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House plants, what to grow?

Oakley
last month
last modified: last month

I'm down to seven houseplants, most doing poorly. I used to grow almost everything beginning in college when we got our first rent house. Cheap decor!

During both pregnancies I worked in the greenhouse in town, a small mom and pop shop where the owner had a degree in Horticulture and we were able to grow quite a bit of bedding and houseplants. Over the years I got lazy and now I've got the houseplant bug again!

Tomorrow the proper soils come in for my pathetic Phalaenopsis, and the Hen and Chick I stole from DH in the greenhouse.

Here's what I already have.

1. Hen and Chick

2. Phalaenopsis

3. Devils Ivy Pothos

4. Golden Pothos which I found in my dad's house in 1984 when he died. It was huge so I wonder how old it is?

5. Money Tree

6. Hoya

7. Snake plant that refuses to stand up straight.

I need more variegated plants because all green is boring.

What are you growing and pictures would be great. I'd like to keep this topic going to I can see if I want to order one of the houseplants shown.

Comments (69)

  • Allison0704
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My Thanksgiving Cactus has been blooming on/off since November. Yes, there is such a thing. Christmas and Easter Cactus too.

    What about Bromeliad? These are the twins that came from the original mama plant. They bloom for months and are hard to kill. The only downside, the plant dies several months after they bloom (but new plants are already growing to take their place).



    Red Anthurium. I've had at least 2 yrs and it never stops blooming.


    I have a White Anthurium in our master bath. Love it, but it doesn't bloom all the time. Could be because less light.



    There are several varieties of Chinese Evergreen that are variegated and interesting plants.

  • aprilneverends
    last month

    omg these are so beautiful!!!!

    (I tried to do the outside thing with orchids..not in this house though..I failed.. since then I'm a bit afraid. To kill them. But maybe I shiuld try it..given it's a different house and bigger backyard and all.. )

    now we have something BIG-I mean big orchid- outside- that's attached to a tree..got it on some- amazing plant fair we stumbled upon-it grows well but doesn't bloom..

    It wasn't blooming when we bought it, but the seller said it blooms very pretty)))


    No, Oakley, I don't fertilize anything..I'm not exagerrating I'm ashamed when I say I do bare minimum. It's no thanks to me if they're doing well.

    Lars' ones are really but really so impressive


    I'm going to save this thread, or else I'll never remember names, temperatures' advice, etc

    and yes, right!! I think it's draecena. the one in the orange pot

    (I wonder right now whether I'm not a plant myself..also forgot the name of the very pretty one OutsidePlaying posted..with white flowers...I should be fertilized I guess. Have coffee or breakfast or something)

    Thank you for this thread..it's uplifting to heart besides being beautiful

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  • OutsidePlaying
    last month

    Allison, I should have called mine a Thanksgiving cactus too. That’s what it really is.m I also have one that is fuschia. If anyone wants a cutting let me know. Easy to root. I only fertilize them right before they are supposed to bloom, and they like to be a bit pot-bound to bloom well.

    Lars, you do have a way with all things blooming. I agree with what Mtn said, but I do enjoy your orchid posts.

  • Gargamel
    last month



    Prayer plants have very pretty leaves

  • Sueb20
    last month

    We have two windows that are good for plants, so we cram them all in those two spots! I’ve had the big jade plant forever.





  • Sueb20
    last month

    I’ve had this guy forever too. Pathos, I think? So easy.



    I just got this little lemon cypress; not sure if it will last.


    I‘ve got several of these Trader Joe amaryllis scattered around.



  • frankginakay
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This is a beautiful arrangement with four pots of orchids! I just couldn't resist when I saw this one. We live in SW FL, so put outside after it finishes blooming and it will rebloom in the spring.


  • Gizmo
    last month
    last modified: last month

    House plants, what do grow?

    Oakley

    18 hours ago

    last modified: 18 hours ago

    7. Snake plant that refuses to stand up straight.

    I need more variegated plants because all green is boring.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I suspect your Sansevieria aka snake plant needs more sunlight

    Chlorophytums aka Spider plants are pretty easy to grow and come in variegated versions,

    Another plant that can take some neglect/low light--but absolutely flourishes w/good care, is the Aspidistra aka the cast-iron plant

    It comes in a variegated version

    https://www.plantdelights.com/collections/aspidistra-cast-iron-plant

    Check out the Syngonium aka Arowheads - they even come in pink and a blush

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/871291579/pink-syngonium-podophyllum-arrowhead?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_c-craft_supplies_and_tools-floral_and_garden_supplies-greenery_and_gardening-plants-other&utm_custom1=

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    New pictures, yay! I'll be back in a little bit, I just finished repotting the plants and i have a question about watering the orchid. It was originally planted in moss and the mix I bought is an orchid mix with charcoal, pumice, and pine bark, and it drains immediately whereas it took longer in moss and I knew the roots were getting some water. How do I water with pine bark, and how often since it will dry out pretty fast.

