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Article: A Winter Oasis for Your Houseplants: Nice! Great idea

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Forum: Article: A Winter Oasis for Your HouseplantsReplies: 16, Views: 52
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jazzy1okc
Oklahoma City, OK

December 3, 2012
4:24 AM

Post #9348409

Good ideas here. Have always wished I had more light and room in my bathroom for plants, particularly those that love humidity. I have friends in New Zealand and Australia who grow orchids and ferns in their bathrooms.
Lovely!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

December 3, 2012
6:51 AM

Post #9348515

Thanks! My "monster" philo just spent a couple of days in my soaker tub... my daughter's eyes got really wide when she saw it there; I think she was hoping to take a bubble bath with it LOL.

Do you have room in a corner of your bathroom to put a shelf and an inexpensive florescent light? Or try fitting a Pothos plant somewhere... I grew one of those to great size in my windowless grad student office, where its only light came from the florescent panel on the ceiling.
weedsfree
Magna, UT
(Zone 7a)

December 3, 2012
9:00 AM

Post #9348691

Here is my biggest problem. I have had fungus gnats in my houseplants without the aid of the pots sitting on a tray of gravel and water. How do you do it? How do you keep the insects out? I too love some of the ideas you brought up in your article. I would really like to give some a try if I had more plants to do it with!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

December 3, 2012
6:34 PM

Post #9349141

Fungus gnats don't like gravel & water. They do like damp soil surfaces. If you water plants from the bottom, so that the water reaches the roots without saturating the soil surface, you'll see a big reduction in gnats. You can also use fine grit or diatomaceous earth on the surface of your potting mix. Adding murphy's oil soap (1 cap per gallon) when you water or putting a mosquito dunk in your watering can will also get rid of a lot of the larval gnats. Break the life cycle by killing the larvae or making it hard for the adults to lay eggs in the soil, and you'll get rid of most of them. (I almost never get rid of all of them, but I don't see many unless I start keeping soil surfaces damp.) You can also reduce the adult population by putting up those yellow sticky squares.

Have fun putting more plants around this winter!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 3, 2012
11:02 PM

Post #9349257

Nice article and happy thoughts of plants!
You even included one of my favorite 'tricks'- putting small plants on the soil surface in the big plant pots- hide the bare knobby knees and save space. And they probably like it too.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

December 4, 2012
7:36 AM

Post #9349468

Thanks, Sally! Yep, those little plants definitely like it... they get watered better and get some extra humidity from being in the big pot, too. I've even half-buried little pots at the top of a big pot, to keep them moist longer between waterings.
jazzy1okc
Oklahoma City, OK

December 5, 2012
4:22 AM

Post #9350222

I hear you in re. to the pothos in the tub! My kids used to be surprised by a tub full of plants at the end of every summer when I'd give the plants a shower after their "summer vacations" outside. It did cut down on bugs coming into the house on the plants. Roots up watering also works well for my houseplants.
I had a veritable jungle of philo and other plants in my office until a new college president called for "thinning out" the plant jungles in administrative offices as part of his campus wide modernization plan. Not only were plant loving administrators sad but students also missed the plants. I brought all of my "babies" home and, for a while, had a jungle of philo and other plants at home. However, upkeep became too much when my husband became very ill. So All I have now is a giant aloe vera and a couple of peace lilies.
The bathroom has only filtered east sun, no florescent light, no fan, and no electrical outlet. It is humid in there while the rest of the house is rather dry. I might try a nice pothos again. They are so tough and relatively care free.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

December 5, 2012
12:58 PM

Post #9350617

Hmm... filtered east sun... African violets or other gesneriads would thrive! Gessies are mostly way tougher than most people give them credit for. Self-watering pots make them easier to keep up. Streptocarpus do fine with even less light than AVs... or check out the leaf colors available with Episcia (aka "flame violet") plants! (Darn, where are my Episcia photos?)

There are some pretty pothos now, including a newer variegated one with crisper white than 'Marble Queen' -- ooh! found it! 'Snow Queen' is the one I was thinking of, and there's another called 'Pearls & Jade'. I also like Satin Pothos, with its elegant silver checks.

Whichever way you go, sounds like you need a little something green in your bathroom. :-)





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weedsfree
Magna, UT
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2012
9:25 AM

Post #9351292

Thanks for all the encouragement. I do want to try some of these methods. I have been wanting more houseplants but have been very nervous about it ever since last fall when I bought some from a home improvement store. They didn't survive and I am trying again with houseplants in utelite and perlite mix. I am nervous about trying more... Thanks a lot. I have 'Marble Queen' and just love the variegation. I will look up the other pothos mentioned.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 7, 2012
5:44 AM

Post #9352038

Ok now quit it.
LOL
I have three bathrooms with no window at all, and one whose small window is under the east-facing deck. How did I get myself in this situation??
weedsfree
Magna, UT
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2012
2:45 PM

Post #9352458

How does Ivy do in bathrooms? I put one on top of my vanity just now. If they don't do well with humidity then I guess that is out. :)
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

December 7, 2012
8:26 PM

Post #9352707

I think Ivy would like the extra humidity. I've had variable success with ivies as houseplants, although I have a little variegated one now that's doing well (and yes, in fact there is a sprig on my vanity, in a rooting vase!). Sweedish Ivy (a type of plectranthus) would also do well, as as we were talking about above, there are some nice trailing pothos varieties also. You pretty much can't kill pothos with a stick.

Hope your ivy flourishes!
weedsfree
Magna, UT
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2012
8:20 AM

Post #9352951

Yea, I just had to ask about the Ivy since we were on the subject. I had decided to put my best pothos in the bathroom but I am really not too sure I like it. :) My bathroom doesn't have ventilation except if we leave the door open. So I am worried about soap build up on the leaves as that happens on the walls.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2012
7:07 PM

Post #9353340

Just put it into the shower once in a while. Or swish the leaves around in the water before draining the tub (you can let it get a good drink at the same time).
ratlover1
Rising Sun, IN

January 8, 2013
10:40 AM

Post #9379145

I love your coffee corner photo! Makes me want to stop by for a visit :)
I wanted to thank you for the gnat tips, we have a never-ending supply of them despite my best efforts, so I'll try some of your ideas to reduce the population!

Speaking of your photo again, how do you support all the hanging plants? I have several plants that are on the floor or on stands that I would like to hang, but I am wary of damaging our walls/ceiling. Thank you for any advice and to anyone else who chimes in.

Best wishes to all with your houseplants! I love a house with green living things, it truly makes it a home.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 8, 2013
2:53 PM

Post #9379355

A lot of the hanging plants in that room are supported by a closet rod that runs along the tops of the windows. We anchored it with brackets next to the windows as well as with wall-mounted holders on either end... I think the wall brackets are all in studs, too, so it's really quite sturdy. Makes for a great window treatment, IMO! :-)
ratlover1
Rising Sun, IN

January 9, 2013
5:13 AM

Post #9379811

That's a great idea, thank you! I'll have to get creative--it will be a fun winter indoor-gardening project. I love plants as 'living curtains'!

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