Plants recommandation for our new house

greendale(6B)April 13, 2012

Hi, All:

I am new to this forum and never owned any house plants before. We will be moving into our first house very soon and excited about that I can finally have some house plants. I have been wanted to live with some house plants for a long time but just can not do that in a small apartment. Following is my wish list:

Spider Plant

Peace Lily

Jade Tree

Rubber Tree

Weeping Fig


Umbrella tree

Hope they are all easy ones for a first time grower. I will attach the house layout in this post hope you guys/gals can give some recommendations for where (which window) should I put these plants. Also, add whatever plants that you that you think will be happy in a particular location - as I am not very good on knowing plants.

Here is the layout of the first floor. (up is north, window 9 is on kitchen's sink, window 8 is in bathroom)

Thanks in advance


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Nice set up there.
I'd put the Jade tree, rubber tree, and ficus near the south facing windows. The jade in particular will appreciate as much light as it can get.
In my experience rubber tree can tolerate low light but does better with more light (I even put it outdoors in bright southern light last year - at first a few leaves did burn, but then it looked absolutely gorgeous after it adapted to the intense light).
The pothos would be okay in the north window. Spider plants do nicely in eastern exposures, but will tolerate northern and do okay there too.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:26AM
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Thank you.

Here is an updated layout. location A - H are the places that I wanted to put the plants. (or do I have to put them on the window to get the max of sun light?).

Do you think Rubber Tree/Weeping Fig will be happy in A,B,C or D?

H is either the counter top or the top of cabinet - will spider plant or Potho fit in there (especially top of cabinet).

What plant will be good on E (near north window) F G (near or on west window/ door) ?

As you can see, plants in my wish list are all very common and easy (at least I heard of) ones - if anything you think will be fit in these places, name them and I will do some research. Oh, and I will also have some succulents - I guess most likely they have to put near window 6, 7?

Thanks a lot

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:26AM
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As a rule of thumb, in the northern hemisphere windows in order of highest light to lowest light are southern > western > eastern > northern.
For the most part, desert succulents and cacti will appreciate as much light as you can give them, so your southern windows would be best for those kinds of plants. Western would probably also work though if they were right on the windowsill.

This of course is assuming that outdoor conditions are equal. Trees and houses obviously can cut down on the amount of light your southern window get. Meanwhile, I've noticed that one of my northern windows seems to provide better light than I would normally expect because it gets reflected light from the white exterior of my neighbor's house.

Do you have an idea of how many feet away from the window spot B or D would be? If it's not too far, I think you would be ok putting the fig or rubber tree there, but as you get farther away from the window the quality of light drops off pretty rapidly so the closer the better.
Oh, and just so you know, the fig and possibly the rubber tree might drop a lot of leaves when you first bring them home. It's a normal thing for Ficus trees (rubber tree is Ficus elastica and the fig is Ficus benjamina) whenever they are moved from a greenhouse environment to the home environment. Don't panic if that happens. Just continue to provide the best conditions you can for it and it will eventually regrow leaves.

I find that the majority of plants do best if they can be on the windowsill or right next to the window. For H, I think the pothos would be your best bet. It looks like that spot would not be getting much light (not in the direct path of any of the windows) and pothos is the most tolerant of low light of any of your choices.

Sometimes finding the best place for a plant is trial and error. Just observe closely how the plant does. If you notice signs of sunburn (like scorched/discolored leaves) then obviously the plant should be moved further away from the window or to a less bright window. (Generally sunburn is not a problem indoors but it could become one if you move a plant outside for the summer and don't acclimate it first)
If the new growth appears elongated, pale, or sickly, then you probably need to give the plant more light.
The one big thing that kills plants faster than anything else is overwatering. Most other problems can be fixed with trial and error.

As for other plants to try, you may want to look at Chinese evergreens. They tolerate low light conditions better than most plants so they might do well in some of the spots away from windows.

Do you like flowers? African violets would enjoy a northern or eastern window. The key with african violets is that you need to keep them in a porous fast draining soil and don't use those "self watering" pots that are sold for them because those can make the soil too wet. Once I figured that out, I found they were very easy and rewarding.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:45PM
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First, Welcome to the Forum.

Second, out of the thousands of GW threads, yours is the most exceptional I've seen.
The layout of your new home had to take time and effort.

Third, Congrats on your new home. You must be so, very excited.

6-9 looks to have four south windows. Does each space represent one window?

