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Ideas & Inspiration

Tillandsia Xerographica

Tillandsia xerographica

The biggest of the Tillandsia, airplant family. These beauties are structural with big curly silver leaves. Xerographica, pronounced zero-graphic-a, are sold without soil and have no visible roots. These amazing plants grow in humid, dry forests, collecting moisture from the air around them.

At home, keep your Tillandsia in a dish or decorative plate. To water, soak completely under water for 30 minutes two times a week. When done soaking, remove from the water and turn upside down on a towel to dry before returning to its dish.



Bromeliad guzmania

The Bromeliad is the most commonly used tropical plant in indoor spaces and office buildings. They are tropical plants with a unique flower that lasts for months. In nature the Bromeliad is an epiphyte, growing in tree canopies and collecting water in the rosette of its leaves when it rains. The low light requirements and showy flowers of the Bromeliad make it the go-to plant for indoor or shady location arrangements.

During hot summer months, water the Bromeliad often, filling the rosette with water several times a week. During winter, the plant slows its growth and will need less water. Once the main flower is done showing off, the Bromeliad will begin to grow secondary flowers, or pups, at the base of the parent plant. The secondary flowers then put on a show when the time is right. Remove pups and plant singly for the best flower show.


Herb Gardening Spotlight

Summer Herb Gardening

Successful herb gardening goes a little like this: you need full hot sun, water often (daily in summer sun), feed with an organic fertilizer weekly, harvest (or trim) often to encourage fresh growth and plant what you like to use.

This 5 plant Herb pot is one we make often. It is a 14″ terra cotta pot and contains a single basil, thyme, oregano, chive plant and a parsley or cilantro.

*Mint should be planted alone in a pot as it tends to grow crazy.


Snip and enjoy!

Herb Pot


Alocasia Polly

Alocasia Polly

The Alocasia Polly is a fan favorite around here. It gets its nickname of African Mask from the strong veins running though its large, arrow shaped leaves. The Alocasia Polly is tropical in origin, loving high heat and humidity. The light requirements include medium light to very bright, indirect light. These plants will survive in shade, but not put on much growth, so buy big if you are going for summer planters in the shade. We LOVE these for summer arrangements in MN!

Try to water often and be certain to keep these plants fed weekly in the stronger growing seasons (June-August in Minnesota).

Pairs well with blue star ferns and hot pink or white impatiens.

alocasia polly

Earth Day 2023: How the Sunnyside Team Invests in our Planet

Sunnyside Gardens Earth Day Bingo card

Happy Earth Day 2023! Today is a reminder to both appreciate this earth that we’ve been given, but also of our responsibility to care for and protect it. The Sunnyside Gardens team is passionate about caring for our planet both in our personal lives, as well as through the gardening lifestyle and products we love at the garden center.

So much so, that we participate in an Earth Day BINGO challenge created by one of our own team members. If you’re interested in seeing how our team participates in Earth Day or would like to follow along for fun, access & download the full Sunnyside Gardens Earth Day BINGO card here!


Additionally, here are a few ways you can personally use your own gardening hobby and lifestyle to help #investinourplanet:

  • Focus on pollinator-friendly plants & landscapes
  • Grow you own veggies, herbs and fruits
  • Plant a tree to improve air quality, create habitat and potentially even reduce summer cooling costs
  • Opt for a lawn alternative like Dutch White Clover that’s both heat tolerant & pollinator-friendly

Native Plant Weekend (May 6-7): Climate Change Solutions in Your Own Back Yard

Come celebrate Native Plant Weekend with Sunnyside Gardens!

On Saturday May 6th, Minneapolis Community Ed is sponsoring an event on the Christmas tree lot across from Café Ceres with keynote speaker Heather Holm, a well-known biologist and award winning author. (Check out her book  Bee and Pollinator Books by Heather Holm – Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants ( )

The event is called and will focus on “Climate Change Solutions in Your Own Back Yard” which are related to gardens/trees/soil/urban heat island and biodiversity. Leighton Whitney (11), co-steward of the pollinator garden in Waveland Triangle Park, and Felix Malcolm Manzoni (12), who has been on a regenerative land management journey for the past three years, are also participating in the event.

Sunnyside Gardens proudly supports plants, products and gardening actions that encourage climate change solutions. All weekend long (May 6-7), Sunnyside Gardens will be offering our native plant selections at 20% off to help encourage everyone to get a native plant in their landscape.

Improvements to our Native Plant Selection at Sunnyside Gardens: Based on customer interest & feedback, we are expanding our selection of native plants at Sunnyside, with 20 new varieties this season. Our team has also worked on improved signage on our perennial lot to help our customers locate and learn about the native plant selection.

