Houseplants: they’re not as thirsty as you think.


Winter is a wonderful time of year to cultivate your very own indoor jungle and bask in the glory of nature while staying warm and dry at home. Whether you’re new to indoor plant parenthood or a seasoned veteran with teenaged plants at home it won’t surprise you that the number one question we hear in the greenhouse is “how much should I water?”

And while we’d love to give you a tried and true, one-size-fits-all watering recipe, the truthful answer is “it depends.” Light, humidity, plant species, and time of year all play a role but here are a few rules of thumb for keeping your indoor plants happy all year long.

      1. It’s easier for a plant to recover from too little water than too much water. Overwatering can lead to root rot and fungal issues on the foliage. Many indoor plants will thrive on a fair amount of neglect.
      2. Plants prefer infrequent deep watering over frequent shallow waterings. Resist the temptation to dump the remnants of your forgotten water glass into your plants, they won’t thank you for that.
      3. Light and water work together. The more light your plant receives, the more water it will need. Plants in low light areas will need less water than their sun-basking friends.
      4. Cut watering frequency in half during the winter months. Plants use less water in winter than they do during the growing season. Generally speaking, you’ll water half as often in winter as you would during spring and summer.
      5. Plants love to be watered from the bottom, when possible. Check out our video on “cache-potting” for the best way to do this:



So, how can you tell if your houseplants need water? Here are our favorite ways to find out if our leafy green friends want us to make ‘em a round of drinks:

      1. The knuckle test: stick your finger right into the pot all the way up to your knuckle. If it’s still moist, you can skip the watering.
      2. The weight test: for smaller plants lift the pot. If it feels light, it’s probably time for a drink. If it’s heavy, there’s plenty of water to sustain her for now.
      3. The thump test: if your plants are in plastic nursery pots give the side of the pot a flick. If you hear a hollow thwack, time to water, if it’s more of a thump or thud, she’s not thirsty.


Keep in mind that different plants have different watering needs, when in doubt chat with one of our greenhouse team members to learn more about your new plants’ preferences. As Uncle Mike likes to say: “plants are like people”…everyone’s a little different.



Blooming Flowers for your Valentine

Cut flowers make a beautiful gift, but if  you’re looking for something that lasts longer, consider flowering houseplants. Cyclamen, orchids, gerber daisies, kalanchoe and more make a fantastic gift. Let us help you choose the best for your special someone!

Houseplants for Your Valentine

Looking for a unique gift? Gift the gift of foliage houseplants to your special someone. Let our staff help you pick the best plant for your Valentine. We’ll consider light conditions, ease-of-care and personal style. We can help you find the perfect pot too! Our greenhouses are full of the freshest houseplants sourced from all over the country to bring you the best in selection and quality.

Winter Birding: The Importance of Food


In Massachusetts, winter is a difficult time for birds. Days are often windy and cold; nights are long and even colder. Lush vegetation has withered or been consumed, and most insects have died or become dormant. During these extremely cold days, finding food can be especially difficult. They cannot forage as easily for food when snow accumulates or temperatures drop to freezing. Some birds remain in the same location year-round and benefit greatly from the extra food sources offered by backyard feeders. These birds require high calorie and oil rich foods to survive our winter.

During spring and summer, most songbirds eat insects and spiders, which are highly nutritious, abundant, and, for the most part, easily captured. During fall and winter, nonmigratory songbirds shift their diets to fruits and seeds to survive. This is the time of year when bird feeding enthusiasts roll out the welcome mat and set the table. The question is, what to serve to attract a diversity of birds? The answer is to provide a variety of food types.

In Massachusetts, we can expect to see the friendly Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, the spectacularly colored Northern Cardinal, all manner of Finch, Sparrows, Woodpeckers and Jays; for a comprehensive list, check out Mass Audubon’s website!


Which seed types should I provide?

Black-oil sunflower seeds attract the greatest number of species. These seeds have a high meat-to-shell ratio, they are nutritious and high in fat which is especially important in the winter months. Their small size and thin shells make them easy for small birds to handle and crack. Several studies, including the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Seed Preference Test, show that this high-energy food is the favorite of most birds that visit feeders. Striped sunflower seeds are popular with larger-beaked birds. These striped seeds are larger and have a thicker seed coat than black-oil sunflower.

Peanuts, and tree nuts like almonds, cashews, pecans and pistachios are enjoyed by Jays, Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens and Titmice. If you don’t want squirrels “going nuts” for these foods, try using a squirrel-resistant feeder.

Millet is a small round seed. It comes in white and red varieties; most birds prefer white proso millet over red. Nyjer®, or thistle seed, is a delicacy for small Finches such as Goldfinches, Siskins, and Redpolls. Offering the small-sized, premium-priced Nyjer seeds in special Nyjer feeders will provide more value for your money. These feeders come in either a sock form with a small mesh fabric, or a tube feeder with tiny ports that prevent the seeds from spilling out. Finches will pull the seeds individually through the mesh or ports to enjoy them.

Birds’ feeding habits vary based on weather patterns and season. The best thing to do is experiment with seed and your backyard feeders. Take notes and photos for a personal sense of well-being and a great activity to do with kids!

lyric-cardinal_detail lyric-supreme

We love Lyric Bird Seed because of their superior ingredients that ensure our New England birds have their essential nutrients to thrive- especially in the winter months. A superior seed means you will attract the widest variety of birds around! All birding products are available in our Winchester, Falmouth, Tewksbury and Concord stores.


Video Look: Holiday Flowers in the Florist

Stop into the Florist at Mahoney’s Winchester and Tewksbury for your holiday flowers! Find an incredible selection of beautiful stems, hand-tied bouquets, vase arrangements and potted gardens. Shop online for local delivery in Greater Boston.



Featured: Poinsettias

Visit our greenhouses for an incredible selection of the Christmas staple: Poinsettias! We’re stocked with a variety of color, size and variety for you to choose from. Look out for traditional reds, pinks and creams along with newer introductions like the Princettia series with hot pinks and bright whites.




Video Look: Fresh Cut Christmas Trees

It’s the perfect weekend to shop for your fresh-cut Christmas Tree! Find beautiful farm-fresh Balsam or Fraser Firs in an assortment of price points and sizes to fit your home. Enjoy our complimentary shake, fresh-cut, and wrap services… plus help tying onto your car!


Spotlight: Cluster Lights

Cluster lights are an abundance of densely packed mini LED lights that make a statement. Use indoors or out on trees and shrubs, around windows, or in garlands for incredible brilliance. With a minimum life of 50,000 burning hours and unbreakable bulbs, these efficient lights remain cool to the touch and save on energy costs. Available in 8 different functions for fades, twinkles and flashes.

Video Look: The Light Shop at Mahoney’s

Shorter days make us yearn for extra illumination around the home. Our stores are filled with festive lights for every use during the holiday season and beyond. Battery-operated, indoor/outdoor, decorative and specialty, it’s all here!

Battery Operated LED Window Candles

Introducing Celestial Lights by Mahoney’s, our very own window candles and string lights to make your holidays merry and bright! Our LED battery-operated window candles are designed with you in mind! – With a dual intensity LED bulb that glows brighter on the “street side” of the candle, and softer on the inside for a subtle illumination


Also contains an easy built-in timer turns candle on for 8 hours every evening.

– Adjustable height to fit perfectly in any window

– Lasts 30 days on 1 set of 4 AA Batteries

– Available in bronze, black, brass, brushed nickel and silver.