The plants you mentioned. Spider, Pothos, and Peace Lily do well in medium light. In summer, these three plants could burn/fade when placed 'directly' before unobstructed south and west windows.

Remaining plants you mentioned do well with a lot of light. South, west, or very bright east.

Your west-facing deck, unless blocked by large trees, buildings, 'summer' has harsh rays, so plants that need full/direct sun, and have been acclimated, will do great.

South and west..Crassula 'Jade' tree. Cactus. Most succulents. Thick-leaf plants endure brighter light than thin leaves.
Also if acclimated, your Ficus trees and Schefflera would love the deck, south and west windows.

Do you want to add more plants to those you listed?

What type of plants do you like? Tall, shelf-size, hanging, flowering, tropicals, succulents, fragrant? The list is endless.

I second what SummerSunshine added. Finding the best place for a plant is through trial and error.

If you need advice selecting a plant, you can always ask here on GW, Google or Wiki where 'X' plant orinated, or invest in a plant book w/care instructions.

Besides sun, there are other factors growing healthy plants: Soils, humidity, temps, air-circulation, pot size.

But I see you're point. Right now you're so excited getting a new house, and able to add plants, 'something you've desired a long time.'
Now you have the opportunity.

Any questions, ask away.

PS. From your online blue-prints, your house looks lovely. :) Toni

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. Not a big fan for chinese evergreen. The reason that I did list any flowers is because I thought flowers are harder to grow than foliage plants and they need a lot of sun to blooming. Certainly, my little daughter would love to have flowers in the house.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Oops, The above post should read "The reason that I did NOT list any flowers....."

Thank you. Toni.

Yes, those spaces are windows except 11 is the door for the deck. Also - the bold line in front of the stair is the main entrance- a door with 2 narrow glass panel from top to bottom on both side of the door - but do not think light will be too much. North side of the house is the garage - so not many window on north side. There are some trees on the lot - but do not think it will block too much light.

Yes. Would like to add more plants to the list (as you may notice the plants in the list are common and easy ones). But do not know much about plants - and need you guys suggestion here. Have some fragrant plants (Gardenia and Jasmine) in mind - but intimidated by their "harder to grow" fame.

So please feel free to add whatever plants you think will do well to my list and I will do a research on them. That's one of the purpose of my original post too.

And just out of curiosity, why is my post exceptional? :)

Again, thanks for any suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Felix, not all flowering plants need a lot (blazing) sun to bloom. Almost all foliage plants flower, but less likely when grown strictly indoors.
Are you familiar with Dracaena 'Corn Plant'? (Foliage Plant) Corn Plants bloom in winter..the flowers are heavily fragrant. All plants need light, but Corn Plants thrive in medium light without direct sun.

You mentioned Gardenia and Jasmine...they're flowering

With all the windows in your new house, especially facing south and west, I'm sure they put out a LOT of sunlight.

As for your north windows, no need to worry. Unless a north is totally unobstructed, very few plants do well in north. Ferns and Pothos are in my north windows. Well, one Begonia and a very low-light Philodendron. Except for the Pothos, the other plants would probably do better in an east window.

If you're new to plants, hold off on the Gardenia. They're difficult..they can be grown indoors, but do better if summered outside.

There's a billion plants to choose from. I can name many, but it help if you narrowed down what type you like.
Above I asked, would you be interested in tall, short, hanging, variegated, etc plants.

Do you have any house plant books? If not, borrow a few from the library or purchase one like 'The House Plant Expert.' Preferably a book with numerous photos.
Jot down names of plants you like.

Another option is viewing online plant nurseries. Not only do most have pictures, but care instructions.

I can give you a list of nurseries to browse.

About Chinese Evergreen. Have you seen the new species floating around? Instead of green leaves, they come in red, pink, orange and silver. And not hard to care for either.

A few of my favorites.

Why is your post exceptional? As I explained above, it had to take a lot of time and effort drawing blue prints on GW. I don't even know how to use BOLD. lol.
The second blue print was even more complex.
Describing each room, listing places, circles included, where you'd like to place plants.
Articulately designed and created.
Felix, you get a gold star. lol.

Anyway, can you narrow down plants you'd like? Toni

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:25PM
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I would say the easiest indoor flowering plants would be a holiday cactus (Easter or christmas cactus) or an African violet.

