Whats the best plant you own?

plantsaremylife_grow(5b)April 10, 2011

Whats the best plant you own? It might not be your favorite plant, but its one that just does what its supposed to...Grow! It could be a plant that never gives you any trouble or one that just puts up with everything. For me it'd be drought--wilt--water--purk back up and repeat. My best plant is my Castonospermum. They just are amazing! They get treated like crap and still they just live and grow beautifully. In my opinion they are better than Ficus. Never once have I had any problem with these plants; no leaf drop, no browning, no crisping or anything. Kyle

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wandering_willow(6 NYC)

What a nice topic - a tribute to our more cooperative plants!

For me I have a couple, nice big old guys who tend to sit in the back and never complain:

A monstera deliciosa, A rescued draceana marginata that since recovering has been so uncomplaining it could be fake... a nice stout ponytail palm, and a nice pachira aquatica who I've had for ever and never raises a fuss...


    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 10:14PM
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Best? I have two, actually... one would be my original Hippeastrum Hybrid, a "Minerva", who takes a licking and keeps on ticking. She has moved with me several times, and has had to deal with neglect and low light situations occasionally. She comes through it like a trooper, only missing a bloom cycle to show her discontent. In the many years I've had her, she's produced a huge daughter bulb, and many delightful bloom cycles!

The other plant began as a gifted Dendrobium keiki, which I knew little about when I received it. My environment is not exactly conducive to orchid growing, but this plant has beat the odds to not only stay among the living, but to grow and produce several new growths! I'm amazed it's still alive, as much as I neglect it!

So, there you have it... a bulb and an orchid... my two best growers!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:09AM
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My best plant would be a Clivia. I sowed seeds in 1982, had it since. The only problem it gives me is its roots busted/cracked three pots, going on four if it doesn't get repotted. lol. Toni

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:23AM
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Hey Toni! I hear you about the root busted pots..! Sometime you'd swear the roots are trying to get out from the top and walk away too.

Hi Jodik: Bulb and orchid?..Nice. If you don't mind, I shall have to come to you to figure a way to get mine to re-bloom since the urge in me is getting stronger and stronger to get a few. Your flowers are just so beautiful. They almost remind me of my Clivia in bloom!

Vey nice topic indeed.

Mine would be, if I can keep them going, the Brunfelsia! This has out beat, which I thought nothing else could, my jades, clivia, citrus and gardenia.

Well, my number two plant would be my orange tree. It has been with me for over 5 years now. I just love that one.

Can we do that, make a list of our favorites starting from first place to 100th place? lol


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:15AM
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Hey Mike..Which Brunfelsia do you have? The type flower colors change? Think it's white to pink to purple, something like that..Common name is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow..does that sound familiar?

It's hard choosing one plant, but I like your idea..the first 100 plants..lol..Toni

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 1:32PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

This an interesting topic. From a slightly different point of view, it's one I consider almost daily. I'm at the stage where I feel I have too many houseplants and should downsize, so I often engage in a conflict with myself over which ones I have to keep and which ones I could part with. I have a very small living room and the plants are bent on taking over the space.
So far the winners in my mind are the dracaena, the fatsia and the clivia. The ficus is very healthy and attractive, but is getting too large, so isn't a favourite.
The hoya has to stay because it thrives on utter neglect, but there are others that I am thinking I'll put outside for the summer and conveniently forget to bring back in.
Trouble with that plan...I did that last year with my fern; it thrived and looked so good I ended up relenting and bringing it back in.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Jodik: About the Hippeastrum, if one isn't concerned about blooms per se*, how hard are these to get back in leaf? Or do they strictly alternate between bloom and leaf cycles?

* I like the foliage :(

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 2:12PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I would have to say my Hoya, Kerrii..
Bless it's little heart shaped leaves, it' thrives on neglect. lol..


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Well, I don't have anything as exotic as you all do. Aside from a few orchids, I just have your regular, old run-of-the-mill houseplants. One that seems to grow very well for me is dracaena deremansis warneckii.

(There's a schefflera and chamaedorea elegans in the pic, also).

Last summer I started some warneckii from cane cuttings as well as some schlefflera arboricola. I also have good luck with spiders, grape ivy and pothos - but I guess they're not that hard to keep alive.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 3:05PM
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Amccour..I know your question wasn't addressed to me, hope you don't mind.
I no longer grow Hippeastrum but, if you like their leaves, they grow year round.
That's the reason I gave mine away. The leaves grew large, took space reserved for my other plants.

Elkay..That is one beautiful Dracaena. I see your Palm, but can't locate the Scheff..lol..Gorgeous setup. Toni

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 2:52AM
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I'm sorry for the delay, amccour... I haven't checked this thread in a while.

