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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

House Plants That Look After Themselves

Perhaps you lead a hectic life. Maybe you don’t have time to breath let alone to care for anything other than your family or yourself. But you do know that house plants can help clean indoor air, keep down heating and cooling costs and they miraculously relieve stress if only subconsciously. Therefore you need and want house plants around you and you want the ones that pretty much look after themselves. With this in mind let us go over a few of the best for just this purpose.

Ficus.

This is one plant that longs to be left alone. Move it, brush up against it too often or in any other way fuss over it and it will reward, or perhaps a better word would be punish you by dropping half its leaves. Just stick it in a bright corner, out of direct sunlight, water sparingly and it’ll please you to no end just as long as you almost totally ignore it.

Snake plant.

A jungle plant which can do quite well with little light, the Snake plant’s long, variegated, snake-like leaves, fleshy and stiff, can take household conditions without wilting nor leaf-drop. Moderate watering and placing it standing above a saucer full of pebbles and water to increase humidity is all the care it needs to look rather nice.

Rubber tree plant.

Large, glossy, stiff, dark green leaves with a red, pink or brownish underside, the rubber Tree plant can sit in any corner with little light, moderate water and not much else. Dusting the leaves will keep it looking pretty or better yet, stick it under a cool shower every once in a while and it’ll be as happy as it might be in its natural jungle paradise.

Spider plant.

Mostly seem in hanging baskets with a profusion of baby spiders arching out from the mama, the Spider plant requires a bright, indirect light, moderate watering and the occasional clipping of babies so they can root in water. These babies make nice gifts for friends and co-workers once planted in their own tiny pot.

Schefflera.

A beauty whether the bright green or the variegated cultivar, the Schefflera takes bright indirect light or low office light and dry indoor winter conditions without a complaint. Likes a bit of water diluted with a mild fertilizer every once in a while but other than that carefree.

Dumb cane.

A lovely plant with variegated leaves and a tendency to get leggy when not placed in bright, indirect light but no big deal. If the leaves drop off at the bottom just cut the whole thing down. It will re-sprout in no time and you can root the top portion of the plant in water. Once roots form, which usually takes two to four weeks, plant this in the same pot and almost instantly you have a fuller looking house plant.

Christmas Cactus.

Though not a true Cactus, this plant along with its cousin the Easter Cactus are succulents and can tolerate drought quite easily. Water infrequently, feed lightly and it’ll do fine. Take it outside to a shady spot on the porch in summer to promote flowering when you bring it back indoors.

Fiddle leaf Dieffenbachia.

A cousin of the Dumb Cane, the Fiddle leaf Dieffenbachia takes low light and dry winter conditions well with moderate watering and not too much fuss.

Golden Pathos.

This vining plant looks quite attractive in hanging baskets or planted at the base of other houseplants to cascade over the pot. It can take bright light or low light but likes a bit of water to keep it happy. If it gets too leggy simply snip off the ends, stick these pieces in water and you add a few hydroponically growing plants to your ever increasing collection of house plants. Of course you could also pot them up and give to friends.

No matter what your indoor home condition, your schedule or if the shade of your thumb goes more towards the brown than to the green, these house plants should give you the best hope for indoor gardening success because they pretty much look after themselves. What could be better?

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