Suggestions for indoor plants!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Peperomia, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    Hi I am Peperomia and I am 13 yrs. old. I am living right now in a new condo unit and the only light source was a large north facing hole. The balcony was about 15 feet away from that hole. aside from that there is also a hole on top of the buliding which lets in a few sun rays. What plants can you suggest in a shady like place. ALL suggestions are welcome! :)
     
  2. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Hi Peperomia,
    Buy hole, I hope you mean skylight and not a real hole. There are several low light plants that you can use. Sanseveria (Mother-in-law-toung or snake plant) is one The cultivar Hahnii is low growing and if you look down on it it looks like a rosette. "Parlor Palm" or "Neanthe Bella Palm" and Cast-Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) are some others. One called "Lucky Bamboo" (tho not a bamboo a dracaena) is really easy and needs little light. Just google "low light house plants" and see what looks good to you. I commend you for doing some research before you buy. Have fun! barb
     
  3. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    Thank you for saying suggestions! I have received aglanoema pink from my grandma with boston ferns and maidenhair ferns. Also I have a zamio fern and aspidistra elatior. They are all newly bought. I am a garden fanatic so is there other plants you can suggest! Thanks for the reply! :)
     
  4. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    I too applaud that you are doing research. One you might consider is ZZ plant. Zamioculus zamifolia. Google it for pics, it's very interesting, big thick slanted 'stems' that are actually the midrib of a large compound leaf that comes right out of a potato like tuberous root. Thick leaves, varying shades of dark green depending on light. They have four very thick roots that criss cross over the tuber, and you can expose part of the tuber to see this without hurting the plant, as there are finer fibrous roots underneath. They look like they belong in a desert, but are actually quite happy with the light you have, and are also very drought tolerant. Overwatering is the only thing to avoid and they can become very large with time. If a 'stem' breaks off, it will root. The midrib will grow a tiny tuber at the cut in water, or just stick it in a pot of soil and it will root in there too. Relatively new, and were quite expensive when they first started to show up but now most places will have a six inch pot for a half way reasonable price, and sometimes you can get four inch pots that are much cheaper, and much smaller. If you find one growing, and are able to get a leaf stem from it, it won't take that long to have a plant started.
     
  5. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Sanseveirias are also a great one to try. I'm very fond of them. Like ZZ plants, they are succulents, don't need a lot of light or water. Most of the ones you see around are all variations on S. Trifasciata. They can have variegated stripes of colour. They come in a variety of shades of green with various patterning, some look almost like plaid cloth. Heights varies too, from the Hahnii, only a few inches tall, to some over six feet. Try not to damage the point on the leaves, as they stop growing if the point is broken off. They will root readily from a leaf stuck in some well drained soil, but if they have a colour stripe, that won't come true from a leaf cutting. You'll get an all green plant instead. To get the colour stripe, you need a root cutting. There are dozens of named varieties, many more that are not named, and the nice thing is, many are pretty inexpensive, especially when small. There are many more than just S. Trifasicata, quite interesting ones that grow very differently. Some have thick rounded, tapered leaves that grow in a fan shape, like S. Cylindrica. Just a note, the Hahnii are actually quite a bit harder to grow well than the larger ones as they are fussier about water. If they get too dry, they may just rot when you water them again. If you get a dried out succulent type of plant, best to water only a tiny bit at first, like maybe a tablespoon of water. Then a bit more a day or two later, then a bit more. Take a week or two to get the whole pot damp again, not WET ! This kills many succulents plants that have dried out, when the owners try to make up for it by heavy watering, like they would for leafy tropical plant. It doesn't work. Patience is key. A well grown Sans can be very handsome, and they can also flower ! The flowers are not classically pretty, but they often have a lovely scent, like a lily. A pale green spike will come up from the base and the flowers have super skinny white petals, sort of spidery looking and they often have a lot of sticky nectar too. Enjoy the scent while it lasts, then cut off the spike before it collects a lot of dirt and dust.
     
