Want Low Light, High to Low Humidity Plant?

shadara(5b-6a)April 13, 2009

I've moved into my mother's basement apartment and wanting a plant for my bedroom. With walk out basement, we have full windows in livingroom and bedroom, but it is strictly indirect light for half a day, from under the deck above. We already have a Sansevieria doing well in the livingroom so far, but I wanted something a little more "flashy" in my bedroom.

The miniature rose my mother got me for Valentine's Day shriveled up from how dry it was in my room (we did rescue it, and she now has it back in her care upstairs/outside). And my plant stand sits alone and empty.

Problem is... During the winter, the temp sits at about 68F with only 15% relative humidity (due to electric, ceramic heater). In the summer, the humidity gets much higher with a max temp of 75F.

Aside from the hearty foliage type plants (like Sansevieria, Pothos, or Spaths) is there a colorful plant (either blooms or foliage) that would tolerate these conditions year round? I just want something other than just "green" in my room. Even though "Green is Good", LOL.

Is there such a plant that could survive the dark and arid winters in my room?

Thanks a bunch for your input in advance!

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Sharara..Which directions do your windows face? Are they obstructed by neighboring buildings, trees, curtains or blinds?

Don't judge your thumb or light by a Mini Rose. They are very very difficult, if not impossible thriving indoors. Most who buy them either, 1. toss after flowering or 2. plant in their garden, if hardy.

So, you're looking for a plant that has color? Other than green? Are you searching for tropicals or will succulents do? Or does it not matter?

There are several ways to increase humidity..First and best choice is to buy a humidifer. They're helpful to plants, people and pets.
There are several types of humidifers on the market..Consoles and smaller, 2-3 gallon filter-less types. Walgreens and Walmart sell humidifers, and now that winter is over most are on sale. Costs begin at 14.99 up to 200.00 depending on the type. Or if you're into name brands. I'm not into brand names, my concern is whether or not it does the job.

Misting and showering plants increase humidity. For those with a large number of plants, grouping together.
Humidity trays work fine, especially with plants growing in containers under 10" diameters. You don't have to buy anything special other than a bag of stones/pebbles for these trays. I bought a bag of pebbles at Home Depot..40 or 50 lbs for 2.50. Since you won't be needing that much, HD sells smaller bags of stones, including decorative, different colors. Heck some dollar stores sell them. 1 bag is enough for one tray.
I save all types of containers, from frozen dinners to cake pans. As long as they're strong and don't crack, they work. I even have family members and friends save usable trays..lol I prefer brighter colors like silver, but any color works.

Of course boiling water will humidify a house, but I doubt you'll want to boil water 8 hours per day. lol.
What type of heat do you have? If you have space heaters or radiators, placing a pan of water on top works somewhat, but depending on the plant if it required a lot of humidity, a pan on the heater won't be enough.

If you answer some of these questions we can narrow down plants that would work..Toni

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 9:36PM
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My windows are facing NE, with mini-blinds I open each morning. Multi-color sheer curtains cover whole window except parted in middle where plant would sit. No direct sunlight comes through the windows because of the deck above extends 10 ft from NE wall. For about 7 hours each day, there is enough natural light coming through the windows to read a book by. Plant stand is approximately 12" x 12".

I don't really care what type of plant it is (native, tropical, succulent, etc). However, I love flowers/blooms and/or the strange or unusual looking plants. But it could be something with leaves that have hues of orange, pink, purple, or red. Just something besides a solid, year round green. Also, something that will remain fairly small and not exceed a 9" pot.

