Ask a Question forum: plant suggestions and donations

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Name: Jean Lutz
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
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jlutz
Apr 16, 2014 5:42 PM CST
I work with Homeless Veterans and the facility that they've been living in - sponsored by U.S.Vets is having to move in a few weeks. I'd like to give each Vet a house plant as a welcoming gift to put into his/her new shared living unit.
I'm thinking creeping Charlie or coleus since they grow so fast. Any other ideas?

I'd also like to find some air plants to be donated because I know some of the guys will not really take care of a plant that needs to be watered regularly.

Any suggestions or sources will be very much appreciated.


Everybody's Place
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(928) 445-3553 jlutz@cableone.net
Prescott AZ
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Creating jobs and job training for the homeless, Veterans and "at risk" folks by
upcycling recyclables into functional and decorative items for sale.
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Apr 16, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Welcome! Jean. That is great work you are doing. I think Coleus is a good idea. How about Sansevieria?
Have you approached local nurseries to see if they will donate plants?
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 16, 2014 6:44 PM CST
I was thinking perhaps Kalanchoe? They're attractive, easy care, and also easy to propagate.
Florist Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Apr 16, 2014 7:19 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I agree some good advice here!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Apr 16, 2014 7:24 PM CST
I think there are plants better adapted to inside the house. If Creeping Charlie and coleus don't get enough light, or it is too warm, they will get lanky (read: ugly) very fast. Sansevieria is the king for neglectful caregivers, in my opinion. They will survive high or low light, regular water or treating almost like a cactus. The Hahni birdsnest types are more compact. If by "air plant" you mean the tillandsia, they are not that easy because they need pure water and don't live on just air, as the name implies. But if you mean Airplane Plant (aka Spider plant), that is an excellent choice. They grow fast and can handle a dose of neglect, too.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 16, 2014 7:40 PM CST
I agree with Leftwood. And don't forget pothos as another easy to grow plant.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 16, 2014 8:06 PM CST
Rick, what you mean by the statement that Tillandsia plants need "pure" water?
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 16, 2014 8:09 PM CST
@jlutz,
Plenty of good suggestions for the plant varieties; I'll tackle the other end of the question and add to Dutchlady1's suggestion about asking local nurseries - your local grocery stores which have a floral department; contact the manager or the district manager and see if you can get them on board.

Contact the local branch of the American Legion as ask them to post a notice; some of their membership may be able to help.

Also, post your request in your local FreeCycle network; it costs nothing and usually gets results.

Don't forget the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; they are always looking to earn their merit badges and helping you with your cause can help the young people to learn about the sacrifices made by the veterans.

I've worked with the homeless Veterans in our shelter back home; a challenging task buy very rewarding - I applaud you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Apr 16, 2014 8:22 PM CST
drdawg said:Rick, what you mean by the statement that Tillandsia plants need "pure" water?

The Tillandsia that drink water through their leaves are adapted to rain water, fog and/or dew. Constant watering with softened water, or water with added contaminents or with high mineral content in comparison stress these plants. If you'd like to talk more, treemail me. We really need to stay on track in this forum.
Name: Jean Lutz
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
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jlutz
Apr 17, 2014 7:53 AM CST
Wow! As you probably know, I'm absolutely new to this forum and really didn't expect much. I'm overwhelmed. Thank you so much for all the information.

About the only plants I don't already have that you've mentioned are Sansevieria. I've gotten most of them from the places that you've suggested. Freecycle is great! I've been propagating them for several months now so as to have enough. I haven't see the new facility yet but I'm pretty sure that each room has a window - the issue will be which way it faces. Even though we're at 5,000ft in AZ it still get pretty hot in the summer and plants can fry if not moved.

As for the Tillandsia I was thinking they could be hung in the shower (that's were I have mine but it has a window in the shower) I think I'll mark that off the list for now.

I'm also hoping to get them to build a greenhouse out of plastic bottles. (a fellow in Greece sent me the plans he developed) I'm really into recycling and upcycling so that will be good.

Most of this group of fellows are from the Vietnam era and really have problems not just from PTSD but now from other physical issues as they get older. I really love working with them. I'm a little old lady so I'm not a threat to them so we can joke around and I love to see them laugh and I get lots of hugs.

