Houseplants forum: Bullet proof house plants?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Nov 24, 2015 5:01 PM CST
My son, who usually has a pretty green thumb, has managed to kill off most of his house plants. He recently moved into a house that is much colder and darker than his prior apartment. Most of his natural light is from the north (and we are in Washington, with the sun pretty far south during the winter months). He works during the day and turns the heat down to conserve energy. Plus little to no insulation, particularly under the house - he says even with the heat on, he feels cold air at floor level. Obviously insulation is on his punch list, but he has a lot of home projects and is tackling them one at a time.

I thought ferns might be a good choice, what other house plants can tolerate castle-like conditions?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Nov 24, 2015 5:25 PM CST
Hi Deb, in similar conditions this far south, perhaps some Fuchsias and Florists Cyclamen ?. They really need cool conditions and normally are killed by central heating in winter. The lighting condition could be OK but perhaps they would need more light in spring and summer for growth. Just a thought... Arturo
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 24, 2015 6:21 PM CST
Cast Iron Plant, the variegated type is especially pretty. Drought tolerant, freeze hardy, doesn't need sun. They grow slowly so get a big one. I can't think of anything that will kill it?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Nov 24, 2015 9:19 PM CST
Sansevieria, Sansevieria, Sansevieria, Sansevieria Rolling on the floor laughing

They come in different sizes, shapes and they can take a licking and keep on ticking.

Spider plants do good in low light and cool.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Nov 24, 2015 10:39 PM CST
Clivia plants will like those conditions, very drought tolerant, and blooms too while indoors. Smiling
[Last edited by tarev - Nov 24, 2015 10:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Chillybean
Nov 25, 2015 9:22 AM CST
Cinta said:Sansevieria, Sansevieria, Sansevieria, Sansevieria Rolling on the floor laughing


Hilarious! I had to look up this one. One of the uses according to Wikipedia is to put one near the toilet tank for something called "drain down vibrations". Confused Confused

I killed a spider plant once. Someone gave me a baby and it grew awhile, then it died.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 25, 2015 3:22 PM CST
Dracaena 'Janet Craig,' parlor palm, Syngonium (arrowhead vine,) and heart-leaf Philodendron vine don't mind those conditions (which also describes their digs during winter @ my house, much darker & colder than one would think tropical plants would abide. Some of our rooms aren't heated and get down to about 45 some nights. Other plants get preference near windows.)

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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Nov 25, 2015 9:23 PM CST
Chillybean said:

Hilarious! I had to look up this one. One of the uses according to Wikipedia is to put one near the toilet tank for something called "drain down vibrations". Confused Confused

I killed a spider plant once. Someone gave me a baby and it grew awhile, then it died.


"drain down vibrations". Rolling on the floor laughing Did it really say that? I am as confused as you are.

We have a topic about Sans here in the Houseplant Forum. You should look at it because there are also a lot of pics.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Nov 25, 2015 9:31 PM CST
Okay I am back I had to go look up that phrase.

It appears what they are saying if the plant is sitting near the toilet people that have a loud toilet known as "drain down vibrations" that because the plant has a up right growth it appears they think the sound will travel up the leaves there by muffling the sound.

@hampartsum That is strange but maybe the cutting was too small and did not get rooted fast enough. My mother had one in a dark basement across from the washer and dryer. She would water it once a month if that because she did not go down the basement much when she got older. The plant grew bigger than the large 10" hanging pot.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Nov 27, 2015 3:06 PM CST
I agree with:
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra) there are many varieties, I have 'Milky Way'. The Victorians in England, who lived in"Castle Like Conditions" used these and gave them their common name for this reason.
Sansevieria, also has many varieties, I have several. If you want I could give you a few divisions, I was planning on repotting them in the spring.
An idea for gift for him is a little fluorescent desktop plantlight, he might really enjoy an African Violet or something.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Mar 2, 2016 11:19 AM CST
Did your son ever get some plants? If so, what did he choose?
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Mar 2, 2016 1:18 PM CST
Sansevieria (one of my favorite plants. I have 109 species,) Cast Iron plant, Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema,) Scindapsus (photos, Devil's Ivy,) Philodendron, certain Palms, Dracaena, Diffenbachia, Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily,) come to mind. Gene
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Mar 3, 2016 1:03 PM CST
I'm not sure if he's gotten any other plants, I am thinking more of getting him a gift plant now and again and now have some great tips of what to get. He also has two young house cats that he is working with and last time I was at his house (before Xmas), all his plants were in jail in his spare room with the room shut (eastern exposure). They did have a pot of wheat grass which the cats were pretty enamored with, so perhaps I'm also looking for cat-friendly plants. Or if he places wheat grass here and there, that may distract the cats. I've never had much problem with animals and house plants (dogs or cats), other than my older cat started using the soil for her personal toilet (she is no longer with us, not because of this, she just took the 'long walk' sometime in late fall). The 2-4 cats I now feed are all barn cats and never come inside.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 6, 2016 3:42 PM CST
I just bought my college DD a ZZ Plant for her birthday. (And a basil plant, too) ZZ's need little light and water every 2-3 weeks. That is about all she can handle in her busy life right now.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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