living space for them.


Don’t water at summer rates

Just like fertilizer, plants need a lot less water in winter. Cut back on the amount you water your plants—to gauge if you’re giving them the right amount, place a finger about an inch or two deep into the soil and see if the soil below the surface is still wet. Even if the topsoil is dry, you won’t need to water the plant again until the soil a little deeper down is also getting there.

Studio Light and Shade // Shutterstock

Avoid cold air sneaking in

Drafts, breezes, and gusts of wind all need to be watched out for in the winter. To keep your plants from falling victim to sudden changes in temperature, position them away from vents, windows, doors, or other spots where air can slip through from outside.


Evade sources of overheating

It’s natural to want to protect your plants from the excess cold by turning up the thermostat, but too much heat can be just as big a threat to them. As fireplaces, radiators, ovens, and other heating systems blaze up, make sure your plants aren’t in the line of fire.

Evgeniya Uvarova // Shutterstock

Be strategic with the spray bottle

Although misting is a popular technique for giving plants a dose of moisture, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Mist in the morning so they have time to soak it in throughout the day, while it’s still light out, and be sure not to neglect the bottom of your leaves.

Olivier Le Moal // Shutterstock

Maintain a constant temperature range

Between heating systems going on and off throughout the day and degrees dropping dramatically at night, temperatures fluctuate during the winter. Houseplants, however, require a steady atmosphere, so move them away from windows at night and keep them in a well-ventilated area during the day to give them as much consistency as possible.

Tanja Esser // Shutterstock

Check before you bring the entire garden inside

Not all outdoor plants will need to be brought inside for winter—some, even surprisingly, may thrive outdoors during the cold months. When deciding which garden plants to move indoors for the winter, check the USDA plant hardiness zone map to see which ones are best left where they are.

BlokPhoto // Shutterstock

Quarantine outside plants before moving them indoors

Once you determine which outdoor plants you’ll be bringing indoors for the winter, it’s best to isolate these plants for a short time before making the switch. During this period, check your plants to make sure they aren’t bringing any outside pests in with them, and use the time to prune any superfluous stems and leaves, as well. After that, they will be ready to make the move inside.

popcorner // Shutterstock

Wipe down plants to keep dust away

Many household plants accumulate dust during the winter, which can be detrimental to plant growth since that dust can block out sunlight and even carry disease. Periodically clean the leaves of your plants by gently wiping them down with a slightly wet cloth or sponge.

Pixel-Shot // Shutterstock

Wait until spring to repot

As previously mentioned, many plants hibernate during the winter. Since they aren’t undergoing dramatic growth, it’s unnecessary to repot them for a while, especially since the repotting process can be trying on plants and their roots, making it a hard process for them to cope with during their weaker winter months. Hold off on any winter pot switches and save the repotting for the spring.

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Inspect frequently with a watchful eye

Plant owners should keep a close eye on their indoor gardens during the tough winter months. You can do everything by the book, but if you’re not keeping tabs on how your plants are responding, you could miss warning signs that something doesn’t agree with them. Check in with your plants frequently, inspecting them for pests, spots, drying, discoloration, and any other prudent characteristics.


Refresh soil a few times per winter

Although you don’t have to repot your plants until spring, it is still good to refresh plants’ soil from time to time during the winter. This includes trimming and rustling up root balls to keep the soil breathing.

Pencil case // Shutterstock

Keep limb growth in check

Many plants can develop dead leaves or long, leggy limbs in the winter because of a lack of sunlight. Trim and prune unnecessary growths like these to keep the plants in top shape for spring.

Article was originally published by Stacker. Written by: Andrea Vale