  • Allison0704
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You should soak the orchid mix overnight before repotting (usually in the directions). Water well, then let it sit/drain, the water again. Should be okay, if you don't want to soak. I didn't when I started growing orchids and it made no difference.

    How often depends on their location, the weather, etc. I water mine every 5 days in the summer. Doing every 6 days now. Mine are all in orchid pots.

    I lightly fertilize each time I water, but the first watering of the month I use straight tap water to flush out any salt.

    Here are some of my reblooms.





    This is one of my Vandas. It hangs (no dirt). Has to be watered in shower every 2-3 days.

    Second rebloom of this year.




    ETA my favorite...



    Also love this light pink



  • Allison0704
    last month
    last modified: last month

    These did so well, I bought a few harder to grow orchids. They seem to be doing well.

    This is one of my smallest flowers, and doesn't last long. None of these do, but I enjoy growing them anyway.


    Cymbidium Dayanum




    This one has a faint scent. Zygopabstia Dragon Kitten 'Purr'




  • Feathers11
    last month

    I’m in between homes right now but still have most of my plants in my temporary quarters. This first plant is what brought me to GW when it had dropped most of its leaves after having thrived as a lovely, wild, out of control ivy. Somehow, it hung on and this spring I’ll begin training around the trellis again.


    These below are various others in my collection. The wood stove isn’t working, btw, and while my current place is cozy, it’s not particularly plant-friendly, so what survives out of this bunch will certainly be propagated for hardiness. You’ll see the commoners... pothos, zz, a monstera that I’m going to have to get under control....





  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Mtn, all these pictures makes me feel like a total loser. And we also need a separate thread for those with sunrooms with perfect lighting all year round. lol

    Jinx, if the stem, (is that what it's called?) feels healthy then keep it. If you burn yourself, use that stem. :)

    Thanks for chiming in Lars. I'm very impressed. Is there anything you can't do? lol

    Allison, the plant got a good soak after I planted them. I kept watering until I most of the mix got soaked. This won't get root rot like it did in the moss it came in. I was able to salvage a few good roots.

    Off to buy fertilizer, look at online plant stores, look at the pictures again and write down what I think I can grow.

    I haven't commented on everyone's picture but I sure am paying attention and swooning.

    Do you all keep your Christmas Cactus in a closet or something all year? Ouside, that is one beauty you have there.

    When I think of Geraniums I'm thinking about the type that's frozen above. Didn't know there were others.


  • Feathers11
    last month

    April, your varigated one is a Croton. I have one, and it serves as my "time to water the plants" plant because it predictably droops when it's dry.

    Allison, I'm envious of your orchids. My BIL grows them in his pool house in Florida--he has a fantastic collection. There's a nursery near me (in Chicago) that specializes in them, but I'm afraid to try. They seem very picky for my climate. Yours are beautiful!

    Now on my list, though: Aloe and Wandering Jew (yep... that's still its name).

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Thank you, Feathers11. I had one rebloom at our previous home, so couldn't wait to move here with a sunroom. It have HVAC but I still have to use a floor fan in the summertime, and cannot let the humidity get too high since it has furniture in it. I've really enjoyed growing them.

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Gizmo, I have the snake plant sitting out so I can repot it and divide the many shoots. It's definitely overcrowded in the pot.

    I think you're right about the sunlight but not because it doesn't get enough, I think it needs to sit on the floor to help it grow upwards. It gets a lot of sun. That's the only thing I can think of, it's in good shape.

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Allison, what's the name of your fertilizer?


