Houseplants forum: Jookieblue's Houseplant Questions

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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
Apr 21, 2013 8:19 AM CST
Hello everyone, Im usually seen over on the Cactus and Succulent forums....but I have a question about a couple of my houseplants.

I had bought the common Spider plant some time ago. My cat apparently decided he didnt have enough green in his diet so he chewed off about every leaf possible that he could get to. I finally decided to hang it up where he couldnt get to it. (guess i should have done that in the first place Big Grin ) Anyways, one day I decided to repot my spider into two different pots and I cut all the icky chewed leaves off so it looked halfway decent. They are not really growing all that fast so far but what I am curious about is why everytime I think it is about to start producing babies the shoots dry up along with the little white flowers and then go away? This happens all the time. I make sure to give it a good soaking about one a week and have it so it receives indirect sunlight for a good part of the day. I have even tried giving it a little fertilizer to see if that would help. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated Thumbs up

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Ok, Second question is about my ivy. I bought a really nice ivy from my local hardware store to put into these little sconces(?) that hang on my wall. They have little glass pots in them. I split the ivy into two and planted half in one and half in the other. They were doing very very well for awhile but now they are drying up and leaves are falling off daily. These receive indirect sunlight in my living room and I dont have them by any vents or anything as I have heard that can be bad for them. I also try to keep them a little more on the moist side and water when the soil starts to feel dry about an inch down. I am going to take them out of there and put them in one pot together and see how they do. What plants would do well in these? It would need to be something with a little root system as the pots are not all that deep and would probably do best with ones that only need low light. I would like to plant some sedum maybe? or something that would grow fairly quickly indoors and sorta drape over. Im really into the succulents currently as well. Any suggestions? Here are before and after pics of my english ivy.


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Name: Alex Volker
Ames, IA (Zone 5a)
Cactus and Succulents
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cherokeealex
Apr 24, 2013 11:38 AM CST
I don't know about the light requirements, but something like String of Pearls would look good in the containers your ivy is in right now. They trail nicely.
Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
Apr 24, 2013 6:32 PM CST
Thank you those would look cool. I would have to check the light requirements as well. I know my local hardware store has them right now.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 26, 2013 6:54 AM CST
Ivy is notorious for getting spider mites while inside for winter. That's a shame, it really looks cool in the sconces! Lack of drainage/excess water may also be causing a hardship.

Chlorophytums are quite sensitive to tap water chemicals, and resentful of soggy, airless soils, would much prefer to dry out than be muddy. Making sure the excess water drains out, and using rain or distilled water should help a lot. I've never seen a spider plant with such short stolons, interesting.

Sedums and Senecios usually need much more light than what is available for your sconces. You might do better with a creeper like Tradescantia zebrina or fluminensis, even spathacea, or Callisia repens or fragrans.

Whatever plant you choose, I would anticipate you'd need to re-propagate often and change the soil if those containers don't have a drain hole, at least once a year. It won't take long for the soil to become overwhelmed with tap water chemicals, depleted of nutrients.
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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
Apr 26, 2013 5:48 PM CST
Thank you for the advice. I have in the meantime potted the ivy in a pot by itself. We shall see how it does. Still undecided on what to plant in the sconces.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 26, 2013 6:33 PM CST
For the Sconces, you could try Philodendron (P. hederaceum) which is a nice trailer, does well in low light situations:

"Velvet Leaf Philodendron": Velvet Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)

"Philodendron 'Brasil'": Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium 'Brasil')

"Heart Leaf Philodendron": Heart Leaf Vine (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium)
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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
Apr 26, 2013 6:50 PM CST
Thank you Lin. I might just end up splitting my golden pothos and see how that does in there. Just a little concerned about the root system and how big it will get. I love your suggestions! Hurray!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 27, 2013 8:21 AM CST
Jackie: Pothos would work for awhile too but I think it would grow much faster than the Philodendron's. Whatever you decide just be sure you don't overwater since there are no drainage holes in your sconces. I have a few philodendron planted in containers without drainage and I only give them a little water @ every three weeks and they do great.
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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
Apr 27, 2013 10:19 AM CST
Hmmmm maybe I was watering them to much? Im not sure. They seem do be doing alot better in the big pot I have them in now....does anyone know anything about my spider plant issue? Its bugging me that the little buds keep dying off and I dont know why. Thumbs down

