A Magic Bean Review: They Aren’t Just In Fairytales Anymore

beancan 300x300 A Magic Bean Review: They Aren’t Just In Fairytales AnymoreStill looking for a cute Valentines Day gift? This year your gift giving options are that much better because you can take a literal cue from the Fairytales, and buy Magic Beans (giant not included) for someone special in your life! Magic Beans are gaining popularity this year as quirky gifts that hold all the appeal of common ‘message hearts’ candy and a potted plant, all rolled into one neat bundle, and they can be quickly shipped for the last minute buyer.

A form of living valentine, the gift-ready product comes pre-planted in a special container for about $5, and requires only water to grow in the potting medium. As the plant germinates, the message “I Love You,” appears written on the plants first buds to surprise and fascinate the object of your desire. The message stays on the plant’s leaves throughout the entire annual lifespan of the plant, and makes a cute gift for a significant other, or one of the lucky kids in your life.

How Does The Message Appear?

The method used to create the message on the leaves isn’t new, and simply requires a technique known as “scarification” to be applied to the seed itself. To make it work, the bean seed is etched with words or images which in turn appear on the growing plant as the seed casing sluffs off. Viola, a magic plant!

Can I Buy Beans With Other Messages?

For those of you preferring to create your own packaging, and who like your beans in bulk, you can check out this separate website and buy beans with multiple messages, and a variety of engraves images. The bean bundles come in groups of ten loose beans for DIY plantings, and cost $1.45.

sku 3051 2 small A Magic Bean Review: They Aren’t Just In Fairytales AnymoreAside from being guaranteed to work, and germinating quickly, these little beans are a charming way to share a simple message and the warm thoughts behind it. The beans are guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face this February, and they are a cute way to “green” up your Valentines Day. I think these beans are a pretty sweet idea, and an inexpensive gift to boot.  I give two thumbs way up to these seeds!

How To: Diagnose and Heal Sun Damaged Home Or Office Plants

chinese evergreen 001 225x300 How To: Diagnose and Heal Sun Damaged Home Or Office PlantsCan plants get sunburn? The answer is yes! Most plants are not susceptible to sun damage, but many common home and office plants can suffer from sunburn because they are specifically suited to shadier locations – a leading reason they have earned a place in artificially lit environments.

Pictured here are a few leaves on a Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) plant, that was accidentally left outdoors on a sunny ledge during an office cleaning spree. The plant was brought back indoors two days after it was set outside, and was already showing signs of burn damage.

How can you tell if leaf damage is sun related?

  1. The most immediate symptom displayed by a sun damaged plant is muted leaf color, and an overall greyish tone to the previously green plant.
  2. There will be an obvious difference in color between the leaves exposed to more light on the top of the plant, and the leaves deeper into the interior of the plant, which have been kept shaded. Yellowing will occur in the leaves that follows straight lines, such as above, denoting the areas of the plant that have been shaded by overlapping leaves. Unlike fertilizer burn, and plants suffering from a lack of water, which display irregular yellowing patterns (developing at the tips of the leaves), this yellowing does not turn into brown leaves that curl, or dry up.
  3. Burned leaves remain on the plant looking off color, or yellowed slightly, without falling off. Often the color of the burned area will soften to a transparent hue, where you will be able to see through the leaf, or the leaf will develop irregular bumps on the yellowing area that will look much like a reaction to sun-poisoning in people.

What to do with sun-damaged plants:

  1. Place the plant in an area away from direct sunlight, drafts, and excessive heat.
  2. Water the plant to keep the soil moist, but not wet.
  3. Monitor the amount of leaves damaged by the sun, and remove burned leaves by pruning back.  I generally prune off the leaves in groups over a gradual period of time (several days to weeks), to give a plant that may have a serious case of sunburn a chance to send out new leaves to take over the photosynthesizing, since a badly damaged plant may need most of it’s leaves eventually trimmed off. Trimming all the damaged leaves at once could place the plant into additional shock.

Remember, any shade loving plant can suffer from sunburn, it’s what you do with the plant afterward that will assure the plant’s full recovery.  Err on the side of caution with office plants, when exposing them to direct sunlight, and you may be able to prevent problems like this from ever occurring with your green office companions.

Your thoughts: Have you had plants with sun damage? What tips and tricks have you tried to bring them back to health? Please share any ideas you have with everyone!