Houseplant suggestions

venividibitchyFebruary 22, 2011


I'm looking to get a few more indoor plants, but after a few successes and major failures, I want to make sure I am selecting good species for my home.

I currently have a pretty robust ~3' Dracaena Janet Craig, but it grows very slowly, perhaps, due to my limited light, the fact that I haven't yet fertilized, or maybe, simply because it's winter.

I also have a Sanseveria tri., ~2'. It has healthy new baby shoots, but is another slow grower....

Finally, I have a Boston fern, which looks....okay. It sheds like crazy, has some brown tinging to some leaves, and it doesn't put out shoots as often as it first did. Perhaps, it hasn't got enough light, or it is too dry here? I mist it almost daily, and it resides in the brightest window I've got....I did repot it in fall, maybe it will take some more time to get settled?

I've had bad luck with Boston ivy (possibly spider mites, won't buy again), and a spider plant (my fault -- was left outdoors during a sudden cold spell, but it wasn't thriving anyhow). I got the spider plant to produce one offshoot months before, but by then, it began to look bad and slowly die. I desperately tried to revive it, to no avail.

I'm looking for plants to fill a northern-facing window or two, and a west-facing one. Wish I had a south-facing one-

I live in USDA 8/Sunset 11.

I was thinking of trying a spider plant again, as well as:

- Tillandsia cyanea

- Monstera deliciosa

- Arrowhead plant

- Azaleas (?)

Help appreciated-

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Hi Veni.

First, two questions...Are there curtains, blinds, etc on your north and west windows?
What about buildings, trees, or any other obstructions?

Sans are naturally slow-growing.
Yep, plants slow-down or stop growing altogether during winter months..'depending on the plant.'

The only Boston Ivy I know of is the type that climbs up buildings. From the outside. Leaves redden from late summer into autumn.
There are numerous types of Ivy. Are you sure yours was a Boston?
Ivy isn't the easiest plant over-wintering indoors. If they don't get bright light, humidity, fresh air and a cool-cold room, they contract Spider Mites or grow spindly.
If we're talking about the same Boston Ivy, it'd be nearly impossible over-wintering this type indoors.

How long have you had D. JC? I noticed, young JC's grow fairly fast. After 3' or so, they slow down. They do well in bright light or even bright shade.
Four of my Dracaenas are in very dim east window..'since last autumn.' The window has an awning. They halted growth 3 or so months ago. Ironically, one Dracaena, in the same window, next to the J/C started sending out new babies about a month ago. Stranger, the new sprouts are opposite the window. In other words it's getting less light than the side facing the window, yet growing new little plants.

The Boston should have been potted in spring or summer but it's not the worse that can happen. You said it's in the brightest window, which is????
Do you rotate? Besides misting, showering in the sink or tub perks up ferns. They love and need humidity.
Shake and toss brown fronds, then give it a shower.

Give your plants time..the days are getting longer..they should start growing soon. Once this happens, add a low-dose fertilizer. Start at half-strength.

How cold did it get the night you left your Spider Plant outside? And how long was it out?

Once you notice your Spider was doing poorly, you should have removed the shoot, and rooted.
Unless the temps were below 32, and your Spider was out 24 hours or more, once it was brought indoors, it should have been okay.
Was it in a large pot, or wet soil when this happened?

Although Azalea is a beautiful flowering plant, they're very difficult growing inside. They NEED a cool winter. Azalea is another mite magnet in unfavorable conditions.
Maybe you better hold off on Azaleas a while. Start with easier plants, work your way up.

Arrowhead's do well in bright-indirectlight. They're easy keeping.
The same with Monstera. Depending on how bright your north window is, it might do okay. Monstera should do well in a west, but keep an eye out during summer. Summer rays from west exposures can be harsh, you wouldn't want leaves to burn.

Tillandsia's need high humidity. They do well in semi-shade to bright light. I don't know if it's me, but I find them to be short lived. I had one growing from a little thrived for years. (a first) Just this winter it kicked the bucket. Probably something I did, but not sure.

Don't give up on Spiders..They're so pretty, and come in a variety of colors. If cared for properly they make gorgeous hanging plants. Especially when surrounded by shoots and tiny, white flowers.

There are many plants that do fantastic in western exposures, Veni. Including succulents.

Do you have any pics to share? Toni

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 1:46PM
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How about some African violets in the north facing window?
They like bright constant light such as that in a northern window. Don't overwater. Fertilize regularly for blooms.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Hi Veni-
I have about 100+ plants in my house, most are pothos...They are easy to grow and hard to kill. I have beautiful ones, they are varigated...They are green and white, but turn yellow and green when I put them outside in the sun during the summer...They are easy to propogate..Always making clippings. If you want to exchange with a arrowhead clipping it might be interesting.
Let me know. I can be reached at:
Always looking for new varieties of houseplants. I have sent clippings to different parts of the country no problem.

My plants can't wait for summer to go outside.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:16PM
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