Houseplants forum: Indoor plant that tolerates poor drainage and windsills

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Apr 12, 2015 5:49 PM CST
I'm looking for an indoor plant that thrives or tolerates poor drainage and is good on a windowsill.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Apr 12, 2015 7:30 PM CST
I'm sure there are many plants that would do well on a windowsill but I don't know of many plants that will thrive for very long with poor drainage ... the roots would end up rotting.
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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Apr 13, 2015 6:37 AM CST
cactus comes to mind, since your on the Island, you'd have to keep it off the windowsill during winter. Hope that helps, I'm sure you'll get some good suggestions from the folks here...
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
Apr 13, 2015 7:03 AM CST
But, cacti need excellent drainage or they will definitely rot.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 13, 2015 8:55 AM CST
Poor drainage would be any container without a hole in the bottom. As long as excess water can escape, it drains. Whether or not the soil has air in it while moist is another matter, regarding the soil texture. If roots have only moisture but not oxygen, they can't function, and rot is the usual result. Using only larger particles, eliminating tiny particles like sand, silt, clay, peat, is the easiest way to accomplish that. And not packing soil tightly into containers, or using a strong gush of water that compacts soil.

Which way does the window face?
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 15, 2015 11:32 AM CST
You can try tillandsias, lots of different kinds available..at least these plants use their roots mostly for anchoring, not really for moisture. Don't even need to put in soil, since they are epiphytic. You can lay them on rocks, or glue them to anything. Depending on the orientation of that window, too much sun may burn the leaves, so just draw the curtains during the hottest part of the day. Just give them some water dunking every couple of weeks during the warmer months or misting on other days to help the leaves.

Pretty much most plants in soil will not thrive well in the long run with poor drainage, unless you use semi-hydroponics, no soil, just clay rocks and put some side holes on the container, that way excess water drains and still a reservoir of water remains below. It will still allow air around the roots. Chlorophytum comosum adapts very well in this set-up. Some orchids thrive in this set-up as well, as long your timing is right when you move them in this set-up.
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
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tarev
Apr 15, 2015 4:36 PM CST
Oh, I just remembered this plant..no maintenance, poor drainage a-okay since it just closes up when there is no more moisture, will open again when it gets some water, I don't even have it in soil, good indoors or outdoors, though it may smell like damp indoors a bit, so I place it outdoors. Closest thing to instant gratification, seeing it come back to life after looking severely dehydrated.

I have not tried to plant it in soil, so have never seen it do any blooms or increase in size or propagate itself. It is just an oddity I keep.

Resurrection plant - Selaginella lepidophylla
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Apr 16, 2015 5:09 PM CST
Poor drainage to means a plant that loves bog conditions.

Have you thought about maybe a Terrarium. You can do them in small globe type glasses check out your thrift stores they are cheap for a couple dollars.

If I have a plant in the house I like a little leaf color. Begonias come to mind. I have one in a 60s terrarium I picked up at the thrift store and it is the only way I have been able to keep them alive through the winter.

Prayer plants are another plant that likes bog conditions.

You can go through this list.....

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/terrarium~plants.html

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 16, 2015 5:55 PM CST
I also have golden pothos in a glass container but I used gel beads and some clay rocks as its media, so that way the roots gets their moisture and still gets its airflow. It grows well, and it is not even very near a window sill, just natural bright light from a distance.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jun 2, 2015 9:23 AM CST
So... what have you decided to try, Keith?
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Jun 2, 2015 5:02 PM CST
purpleinopp said:So... what have you decided to try, Keith?


Went with the Pothos seems to be doing well!
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
Jun 3, 2015 7:39 AM CST
Sounds like a winner!
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