Houseplants: What's Old Is New Again - 27 East

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Houseplants: What’s Old Is New Again

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The Hampton Gardener circa 1974. The early stages of renovating the Jacobs greenhouse with some hanging baskets in production.

The Hampton Gardener circa 1974. The early stages of renovating the Jacobs greenhouse with some hanging baskets in production.

The Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) is from Brazil and often sold up here as a houseplant. It can look stunning, but if overwatered it rots, and if grown too cold it drops its leaves. One of the worst plants for beginners and worst as a houseplant -- unless you’re in Florida.
ANDREW MESSINGER

The Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) is from Brazil and often sold up here as a houseplant. It can look stunning, but if overwatered it rots, and if grown too cold it drops its leaves. One of the worst plants for beginners and worst as a houseplant -- unless you’re in Florida. ANDREW MESSINGER

The Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heteropphylla) looks great out of the nursery and in the garden center, but it’s another one I’d never, ever buy. It grows to 30 feet tall where’s its native in the South Pacific, can’t be trimmed or shaped, won’t live outside, spider mites love it and it grows very fast. Small specimens make nice small apartment Christmas trees -- but then what?  Expect this plant to grow a foot or more a year, and without good light it gets ugly very fast.  ANDREW MESSINGER

The Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heteropphylla) looks great out of the nursery and in the garden center, but it’s another one I’d never, ever buy. It grows to 30 feet tall where’s its native in the South Pacific, can’t be trimmed or shaped, won’t live outside, spider mites love it and it grows very fast. Small specimens make nice small apartment Christmas trees -- but then what? Expect this plant to grow a foot or more a year, and without good light it gets ugly very fast. ANDREW MESSINGER

Autor

Hampton Gardener®

My big break in horticulture was probably in the early 1970s, several years before I moved to Hampton Bays. I was living at my parents’ house on the North Shore... more

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