Seeking A Replacement (Suggestions Welcome)

moonwolf_gwJanuary 12, 2011

Hi everyone,

I'm seeking a replacement plant for my now dead sweet olive. I would like something with flowers but a foilage plant would work too. Two flowering plants that interest me are desert rose and stephanotis. For foilage, it could be something as common as a philodendron or pothos. Most of the plants I have are hoyas (most haven't bloomed but hopefully this year some will). QI appreciate any and all suggestions!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

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I like Stephanotis but for me blooming periods have been relatively brief. Most true jasmines too are seasonal bloomers though Sambac Jasmine blooms year round (though somewhat prone to mealy bugs indoors in the Winter). Consider CITRUS though! You get foliage AND fragrance. Varieties?--Calamondin, Meyer's Lemon, Kumquats... Even the blooms of a small Calamondin (an orange/kumquat hybrid) is very fragrant. For color, bloom season, drought and heat tolerance, consider Bougainvilleas (though no fragrance). The more you neglect Bougainvilleas (in terms of watering and fertilizer), the more it'll love you and flower its head off. You might also consider bromeliads and orchid cacti. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 7:52AM
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Thanks! I already have a Jasminum sambac (Maid Of Orleans) and an orchid cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum). I also have a Thanksgiving cactus. My Maid Of Orleans is sulking now (has been for awhile) and I think it's due to where I have it located. I've seen Bougainvilleas before and they are beautiful! Citruses I may have to look into! I had a bromeliad before and it lasted for over a year.

I would like an orange flowered orchid cactus in my plant collection sometime down the road. My Epi. oxypetalum I only got as cuttings this year and it's grown a lot so I'm hoping for blooms this year.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 12:07PM
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Brad, you might have mentioned the direction your window faces in your first post. Can you refresh my memory?

NJ came up with some great choices...Desert Rose and Stephs are very nice too. 'Accents' has variegated Stephs. I plan on getting one when whether warms up, adding w/my green Steph. Toni

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 1:31PM
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Toni, the window gets south/southwest exposure. I didn't mention it in my first post, but thanks for reminding me!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 1:53PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I tried growing Stephanotis several times in the last several years & was not able to keep them alive (indoors) more than several months. I don't think they really like the indoor life (w/out a greenhouse). They are related to Hoyas but seem much more difficult to grow. I blew $25 several Mother's Days ago trying it. Don't think I'll try again, nor do I think it's a good plant for newer growers, sorry.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 3:19PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

How about a Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)?
They have nice purple and green foliage, are fairly quick growing, and propagate easily for gifts.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 4:51PM
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Karen, sorry to hear of your bad experience with Stephanotis. I did read it can be fussy indoors and I think I'll remove it from the list.

Josh, a Wandering Jew did cross my mind a few times. They do have gorgeous leaves and many say it's easy to grow.

So far, here are my options (some are my own):

Another Hoya
Desert Rose
Some type of citrus
Wandering Jew
Desert cactus/succulent
Tahitian bridal veil (does anyone here grow this?)
String Of Hearts (the cuttings I got of this last summer didn't root)

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 5:31PM
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I agree Stephanotis can be fussy. Got mine in 1999. It's grown, but never, once flowered.

Come spring, I'm going to alternate fertilizers.

I have a Tahitian Bridal Veil, it too is fussy. lol.Here's a pic taken last autumn. Had it for years, and keep cutting back..however, it flowers freely.

Wrote WJ in the name, but it's a TBV.

I vote for a variegated Hoya or variegated Desert Rose.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Toni, I didn't know TBV could be fussy. That too can be crossed off of my list. I already have a variegated hoya (Krimson Queen) and I've seen variegated desert roses for sale at Gardino's.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Desert Roses are fantastic plants. As long as they're not overwatered. A couple were shipped from Thailand, but I also bought at Buried Treasure and two at HD.

TBV are fussy in winter. Maybe you'll have better luck. If you can keep WJ, you shouldn't have any problems with TBV.

Do you prefer a hanging or standing plant?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Toni, I have room for both a standing plant (nothing huge though) and a hanging plant. What is WJ? I assume you mean winter jasmine? Are peperomias hard to grow?

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Have you considered a Crown of Thorns? My mom's seems to have flowers much of the time. There is quite a bit of info about them on this forum... or maybe I am thinking of the c/s forum, but you know.