  • Martha Scott
    last month

    2 Christmas cactus

    3 Thanksgiving cactus

    1 beefsteak begonia

    1 calamondin orange

    1 aloe

    1 bay tree

    4 geraniums

    1 night blooming cereus

    1 plant that I don't know what it is -- I need to take a picture and do a reverse look up

    1 split leaf philodendron

    4 African violets


    One of the Christmas cactus belonged to my mom who passed in 1999 as did the beefsteak begonia, 2 of the Thanksgiving cactus were gifts and the other Christmas cactus was a start off of a friends 100 year old plant that belonged to her grandmother, the orange I bought in 2003 in Ohio and it has grown and has a bumper crop of oranges this year, the aloe was a gift from a friend this summer, the bay tree I've had for 3 years, o ne of the geraniums is a special one that a friend gave me and the other 3 I brought in from the garden this fall, the night blooming cereus has never bloomed but a friend from South Dakota gave it to me and it was a start from one that he had in SD. It's kept in water? The plant with no name was a weakling in the markdown grocery cart about 7 years ago -- I need to take a picture and do a reverse look up. The split leaf philodendron was a purchase because I think I wanted a big plant which was probably big mistake. I do love my houseplants and some of them go outside in the summer. I did have some issues with 2 of my Thanksgiving cactus but with insecticide and a little care, I think they are on the road to health. The violets are because my Mom always grew them -- one I bought at a church bazaar, one was given to me and I purchased one and split one to make two which gives me 4. I will say that for a plant to live in my house, it can't be fussy.

  • Allison0704
    last month



    Oakley thanked Allison0704
  • Tina Marie
    last month

    My snake plant does not get alot of light. Read up on it and some sites say insects are the number one cause of the stalks curling.


    I also have the holiday cactus. Mine bloom somewhat random as I do not close them up in the dark at any time. You can sit them outside in warmer temps (protected, of course) and they will do great - and really grow.


    If you prune your jade plants they will get bushier (fuller). Mine is upright.


    Allison, I used to have a pink version of the plant you showed in red and white. I should get another one. So pretty. I am really not crazy over orchids, but when I do buy one it is almost always the deep pink like your second picture - or white. The pic posted of the 4 white together is a beautiful centerpiece!

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you Allison! Tina, I read the same thing about low light for the snake plant. I'll look closely later to see if I can find a bug.

    I still haven't had time to look at all the pictures. I need to fix some coffee and take a good, long look.

    This lady is excellent and a great presenter. Short and to the point. I'll be soaking the Orchid.





  • blubird
    last month

    Several spider plants, a huge corn plant which will need to be chopped up again when the weather gets warm, donkey's tears, several spaths, aloes, an avocado plant, gardenias (just finished giving away cuttings) and two elephant ears brought in from outdoors to spend the winter.

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Take a look at the roots of the snake plant. Talk about neglect! I threw away half & put the others in two smaller pots.

    I can't believe the change for the better with the orchid. Two days ago it was badly drooping so I soaked it in water for hours, it perked up a bit, and since I repotted it a bit ago, it's perked up even more. Maybe I'll have a full bloom in the morning? :)

  • Gizmo
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Snake/mother in law plants cuttings root quite easily.

    If the parts you threw out look healthy up the stem, you can cut that part off and root them simply shoving them down into the soil about an inch or so.

    I can't tell by your pic what kind you have, some varieties do curl.rosette a bit.

    I started making this mix and my plants also love it.

    Mother Plant fertilizer is a bit pricey






  • frankginakay
    last month

    This is another pretty yellow orchid I got at Trader Joe’s. Also, two Amaryllis!

  • Jinx
    last month

    Frankginakay ... I’d love to see more of your chairs! They look so interesting. :)

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Oakley, I do not recommend soaking orchids. The only time I would soak is if the orchid showed signs of dehydration (wrinkled leaf/leaves). If you are on FB, join an orchid group. One I enjoyed (no drama, and yes, I left two groups because of orchid drama!) was Huntsville Orchid Society. You do not have to live in Huntsville to join. Search and read a lot.


    My advice: Never let water drops stay on the leaves. Dry off with paper towel, especially if it gets in an area next to the crown. My sunroom windows are tinted, so hot/direct sun is okay. But in a house, do not put next to/too close to window because leaves will burn (turn brown). Over watering (yellow leaves). Under watering (wrinkled leaves).

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Sue, I just noticed your Jade. That's the first one I've seen growing out and not up and I love it.

    Allison, the soaking is only for orchids grown in bark and I definitely keep the leaves dry. When it comes out of the soak the excess water runs out immediately. How do you water your plants so you know they get enough moisture?

    I didn't know my orchid was all moss until I repotted it, I wouldn't have soaked it had I known. Which explains why some of the roots were decimated. :)

  • Tina Marie
    last month

    "The best place to water your plant is in the kitchen sink. Use lukewarm water (do not use salt softened or distilled water) and water your plant for about 15 seconds and be sure to thoroughly wet the media. Then allow the plant to drain for about 15 minutes. It may appear dry but it has had enough water." From the American Orchid Society.

