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Anyone good with houseplants?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I went plant shopping today and came back home with a few new houseplants. I had gone to the store with a printout of the ASPCA list of non-toxic plants so I know they're safe for the kitties.

I bought...

- zebra plant
- polka dot plant
- Joseph's coat
- goldfish plant
- lucky bamboo (just a little stick of it, which they didn't charge me for)

(darn... I just realized that I meant ot buy a prayer plant too but I forgot!)

some questions...

I have trouble finding out a clear answer to how much light these plants need. My apartment is fairly bright but only the patio door gets direct light in the morning. However, there is quite a bit of indirect light. Which ones would do well in the shade or in indirect light?
Can any of them go outside for the summer? (if so... how cold can they tolerate before I get them back in?)

Also, my polka dot plant has roots sticking out from the bottom of the pot it came in. Does that mean it needs a bigger pot?

And what do I do with the lucky bamboo?? It's almost 3 inches long, has roots and a few leaves. In the store it was in water... but can I plant it in soil?

Last, I saw a few other plants that I liked but I wasn't sure if they were toxic or not. I checked and I can't find them either on a list of toxic or non-toxic plants
- china doll
- coffee plant
and one of them wasn't labelled... its leaves were dark green and bright yellow, narrow, long and kind of thick. Any idea what it could be?

That's it. Aside from that information, I think all I need are "don't-kill-those-plants" vibes
(actually, I have a few plants already that have been doing quite well, not only not dying, but GROWING! )
post #2 of 6
Most of those will do quite well in moderate to bright indoor lighting.
If you put them on the patio, keep them away from direct sunlight.

Lucky bamboo isn't bamboo at all, it's a Dracaena species, related to the corn plant and lilies.
They can be planted. A word of caution though, Lucky bamboo is very picky about it's water, flouride in particular.
If you are on city water and do not have a filter installed, use bottled water for this one.

99% of the time, any plants purchased will need to be transplanted into bigger pots as most are already rootbound.

Zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) are poisonous if ingested

Polka Dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) no known dangers

Joseph's Coat (Alternanthera ficoidea) no known dangers

Goldfish plant (Nematanthus gregarius) Handling has been known to cause allergic reactions

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) no known dangers

China Doll (Radermachera sinica) no known dangers

Coffee plant - Too many species go by that common name, some are dangerous, some are not.

-edited to ad: When you repot, try to get pots that are at least twice the size of the ones they are currently in (I usually go up three sizes myself).
post #3 of 6
Woohoo! This sounds terrific! The only thing I've ever been able to successfully grow is my girlies' cat grass. Last week I killed my most recent effort at growing them catnip.

I look forward to picking up a few tips here!
post #4 of 6
To tell you the absolute truth, my plants started flourishing the most when I neglected them

Seriously, I water once a week when they are indoors, have a grow light on a timer (they are poisonous, so they winter in my downstairs bathroom), and I only ever trim the dead stuff off twice a year.
Once when I bring them outside in the Spring and once before I bring them in in the fall.
post #5 of 6
I like to do that to..
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips!

I have upgraded all the new plants to bigger pots, as well as some of my old plants. I am now covered in dirt... I must be a real gardener!

I put the zebra plant out of reach of the kitties.

The lucky bamboo is in soil in a small pot... but I might get a small glass container to keep it in water instead. I think I might buy a few more too... one looks kind of silly by itself.

Now I think I'll need to find myself some new shelves where to put all those plants. I'm running out of room!
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