Plants You Can't Kill (Well Maybe)
There are some houseplants that are harder to kill than others. These plants make perfect beginner plants. I had a customer that came in a few years ago with a tale about how she tried to kill her golden pothos. She had this plant on top of her refrigerator for about ten years or so. She was getting tired of it and it was looking rather stringy so she took the plant and placed it into a garbage can she did not use often. Her main garbage can was too filled to add it. After several months and her main garbage can had to much to add any more, she opened the garbage can with the plant in it. To her surprise the plant was still alive! Feeling very guilty of doing what she had done, she replace the plant back on top of her refrigerator and to this day it is doing fine.
The golden pothos vine is one of the most popular and dependable
houseplants available today. Formerly known as Scindapsus aureus, these
plants grow to giant proportions in their native habitats. They can
easily swallow 100-foot trees, and their mature leaves are as broad as
basketballs. In home cultivation, they are exceptionally tough, both
easy to propagate and maintain. See Growers Tips below for special
Light: Bright, indirect light. Under full sun, the leaves will lose some of their distinctive yellow marbling.
Water: Keep the soil moist through the growing period. In winter, reduce water, but do not allow the plant to dry out.
Temperature: They prefer warmth and will cease growing below about 55ºF.
Soil: A loose, rich well-drained potting soil.
Fertilizer: Use a time-release fertilizer at the beginning of the
growing season, or use liquid fertilizer with every feeding during the
growing season. Reduce fertilizer during the winter..
well-grown golden pothos vine can easily overrun its container. They
are also frequently planted on stakes or wood columns, so they can
climb. If repotting is necessary, do it in spring, at the same time you
take cuttings for new plants.
are excellent hanging plants, as they will rapidly form a cascade of
brightly mottled yellow and green leaves and are not as fussy as many
ferns. They can also be trained to climb wooden mounts or moss-covered
sticks, although it's unlikely they will form the large, mottled and
lobed leaves of their mature form. It's perfectly acceptable to cut back
an unruly pothos vine. They are occasionally susceptible to scale
insects, mealy bugs and mites.
The spider plant is among the most popular and easiest to grow of
all hanging or trailing houseplants. While these exceptionally hardy
plants will survive in less than perfect conditions, in perfect
conditions they are stunning. A mature plant will form tight rosettes of
arching leaves with a profusion of hanging plantlets on long stems, up
to 3 feet, somewhat like a bushy green mane. Although there is a pure
green variety, the most common variety seen in garden centers in the
green-and-white striped 'Variegatum.' Mature plants have small white flowers.
Undemanding. Spider plants prefer bright light, and tend toward
scorching in direct sunlight. However, they will grow in conditions
ranging from semi-shady to partial direct sun.
Water: Water liberally through the summer. Mist occasionally. During winter, cut watering back.
Temperature: Do not let fall below 50ºF or expose to cold drafts.
Soil: Spider plants like fast-draining, well-aerated potting soil.
Fertilizer: Feed weekly during the summer with liquid fertilizer or use pellets at the beginning of the growing season.
it is a fast-growing plant, spider plants do not need yearly repotting
as most of their growing energy is directed toward producing plantlets.
Repot in spring if the root ball protrudes above the rim of the pot.
to South Africa, spider plants are an essential part of any hanging
plant collection. Pot them into simple baskets, provide it with ample
water and food, and within two years, you should be rewarded with a full
display. Alternatively, they can be positioned atop columns for a
beautiful display. Note that plantlets will not form on immature plants.
The most common problem is underwatering and feeding during the growth
season—these are robust plants.
The dracaena group is a large group of plants that range from the
popular and tough D. draco to the somewhat ubiquitous Ti Trees, which
have a distinctly false palm effect. Members of the Agave family,
Dracaena are not difficult to grow, but vary somewhat depending on the
variety. There are a number of popular cultivars, including: D.
marginata; D. deremensis (narrow leaves with margins of white
or yellow); D. draco (stiff, arching green leaves); D. reflexa 'Song of
India' (lime yellow margins on green leaves); D. fragrans (wide,
variegated leaves with a yellow mid-stripe, sometimes called Ti Tree).
They can withstand light shade, especially the Ti Trees or D. marginata. D. Draco can withstand full sun.
Water regularly; do not let dirt dry out. D. draco, however, can withstand drier conditions in the winter.
Most Dracaena prefer warmer temperatures of 65ºF and
higher. D. draco is the sole exception, able to withstand temperatures
down to 50ºF.
, well-drained potting compost.
Feed weekly or biweekly during the summer, or use slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season.
Repot when necessary, usually every two years or when their potting media is exhausted.
are not generally demanding plants and will usually do well in shadier
conditions than many other plants can withstand. With all but D. draco,
however, it is important to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the
year—they should not be allowed to dry out—and they do not thrive in
drafty, cold conditions. The most common cause of collapse is generally
too much water during the winter in combination with cold conditions. If
the plant begins to show brown leaf margins, raise humidity by misting