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Mine are all potted in orchid mix (bark, etc), typed of mix depends on type of orchid. All in orchid pots (roots like air). I take them to the kitchen sink to water. It takes me about an hour, and that's if I don't need to do any trimming or staking.


    I put folded microfiber cloths on the counters, Using a spray bottle to mix the fertilizer with room temp water, and water well. I let those two sit in the sink while I bring two more into the kitchen. Then I water the two still in sink again. The roots will absorb water faster the second watering. Those also with roots outside the pot, I will cup the roots with my hands and water until they are green, then do again.


    After about a minute, I sit the two in sink on a folded microfiber cloth to catch drips. I water the next two, then go back to the two on counter, and do any cutting and staking before taking back to sunroom.


    ***On soaking - I read about this on a FB orchid group and tried once, thinking I could stretch watering out to every 7 days. They dried out as quickly as my normal watering routine, and soaking took hours. Several in the group posted comments about the dangers of soaking, so I decided it wasn't worth the effort or risk.


    Sorry so lengthy, but hopefully that explains my method. I might have too many orchids. LOL



  • frankginakay
    last month

    Jinx, here’s a shot.

  • Jinx
    last month

    Thank you for showing me! Oh my goodness, I love them!

  • blfenton
    last month

    Jinx- I love that idea of using a selection of different plates under the plants. It adds some unexpected interest and colour to a room. I'm keeping that in mind.

    My son was a national level Ultimate player and had frisbees all over the house. I started to use those for plant trays for my outdoor plants. WHile they're all the same size they come in different colours. (It turns out I'm only allowed to use the practise frisbees and not the tournament ones - I asked that same question - there's a difference?)

    Wandering Jew is a plant I too had forgotten about.

    I had a croton that I kept by the kitchen sink in an east facing window and it loved that spot.

    I'm going to the nursery today so wandering Jew, croton and an orchid is on my list. I don't grow orchids but if someone gives me one I also put it by the sink in the east facing window which they seem to love.

    Our temporary home (house fire) has a window shelf behind the sink with you guessed it, an east facing window. I was wondering what to do with the space and now I know.

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Allison, I'm trying to understand. You mix the fertilizer in the spray bottle with room temp water. Then what? Do you pour the water in the pot, and come back and pour water again? You don't spray the bark do you? :)

    I've got orchid pots on order so it's in a clay pot for now. Can you tell by looking at the picture above of the orchid in the pot if the crown is exposed? It's hard to tell because it's not that big.

    I have other pictures of the bare root I can show you.

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Yes, I pour the water in the pot twice. Spray bottle is easier to use (not as heavy) as a pitcher.


    The orchid plant in this photo looks like it's planted the correct depth... as long as it's just roots under the bark. When you get your orchid pot, plant to top of pot (not down into the pot as it is now).




  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have no plant tips. DH is in charge of them, except my new foray trying to grown them in our conservatory. My bougainvillea is starting to climb!










  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    Random houseplant photos








  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    I've noticed Orchids planted higher in the pot but if you say so. :) Is there a reason? One video I watched said putting them in clay pots is fine since they breathe, but I'll go ahead and do the plastic which I'd prefer anyway to keep an eye on the roots.


    Mtn, you and your DH have done a great job. Which direction does the window face where your orchid and other plants are growing? Ooh, I see another orchid about to bloom next to the chicken, what window are they in?


  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Forgot to mention, when I was checking the orchid today I noticed the plant wobbles on top. It has all of three roots and they go down to the bottom of the pot. Should I leave it alone or add more bark? Even the bark won't make it stop wobbling though since it's light weight.


    I read one reason they should be in clear orchid pots is so the roots can get light. I've yet to see an orchid sitting in a plastic pot without it sitting inside a container pot.

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Mine are all in clay orchid pots. By orchid pots, I meant the kind with holes around the sides. I never leave mine in the plastic.


    Be sure the bark went in around the roots. With just three roots, doesn't sound like there would be any air pockets. Hold the pot up and hit the side a few times, to help settle the bark. I have one that is a bit wobbly, so I just cut a stake in half and put on one side until it's stronger.

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I love those clay orchid pots. If this one survives I'll get one. :) There's no way there's an air pocket. :) Hopefully this picture will come through, I'm having problems uploading a picture to Houzz. It has 4 roots, and they're not mushy or anything.

    the pic disappeared after I hit submit.