Hoya Eskimo

Hoya krohniana

Introducing the silver speckled, heart shaped Hoya Eskimo. This Hoya is similar to other Hoya plants in wants and needs, but different in the shape and size of the leaves. Tha Eskimo likes medium light, never direct, and enjoys some neglect. Let the soil get dry between waterings and even consider a succulent type mix that allows quicker drying. Your Hoya wants to grow to fill the pot it’s in before transplanting.

Feed monthly with a well balanced houseplant food and repot when the soil looks void of substance and the roots have filled the pot. This plant will grow long, trailing downward, and would be great in a hanging plant pot.

Hoya Eskimo

Silver Sword Philodendron

Philodendron hastatum

The shimmering silver foliage of the Silver Sword Philodendron gives it it’s name. It is similar to other philodendrons in that it likes medium light and can grow to great heights given the right care. Water well, but let dry between waterings (let the plant use up the water before giving another really good soaking). Feed monthly with a well balanced houseplant food and replant when the pot seems to be unable to support the height of the plant. Support and stake these plants to keep them happy! They want to GROW UP!

Philodendron Silver SwordPhilodendron Silver Sword

Caring For Your New Landscape


Your plants are installed and look beautiful but now it’s your turn to do some work. To help ensure your plants get the best care from here on we’ve put together some helpful information for you to use as you enjoy your new landscape.

watering plants when


After Installation

We ask that you water regularly over the next 2 weeks to ensure the best start to all your new plantings. Plants can get stressed when newly installed in a new environment. Watering is the best way for them to adjust.

It’s best to water in the morning. Check the soil moisture by hand daily. The soil should feel moist but not wet. If the soil feels dry, water thoroughly at the base of the plant until adequate soil moisture is regained. Water with a hose by hand, holding the hose directly at the base of the plant. Perennials will need 10-15 seconds each. Shrubs and trees will need 30 second – 1 minute each. Use these instructions to water all plantings unless told otherwise.

For new sod, set out a sprinkler for easier and more uniform watering. Let the sprinkler run twice a day for 1 hour each. Preferably in the morning and the afternoon. Do this for the first week. On the second week plan to only water in the morning up to 2 hours. After the initial 2 weeks water as needed depending on the weather and rain fall.

*If sod or plantings are on a slope be mindful that it may need additional watering to make up for the runoff.

*Still check soil moisture if you have an irrigation system. Irrigation is not always reliable at dispensing a sufficient amount of water

After initial 2 weeks

The initial 2 weeks of watering is very important but we recommend you continue watering throughout the rest of the year as needed. Plants may need additional water if they present with any signs of stress. Signs of stress can look like yellowing or browning of the leaves/foliage, leaves/foliage falling off, or the plant wilting. This can happen due to very hot days in the peak of summer or droughts. We will often notify you through email of any droughts or heat waves but it is up to you to observe your plants and decide if they need water.

Shrubs Boxwood Landscape

Winter-Burn Prevention

With our long and unpredictable winters, many evergreens are susceptible to “winter-burn”.  Winter-burn is when the plants foliage dries out during winter causing damage. To prevent winter-burn we ask you to water at least once to twice a week or as needed from October through November. Please check the soil moisture when deciding to water. Only water when soil is dry. Water at the base of the plant for about 1 minute each. Still water if there is irrigation.

*Please water through November, even despite the colder temperatures. The ground will not be frozen until the low temps are consistently below freezing.

*Any indicators of unsuccessful watering voids your warranty on plant material.

Snow and Salt Damage

With the amount of snow we get in Minnesota winters it’s easy to forget that we ever had green landscapes! When shoveling off walkways and the driveway be mindful of where the snow gets piled up. Often this snow is also mixed with the salt we lay down for ice. Both excess snow and salt can cause damage to many plants. It’s best to choose a spot in the yard/landscape that can handle this. Maybe an area un-landscaped or with minimal plantings, or reserve a section of the driveway. Otherwise try spreading the snow more evenly spaced out to lessen the chances of any damage.

rabbits in garden


Rabbits and other wildlife can be a problem to landscapes throughout the entire year. We most commonly see damage to newly installed plants that have less mature growth, or during the spring and winter when food is limited.

Things you can do to prevent possible damage is to use granular and or spray repellents. Another method is to incase the plants with rabbit proof fencing such as chicken wire. Make sure the fencing is firmly secured to the ground with sod staples or slightly buried. Rabbits are great at burrowing.

*We pick plants that are appropriate depending on the wildlife in your area, however we can’t always predict if wildlife will cause damage. Every landscape is unique and is susceptible. It is your responsibility to monitor and prevent any damage after installation.

*Any indicators of animal damage voids your warranty
on plant material.