Houseplants forum: Fickle fashions

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 23, 2014 8:17 AM CST
Though most plants maintain stable popularity/availability, for some reason, some plants seem to come in and out of fashion. I wonder how much of this is a reflection of buying habits, how much is in regard to availability - or some other factor.

In the 70's, it seems like there was a pot of grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) hanging everywhere. Don't recall seeing any for sale for the past couple decades, few pics/discussions.

I've seen several "mini Monsteras" lately watching old movies. (Rhaphidophora) but AFAIK, have never seen one for sale (although have seen some recent anecdotes about these being found in BBS's.)

Homalomena (emerald gem) always caught my eye in old house plant books, but is another plant I've never seen for sale. One that is extremely rarely ever mentioned in a house plant discussion venue.

Rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii) seems to be in a current slump. A few discussions out there recently, but largely about folks asking where to find them.

What did you used to see that you don't now? What are you seeing recently that wasn't around before?
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Oct 23, 2014 8:19 PM CST
Interesting topic.

I think it is regional. I lived in different cities as a army brat. From the Cold North to the warm Hot South.

The only plant I can think of other than the ones you mentioned was coleus. I was mostly raised in the North. It was never seen or used in the gardens. But my Mom always had a pot of coleus in soil and in water on the kitchen window sill.

The other was this flowering plant. I never new what it was growing up. But later found out it was a armarylis.

Thumb of 2014-10-24/Cinta/4097fa

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[Last edited by Cinta - Oct 23, 2014 8:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Oct 24, 2014 7:49 PM CST
Purple, I agree that grape ivy is hard to find these days. I'd love to have one. I'd seen Homalomena (emerald gem) readily available for sale at WM a few years ago. Every once in a while, I'll still see one. Gloxinia with the large leaves/flower are not as prevalent as they used to be. They were once available everywhere during the X-mas season. Now what's being offered is the small leaf seed variety, which are not as pretty or as easy to grow. Sighing!

sunnyshine
Oct 25, 2014 2:55 PM CST
I agree that Grape Ivy seems to have gone out of fashion. I have NEVER owned one, even though I have owned countless plants over the past 20 years or so. I don't even remember noticing one for sale.

Even though Rubber Tree Plants are still around (I have a variegated Ficus elastica and I am very fond of it), I feel like they were more popular with the general public in mid-century America than they are now. In particular, I think the green Ficus elastica used to be more popular than it is now. Now I usually see the burgundy or variegated ones.
[Last edited by sunnyshine - Oct 25, 2014 2:55 PM (+)]
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Plantomaniac08
Oct 26, 2014 4:40 PM CST
Maybe it's just me, but I'd say Chlorophytum 'Fire Flash.' Used to be abundant here when I first developed an interest in houseplants, but I haven't seen one in years.

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Oct 27, 2014 11:18 AM CST
Plantomaniac08 said:Maybe it's just me, but I'd say Chlorophytum 'Fire Flash.' Used to be abundant here when I first developed an interest in houseplants, but I haven't seen one in years.

Planto


The first time I saw it was when I purchased the plant. Growing up I never saw this plant.
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
Oct 27, 2014 12:12 PM CST
I never heard of that fireflash until a couple years ago.
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Plantomaniac08
Oct 27, 2014 1:34 PM CST
Interesting. When I got into houseplants about *counts* 8-10 years ago, they were a dime a dozen at Lowes. I've never seen them since!

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 28, 2014 1:23 AM CST
I have been growing houseplants 20 yrs. and my Mom was into houseplants in a big way. I have a lot of those black and white houseplant books she had. That plant is not in any of them.

When I saw the plant I thought it was another of those plants that they had painted. I rubbed the orange part and looked at it with suspicion. I purchased one and did a internet search and found out it was real. I went back and purchased another and gave it to my mom. She did not believe it was real either.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 28, 2014 6:51 AM CST
Cinta,
You know, all this time I've had a hard time believing it was real. I know it's real, they were around (here anyway) long before the spray painted plants, but it sure doesn't look real. :lol:

I did say it might have just been me lol. There was another plant I saw a lot of a few years ago too and it all of a sudden... disappeared. I can't recall the name though.

I thought my houseplant book had 'Fire Flash' in it, but I must have imagined that. Maybe I have not been into gardening long enough to really see a true "fickle fashion." My apology.

Planto
[Last edited by Plantomaniac08 - Oct 28, 2014 6:55 AM (+)]
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Oct 28, 2014 9:22 AM CST
Plantomaniac08 said:Cinta,
You know, all this time I've had a hard time believing it was real. I know it's real, they were around (here anyway) long before the spray painted plants, but it sure doesn't look real. :lol:

I did say it might have just been me lol. There was another plant I saw a lot of a few years ago too and it all of a sudden... disappeared. I can't recall the name though.

I thought my houseplant book had 'Fire Flash' in it, but I must have imagined that. Maybe I have not been into gardening long enough to really see a true "fickle fashion." My apology.

Planto


I do not think it is you have not been into plants long enough I think it is regional.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 28, 2014 9:38 AM CST
Cinta,
Oh ok. Smiling Yeah, I haven't been out of Georgia in a few years and I wasn't that all in to houseplants when I did "step outside." Hilarious!

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 28, 2014 11:45 AM CST
,My job and traveling was an education. Even what the Big Box stores sell is different from city to state.

My co-workers would laugh at me wanting to stop in the hardware stores when we were on the road. The plants thought of as weeds like Puerto Rico is houseplants to people like me. Sold in the stores at top prices.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 28, 2014 12:18 PM CST
That's one thing I've noticed from being on a gardening forum. From Purp's Kalanchoes she saw growing on the sidewalks in New Orleans (I think she even said they were seen as weeds there) to Spitz's plants in Thailand, that he purchases for a few dollars a piece. Here, they'd go for $20 a piece probably. How weird is that? Confused

We stopped by another Lowes on the way home one day traveling in our state. Sadly, their houseplant selection was subpar/non-existent. I picked up a large Sans and realized when I got home and unpotted it, it was all rotten. I guess I shouldn't complain about the selection here sometimes. It could be worse lol.

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 28, 2014 12:37 PM CST
This my favorite pic. of what was called a weed over grown area they were demolishing to build a house. Just looking at the plants in there I could see 100s of dollars of what we buy.

Thumb of 2014-10-28/Cinta/e157b4

Plantomaniac08
Oct 28, 2014 12:44 PM CST
Oh wow, that's pretty! What is it? I'm guessing some sort of Aroid?

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 28, 2014 4:40 PM CST
This was Puerto Rico.......
Yes the big plant is a Aroid. I got a bulb and kept it for years and then one winter I went crazy and did not get my tropicals inside before snow fell and it died. The red plant was a climbing flower. It was growing all over the ground and up in the trees. It looked like a climbing hibiscus. Lots of what looked like some type of orchids because of the leaves. I brought one of those home too but it did not bloom.

I brought home so many plants from cracks in the side walk when I was traveling. I would put little pieces of plants and bulbs in my makeup case and put it in my luggage.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 28, 2014 4:56 PM CST
Wow that's so cool! Hubby's Dad is from PR, but he hasn't been back in many years.

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 28, 2014 5:50 PM CST
He probably would not recognize it if he goes back now. It has changed a lot in just a few years. I was there in the 90s vacationing and my business trips started in the 2000s. Just the airport shocked me.

Plantomaniac08
Oct 28, 2014 6:08 PM CST
Wow. I think he hasn't been back in thirty years at least.

Planto

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