Plant Answers  >  Interior Landscape

Interior Landscape

The interior of a home or office is certainly not the ideal place to grow most plants.

Nevertheless, foliage plants for interior use are definitely "in", and problems like low humidity, over-watering, salt accumulation in the soil, insufficient light and insect and disease pests will just have to be overcome.

Overcoming these problems often makes it possible to grow even the most particular of plants.

For those of you who are ready to rush out to the nursery today, here are a few indestructible houseplants. They may not be as tough as plastic, but they should perform well even under adverse conditions.

?Heartleaf philodendron. This plant is commonly called house ivy. Most of the philodendrons are easy to grow, and this one is the easiest.

It can be found growing in almost any home or office in San Antonio.

Commercial buildings, shopping malls, hotels, and office buildings frequently rely on heartleaf philodendron as a mainstay in their interior?plantscapes.

This plant grows best in a bright spot, but is also good under the fluorescent lights of the office and will survive for long periods under very low light conditions.

?Pathos ivy. This plant looks a lot like a variegated heartleaf philodendron and, in fact, is often called philodendron.

To further confuse matters, it is also called devil's ivy.

Whatever you call it, it is easy to grow. Perhaps the most colorful variety of devil's ivy is "marble queen," with its cream and green variegated foliage.

?Chinese evergreen. This plant is not well?known, but it is perhaps the easiest of all house plants to grow, and some of the newer varieties are very good?looking.

It will tolerate very low light conditions with low humidity.

Most Chinese evergreen varieties grow 1 to 2 feet tall with leaves 6 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide.

The standard Chinese evergreen is a bit dull with green arrowhead?shaped leaves, but some of the new varieties, like "silver queen," are quite striking.

-Dracaena "Janet Craig". There are many dracaenas suitable for use indoors, but this is one of the best.

Dark green, strap-like leaves about 12 to 18 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide are all this plant has to offer, but if dark green leaves are what you want, it fills the bill nicely.

-Snake plant or Sansevieria. This plant may be the most indestructible of them all. It tolerates low light and low humidity.

The thick and leathery leaves are capable of withstanding extended dry periods.

There are generally 2 forms of snake plant - one that makes a compact rosette of leaves and a tall erect form (aptly called "Mother-in-law's Tongue").

Some varieties have silvery horizontal bands on the leaves, others are almost entirely green, while still others have bright yellow margins.

-Spathiphyllum. This is the so-called closet plant, and although it is very tolerant of indoor conditions, it won't grow in a closet.

It tolerates low light and the dry air present in most homes. The basic color is green with an occasional white bloom.

The following houseplants deserve honorable mention: arrowhead plant or Nephthytis - tough with green and variegated forms available; Aspidistra (cast iron plant) -dark green strap-shaped leaves, ideal for dark locations indoors or out; Dieffenbachia - a large-leafed, tall growing, exotic-looking plant with green and variegated foliage.

Those not listed because of more intense care required include Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig), Schefflera and Palms. To grow these successfully, plan to attend the program Wednesday and learn the secrets of caring for even the most fickle houseplants.

For more information about selection and growing of houseplants, see:



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