Houseplants forum: Seeking advice re choice of plant

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 31, 2018 8:37 AM CST
I have an unheated but fully enclosed 8x16 porch, with windows on 3 sides - east, south, and west. The north side attaches to the house. The door to the porch is most often open in summer, closed in winter. I would like to place a tall plant in the NW corner (the two doors are on the east end of the porch) and am trying to figure out what to use. I don't particularly want to bring the plant in during winter. I live in the Pacific NW and our winter temps are cold, but not a deep freeze. On sunny days (yeah I know...) the porch can get pretty warm. The south window is fixed, but both the east and west windows open. Maybe an evergreen bamboo? Or a really hardy houseplant? Any suggestions?
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 6, 2018 12:49 PM CST
I have started a reply a couple times but once got lost in possibilities, and another time felt too unsure about the exposure. Did others get stuck similarly?

Deb, maybe add some pics? Are you fixed on something evergreen, or more open to seasonal behavior, possible herbaceous dormancy? I also was not sure if it stays above freezing in the spot for sure, or might dip below?
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 6, 2018 3:09 PM CST
I'm in the process of cleaning up the porch and repurposing it from a general (messy) mudroom to more of a sitting room. I'll try to snap some photos, although my camera has been reluctant to work lately. The area is unheated but insulated. I do have a thermometer inside the porch and don't recall it dropping below zero C, but we were gone for all of Jan and Feb, so it may have gotten colder then. I'd like evergreen for a focal plant, and could also do a couple hanging annual planters in the summer for more color. The back wall (shared with the house) is full of hooks for coats with trays below for boots/shoes.

I'll try to post some photos when I get it pulled together a bit.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Apr 6, 2018 5:34 PM CST
a Yucca guatemalensis, might not be too sensitive? Sounds like you shouldn't expect a freeze. Your bamboo idea sounded good too.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 7, 2018 8:50 AM CST
My first consideration would be just how cold it gets there in the winter.
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Apr 7, 2018 9:13 AM CST
We typically have some freezing weather, and even though the porch is protected, it is unheated. That is why I'm leaning toward an evergreen bamboo. Another random thought would be horsetails but I don't know what they do in the winter (do they die back?). I realize they can be a real problem invasive plant and I don't currently have any in my gardens, so hesitate to introduce them as it is my understanding their spores can travel quite easily (they grow wild in the ditches here). I once saw a really nice outdoor trough planted with horsetails and it was quite striking. Or maybe cattails.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
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lauriebasler
Apr 8, 2018 2:03 AM CST
The only plant I can think of at the moment, is Azalea. I found an article that gives you which type of Azalea to choose. Indoors they should not freeze, I imagine they would drop all their leaves if they did. They are perfect for Bonzi, so you could prune it to any shape you wanted. Although, if this is just not the type of form you want for this room, I understand. If it were my porch, I would experiment with a fern on a tall stand, simply because your porch sounds like the conditions of Victorian homes so long ago that had parlor rooms with ferns thriving in them because the like cooler winters. For me it would be an inexpensive gamble, if it worked It would be great and if not I would keep trying other plants.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Apr 8, 2018 2:36 AM CST
The only plant I can think of at the moment, is Azalea. I found an article that gives you which type of Azalea to choose. Indoors they should not freeze, I imagine they would drop all their leaves if they did. They are perfect for Bonzi, so you could prune it to any shape you wanted. Although, if this is just not the type of form you want for this room, I understand. If it were my porch, I would experiment with a fern on a tall stand, simply because your porch sounds like the conditions of Victorian homes so long ago that had parlor rooms with ferns thriving in them because they like cooler winters, and if if fails they are not that expensive . Clivia, geranium Christmas cactus should be ideal for a winter sunroom.

Here is a link:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...


Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Apr 8, 2018 8:25 AM CST
I agree with Sally and Laurie and thetr suggestions. Also, I would add Cast Iron plant or possibly a tall cactus with little to no spines, a tall succulent or even Sanseveria, if the room does not go below freezing temps. I hope that you find something to your liking, as it sounds like a very nice area to add plants.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Apr 8, 2018 9:08 AM CST
I think you would find that many plants will endure cold temps as long as it does not freeze. In my experience light is more of an issue then temperature and the lighting on your porch should be adequate.
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Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
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quercusnut
Apr 9, 2018 1:01 AM CST
Ponytail Palm is supposed to be hardy to 18F.
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
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quercusnut
Apr 9, 2018 2:33 PM CST
Pics of mine. It was purchased at this size a little over 20 yrs. ago and has been in the same pot for about the same length of time. It is about 6' tall not counting the pot.
Thumb of 2018-04-09/quercusnut/daa433


Thumb of 2018-04-09/quercusnut/31c11e

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