Slightly more challenging would be a Phalaenopsis orchid (a little tricky because they grow in bark, not soil, so it would be a little harder to get used to when to water. Plus they require more effort to re-bloom than african violets do).
I would definitely avoid gardenias for now. Like Toni said, they are considered hard to grow indoors.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:54PM
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I like tall and thin plants to put on the floor. (kind of tree shape but not limited to - that's why rubber tree/ weeping fig are in the list). Or Short and fat so I can put on the table/counter top. There is no hanging hooks in the house so hanging plants need to put on the top of cabinet or a plant holder(name?). And not sure if I want to put all the smaller plants on the windowsill - maybe one on the bathroom windowsill and one on the kitchen window, then I will find some setup close to the window to put other plants, do not want to block the view of window and I like open the window in the summer for fresh air. Also - the deck can summer camp some plant and then bring indoor in the winter.

Yes, some variegated plant looks nice - but some variegated looks they got some disease (that causes the unnatural variegated leaves). Did not mean to offend your variegated plants lovers - I love some variegated plants too (spider plant is one of them - since I think the green one just like a normal grass -:) ), Oh, and hope I did not sound rude when I said not a big fan of Chinese evergreen. I just think it looks like plastic, a little bit unreal. (I know, I know, I have a weird taste LOL)

Oh, about the blue print - I did not draw it in my post. I draw it on my computer and then share the image like you share your plant pictures - did not take me too long - about 10 min.

I am reading a lot of posts on the forum (and still reading) - especially those Plant ID posts - so I can see the picture and do a search on the name (even wrong names) - to broader my plants - that's how I got my list.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Wow, Toni. Did not see the pictures of your Chinese evergreen until now - never saw those colors on a plant before - to be honest, I would not know they are Chinese evergreen. I am sure my daughter will love the pink(reddish) one. :) And they are so healthy. What is the one in the hanging pot in the third picture? What's those plants on the background? and the Ivy pot is lovely.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Hi Greendale...didn't see your post. Sorry.

Is there local nurseries around your house?
Or big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes?

If you're looking for a large tree, you'd save $ going to a big box store like Home Depot. They usually have trees for 9.99.

One plant you might like and grows fairly fast but not to fast is Dracaena Marginata. There's different varieties/colors. Green w/red edge, green and pink, green and red.
I'd suggest buying a mid-size Marginata, about 1' tall. Unless you don't mind waiting. Marginata's are sometimes sold at groceries stores, as low as 1.00..4" pot.

There's many new Dracaena species to choose from. Different shapes, colors, etc.
Even variegated does well in medium light, no direct summer sun.

For your south and west windows, why not try a succulent. There are some gorgeous succulents around.
If you have time, check out Cactus and Succulent Forum. Some succulents grow tall, others remain small.

Choosing a plant/s depends on direction window faces.

They make some nice-looking hooks for hanging plants. All you'd need is a hand or electric drill and bits.

GReen, don't worry about offending anyone because you don't care for the looks of a plant.. :)
Many people like a plant called ZZ Plant. I don't find it attractive at all.
If everyone had the same taste, it'd be a boring world.

However you did the blue prints, it's a good job.

I believe you'd like for your daughter to share your plant hobby?

There are many store-bought foods, containing seeds that can be grown as plants. Avocado is easy. Root the pit, and watch it grow.
Citrus, beans, sugar cane, apples, etc. If you buy these products anyway, each are a freebie plant. Your daughter might enjoy watching them grow.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 7:16PM
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yeah, my daughter always says I wanted to plant this flower or that flower when we move to our new house whenever she passed by flowers in front of somebody's house. I would think she will be enjoy watch the plants grow and I think close to nature is a good thing for her.

Again, thanks for all the suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:33PM
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What about your Sempervivum garden outside? Plant them - forget them! They're best with some rocks but they're all too OK on their own, too.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:24AM
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I have to do a search for images to know what Sempervivum is. Is it hardy in my area?

Ah, outside garden is even a bigger project I am afraid to take on now.

Thanks for the suggestion I will keep them in mind when I do the landscape of the outside garden.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:37PM
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Hi Felix,

It depends on the Sempervivum. Some are hardy and some are not. You would find them at a greenhouse in there outside plants.

I would not discount the African violets. They really are easy to grow even though they have a rep that they aren't. The windowsill in your kitchen and bathroom would be ideal for them.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Hi Felix,

You may have said already, but where is your area?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:30PM
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RI coast

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:39PM
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