Hardy House Plants for the Beginner

Hardy House Plants for the Beginner

The following hardy plants are all suitable for the beginner.

They are decorative, are capable of thriving in fluctuating temperatures, provided they are not subject to frost, and are capable of standing up to erratic watering.

Aspidistra lurida is a tolerant, easily grown house plant. Known in America as the Cast Iron Plant, its tough, long, lanceolate leaves grow in sheaves. A well grown plant may occasionally flower, but the small purple bells are inconspicuous and it is for the dark green, glossy leaves this plant is grown. It is tolerant of fumes, indifferent to changes in temperature and survives in either light or shade.

Chlarophytum elatum variegutum (Spider Plant) will thrive in the most unlikely places in the house, but it needs a fair amount of light. It is a native of South Africa and has long, narrow, linear leaves that are smooth, green and white. The flower spikes carry small tufts of leaves which will root easily in the summer, if pegged on small pots adjacent to the parent plant.

Cissus unturctica (Kangaroo Vine) has been a pioneer among house plants and is very popular in Scandinavia as a climber. It will thrive happily a few feet away from the window and support it- self by its tendrils. It is first class for an indoor trellis. Cissus capensis from South America is equally vigorous, but more trailing in growth. It has kidney-shaped, toothed leaves and likes a light posi- tion, but not direct sun. C. striata, from Chile, may be grown as a bushy trailer, C. socyoides, also from tropical South America, is a more vigorous climber. Fatsia japonica, an evergreen shrub from Japan, is tolerant of shade and excellent for cool rooms and halls. It has stout stems and large, leathery leaves, palmately cut. Ficus elastica decora is the India-rubber Plant of tropical Asia, and the easiest member of the family to grow. It has a thick woody stem and stiff, dark green leaves with red touches when unfolding. Grevillea robusta from Australia has fern-like, silky, bronze-green leaves, which contrast well with other more solid house plants. It needs moderate watering, increas- ing as the temperature rises.

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