The Houseplant Thread

Tom L.

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I hope this isn't out of place, as most houseplants aren't edible. But I do often grow vegetable plants indoors during cold weather. I started a similar thread over on VB some time ago, but there hasn't been much interest in it.

Anyhow: I've always had an interest in plants, but over the years, it's gotten even stronger. Being outdoors during the growing season is great... but there's something about simultaneously being indoors, yet in lush, almost jungley surroundings.

I have a number of houseplants:

Clivia miniata- this is a nice relative of Amaryllis which doesn't drop its leaves periodically like Amaryllis does. The strap-shaped leaves are a nice dark green, but about once a year, it makes a cluster of orange-and-yellow lilylike flowers that last about a month. It's mildly poisonous, so I keep it away from any animal companions when I have them, but I've never had problems with anybody munching on them. Right now I have 3 large pots of these, and recently divided one of them, putting half of the clump back in the same pot with replacement soil and potting the other half separately for a co-worker.

The other ones I have are:

From friends: a Peace Lily which they divided, and cuttings from a Dracena reflexa(?) which had gotten HUGE and was touching the ceiling. It took root and it's doing well now; I remember I had one as a young child but it died rather soon, so having this is nostalgic in a nice way. Also an Epiphyllum cactus from a cutting someone gave me over 2 years ago- it's grown a lot since then, but it'll have to get MUCH bigger before it blooms- the flowers are huge and fragrant, but open for only a night. The plant I got it from grows in a local library, and of course, since the flowers are open only after the library is closed, everyone misses the show.

In the past, I've had:

A potted Majesty Palm which was being thrown out 3 summers ago. I kept it alive about 2 years, but it was losing leaves indoors during the winter faster than it could grow them during the warmer months, even when I put it outside. I guess that was why the previous owners had given up on it. Afterwards, I learned that it isn't one of the best plants for indoors; the growers that produce them have big fields in warmer climates where they can grow like weeds and look amazing, but when they're potted up, bought, and taken home, they almost invariably decline unless the purchaser has a greenhouse, sunroom, etc...

I also once attempted to revive a different type of Dracena being discarded (D. fragrans, I think- it looks a lot like a corn plant with lighter-striped leaves): it had 2 stalks in a pot, and the stalks had broken off, leaving two stumps. I rooted the stalks and watered the stumps, and everything started growing again... until one of my cats used it as a scratching post. Oh, well... my sentient charges take precedence over plants.

Some of my all-time favorite plants:

Passiflora caerulea and Reinwardtia indica- some of my co-workers got together and ordered some houseplants form a supplier in New England, and these were 2 of my choices (I also got my Clivia from there). These weren't rare or expensive by any means... they just aren't commonly sold in my area like the usual mums, begonias, geraniums, african violets, Boston ferns, etc. They lived for a few years and even bloomed, but I couldn't get cuttings from them to grow, and the original plants eventually bit the dust.

Other faves: Zebrina tradescantia (also known as Wandering Jew); I had this for years- I think my mother bought one or got it as a gift); Neomarica northiana (a member of the Iris family from South America which a friend of my Dad's gave me- this guy had his own greenhouse!)...; a Sanseveria (known as Mother-in-law's tongue) which belonged to my maternal grandmother.

I don't have photos of the ones I had, but I might find some on-line (better-looking than my specimens were, of course).
 
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shyvas

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That's an impressive list. I only have one plant in my flat, but it's an artificial one. I don't have green fingers and have given up on them years ago. ;)
 

KLS52

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I have zero house plants, partly because I don’t do well with them and partly because I have cats that try to eat everything. I have no safe, high place to put them since I removed everything since Bratt broke his leg.

I remember my friend giving me a beautiful lighted potted mini Christmas tree one year. I ended up putting it on top of the refrigerator lol.
 

Tom L.

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I formerly had a LOT more plants than the ones I mentioned above: Streptosolen jamesonii (Marmalade Plant- a relative of potato and tomato which isn't edible, but has deep-orange flowers); Pachystachis lutea; Vriesia splendens (a relative of pineapple- also not edible); Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese plant- it's that commonly-grown relative of philodendron which naturally has these big holes in the leaves- but it died on me after a few years!!); a Banana plant (three, actually, all given to me by friends and co-workers when their plants sprouted suckers from the base- the first one lived for a few years, but the next two- given to me by the same coworker- died); Pothos (basically a kind of Philodendron which has beautiful cream or yellow irregular splotching on the leaves- grows like a weed); Jade plant (Crassula ovata), another very common house plant; and many more.

I had some of these mentioned here and in my first post for years, or even decades. But from the beginning of 1993 to sometime in 2001 I adopted 14 animals, total; the last passed in late 2011. Over that time, most of my indoor plants died off. I loved my animals, although I often worried about them- whereas with the plants I had, all I got from them was pleasure. Yes, I took care of the plants, and even "rescued" a few plants that were being discarded, but I never felt sad if I lost one- not the way I did when an animal in my care died...

It almost seemed to me that the animals in my care drained me, so I replenished my energy by sucking the life out of my plants.

I think I've been listening to "Coast To Coast", that weird late-night radio talk show, for too long.
 

PTree15

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...


I think I've been listening to "Coast To Coast", that weird late-night radio talk show, for too long.

Is that show still on? I used to listen to that at night as well. I've switched to NPR here because it has the BBC on overnight.