Houseplants forum: Houseplant information requested

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Mar 20, 2017 4:33 PM CST
I am interested in purchasing a few house plants for myself, specifically Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens), Mother-in-law's Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata), and Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum). I intend to have them in my basement (1 floor underground) where there is sparse lighting and would greatly appreciate all information on how to best care for these plants, how long I can expect to have them around before needing to replace them, how much I can expect to pay for them, and where might the best places to buy them from might be.
Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
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Mar 21, 2017 5:29 AM CST
Can't help with the plants but I keep some plants in the basement under shop light. Basic fluorescent bulbs about 1' above the plants seem to work for me. Temperature & humidity may need to be adjusted depending where you live.
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Mar 21, 2017 10:33 AM CST
Hi Travex, Welcome!

You can check local garden centers (Home Depot, Walmart) or nurseries in your area for plants that do well in lower light situations. As herrwood/Ed mentioned, I think you will need to supply some sort of additional lighting if it's fairly dark in your basement apartment. If your landlord allows, you can hang them from the ceiling or above shelves.

I don't think the Areca Palm will do well indoors and they get pretty big! Here are links to the database for the plants you mention as well as suggestions for a few others:
Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Heart Leaf Vine (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium)

Although I have no experience with growing these palms indoors, they are said to make excellent indoor house plants; just keep in mind that they do need some source of light:
Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Mar 21, 2017 3:44 PM CST
My intention is to introduce highly oxygenating plants into my basement apartment - these need not be those that I originally listed, I only listed those as they were what my research turned up with as being the best plants for that purpose, though it would seem perhaps not suitable for my intended environment :(

I will take a look at the list you provided and cross reference them to information regarding oxygenation, assuming I can find what I need regarding that.

Your dogs are so cute :3
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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Birds Cat Lover Houseplants Garden Sages
Mar 21, 2017 4:15 PM CST
I am all for someone getting and growing house plants. I have many and enjoy it immensely. But, to be honest, I doubt having a plant or 4 will change the O2 content of an apartment. Get some plants that you like and think are beautiful and will do well in the conditions you provide. Enjoy them. Perhaps put O2 out of your mind. This is coming form someone who has over 250 Sansevieria that over winter in a very small house. Gene
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Mar 25, 2017 9:08 AM CST
I agree with Gene that selecting plants based on alleged oxygen production is a poor way to select plants. The research behind those findings is sketchy at best and done in carefully controlled environments. Your basement is not such a location.

All plants produce oxygen as they photosynthesize. Healthy plants that grow vigorously in the presence of lots of light will produce the most oxygen, regardless of species. At best, your basement will provide low to moderate light and that will limit your selection of plants and it will also limit their oxygen production. My advice is to enhance the basement light as much as possible and stick with tightly potted low light plants such as ZZ Plants, Dracaena 'Lisas,' Pothos and Chinese Evergreens.

BTW, this also applies to using plants to remove air pollutants. Stick with plants that are best suited to the available light.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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