How To Choose Houseplants | Hampton Gardener | 27 East

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How To Choose Houseplants

Number of images 10 Photos
Philodendron erubescens

Philodendron erubescens "Pink Princess" is one of the newer introductions in houseplants. It only grows 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It needs several house of bright direct light. Less light will result in less vivid coloring. Does very well under plant lights. ANDREW MESSINGER

One of the many

One of the many "split leaf" philodendrons. Notice how the splitting varies from leaf to leaf. In homes, the leaves grow about 6 to 8 inches long. In the wild, this tropical vine can have leaves a foot wide and twice as long. This specimen is being grown on a bark totem to keep it upright. Bright light brings out the white variegation; darker settings will result on mostly green foliage. ANDREW MESSINGER

Lemon trees like this Meyer lemon can make great houseplants in bright light. The scent of this plant is magnificent when in flower and the fruits can be as large as a softball.  A heavy feeder it will require repotting but it can be tamed to be a smaller shrub in a 3- to 4-gallon plant. It will only flower when there is a 10-degree difference (drop) between the day and night. ANDREW MESSINGER

Lemon trees like this Meyer lemon can make great houseplants in bright light. The scent of this plant is magnificent when in flower and the fruits can be as large as a softball. A heavy feeder it will require repotting but it can be tamed to be a smaller shrub in a 3- to 4-gallon plant. It will only flower when there is a 10-degree difference (drop) between the day and night. ANDREW MESSINGER

A single-stemmed fiddle leaf fig (Ficus) in the center. These look great as young specimens, but when pruned as they get taller they tend to send out lateral growth instead of vertical growth. Moderate to low light and they get very tall and often topple. ANDREW MESSINGER

A single-stemmed fiddle leaf fig (Ficus) in the center. These look great as young specimens, but when pruned as they get taller they tend to send out lateral growth instead of vertical growth. Moderate to low light and they get very tall and often topple. ANDREW MESSINGER

A variegated Ficus decora or rubber tree. White in the foliage is dependent on good lighting while the darker colored varieties do much better in lower light. Available as standards (single stems) or with multiple stems on one pot. These to get tall. ANDREW MESSINGER

A variegated Ficus decora or rubber tree. White in the foliage is dependent on good lighting while the darker colored varieties do much better in lower light. Available as standards (single stems) or with multiple stems on one pot. These to get tall. ANDREW MESSINGER

Cacti make great houseplants and demand little other than sun. They’ll tolerate cool nights and all will flower when

Cacti make great houseplants and demand little other than sun. They’ll tolerate cool nights and all will flower when "happy." Very easy on the water and keep young children away as the spines can be an issue. Wrap with newspaper to repot and use a cacti soil. ANDREW MESSINGER

Dracaena marginata in the variegated form (left) and the green species on the right. Sold as single stems and multiple stems in larger pots they tend to drop lower foliage as they get taller. With three canes in one pot the plant can be carefully pruned to make it appear as one lush and dense plant.  Tips cut in early summer are easily rooted in moist sand with 3 inches of cane stripped of leaves in the sand. Canes can also be placed horizontally on moist sand or peat moss and each leaf note (cane section) can sprout a new plant. ANDREW MESSINGER

Dracaena marginata in the variegated form (left) and the green species on the right. Sold as single stems and multiple stems in larger pots they tend to drop lower foliage as they get taller. With three canes in one pot the plant can be carefully pruned to make it appear as one lush and dense plant. Tips cut in early summer are easily rooted in moist sand with 3 inches of cane stripped of leaves in the sand. Canes can also be placed horizontally on moist sand or peat moss and each leaf note (cane section) can sprout a new plant. ANDREW MESSINGER

African violets are great houseplants for medium light (no sun) or artificial light. They flower most of the year and are inexpensive and there are miniatures (in the hand) and standards (background). Never water from the top and never leave standing in water. Heavy feeders. ANDREW MESSINGER

African violets are great houseplants for medium light (no sun) or artificial light. They flower most of the year and are inexpensive and there are miniatures (in the hand) and standards (background). Never water from the top and never leave standing in water. Heavy feeders. ANDREW MESSINGER

Norfolk Island pines make great Christmas trees for apartments, but wherever they are grown they inevitably get too tall and leggy.  If allowed they will get 50 feet tall, and they cannot be pruned or shaped. One to stay away from unless you accept the inevitable.  ANDREW MESSINGER

Norfolk Island pines make great Christmas trees for apartments, but wherever they are grown they inevitably get too tall and leggy. If allowed they will get 50 feet tall, and they cannot be pruned or shaped. One to stay away from unless you accept the inevitable. ANDREW MESSINGER

Peperomia obtusifolia v. does well in bright indirect light. It prunes well and is a great tabletop or desktop plant. The solid green variety tolerates less light and will grow slower. ANDREW MESSINGER

Peperomia obtusifolia v. does well in bright indirect light. It prunes well and is a great tabletop or desktop plant. The solid green variety tolerates less light and will grow slower. ANDREW MESSINGER

Autor

Hampton Gardener®

  • Publication: Residence
  • Published on: Nov 10, 2022
  • Columnist: Andrew Messinger
As I mentioned last week, this is one of the best times of the year to buy houseplants. Greenhouses and garden shops need to free up space for holiday plants... more

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