Indoor House Plants
OFF TOPIC discussions
Mandevilla is indeed an outdoor plant. Each year I have 2 at the entrance to our house and 1 in the sun room (which is unheated, so normally the plant dies off.) This year I brought the sun room plant in and have it by the sliding glass door to the sun room with a light (can't be sure if it's a grow light or an aquarium light as it's quite old from sitting in our basement) suspended from the curtain rod over the sliding glass door. I keep the curtains open and it lit until 8 p.m. & have been learning to judge watering by the leaves. Some of those leaves got slightly freezer burnt when our temperatures went around zero. I also had been rotating it whenever I watered, but stopped that a month or so ago. Even under ideal summer conditions it's a plant that does a regular job of dropping off leaves no longer functioning. I've learned to help that along so those don't block the light of the active leaves. Today I notice some of the vine-y stems I might have cut off, but just wasn't sure, have tiny sprouts! I really am getting hopeful I'll have this plant able to get back to the sun room and blooming again. When I brought it inside there still were blooms, but I was hopeful this was just a time for it to recuperate and lay low. The local plant expert said it needed lots of light and water.
All in all it may call me a liar for my claims of how awful I am with plants.
The astilbe was a tiny blooming plant given 2 summers ago when my husband was in the hospital. It had cheery little blooms and it took it a while, but it's now definitely gone.
I've been looking at a few library books on houseplants, no astilbe. Just put the name in and searched. WELL! That's not the plant I had. Dunno what it was at this point. One thing I noticed is some plants' lifespan and maybe I should tell myself this one matched. Still I know I was pretty awful with it.
Have been paying particular attention to plants matching my non-astilbe's conditions. Don't want anything too big as it must share the counter space. Your snake plant gets lots of recommendations for the very reasons you mention. If I could just let myself enjoy it for its leaves and ignore its name <YECH!> Something reminded me to look further. It's also called Mother-in-Law's Tongue, so I might consider it. The book says it's often described as indestructible. Don't think I want the full-sized version in that location, but there are dwarf forms half the normal size -- if I can get them.
To show you the level of my confidence with plants, I have read about two or possibly three plants that might work in the place of the non-atilbe. The book giving specifications is The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual; Essential Know-How for Keeping (Not Killing!) More Than 160 Indoor Plants. Looking at the plants, I've had (& eventually killed) I'm considering a Croton (also called Joseph's Coat) but maybe in this window where I see it more often it will do better. I know I really like its brightly colored leaves & so it would be a plus. I wouldn't even mind re-potting it in future years (the book is aggravatingly big on that!). Two green plants are a jade plant (did I ever have one?) or an aloe which I know I had at one time, also the aloe seems to need more light, so maybe better skipped.
I know I'm not hopeless. About 3 years ago a co-worker had a humongous spider plant she needed to give away. I took it with the agreement she'd never inquire after it. Some of it has gone, but still have some doing quite well even with a baby spider. It's in a room where I catch it when some leaves shout out for water. Similarly there's another room where I water when the spider plant gets watered. Some things survive there, too. Right now the Mandevilla gives me hope I'm not a serial plant killer/torturer. I don't dare get cocky about that, but remember the plant expert I asked originally about it sounded like it was very unlikely it would survive through the winter.
The local supplier of all things green and growing has 25% off right now on houseplants. Just want something fairly indestructible and able to fit the little pot and spot where the non-astilbe sat.