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Arkadelphia Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR
  • Houseplants for those without green thumbs

  • As with all types of gardening, success is based on choosing the right plant for the right place. There are a number of houseplants that are not only beautiful, but they help reduce indoor air pollution, too. Here are 10 tough houseplants that thrive with a minimum of care. 

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  • If you weren't born with a "green thumb," you've likely experienced the frustration of bringing home a beautiful houseplant only to watch it decline rapidly.
    As with all types of gardening, success is based on choosing the right plant for the right place. There are a number of houseplants that are not only beautiful, but they help reduce indoor air pollution, too. Here are 10 tough houseplants that thrive with a minimum of care.   
    Low-light houseplants
    The following houseplants will tolerate a minimum of light, including locations such as a north-facing window or a shady corner across from windows:
    Epipremnum aureum (Pothos or Devil’s Ivy): Heart-shaped leaves emerge green and become variegated with yellow or white with flecks and splashes. This has trailing stems 8 feet or longer, and is ideal for a hanging basket. All parts of this plant are poisonous, but only if large amounts are ingested.
    Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant): It has coarse, vertical, thick leaves that stand up like swords. The selection "Laurentii," known as "Gold-Banded" or "Gold-Striped," can grow up to 5 feet tall.
    Spathiphyllumwallisii (Peace Lily): This houseplant has dark green leaves that grow up to 3 feet tall. The showy part of this plant is the white spathe (a large bract that encloses the actual flowers, which are very tiny). This plant is poisonous; keep away from pets and young children.
    Medium-light houseplants
    When plants receive bright indirect light for most of the day, locations such as east- and north-facing windows are the best place for them. 
    Dracaena marginata (Dragon Tree): This plant makes a dramatic statement with spear-shaped leaves atop a bare trunk. "Tricolor" has leaves with green and cream stripes and red margins. It is a slow grower, but it can reach 6 feet tall. 
    Hedera helix (Ivies): This plant comes in assorted sizes and shapes. It is easy to train on a topiary form.
    Phalaenopsishybrids (Moth Orchid): This orchid is relatively easy to grow. Use a special orchid fertilizer on average once a month. Water every 5-12 days depending on your environment.
    Philodendron scandens (Heart-shaped Philodendron): This easy-to-care-for plant climbs or trails to 4 feet.
    High-light houseplants
    These plants need several hours of direct sun, and bright indirect light for the rest of the day. Locate plants in front of south- and west-facing windows.  
    Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm): This succulent is slow-growing and will tolerate periods without water. It gets its name from its ponytail appearance.
    Page 2 of 2 - Crassula ovata (Jade Plant): This succulent looks like a miniature tree with thick green leaves that are shaped like spoons. It grows to 3 feet tall. 
    Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant): This plant has variegated green and white "fountain-like" foliage, ideal for a hanging basket. In low light, the leaves may lose their variegation. 
    Tips to keep your houseplants healthy
    • Watering: As a general rule, water houseplants when the soil is dry to the touch.
    • Water thoroughly (saturate the root ball) until water runs out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. After a few minutes, empty the saucer. Don’t let plants stand in water. 
    • Apply a liquid fertilizer once a month with something like a 10-10-10 plant nutrient blend during the growing season. Do not fertilize during winter.
    • Repot houseplants in early spring.
    • Groom plants on a regular basis to reduce insect and disease problems.
    • Discard dead leaves and wash foliage off with water or a clean, damp cloth.
    Horticulturist Erica Glasener writes for Hometalk.
    http://www.networx.com/article/house-plants-for-those-without-green-thu