The heater I have is a small cube ceramic heater (like 6-7" kind), placed 5 ft from plant stand, and aiming diagonally at center of room. Since electrical outlets and space is very limited in the room, I may have to resort to daily misting of plant and/or small pebble tray during the winter months. Sadly, one more thing like a humidifier plugged in would add to my already-high winter electric bill. :(

Thank you so much for your input. I'm a bit of a dummy re: houseplants and the Sansevieria is the only one I've ever had success with over the years. (Had same one for 5 yrs until it froze during a move). I'm already guessing that our new Sans won't have enough light to bloom as my previous one did at old house. But that's ok.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:24AM
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I don't really know that many different plants, but why not try finding a birdnest sansevieria? They grow shorter than a normal sans, and I maybe wrong but I thought not as wide. Some of the varieties that I have seen have interesting color combinations and you were able to grow them in the past. Just my thoughts.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 8:11AM
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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

I'd suggest Chlorophytum 'Fireflash' (aka Chlorophytum orchidastrum, Chlorophytum orchidantheroides,Chlorophytum amaniense)
Place in in your brightest location, and during the winter, perhaps using a pebble tray will help with your low humidity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chlorophytum 'Fireflash'

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:37AM
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I couldn't stand seeing the REALLY sad shape of the plants at Kmart anymore... so I brought home a wilted, spindly looking peace lily in a 6" pot. It's already perked up with a good luke warm bath (it was bone dry), some pruning of dead/dying leaves, and new pebble tray under it.
It might be a tad bit cold by my window right now (been ranging between 52F-65F) but the humidity has been steady in the 70-80% range where the plant sits since adding the pebble tray (dollar store rocks for rocks, lol).

Thing is, now I don't know what kind of spathiphyllum it is. :( I'll have to see about getting some pics to the web.

And OMG... it looks like I'll have to move some things and add another plant stand. I love the looks and color of the Fire Flash!!! (but I may wait a month or two when it's not as chilly by the window). Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:16AM
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Shad, so you want a plant that thrives in semi-low light, medium humidity and flowers? Hmm, that's tricky. lol

Sans fit the bill, but getting one to flower is difficult..
A plus about Sans is, there are many shapes and colors. You might like a Golden Sans, or variegated..They do okay in dry air, and some low light, but medium light is best.

I reread your initial thread..mini roses need full sun. NE light isn't sufficient. Even w/direct sun, they're not easy growing indoors.
If you're an early riser, open blinds immediately. Keep opened till sunset. (if possible)

Electric bills! Yes, a problem. Fluerescent lighting doesn't eat up electric, so they're fairly thrifty.

Are you familiar with Bromiliads? My favorite is fasciata. They have beautiful, large pink, speckled flowers. Blooms last 7-8 months. Baby shoots grow off mom plant. After babies are 7", they're removed from mom, and potted in same size pots mom was in. You don't have to increase pot size. The average pots range 6-8" diameter. When mom plant is in a window, she doesn't need much light..In fact, it really doesn't matter how much sun she gets, but babies/offshoots need light to grow and rebloom.

Cast Iron plants need little light..but again, flowering is rare. They are slow-growing. Like Sans, there are different varieties..some green, others variegated.

If it wasn't for your heating vent, ferns thrive in low light, but they NEED humidity.
The same applies to some palms..Even desert palms that endure dry air, needs light.

Does your window face more east or north? Dracaenas do fine in east windows..
There are ways to increase humidity w/o buying a humidifer, but it requires some work. Toni

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

I might add that I had a sanseveria to bloom this winter in fairly low light. I gave it a high middle number fertilizer last summer and there it was this late winter, a beautiful flower stalk that smelled wonderful in a couple rooms.
You might have that peace plant bloom too with a high middle number fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:37AM
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So all's good so far, but what do you mean by "high middle number" fertilizer? I understand the numbers now, but give me an example. And do I repot then fertilize, or repot and wait for shock to subside, then fertilize?
My Sans is in very poor light ATM in other room and doing fine and when/if it blossoms so be it. My peace lily seems to be doing better in higher light w/ pebble tray in my bedroom (even though filtered).
Sans is heavily filtered by cellular shades at this time and I doubt it will flower (but no biggie).

Looking to expand now with diff flashy plants in bedroom. I hardly consider the Sans flashy (or with different colors besides green, light green, and yellow). Kinda boring to me.

Thinking of Fire Flash next cuz of it's hues of pink/coral at base. Or trying "mother of thousand" just cuz it's neat in how it propagates. (Live birth amongst plants excites me!)

But thx for your advice. It's appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 1:22AM
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