Also striking - for foliage, not flowers - is the Chlorophytum amaniense "fire flash" or "mandarin" (the same thing, different names). My honey just bought one for me & it is stunning: rich green leaves with fluorescent safety orange (NOT exaggerating!) ribs/petioles/whatever they are.

Mr. Subjunctive is of the opinion they are one of the least fussy plants out there, so the return-on-investment (time/$$/emotions) looks to be pretty high. I'm very optimistic!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 8:21PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No Brad,

In this case WJ is referring to the plant Wandering Jew (tradescantia), which should be pretty easy, an almost indestructible plant.

I would counsel against Peperomias, they can be difficult to learn proper watering for w/out killing them (depending on which kind).

String of Hearts can be tricky too; this is a relative of Hoya known as Ceropegia woodii, takes a bit to learn its watering.

Perhaps try some simpler things from your list like Pothos, Philodendron or WJ. They're all reasonable in their needs & pretty easy for most folks. But for Pothos you will need to be sure not to overwater since that is the one sure way to kill them.

Sorry to say but I wouldn't hold much hope for bloom soon on your Epiphyllum, they take a few years to mature to bloom as do most Hoyas.

Maybe a Spider plant (Chlorophytum) would be good for you, they're lovely in bloom & if one doesn't overwater, they can be easy to grow.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Brad, most Peperomias are difficult. The easiest Pep is P. or variegata.
Here's a pic of mine.

Although Peps come in beautiful colors and shapes, including the famous, Watermelon, 'really resembles watermelon,' Peps hold water so soil needs to dry between waterings, yet, needs humidity. P. obtusifolia is the easiest of all Peps.

A beautiful hanging plant, 'Accents' is Purple Heart variegatum. Another pic. lol

Gravy came up with a great suggestion, E. Crown of Thorns. COT's come in a variety of leaf and flower colors. My favorite is variegated Thai's.
Thai's flowers are large, Millii's smaller. COT's bloom year round.
Variegated leaves are green, white and pink. Flowers are solid, speckled or bi.

Here's a young variegated COT's called Candycane

The second COT is Thai, purchased at AE

C. Fireflash, another plant Gravy suggested.

Brad, there's so many plants to choose from in the world. It's fun starting fresh. Toni

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:41PM
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I had a white Crown Of Thorns I bought at Lowe's and it died too. I threw it out last week. That Purple Heart plant is very pretty! The Chlorophytum is nice too! Karen, thanks for the clarification on the Wandering Jew. A spider plant would be nice too. I already have a snake plant and it's truely a beginner's plant. I saw a picture of a crossandra (firecracker plant) in one of my houseplant books. It says it's easy to grow. Verification anyone? lol

So far, my top picks out of the list are:

Spider plant
Philodendron (Heart Leaf)
Desert Rose
Some type of cactus or succulent

I won't be getting a plant for awhile anyways. I just wanted to get some ideas so I know what to look for. Still feel free to add you suggestions!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 12:13AM
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Brad, Crossandra is a beautiful plant w/orange flowers. IMO, it's difficult. The blooms are gorgeous, if it blooms had a couple, both died. However, the last was purchased more than 15 yrs ago, haven't seen one for sale since. Did you find an online nursery that sells Crosandras?
Easy to grow? In

How bright is your SE window in summer? Spider, Pothos and Philos would do fine during winter, but if your south gets harsh summer sun, keep an eye out. You don't want a scorched plant.

Snakes, 'Sans' will grow in any light including shade, but medium light is best.
How did your COT die, Brad?..It's possibly not your fault. HD occassionaly sells COT's. IT never fails. COT's is a succulent, not meant to sit in water. HD;s COT's pots are wrapped in aluminum foil. God only knows the number of people who water..Water sits on the bottom, and roots rot. The last time I was browsing, I almost passed out..the smell was horrible..stagnant water. I complained to the manager..what a farce!

I hope you find something nice..Toni

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 2:13AM
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Here is a fun & useful link - happy dreaming!

Here is a link that might be useful: Easy, Attractive Houseplants

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 9:48AM
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Gravy...That's Mark's blog. I've seen/read it before. He has some lovly plants. Great info, too.
Dream is right..But Brad, I really have to cut back. Running out of space, Toni

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 1:12PM
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