  • lizbeth-gardener
    last month

    Fun to see everyones plants!

    Allison0704: Your orchids are gorgeous! Love your pottery piece in the picture with your favorite orchid, is it Hull pottery?

    Mtn: I like your cloche; I've never seen one that large! It looks like the plants on the table are setting on old heating registers- If so, that's pretty clever! The bougainvillea is really taking off-will be fun to see it in the spring/summer. You seem to have lots of sunlight for plants. I'm envious!


  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    Today I'm making pebble trays and I'm confused about something. I know how to make them and I know Orchids shouldn't get wet from the tray, so why do people set their orchid pots without the saucers directly on the pebbles? The roots can absorb moisture that way even if they're not sitting in water. Should I use a saucer when putting an orchid or any plant in a pebble tray?

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    Which direction does the window face where your orchid and other plants are growing?

    West

    Ooh, I see another orchid about to bloom next to the chicken, what window are they in?

    That is an interior window between K and DR. The DR has E and S light.


    Mtn: I like your cloche; I've never seen one that large! I know, I love it. It is supposedly Czech. I bought it at a local antique place 10 yrs ago. It is sitting on a glass tile from Argentina.


    It looks like the plants on the table are setting on old heating registers- If so, that's pretty clever! I think they are but not my idea. The PO had a small sunroom that was part of an entryway. On one side was a built in reading nook the size of a daybed. On the other side was a series of custom shelves, lined with copper trays filled with pebbles. The brass heat registers sat on top. We tore down that lovely spot when we put in an addition. Wish I had photos. A few years ago I noticed that the trays and registers fit in a groove on my old workbench, so I moved them there and added plants.


    The bougainvillea is really taking off-will be fun to see it in the spring/summer. Very happy with them, I have three now.


  • Tina Marie
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I love bougainvillea but we don't see alot of it here in TN - only as annuals. I always have a big hanging basket of it.

    Remember pretty pots for your pretty plants!

  • Allison0704
    last month

    @Oakley, I've never done pebble trays, but as long as the roots don't go into the pebbles/water, I think it would be fine.


    @lizbeth-gardener, thank you. It is a new piece I purchased locally about 15yrs ago.

  • Oakley
    Original Author
    last month

    I needed to do a pebble tray for the Money Tree and off to the side it said Orchids need humidity too. Central heating zaps the moisture, even with all the snow outside. And there's a heat vent everywhere.

    The past month I kept thinking Spring is almost here and I'd better get busy buying a new porch rug & new topiaries next to the front door. This was because since October we've had three major storms, ice, snow, & snow. Lots of it. I think that's why I'm working on the houseplants, and with self-isolation it really is a fun hobby.

    I gloriously failed when I took up African Violets.

    You should see all the books I have on houseplants and gardening. Maybe it wouldn't hurt if I sat down and read them again? :)

  • Gargamel
    last month

    I didn’t even think of a pebble tray for my chinese money plant. That sounds really interesting...thanks!

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Did you water the violets from the bottom? Don't water until almost dry. I had so many AV two houses ago. Many were 20yrs old. I kept the best ones when we moved and gave the rest to a BFF. I only have 4 currently.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Late to the party as usual.

    I only get sun in any windows during this time of year, so I can only grow things that need very little.

    I have some Chinese evergreen/aglaonema that does very well on my kitchen windowsill with no direct sunlight, just a fluorescent bulb. Mine is the striped variety, and there are variegated pink and red versions that I crave, but haven't seen for sale locally - moot point right now, since I'm not shopping in person until it's safer. It is by far the most success I've had with an indoor plant - even better than pothos. They can get tall too, and don't seem to mind crowded roots.

    Not my photos - scrounged from the web:

    Sansevieria definitely needs some sunlight. I have several varieties outside - and the blooms smell heavenly when it flowers - but when I tried to grow it indoors it languished and died.

    FWIW, there are bromeliads that do not die after flowering. I have a number of them outside that bloom several times a year. I'm sorry I don't know the names, though. The flowers look like this:

    I also have a bilbergia outside that has amazing blooms that make great cut flowers. It just finished blooming. Again, not my photo:


    Coincidentally I saw this today in 1 of the newsletters I get:

    https://www.marthastewart.com/1540834/hardy-low-maintenance-houseplants-live-while-you-are-away

    https://www.marthastewart.com/7617966/best-sculptural-houseplants