Hippeastrums can be grown any number of ways. They can be forced through a schedule, or they can be allowed to grow and bloom as nature intended. I've opted to grow mine as houseplants, and allow nature to take its course.

Most Hippeastrum bulbs are offered and purchased in late autumn, and they've been primed by the grower to bloom for the Holiday season. Once that bloom cycle is completed, and the flowers have faded, the bulb will need to grow leaves and gather energy for its next bloom cycle. At this point, you can decide how you want to proceed. You can force a dormancy and schedule bloom time, or you can allow it to bloom on its natural schedule, which is early spring or summer, depending on the variety.

After the blooms have faded, you'll want to begin fertilizing and giving the bulb more light. Some varieties will grow leaves along with their blooms, and some will grow the majority after blooming. Either way, they'll require good sun and nutrition in order to gather energy for a following bloom cycle. You can take them outside after the danger of frost has passed, and allow them decent sunshine. I keep the few I take outdoors in dappled sun so the leaves don't burn, and I tend to protect them... perhaps a little more than they require. :-)

I've included a link with good information on how to make your Hippeastrum bloom again... it explains the process better than I can, and includes temperatures and timetables required.

I would only add that you'll want to take care... these bulbs do not require as much moisture as the article would indicate, and in fact, many varieties are prone to rot if they are kept too moist. This is one of the reasons I've switched mediums. I now grow all my amaryllids in a rendition of Al's Gritty Mix. I treat them more like succulents than most tags or directions that come with them indicate. I only water when the soil ball is dry, and not when the surface dries, as the article states.

I feed them using a weak solution of all purpose liquid plant food... diluted to about 1/8 to 1/4 strength... and I feed like that every time I water, flushing every once in a while with plain water to remove any accumulated salts.

In essence, yes... you can grow them very successfully as houseplants, and they will naturally grow and shed leaves... the more light you can provide indoors, the better. If they're well cared for and happy, they'll bloom for you every spring.

Or... you can force a dormancy, placing the pot in a cool, dark basement or garage that doesn't freeze, and withhold water... allow the bulb to rest for at least 8-10 weeks. All the leaves will die back at this time. In about 10 weeks or so, you'll see new growth beginning. This is your signal to bring the pot back into a warm, bright room and resume watering. Within 6-8 weeks, your bulb should bloom.

Some folks un-pot their bulbs, clean off any soil, and store them for dormancy... some just find a cool, dark location and tip the pot on its side to remember not to water... and some, like me, just let nature do its thing. It's up to you.

I hope this helps! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Make Your Amaryllis Bloom Again

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Oh, wow! That's a lot of great info! Thank you both so much.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 1:36PM
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You're very welcome, amccour!

Because there is a wide variety of Hippeastrum types to choose from today, you needn't allow size to hinder your decision to grow them. There are smaller species and hybrid types available. The South African grown varieties come in small, medium and large types, and if you can obtain Japanese bred varieties, these are very small. Some of the species types are very small, as well.

There's no need to allow the more common Dutch grown hybrids to take up tons of room, though... simply stake the leaves so they remain upright. I created my own support rings using rigid welding rod bent into circles, with a stem that stands in the medium. Each one holds the bulb's leaves in an upright position should they tend to flop over from height or weight.

I've always found the world of bulbs to be a fascinating one, with each bulb acting as its own little battery in need of recharging, in order to sustain the energy necessary to perform. But I find the tender amaryllid to be even more fascinating, requiring container growth indoors in order to survive my northern climate.

If I lived south of zone 7, I'd grow Hippeastrums and other amaryllids directly in my gardens. Very few types are suited for northern growing. Lycoris squamigera, or "Naked Ladies" grow here, and I have several patches around the yard. Everything else is relegated to pots.

I'm including a link to an alphabetized gallery of the world's bulbs... it's fun to look through, and it offers a nice view of bulbs everywhere! If you'd like some recommendations for places to obtain Hippeastrum bulbs, I'd be happy to oblige.

Here is a link that might be useful: GALLERY OF THE WORLD'S BULBS

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 4:53AM
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Okay I just bought a Hippeastrum (and promptly broke one of the leaves while repotting. Whoops). I may have mentioned this above but I've started finding the Amaryllis family really interesting, especially after Mr Subjunctive, I think, mentioned Haemanthus albifloss on his blog.

I think it was actually Ledebouria socialis that got me interested in bulbs, and to segue back on topic, that's probably been the easiest plant I have. I don't want to say well behaved because I freely admit that most of my plant failures are my own fault and not the plant's, so I'll just say easiest. Admittedly it's a little thin looking right now, but that might be a seasonal thing, especially since it seems like it's been in flower mode for at least a month now.