Lin, I might just try philodendrons. Thanks Thumbs up
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 29, 2013 7:58 AM CST
Spider plant is the Chlorophytum I was talking about upthread.
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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
May 1, 2013 8:13 PM CST
Ohhhhhhh Hilarious! Oops! Thank You Purpleinopp! I will try to distilled water and see if that helps a bit more. Thumbs up
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
May 2, 2013 8:20 AM CST
I hope so. I've had these for decades and have finally moved on, just have a few little sprigs that were babies last year, for sentimental reasons. Can't completely let go of a plant I've had for almost 3/4 of my life, and if the darn thing can stay alive all of this time through the weirdness it's experienced, it deserves a spot, even if it's a back row'er now. Most of the time, they don't look great to me, brown tips, bent leaves, the carrot-like roots take a huge amount of space for the amount of foliage. Since learning it's a hardy weed here if it gets on the ground, (and how good ground plants look compared to the potted ones,) the novelty has worn off. The repot should do wonders for your plant. Those huge roots need tons of space and the plant will not stay looking great if they are smushed in a too-small pot. If I didn't insist on hanging baskets for these, or went to the trouble to get a much bigger one, the relationship may not have gotten so sour. Those pots just aren't big enough for the roots on these plants. Not that I don't think they're beautiful, just too frustrating and fussy for me to try to have one as a focal point anymore. One of these days I'll find the perfect pot and the infatuation will flare back up... till then, there's no danger of actually killing this completely, a stalwart plant if there ever was one, whether or not it will win any beauty contests.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 2, 2013 10:48 AM CST
Hi Jookieblue, I was reading last night about effects of low humidity on plants, and maybe what your plants are experiencing is related to low humidity issues. Do you know your indoor humidity levels for this time of the year. I have been observing my plants as well, and have seen similar conditions on the leaves of some of my plants, grown indoors and outdoors. I think only my succulents are enjoying this low humidity season. Rolling my eyes.

See this link: http://umanitoba.ca/afs/hort_inquiries/house_plants/low_humi...

Spider plants though are toughies, I was just repotting one yesterday, and am always amazed by their very thick and plump root systems, so even if the leaves gets badly damaged, it readily gives out another. Big Grin
[Last edited by tarev - May 2, 2013 10:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
May 2, 2013 6:33 PM CST
Thank you Purpleinopp. I may end up giving up on these eventually as well but it's starting to get warmer out now and may end up putting them outside after I move and see how they do in some part shade. I was amazed at how the root system was when I repotted these plants. The little pods they have under the dirt were very strange to me and I had never seen anything like it before. I will have to read up on why they are like this.
Tarav, Spider plants do seem to be pretty tough so far for me. After my cat chewed almost every single leaf of it's still doing pretty well. I do not know my humidity levels in my house but today I have all the windows opened and it's beautiful outside. Our humidity is at 42 percent currently and it's 72 degrees out and the sun is setting. Just beautiful. I think I heard once that it is good to drunk spider plants in rain water. I will have to read up on that as well and see if that might work Thumbs up
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
May 3, 2013 7:56 AM CST
Those roots are water-storing organs called rhizomes. I usually cut them off when repotting because I'm always putting my plant back in the same pot. In the ground, those rhizomes can go down almost a foot, they love high shade, under a tree with very high lower limbs. Hanging from a branch on the north or east side would be great.

Rain water is much better for any plants sensitive to tap water chemicals, of which spider definitely is one. I wouldn't dunk, just water regularly with it. Distilled water or that from a dehumidifier collection bucket are also good, no tap water chemicals.

That IS beautiful weather, nice!
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 6, 2013 11:14 AM CST
I never could seem to keep Chlorophytum (Spider Plants) looking good when I'd grow them in pots/containers. They look beautiful when planted in the ground but whenever I'd put one in a pot it would get ratty looking and the leaves always had brown edges. We have pretty high humidity here most of the year but I think it may be that I wasn't watering enough ... in ground they were watered by the irrigation system twice a week but in pots they only got watered every two to three weeks. I grow many different kinds of plants and everything else seems to survive fine with my watering system ... but not spider plants. One of these days I will have to stop by our rental house and take a look to see if there are any still growing in the backyard.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
May 6, 2013 1:34 PM CST
Hey Lin, want some? I got a lot!!! Big Grin
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 6, 2013 6:01 PM CST
tarev: Thanks but I think I'll pass. nodding
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Name: Jackie
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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Jookieblue
May 6, 2013 7:31 PM CST
lol.....I still havent given up hope on mine....Hopefully they will give me some babies here soon. Should these be fertilized on a monthly basis do you think?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 6, 2013 7:57 PM CST
I never fertilized a spider plant. They usually produce babies when they are root-bound.
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