If you have any further suggestions, please send the along. Thank you all so much Jean
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Apr 17, 2014 10:03 AM CST
Wow, a greenhouse out of plastic bottles? What a great idea!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Apr 17, 2014 10:34 AM CST
I agree We'd love to see the instructions!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 19, 2014 9:43 AM CST
Just google 'greenhouse made from plastic bottles' and there are lots of pictures and different methods - so creative!

What a great project for your veterans, too Jean! Again, the Boy Scouts might be all over helping with that. They will raise the money and come to the facility to put together something like a frame for it, maybe even pour a concrete floor for you, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jean Lutz
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
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jlutz
Apr 20, 2014 7:54 AM CST
We have a couple of experiential High Schools here that always need a project as well as Prescott College which has an intense focus on the environment etc. so I have lots of groups to go to for help. But I really want to get the Vets involved and make it themselves. Then if they get good at it they can maybe sell them.

If anyone wants the plans I have just email me. They lots of pictures etc. I've accumulated several since I got the one from Greece.

Prescott Creeks (a local nonprofit) did their annual clean up yesterday. Hundreds of locals volunteer and are assigned various sections of our many creeks and they clean up all the trash. We toss the trash and anything that can be upcycled is placed in specific location for artists to come take what they want to make something from. We then have a fundraiser where all that art is auctioned off as one of our fundraisers. It's amazing what people can think of the make from and old tire and rusty cans. This year was a low turn out because of Easter but we had over 500 volunteers and took out 5 tons of trash and about 2 tons of upcyclables. One of the first years we did the clean up we took out over 11 tons of trash. Every time we get hard rains it brings all sorts of "stuff" down from higher up the mountains. A lot of the homeless live in the forest so we're careful to instruct volunteers not to invade a site that looks lived in.
Well. . . this was only partly plant related so forgive me if I broke some rule. I'll send you the flower that I make out of an empty plastic Rum bottle I found!

jean
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Apr 20, 2014 10:18 AM CST
Don't worry, Jean. Getting off topic is one of the things we do best! Hilarious! Besides, taking care of the environment is a subject near and dear to the hearts of gardeners!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jean Lutz
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
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jlutz
Apr 20, 2014 10:22 AM CST
Here is a site I found this morning. http://www.goodshomedesign.com/build-plastic-bottle-greenhou...
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 23, 2014 11:09 AM CST
I can suggest ZZ plant- Zamioculcas zamiifolia if you want a carefree, low maintenance plant, thrives in shade, happy to grow indoors, can go without water for months. Shiny leaves sometimes it looks it is artificial but is just like that Smiling

Thumb of 2014-04-23/tarev/750958

Name: Jean Lutz
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
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jlutz
Apr 23, 2014 12:47 PM CST
I have several of those in my house. However for this project they will be too big as the rooms are very small so I need plants that will stay small and compact. I love the ZZs I've almost allowed them to take over the house.
thanks for the suggestion
jean
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Apr 23, 2014 2:01 PM CST
Oh I have just recently divided mine..so they are small again Big Grin And if they are kept in a smaller container, they will pretty much limit their growth in that container. I think it will be a nice thing to do later on for them..divide and share as it goes.

Dracaena sanderiana is another plant you can consider. Just stick them in a glass container with water gel beads and survives well indoors. The water gel beads takes awhile to shrink, so as long as it is plump no watering needed.

Coleus is nice but I have seen them grow really huge too and very water needy in my dry area..so not sure how much care the recipients will accord them.

central Illinois
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jmorth
Apr 24, 2014 12:18 AM CST
Many philodendrons and Chinese Evergreen Plants are very tough and adaptable to some degree of negligence. I think Airplane plants have already be noted, they're very adaptable. With some light situation Streptocarpas will provide flowering interludes. Most mentioned here are primarily house plants. Cacti may be especially apropos as you already reside in the cactus state. Another bulb that could provide above ground action/interest and is tough as nails is the Pregnant Onion (I think it's maybe in the Ornithogalum genus (they grow perceptually and reproduce baby bulbs from their sides at a fair speed, these can be left there or used to start new plants.
Were these plants of the characteristic required by your beneficiaries?
If you want any of the pregnant onion bulblets, piece of cake to oblige.
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