(For the record easiest cacti I have would be the Pereskiopsis, except I'm well aware that nobody but me likes those for anything but grafting stock).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 3:16PM
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Addendum to previous post: Apparently this isn't the right time of year to repot Hippeastrums; however the soil it was in was pretty heavy, to the point where rot seemed like a highly potential issue.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 6:00PM
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There's really no right or wrong time to re-pot a Hippeastrum, depending on how you choose to grow them... as in houseplant vs. scheduled/forced dormancy. The important thing is to get them out of heavy soil that holds perched water. Contrary to popular belief, they do not prefer to remain constantly saturated.

I don't know if the same soil beliefs hold true, but there is an excellent group of bulb growers over at the Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum. If you have a notion to, you should stop by and say hello! :-)

Ledebouria is a plant I like, too... and I have one. It looks a little scraggly at the moment, but it just spent a winter without the necessary light level it likes. I only have so much space on the windowsill!

I completely forgot to mention that I adore bulbous plants from South Africa, as well as those from South America. My collection has steadily grown for the past several years, and I am now out of space indoors to add any more. I must thin down my H. Hybrid collection in order to concentrate more fully on the species types and other bulbous plants.

It's hard deciding what to part with, though... they're all so glorious when in bloom!

I will say that you've chosen a very easy to care for hobby... Hippeastrums can easily handle a little neglect or poor care... as long as that doesn't include over watering! In fact, I make it a habit to cut down on watering during the bulbs' normal resting months, and I pick up the pace come spring.

What can I say but... welcome to the wonderful world of Amaryllids! I do hope you enjoy the time you spend with them, and I hope they're every bit as rewarding for you as they have been for me! :-)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Neanthe bella (parlour palm), Hoya bella plain and variegated, Maranta, the rabbit's foot one and the beautiful red one, Ludisia discolor, Ctenante lubbersiana and my four different Sanseviera trifasciatas. I know I've named a few but I can't decide which is the best survivor. I've lost much of my mobility over the last few years, and along with it went most of my houseplants, but all those named above have survived gloriously.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:07PM
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Hi.....this is a great thread...
my favorite plant is my hoya rope plant...

I have had it for over 4 years and it hasn't bloomed yet,
any tips....thanks for looking.....linda

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 3:32PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Gosh Linda,

That's some Rope Hoya, just spectacular!!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:40PM
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thanks pirate girl....I love this plant...
I am learning to grow some nice plants, thanks to all the good advice on here (GW)......linda

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Have to say good ol' Spathiphyllum for me.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Well, if I measured 'best' plant by which containerized plant has survived/thrived for me the longest, it would have to be my Sago Palms--one of which I bought over 30 years ago. They are massive now, too big for the house, they spend Dec-March in the garage and the backyard the rest of the year. In terms of an appropriate "houseplant", I like all the Ficus trees for endurance.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 7:34AM
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I think I might start a blog to record how my plants do being kept inside this summer since I regrettably can't actually put them outside anymore. Should be interesting in determining which plants are my 'best' plants by this criteria.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Nj, I love Sago's, but can't keep them. Do you have pics of your 30+ yr old Sagos? Do you have other Cycads?

Amccour. I don't know the reason you can't take plants outdoors anymore...if it's a medical problem, don't argue with your body..if it's some other reason, is it possible to set out a few? Plants that need cold to bloom, etc?

This year, only a majority of mine are going out. Can't haul them all..not w/knee and back problems.

Linda, your HR is gorgeous..So vivid green.
Don't know if anyone replied to your blooming tips, but one answer is lots of sun.
My HR was about 3-yrs-old the first time it bloomed. Talk about excited!
I moved it directly in front of an unobstructed west window, which gets direct sun. It sent out 3 clusters.
When it was getting less light, no blooms, but foliage grew.

So, I'd have to say sun, Linda.

My favorite plant this week is Aglaonema, especially reds. Toni

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:53PM
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"Amccour. I don't know the reason you can't take plants outdoors anymore...if it's a medical problem, don't argue with your body..if it's some other reason, is it possible to set out a few? Plants that need cold to bloom, etc"

I live in an apartment without any balcony, basically. I don't have any place outside to actually put them.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:26AM
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That explains it..Thankfully, it isn't a health problem. Not everyone summers plants outside though..

How about windowboxes for medium size plants? They're made for appartments/condos. Toni

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:58AM
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In the case of bulbs, a cold dormancy can be given even without a garage or a balcony... many southern folk are known to use their refrigerators. As long as you wrap the bulb or keep it potted, for protection from the areas of a fridge that aren't hospitable, like against the walls or areas that get too cold, and you remember not to share that fridge with certain fruits, a bulb can easily be given its "cold spell" right in your kitchen.