  6. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Lastly, look at Draceana. There are many, and most are low light tolerant. One I'm fond of is D. Goldseffiana, [ I think it might have a new name now, but I forget what it is]. Most Draceanas have relatively, strap like leaves, but this one has a much more ordinary looking leaf, with a variety of spotting that can be yellow, beige or near white. Very skinny woody stems, leaves tend to be far apart, so it's an airy looking thing but if given half a chance they will flower almost every year, in early spring. Flowers are very similar to those on Sans I mentioned befor, also very fragrant. Because the leaf shape is not like most Draceana, most people don't realize that is what they are, but I love them and think them well worth growing. Usually in four inch pots and not expensive at all. Grow about two feet high, with new stems coming up frequently from the base. They do drop older leaves, like most of their tribe does, but will keep giving you new stems, so it doesn't matter much.
     
  7. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Sorry, I misspelled that name. it's D. Godseffiana, or Gold Dust Draceana. Google that, you'll see lots of pictures of it.
     
  8. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    YUP! I have bought one It's called gold dust dracaena "Florida beauty". It's very spotted and it's very nice! The zz was the plant that I've been calling zamio fern! The sansevieria that i have are S. cylindrica, S. francisii and S. trifasciata 'silvermoon'. In my outdoor garden before the sansevieria sends out a spike of flower that are pale yellow in color! I also have another recently bought dracaena and was called as lucky bamboo because the stems are segmented. They are growing in a vase with water. My friends also give me some pachira aquatica as gifts because they know I'm a plant addict! Thanks for the suggestions Furball! :)
     
  9. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    One question... My grandma was about to gave me some Vriseas. They are colorful so I guess they can't thrive in low light. My grandma says it can tolerate low light is it true? And also haworthias and gasterias can thrive in low light?
     
  10. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    You may be ok with the Vrisea, I have read they are ok with indirect light or shade... but bear in mind, shade outside is a heck of a lot brighter ight than it is indoors. But you can sure try them. But the gasteria and haworthia, I don't think so. Most come from desert areas,and are adapted to very bright light or full sun. In the northern parts of North America, they need full sun most of the time. If you are in one of the southern states that gets really hot summer sun, they may need shade from that kind of sun. But northern light in a house is not enough, sorry. Most likely they will pale and die, or get badly stretched out, trying to reach for more light, and eventually die, while looking really sad. The stretching for light is called etiolation. There are not a great number of succulent plants like the ZZ that will live in the kind of light you have. ZZs are an exception to the rule. You might be able to grow Rex type begonas. They should do ok in your light.. So do many philodendrons, though they may grow faster with better light, most of the smaller ones for sure, like the Heart Leaf vine, should do ok. Even a peace lily, provided you have space for one. But if you get one, ignore the advice to keep it dry . They like lots of food and lots of water, being essentially a pond plant. What they don't like is soggy soil, so the mix should drain well and not compact down, so put in plenty of bark or orchid media with charcoal and chunks of bark. Some perlite would be good too. They do well on Osmocote time release fertilizer. They can use bright light, even sun, but so long as they are fed well and watered well and not allowed to get soggy, they should do ok for you. You might also be ok with some of the rhipsalis type cacti. Related to christmas cactus, many, many kinds. One that may work is called R. Cereascula. Gets big, wild looking. If you can get a small one or cutting, might be worth trying. Many of these need more light but Cereascula seems to be pretty tough and adaptable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  11. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    THANKS FURBALL! I have that rhipsalis which is actually a green twiggy plant! Thanks for the peace lily. I have bought them with white flowers. The rhipsalis grows quite well. I've seen it in my neighbor and it grows far more slowly. I also have some angelwing begonias. Thanks for all the reply!
     

