The interior of a home or office is certainly not the
ideal place to grow most plants.
Nevertheless, foliage plants for interior use are definitely
"in", and problems like low humidity, over-watering, salt
accumulation in the soil, insufficient light and insect and disease
pests will just have to be overcome.
Overcoming these problems often makes it possible to
grow even the most particular of plants.
For those of you who are ready to rush out to the nursery
today, here are a few indestructible houseplants. They may not be as
tough as plastic, but they should perform well even under adverse conditions.
?Heartleaf philodendron. This plant is commonly called
house ivy. Most of the philodendrons are easy to grow, and this one
is the easiest.
It can be found growing in almost any home or office
in San Antonio.
Commercial buildings, shopping malls, hotels, and office
buildings frequently rely on heartleaf philodendron as a mainstay in
This plant grows best in a bright spot, but is also good
under the fluorescent lights of the office and will survive for long
periods under very low light conditions.
?Pathos ivy. This plant looks a lot like a variegated
heartleaf philodendron and, in fact, is often called philodendron.
To further confuse matters, it is also called devil's
Whatever you call it, it is easy to grow. Perhaps the
most colorful variety of devil's ivy is "marble queen," with
its cream and green variegated foliage.
?Chinese evergreen. This plant is not well?known, but
it is perhaps the easiest of all house plants to grow, and some of the
newer varieties are very good?looking.
It will tolerate very low light conditions with low humidity.
Most Chinese evergreen varieties grow 1 to 2 feet tall
with leaves 6 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide.
The standard Chinese evergreen is a bit dull with green
arrowhead?shaped leaves, but some of the new varieties, like "silver
queen," are quite striking.
-Dracaena "Janet Craig". There are many dracaenas
suitable for use indoors, but this is one of the best.
Dark green, strap-like leaves about 12 to 18 inches long
and 2 to 3 inches wide are all this plant has to offer, but if dark
green leaves are what you want, it fills the bill nicely.
-Snake plant or Sansevieria. This plant may be the most
indestructible of them all. It tolerates low light and low humidity.
The thick and leathery leaves are capable of withstanding
extended dry periods.
There are generally 2 forms of snake plant - one that
makes a compact rosette of leaves and a tall erect form (aptly called
Some varieties have silvery horizontal bands on the leaves,
others are almost entirely green, while still others have bright yellow
-Spathiphyllum. This is the so-called closet plant, and
although it is very tolerant of indoor conditions, it won't grow in
It tolerates low light and the dry air present in most
homes. The basic color is green with an occasional white bloom.
The following houseplants deserve honorable mention:
arrowhead plant or Nephthytis - tough with green and variegated forms
available; Aspidistra (cast iron plant) -dark green strap-shaped leaves,
ideal for dark locations indoors or out; Dieffenbachia - a large-leafed,
tall growing, exotic-looking plant with green and variegated foliage.
Those not listed because of more intense care required
include Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig), Schefflera and Palms. To grow
these successfully, plan to attend the program Wednesday and learn the
secrets of caring for even the most fickle houseplants.
For more information about selection and growing of houseplants,