Houseplants forum: Good houseplants for dry indoor air?

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redwhite
Aug 29, 2014 11:37 AM CST
Hi all!

I live in central Oklahoma and because of the weather extremes here, the air conditioner is always running one way or another. This causes really dry indoor air and makes it tricky to keep houseplants. I mentioned this in another thread but I have a fern that was supposed to do really well indoors, but because of the dry air it did poorly until I moved it into the bathroom, where it's more warm and humid.

I love having lots of indoor plants but haven't had many lately because of this. Does anyone have any ideas for what plants would do well in drier, cooler indoor conditions? Thank you!
[Last edited by redwhite - Aug 29, 2014 11:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Tara
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terrafirma
Aug 29, 2014 12:20 PM CST
Hi redwhite, and Welcome!
Most all of your houseplants will benefit from a bit of humidity, but I have found that the varieties of Sansevieria can really put up with a lot of abuse. And they are designated as being one of our natural air purifiers! http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Sansevieria

I'm very familiar with the horrid, but necessary A/C here in Florida! I've also found that using pebble trays really does help to keep the humidity up around the plants.
I currently have Aglaonema, and Dracaena doing pretty well in the A/C, with occasional misting, and the pebble trays.
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purpleinopp
Aug 29, 2014 5:35 PM CST
Hi & welcome!

Agree with those mentioned above. Parlor palm got its' name from being stalwart in such conditions. Yuccas, Scheffleras, Aloe, spider plants should be comfortable.

Plants from dry climates in general should do well, like succulents. I'd stay away from anything that mentions liking to be in a terrarium (or maybe you need a terrarium.) Most of these dry-sters are not leafy tropicals. Plants described as alpine are ones to look at as well.

Pot of various Kalanchoes:


Various succulents.
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redwhite
Aug 30, 2014 10:11 PM CST
terrafirma: Those are beautiful! I'll look to see where I can find some locally.

purpleinopp: I do keep terrariums! I was just hoping to add something that isn't behind glass. I also have succulents, but I'll look into the others you've mentioned. I guess I have to stick to keeping ferns (my favorite) in the bathroom :lol:

Thank you both for your suggestions!
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Cinta
Aug 31, 2014 9:11 PM CST
Do you have a preference to Ferns? Is it a particular look that you like is why you have only mentioned ferns.

If you are just looking for tall or large plant for presence Schefflera will grow anywhere.

Sansevieria is one of my favorite house plants because you almost have to pour lighter fluid on it and light a match to kill it. I never over look the pot to display, compliment the plant and the furnishing in the room. A solid green plant in a awesome pot makes a statement.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
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drdawg
Sep 1, 2014 7:22 AM CST
I grow both fiddle leaf ficus and narrow-leaf ficus ('Alii') and I think the narrow-leaf would do well in your conditions. Many ficus (Benjamin for example) are horrible plants because of leaf-drop but the narrow-leaf does not show that tendency. I can move my plants from place to place, can neglect them for weeks, and can subject them to low-light situations, and they seem to shrug it all off. Of course, they will grow best in bright, indirect light and when fertilized and watered regularly, but they are very hardy plants. Another good thing is that they grow more compactly than the Benjamin (which gets really "leggy") and don't grow nearly as fast as the Benjamin and certainly not as fast as the fiddle leaf plants. My fiddle leaf ficus plants grow a minimum of one foot each year and my "Mother" fiddle leaf grows two feet each year. The narrow-leaf plants grow perhaps 6" each year. The narrow-leaf can also be trimmed to both control size and to encourage branching.

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redwhite
Sep 7, 2014 11:53 AM CST
Sorry it took me so long to respond! The holiday weekend got the better of me.

Cinta: I do love ferns. I think they're fascinating and just really beautiful. I might see if I can find a schefflera.

drdawg: I think I saw a narrow leaf ficus the other day, or at least something that resembled it. I'll pick one up and give it a try!

Thank you all for your help!

Plantomaniac08
Sep 8, 2014 11:49 AM CST
redwhite,
I don't know if you've tried a 'Bird's Nest Fern' yet, but they have the reputation for being one of the easiest ferns (if not the easiest). They have thick leaves, which reduces their need for humidity. The thinner leaved ferns, such as a Maiden-hair, are best only grown in terrariums or somewhere where you can keep the humidity high on a consistent basis. Most houses don't have adequate humidity to keep those thinner leaved types happy.

Planto
Name: Tara
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terrafirma
Sep 8, 2014 12:00 PM CST
I agree with Planto...That is a good one! It's been my experience with this one though, they seem to be a bit sensitive to the chlorine, and fluorides in regular tap water. Browning of leaf tips...Be sure to let your water sit 24 hours, or use a purified water.

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
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tarev
Sep 8, 2014 12:22 PM CST
Dracaena marginata, Dracaena sanderiana, Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant), Sansevieria, Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plants) grows well in dry indoor air.
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
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qwilter
Sep 15, 2014 9:07 AM CST
I feel the pain of "too dry" indoor air. I had BEAUTIFUL African Violets & Orchids. Last Spring we got a new heat pump with a super dehumidifier on it. And we extended the venting onto the new sun porch. Now we have really low humidity in the summer & 1 by 1 most of my beautiful houseplants have shriveled & died.
Today I just transplanted my last few AV to plastic pots with holes on the bottom & will switch to top watering. The Orchids are all living in the screen house & some are still alive. Even my Christmas Cactus aren't happy with the LOW humidity.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Sep 15, 2014 9:09 AM CST
Yep, that's the problem with central AC/heat. Sitting your plants on humidity-trays will help, as well as daily or even twice-daily misting.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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