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  12. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Good growing ! That Rhip will get to be quite a large plant given the chance. It tends to grow more or less vertically until it gets very tall then the shrubby branches it puts out at the long branch tips will eventually begin to pull them downward. Mine is about two feet high at this point. Often grown as a basket plant, as is mine, but it has to get to quite a size before it truly makes a nice basket plant display. It will grow well past the top of the hanger, before it ever thinks of starting to bend over at all. So you can keep it in a pot if you'd prefer. Like most rhips, it will flower, white, not very big, and get berries after the flowers. Most of them are self pollinating, which is handy since most bloom in late winter or very early spring when it is too cold outside for them. The berries are full of seeds than can be planted and grown on, if you want to try that. Just wash off the sticky jelly inside the berry. I squash them on a paper towel, and then pick out the seeds with tweezers and rinse them. Quite small seeds, like a strawberry, so do it over a bowl, not the open sink. Plant the cleaned seeds in clean mix, just barely cover them, keep moist with a spray bottle, not wet. I think they do best planted fresh from the berry. Same can be done for Christmas cactus berries. Flower colour might not be the same as the parent because they are so hybridized. To get Christmas cactus berries,you have to do the pollinating. I just gently rub two fully open flowers together. Best using two different plants, most will not pollinate their own flowers. Do it gently, on a couple of days, soon as you see pollen on the anthers. You'll be able to see pollen stuck to the stigma in the flowers, once you do, , just wait. With any luck, when the flower falls off, you will see a swelling berry starting at its base. Many will eventually turn pink, some stay green, but it takes several months for them to ripen. When they fall off, or begin to soften, then you can try planting those seeds. It is interesting to see them grow from seeds.
     
  13. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    You got some good advice for houseplants.

    Maidenhair ferns have a of the leaves turning very crispy brown indoors without having a lot of high humidity for it, so you might want to try growing that one in a terrarium type setting if that starts happening:)
     
  14. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    Oh yes! Thanks bluewing! I have some ferns in a large jar with fittonias. Maybe I can add some maidenhair ferns in there. Also can I try Schlumbergias?
     
  15. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    You could probably grow them. It's worth a try, since you can usually get them fairly inexpensively in smaller pots, or better yet, free cuttings. If you can, put them outside in shade for summer, leave them until it is getting very cold at night, but not actually freezing. Not much colder than 40 F, or 5 C. You should see budset, and you can bring it indoors when the buds have grown to a half inch or so, but before it freezes in any case. The longer you can leave it out, the more likely it won't drop the buds when it comes inside. This is much more reliable for inducing bud set than trying to keep them in the dark for 12 hours for a couple of months.I believe commercial growers get them to bud by controlling lighting, but at home, I find the using the natural temperature drop in fall works better. Just don't forget them, I had one freeze solid on me once.. it was truly depressing to find it next morning.
     
  16. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    HIYAH! Good news guys! I've stayed in the home the whole day and I was surprised there was direct sunlight!(from the skylight) It last about two hours so I guess the light in here will go from low to medium. What do you think?
     
  17. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Great ! And it kind of explains good growth on the rhip, as they are not truly 'low' light plants. I actually grow all of mine by a west facing window, but most are between two and five feet away from the window itself. But even peace lily, which is so often touted as a low light survivor, actually does much better with more light, and this is basically true of most plants that can tolerate low light. The key is 'tolerate'.. they can survive it, but don't necessarily grow at their best that way. But you may find that some of the white or red Agloneama [?] aka Chinese Evergreen, will grow for you. The dark green ones are low light standards, but the coloured ones need more light to do well.. so might be worth trying. You'll probably do well with maranta, and there are a few of those, the green one, commonly, rabbit tracks, which has a a variegated form, leuconeura, which has an all yellow form too, and perhaps Ctenanthe lubbersianna, which has nice yellow patches if it gets enough light, but will grow plain green with less. I love the way it grows, though it has very vigorous roots that will distort a pot or even break one if not repotted soon enough. Do you have any pothos ? There's a variegated form called Snow White, needs a lot more light than the all green version or the yellow variegated one, but very pretty. The other white variegated pothos, I think it's called Marble Queen, it just has less white on it, but is also very pretty. Keep up the good work !
     
  18. Peperomia

    Peperomia Active Member

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    HEY! I got some Peperomia obstusifolia variegata, Dieffenbachia bausei, Calathea zebrina, Pilea microphylla, Alocasia x amazonica and lots of ferns too like tiger fern, davallia, asplenum, adiantum and polystichum. I also have succulents that tolerate medium light: Crassula ovata, Aloe vera, Haworthia fasciata and Gasteria. I also got some flame violet and mauritus birds nest fern. Now I guess the place wasn't so bad at all! My balcony is now like a miniature jungle where vines of ivy trail around. I also bought some palms such as parlor, butterfly, date aand cycas palms. Now the whole place is like a jungle! There are also flowering plants like vinca, saintpaulia, anthurium, spatiphyllum and streptocarpus!
     

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