I would test the fridge for consistent temperature before stuffing it full of bulbs, but it's very possible to use it for dormancy.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:07PM
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"How about windowboxes for medium size plants?"

I wish I could, but unfortunately we have bad enough windstorms in my part of Ohio that that'd be too risky. I can't even leave the windows open in the summer unsupervised because stuff will get blown off the windowsills.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:39PM
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Amccour..That's sad..We've been having super windy summers, too.

The last two summers, instead of planting Petunias in two front windowboxes, I've placed potted succulents.
Last summer was a disaster.
Instead of medium sized pots, I placed very young, 2 and 3" pots.
One night, super strong winds struck. While in bed, I worried about large plants, including tree Citrus that were lying horizontally. And all that would need lifting the following day, but forgot about the little suc pots.

Half were gone..I mean, gone for good..I found 3 tucked inside a planted Yucca, w/o the pots, during fall. But lost at least 10 babies.

Do your windows open from the top or bottom? Toni

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 2:07AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi everyone!!

Nice plants Elkay...I love your Hoyas Linda and Toni!! I love hoyas too :o)

Probably the best plant I own would have to go to my Desert rose...I love this plant.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:14PM
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Pug, your Adenium is the prettiest I've ever seen. Was this pic taken after you pruned the top?
If so, I can't believe how fast it's grown, not to mention a head-full of pink/silver flowers.

Its roots are also amazing..so thick, so many.
Is it in a shallow pot?

Your plant should win an award. I'm surprised you weren't notified or asked if this picture could be used as nicest and most perfect Adenium of the year.

Do you know its age? Toni

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 2:08PM
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I have to say my best plant is this African Violet:

I actually bought it at Lowes last year when I first got in to Afrcian Violets. At that point, I didn't know anything about violets, had no idea that there were 1000s of named violets out there or anything. I just thought the blooms were pretty. Turned out, I made a pretty good choice. This violet has bloomed for me almost the entire time I've had it. It only stopped very briefly sometime last fall. I just love that when I come into my living room, these gorgeous blooms are always there to greet me!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 3:18PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Abigail those blooms are SO pretty!! I can see why they're your favorite.

Hi toni, Thanks so much!! I "pugged" that Desert rose this January(3 1/2 months ago) and I just took those pictures today. I was very pleased since it only took less than four months to recover and grow leaves and blooms! No...its not in a shallow pot. Its a standard pot probably 14-16" tall? Our pot selection in my small town isn't very good...and I haven't found the right pot for it although I've been looking. I don't want to order it on line and pay the high shipping prices for a large pot, but I'll keep looking.

This picture was taken January 5, 2011 when I "pugged it"

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 5:54PM
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Everyone, WOW to those pictures. That desert rose is STUNNING! How tall is that thing? I have three that are about a foot tall. I cut them down because they all had mealies last summer. They are just now starting into growth which Im very excited to see.

Ditto on that rope plant. I just bought two of them..EA plants. I have the hardest time keeping hindu ropes free of pests; particularly mealy bugs. I just pitch them everytime. Im bound to get in right tho. Ive got these two new ones away from everything else.
Beautiful AV too. I cant get them to bloom after I buy them so I gave up trying. I never turn down looking at a picture tho. Thanks for posting those pics!
My favorite plant today is my brand new ric rac cactus(EA). Ive been looking for one for about 4 years now and yesterday I walked into Lowes and saw it the second I walked into the greenhouse. I dont even remember grabbing it...all the sudden BOOM! it was in my hands and it didnt leave them until it was purchased lol. Its in a nice EA 10 inch pot. Score for me! Kyle

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 6:25PM
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Sort of marginally related, but does anyone else have a much, much easier time with Euphorbias than cacti, or is that just me? Today the only Euphorbia I've managed to kill was a Crown of Thorns, and that was just because I greatly misunderstood the cultural requirements.

Beyond that, a lot of my Euphorbia seem to actually grow fine indoors, some even flowering. Previously mentioned crown of thorns notwithstanding, I don't really feel like my Euphorbias get stuck in a downward cycle of irreversible collapse the way a lot of the cacti I've tried do.

