Ask a Question forum: Houseplants for new apartment

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Name: Marcia Kuma
Buffalo NY
Owllady
Jan 7, 2018 2:29 PM CST
Hi. I recently moved to an apartment in a Victorian house. I'm looking for houseplant suggestions. I have a pair of north-facing windows though I don't think they're insulated. I don't have any south- or east-facing windows (that could be used for plants). I have a large west-facing window, but it's partially screened by a small deciduous tree. So I'm strapped for light in winter!

Also, the air is on the dry side. I brought a kalanchoe that had been doing well in my previous apartment, but here it immediately got a white powdery mildew or mold; the plant is hanging on but I wouldn't be surprised if the poor thing died.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'd prefer plants that flower but actually I'd be happy with anything that did well. Thanks!

Marcia
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 7, 2018 3:00 PM CST
There are many plants that will do well in a north window, although very few are flowering plants. However, the plants would have to be within a few feet of the window and not across the room or off to the side. As long as the window is not unusually drafty and the plants do not touch the glass, the cold should not be a problem.

Consider the following: ZZ Plant, Pothos, Snake Plant, Dracaena Janet Craig and Lisa, Aglaonema, Peace Lily (flowers), African Violet (flowers), Parlor Palm, Lucky Bamboo, Boston Fern, Aspidistra, and Jade.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Jan 8, 2018 8:52 AM CST
Some Kalanchoes naturally have a white powdery coating. Are you able to add a pic of your plant?

Perfectly normal, healthy:
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Jan 8, 2018 10:12 AM CST
Ordinary bedding plant geraniums can grow and flower in a north window. Of course, they are not as great as if grown with more light, but they do grow and flower.
Perhaps you can enhance the light with your lamps or set up shop lights?
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Jan 8, 2018 10:36 AM CST
I thought I had mentioned wax Begonias above but I must have clicked finished before actually typing my thought. They should bloom well over winter near a N window.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Marcia Kuma
Buffalo NY
Owllady
Jan 9, 2018 7:36 PM CST
Wow what great replies! Thanks very much. I don't have great light indoors for photos but will try to take a photo of the kalanchoe in a few days, when I can be home during the day for better light. It didn't have this white coating in the other apartment and it has dropped a lot of leaves, so I don't know if it will survive.

I love Boston ferns but am concerned my new place is too dry for them. I tried growing them some years back & never had much luck, sadly.

I've thought about getting a plant light, but all I'm finding online nowadays are grow lights that are not very tall because they're meant for seedlings. I thought there used to be taller lamps that used special bulbs that mimicked daylight for houseplants that didn't get enough natural light? Or am I dreaming?? Wouldn't be the first time LOL!

Do you really think I could grow an African violet in a north window? These windows have shelves right below them so the plants are quite close to the windows.

Thanks for your help, all. I really appreciate it.
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Jan 9, 2018 8:53 PM CST
@Owllady There are a ton of light options. For some reason, whenever they call a bulb a grow light bulb, they charge a lot more for it. What you want to find is a bulb that is a "daylight" bulb.

Daylight spectrum is between about 4000K and 6500K. That's the color spectrum, and from what I learned, that is what you need to pay attention to.

if the plant is going to produce fruit, like a tomato plant, you want a bulb with 6500K. If it's just for greenery or even flowers, you can get away with a lower number. The numbers relate to the color spectrum. The lower numbers are the warmer colors up to the coolest/bluest color spectrum of 6500K.

I just researched all of this to decide what lights to get to grow tomato seedlings indoors, so I'm not an expert. But, this is what I gleaned from all of the confusing info out there.

Oh, and the LED lights are the coolest (temperature-wise) and the cheapest to run.

For fluorescent bulbs, the smaller the number, the more efficient and cheaper to run. For instance, a T-5 bulb is more efficient than a T-8 bulb.

Hope that makes sense. I'm learning, as I say.

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