Which of your Houseplants thrives most on your neglect?

kaktuskris(5)October 31, 2013

This is my brother's, not mine. A Thanksgiving cactus. He never changed the poor soil it is in, never fertilized it, never did a thing to it at all, except leave it on his porch all summer, dry as a bone most of the time. Yet some stem segments have 5 and even six flower buds. With all this talk of all these special potting mixes, and fertilizers, explain this!

My question is, do you have a plant you have done absolutely nothing to, yet thrives as if you were babying it? And if so, what is it, and let's see some photos.


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Hi Christopher,

What a gorgeous Thanksgiving Cactus!
Filled with buds, too.

For a neglected plant, it's doing fantastic.

Let's see..All my plants are neglected..lol..j/k.

I'd have to say Pothos and succulents.

As for fertilizing, they sure don't get fertilized like they once did...that goes for all my plants, not only Pothos and succulents..

Your brother is doing something right. Toni

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 5:24PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

A couple of years ago, I tried to kill a gigantic hoya that I had owned for several years. It was covered with over a hundred huge blooms for many months of the year....and I had come to hate the smell. HATE!

So, I stopped watering it. After several months....like six or seven.....it didn't seem to be any the worse for wear. I was disgusted. About that time, I was selling my bonsai collection off and one of the buyers asked me if the hoya was for sale.

"That monstrosity?", I asked. "You can have it for free! " He refused to take it for nothing, and added $75.00 to his overall check for the bonsai he purchased. Cha-ching!

P.S. I did try my best to find a new home for it, but the sheer size of it scared normal people away. Serious bonsai enthusiasts aren't 'normal', lol.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 6:37PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hmm... you're asking a crowd of fondlers, but spider plant comes to mind. I've tried to kill it (a little more actively than Rhizo's Hoya) but it won't die.

I don't water Sans while inside for winter if they're in a really big pot. Parlor palm also gets almost completely ignored most of the time. While inside, it has to wait for a day when it can go out to get a drink. While outside, it sits on a wood table, so has to wait until I get in the mood to put on the ground for a drink, at a time when it won't get burned. That usually ends up being about every 3-4 weeks.

Last winter, I didn't water Pothos (Epipremnum) at all 'cuz it's in a hanging pot I couldn't get down myself, no drain saucer, and looked fine until it "fell to yellow" one day. As soon as I finally watered it again, it was fine, soon replacing lost leaves with new shoots. (Bear in mind that plants are only inside from mid-late Nov. to mid-late March here.)

I'm assuming that the fact that the Kalanchoe diagremontiana I have was appropriated by breaking off a piece growing in a crack in a parking lot, it probably doesn't need a drink except extremely rarely. In fact, it was in the hot car all the way home from New Orleans, then laid on the porch in the sun for a few days until I got around to sticking it in some "dirt." It never lost a leaf, just picked up where it left off once it had some roots under it again. Every baby that has fallen has made a new plant. I probably have around 100 of these things in various places now.

Callisia fragrans. Doesn't even need soil, as far as I can tell, just to be rained on occasionally. I pulled up a bunch of these from DH's Mom's yard and kind of tossed them under a shrub until I could find something to do with them. That was months ago & some are still there, looking fine. When I 'need' a piece I just grab it, as recently as this week, they're not at all rooted, just growing anyway.

Sure Tradescantia zebrina likes moist shade, but will decorate any pot I add it to, a moist shady one, a dry one in full sun, morning sun, afternoon heat, it will abide.

'Firesticks' Euphorbia.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Hands down bougainvillea. Does sooooo well without watering or fertilizer, dont change the pot ever. It promptly dropped all of its leaves and replaced the leaves with bracts full of blooms

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:57PM
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I generally completely ignore my ponytail palm. Never re pot. Never fertilize. Rarely water. During the summer I pretty much just out it on the porch and forget about it. It absolutely thrives. My pothos also gets very little care. Don't bother much with re pitting or fertilizing.... Or watering. I have it growing in pots and vases and even wine bottles full of water. Of course there is also the snake and cast iron plant that I basically forget about and they grow. I am stingy with water in general

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:32PM
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I guess since I've dwindled down my collection, I'd have to say my ZZ Plant. I can go two or three weeks without looking at it (that goes for watering as well) and it'll still be kicking.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:32PM
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auron22(6b OH)

Besides my cacti, I have not watered my schefflera arboricola since bringing it indoors 3 weeks ago...and before that I didn't water since may. I don't fertilize either. The schefflera seems to be a large, healthy specimen and the cacti are pushing more growth than they ever have.