Of course now that I mention this, I'll probably wake up tomorrow and they'll all be dead. That's how things work.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 11:53PM
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amccour- I know exactly what you mean! I can't grow desert cacti or succulents for anything. Now I grow the jungle cacti just fine. I too have a crown of thorns that's slowly, slowly dying. It was a beautiful 2 foot tall thing when I bought it. The leaves alone were just beautiful. They were huge and velvety. I have only one desert euphorbia and that's E. trigona. I love it though. Maybe I don't understand the cultural conditions of E. milii either...lol. Kyle

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:49AM
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My favorite plants that Ive never been able to kill are the good old Spider plant and my Wandering Jew(Tradescantia zebrina). Theyre such easy keepers and Ive been able to grow so many baby plants from cuttings. Ill never have to buy another spider plant or WJ again! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tradescantia zebrina

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 3:46PM
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Responding to my previous posts about a sudden obsession with Amaryllids, I got a clivia the Friday before last, and they had Haemanthus albifloses at a local C&S show and sale today.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I am in agreement with Abigail. My best plant is the humble African violet. Over watering is a no no with violets, but a little bit of drought is something they can handle quite well. They really do have some succulent qualities. In that way they are quite forgiving.

If they are not watered regularly for long periods of time they can look pretty sorry, but clean them up and put them back on a regular watering schedule and they recover quite nicely.

An equally forgiving plant is the African violet's closest cousin the streptocarpus. The streptocarpus is a good choice when it is a little too cold for violets. On the other side though, streptocarpus can't take it quite as warm as an African violet can.

Both have lovely blooms, which is so nice especially in the winter.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:05AM
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Davallia fejeensis; rabbit foot fern. It adjusts to a wide range of conditions, not messy, easy to divide. Can be hanging or tabletop.

Here is a link that might be useful: rabbit foot fern care

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Mine is now my 'Variegated Gollum Jade'! I take a peek at this one everyday to make sure it's ok and getting the best spot for sunlight!
Oh, if you could see the colors on this most unusual hard to attain plant!
I water just so, and make sure it feeds a lot.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:00PM
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can you share current photo of it with us please?...Rina

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Pug/Nancy...don't know if you still come around, but my favorite plant is your beautiful, Adenium.
I've never seen a prettier specimen. Toni

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:52PM
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My favorite plant at the moment is my schefflera. I'm not sure what type she is, but she's put up with a lot of abuse (forgetting to water, bad sunlight, forgetting to repot for a year!) and is now growing at least one new branch a week. :) What a trooper!

This picture was taken slightly before I repotted her, when she wasn't growing at all.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:55AM
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One of my favorite, because it is most meaningful, is a Hippeastrum (aka Amaryllis). Nothing special to the flower itself, it is one of the old varieties. But a few years ago, when things got pretty scary through the winter, the plant opened in a pretty desolate stretch of life. We took hope from it, realizing that although our world was crashing, nature had another schedule. We were transported away for a few minutes every day while we watched/discussed this one plant.

We have hundreds of plants, maybe more than 1000 if you include the trees and shrubs. But this one is special. It was given to us after it bloomed by somebody who didn't want it. They weren't a "plant person" and had zero plants. (Hard to imagine zero plants in a house.) I toyed with it and it made all these side bulbs that now flower. But the flowers from that cold spring a few years back still bloom in our heads when we hit a rough patch.

This is last year's bloom. It eventually made 26 stalks. We give them away, take'em to church, do something so other people can enjoy them.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Dang, I posted before I got to tweak Pirategirl. I swear, is there one photo of one Hoya in the universe that does not draw you? Too bad we don't live close. I have one I'd like to get rid of, but it weighs 40lbs and hangs 4ft. Is there a society that takes in homeless Hoyas? I figure if there is, you would at least know about it, and probably are the president. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Best plant for me would be my Rope Hoya-- growing real well and fast, faster than I thought it would. I dont have to fuss over it much. (tho i do sometimes- trying to wipe dirty leaves and such) but he is doing good. I could not pick a favorite plant tho.. they are all speical to me, as all of you know how that is. ;)


    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I've opened this up a few times to say something but it's like picking which of my kids is "the best." But luckily the plants can't read so I'll never get busted showing a bit of favoritism.

The original qualifier was toughness, so for that it's Sans with no close contenders. But I can't think of any qualifier where Sans couldn't at least be a top contender. Beautiful foliage that gets compliments, tolerant of about any light situation, can go for extended periods (months) without a drink, doesn't wilt or sunburn or drop leaves, capable of making a fragrant flower, doesn't use a huge footprint of real estate, doesn't mind if an entire generation never repots it (although it will grow faster if this is not the case) as it is handed down through families, not reputably susceptible to bugs or disease, is fine without fertilizer, does not guttate (drip on your furniture,) tough enough to to survive being used as a support post by toddlers, and cures athlete's foot, who read this far?

What other plant can do all that?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:49PM
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