Popular Houseplants: Strategies For Beginners

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Popular Houseplants

Look At The Popular Houseplants

Popular Houseplants can be just the green object that lives in the corner of your store – oppressed and leaning pitifully toward outdoor light.

Houseplants can be the skinny dust-covered desperados pointed out above, or they can be outright funky.

The world is crowded with odd and bizarre plants and many of them are convenient for you to bring home – or to the office – to coddle.

You could just go pick up a rubber tree or you could discover a Zamioculcas zamiifolia. And, no, I did not make the name up.

It resonates like something a superhero would do, but it is actually a succulent plant in the aroid group that is occasionally called an aroid palm or a ZZ plant.

It looks like a particularly swollen variant of a fern, with very glossy, practically plastic-looking leaves and bloated stems.

The plant amounts to about 2 feet tall. It looks as if it would enjoy a good bit of sun, but it is happy in the shade and somewhat carefree. The name is obtained from another plant, Zamia, the cardboard palm, which is actually a cycad. Confused yet?

Fashionable Purple Fuzz

If you are not into fat ferns, maybe funky purple fuzz is more your pace. The African plant Gynura is a common houseplant that runs by the name purple passion vine.

Sounds risque, but your grandma may have had this one. It’s been around a long time.

It was surely around in the ‘60s, and it’s just as groovy today. The scalloped leaves on this trailing vine are a deep-olive green and covered with purple hairs. What other plant has this?

Purple passion can take bright direct light and likes lots of humidity. Avoid getting the leaves wet, which can cause the plant to develop sunken spots.

The recent growth is the most purple, so pinch out the new growing tips occasionally to encourage dense growth and to keep those fresh shoots coming.

It is simple to root cuttings of this plant. Purple passion gets a little bedraggled after a couple of years. Growing new plants from cuttings is an easy way to keep your plant fresh.

A Velvet Elvis Painting

Who says nature can’t have really unpleasant taste? Enter the Codiaeums, generally called crotons. They sort of look good in the fall when their united leaf colors of yellow, red, pink, orange, and gunmetal purple are not too out of tune with the season.

But, by this time of year, they are the foliar equivalent of a velvet Elvis painting. The colors are presented in blobs, blotches, veins, and splatters.

Crotons are simple to cultivate with a little bright light and are tolerant of neglect and abuse. They grow to 3 feet or more and are technically shrubs. Don’t put them with other colored vegetation. You might go blind.

Selaginella is a fern relative that falls in presentation somewhere between a fern and a large moss. Properly called spikemoss, they are also called clubmoss.

Tendencies toward the chartreuse and variegated have made these distributing plants into a creeping, rich mat of pure soft composition.

Each branch is, on close analysis, coated with tiny overlapping scalelike leaves that give the sense of having been braided.

Treat them like tropical ferns and give them lots of moisture, moisture, and shade.

The succulents on the other pole of the moisture spectrum, whose fascinating forms directly result from their harsh home environments, including punishing sunlight and very little water.

None are weirder than the groups of plants generally known as living stones. They have tiny olive-green lithops. These South African plants lie disguised on the gravelly desert floor, with their windowed tops protruding from the soil.

A daisylike flower might appear from its center shaped like an oval or a circle broken in half. Eventually, the plant will split open, and another will emerge from its center.

They look more like jellybeans than plants. These plants won’t need any water in the winter.

Fairly weird is the cut-window plant, Haworthia truncata. It forms a fan of squared-off leaves in very dark-olive green.

The plant grows with just its tips out of the soil in its natural habitat. Each tip has a window that allows photosynthesis to take place without opening the plant to the brutal sun.

String Of Pearls Plants

String Of Perls Plant

Senecio rowleyanus, the string-of-pearls plant—more accurately, string-of-peas plant—sends out long trailing vines of perfectly round pea-shaped leaves.

It is notoriously difficult to maintain and, until recently, scarce. Senecio rowleyanus, often known as string-of-pearls, is indigenous to South Africa.

It thrives in well-drained soil, frequently behind larger plants in partial shade, and is hence well-suited for indoor cultivation.

Contrary to the string-of-dolphins and string-of-bananas (although the care and propagation of these Senecio species are the same), the succulent string-of-pearls produces nearly spherical leaves, or ‘pearls’, along thread-like stems that hang from the pot.

In recent times, it and many of its relatives were recategorized as’ Curio, ‘although most nurseries still know it by its previous name, ‘Senecio.’

Propagation Of String Of Pearls Plants

Take a semi-mature plant from which you are willing to cut some trailing stems, a new plant pot or shallow dish with drain holes, and some highly free-draining compost, and combine them.

In late spring or early summer, cut 5 -10cm stems from the mother plant and partially bury a third of each stem horizontally in the new pot.

You may need to secure it with an unfolded paper clip or leave the rest of the stem curled on the surface until rooted. As you would a mature plant, water the young plant.

For a fuller plant, you may wish to propagate multiple stems in the same container. To create the appearance of confusion, repeat the steps above in a broad, shallow saucer, cover the surface with gravel, and allow new growth to climb over the stones.

The String of Bananas Plant

String Of Bananas Plant

Senecio herreianus Growth habit: A sprawling succulent, with banana-shaped leaves, growing to 6 inches tall.

Light: Grow in high light but out of the direct sun.

Water needs: Allow the soil to become slightly dry before watering thoroughly.

Feedings: Fertilize once a month with a houseplant product.

Propagation: Start new plants by laying short segments over the surface of pots filled with soil or vermiculite.

Ease of culture: Easy.

Hardiness: Tender; protect from temperatures below 50 degrees.

Use: An eye-catching accent usually displayed in hanging baskets for the home or patio. Make cuttings from the ends of vigorous shoots, and stick them into the soil to root.

Continue until the pot overflows with foliage

Senecio, the succulent daisy family, is full of weird wonders. A similar plant-S. radicans-has the same habit.

Sooner than green peas, it is ornamented in tiny green bananas. Both have flowers that look like an inferior version of a dandelion gone to seed.

Others are powdery blue cylinders of silver rosettes. There is little reason to be expected when your windowsills can fill up with the world’s vegetable phenomena.

You can find these plants and many others in high-end nurseries. And ignore the ficus. Go for the string of tiny green bananas.

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