Thursday, April 14, 2011

Houseplants #3

       I thought I would devote one more blog to favorite houseplants and then this will possibly be my last--at least for awhile.  I've already mentioned wax plant--also called hoya--and included a picture.   (See post--Growing Houseplants, February 7, 2011).  The wax plant has beautiful dark green shiny leaves with a very interesting and fragrant bloom.  This is an easy houseplant to grow if you give it enough light.  It doesn't need full sun, but it also doesn't want to be stuck in a corner far away from a window either.  Place it near an east window and it will thrive, and may even surprise you by blooming after it matures.
       Another easy to grow plant that grows rather large is Scheffelera.  There are several different varieties.  The ones I own have smaller leaves and are fuller than some of the larger scheffeleras.  Here is a picture of one of my 2 largest.  It is going to have to be cut back soon because it is outgrowing it's allotted space!  I have 2 others which I purchased as small plants to sit on a table but are now so large I had to move them to a plant stand.  Soon one of them will be moved to the floor.  This plant will grow in medium--to bright light.  It needs no extra care, except for the occasional pruning when it gets too large.

       Weeping figs (ficus benjamina) are also pretty adaptable and easy to grow.   They, too, will thrive in medium to bright light, if they are watered regularly, letting the soil dry between waterings.  They need very little extra care, except for picking up the occasional dropped leaf.  I have two of these plants.  As they grow they tend to take up a lot of room, so plan accordingly.   The largest one was given to me as a gift when it was small.  It is now over 8 feet tall and about 5 feet wide!  The other one, pictured below, belonged to one of our dearest friends and mentor, Tommy Tyson.  His son, Tom, said I should take it home after Tommy died because it was needing some extra care.  As you can see it is doing well.  I love having it as a reminder of Tommy and the rest of the Tyson family.

     The plants mentioned in these few posts are my fool-proof plants.  I have a few others that are a little more choosey about their growing conditions, so I haven't recommended them.  As you can see from the pictures I have included in this and other posts, the majority are thriving here.  I think I have mentioned before that we have great light in our house because of a multitude of windows.  If light is a problem for you, I would suggest trying pothos for awhile.  If you need another suggestion, another plant that seems to do well in low light is spathiphylum (peace lily).  If neither of these thrive don't bother trying the others.  But if they live then you may want to consider adding different plants to your collection.  I think houseplants are a great addition to the atmosphere of any house.
     Finding the right plant for the light you have is one of the most important things you can do to grow healthy houseplants.  The other, as I said in my first post, is to be sure to water them thoroughly and then let the soil dry for a few days before watering again because very few plants will do well in soggy soil.
     For those who have asked me how I grow houseplants I hope this has helped.  These few posts seem to have exhausted my knowledge on growing houseplants. (And I'm sure have bored several of you in the process.)  If, by chance, you still have a question you think I might be able to answer, I would be happy to try.  Just leave a comment or send me an email.


Sarah said...

I used to love growing houseplants...then the children came. Maybe I'll get a few in a couple years. Seems as though I can only keep a few things alive and thriving at once. I like your tips though! Thanks.

Country Girl said...

Thanks, Sarah, for your comments--here and on other posts. It is great to know that someone is actually reading my ramblings and find some of them helpful. I really appreciate the feedback! It inspires me to keep trying.