An orchid might be one of the last plants you think of neglecting....or else you would regret it...but my Odontoglossum 'bittersweet' seems to dislike attention. Only watered once out of the 2-3 months it was outside under an overhang....it loved it. When I brought it indoors I watered 1-2 times a month and the smaller pseudo-bulb rotted......The nursery I purchased it from said it was an easy orchid, I just didn't think it was THAT easy.lol

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:18AM
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I see a general recurring theme here. No watering and no fertilizing = longer life for plants in pots. Salt build up in container plants will eventually get even the toughest plant, but it takes a while, especially if the watering and fertilizing is kept to a minimum.

I've found TC's to be pretty tough plants, matter of fact most plants at BBS's are pretty tough or else they wouldn't be there. I think that there is life in a lot of plants with pretty terrible care, but show me your plants that have been in the same pot for twenty years with "no care". Also, "no care" or neglect means really different things to different people in very different situations. But the things mentioned so far have all been pretty easy plants in my bit of experience.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Christopher...Hope you don't mind if I ask a question...?

For those of us who neglect plants, I'm curious which potting mix is used?
Soil, soil-less or a little of both?

I'd like to add Sans to my list of neglected plants. Thanks....Toni

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Hi Chris..Great question pal...

I would say both my Jades and TC's!!!

With hardly any effort, this is what happened to my Thanksgiving Cactus!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:35PM
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For the real neglecter of plants, the potting mix has never been an issue, as it has never been changed! ;)

Hi Mike! Yours is nice, but I think my brother neglected his more, as his has more buds!


This post was edited by kaktuskris on Sat, Nov 2, 13 at 21:54

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:49PM
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Delreytropical is quite right about bougainvillea. The less you do for this one, the better. All summer, mine does nothing. Then, I bring it to work, give it bright sun and hardy ever water it (never feed it). Then it blooms in January and February. Not a plant for those that need to coddle their plants.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:07PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I DO love bougainvillea...but I do not neglect mine...this past summer I had over 20+ inches of rain in July and Aug. and part of Sept was very wet also...and my pot stayed wet for weeks on end and all the leaves dropped...I thought the plant died...but, I changed the pot and repotted it and luckily it's growing again and is blooming again...

Very Nice TC Kris and Mike!!

For me it would have to be my Jades and Succulents and a couple of my very large Hoyas that get neglected the most...

Rhizo, that Hoya story is hilarious!! You must have had either Lacunosa or Carnosa, one of those I'm not thrilled about the smell of the flowers either...it always reminds me of hint of a dirty litter box,lol...

This picture is from January 2013...when it was looking pretty good. Doesn't look as good as it did then but its coming back :o)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 4:11PM
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mrscrazycatlady(4-5 ontario)

I've been away from gardenweb for years, this is probably my first post in 10 years but the topic touched my heart.

My 2 most neglected plants are probably my 2 favorites. Go figure. My varigated aspadistra is probably 20 years old and gets put in a corner for the winter and forgotten. I admire it all summer on the north side of my deck then bring it in just before the snow falls and it lives up to its name in a dark corner upstairs. It is still the most expensive house plant I have ever bought.

The same goes for my corn plant except that poor plant suffers the indignity of being hacked off every 5-6 years when it gets too tall. Its been snowed on, dumped over, cursed for its size but it just keeps on trucking.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 11:41PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I've an Aloe of some sort. bought at a senior center thrift shop for 25 cents. It was completely pot bound in a 12 in pot. We had to move to smaller place so I just dumped the root-ball and plant in a raised bed for tilling under next spring. It is mostly dead put some parts appear to have so far survived several months without water and several hard frosts.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Hi all....I have a african violet that was really bad, I was going to throw it out, but I get busy and forgot about it and then a week or so ago I was watering my plants and cleaning some and I was going to throw out the violet and look what I found.....I guess I wil keep it......linda

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 9:25PM
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