All of the most popular and most frequently seen house-plants are remarkably tolerant and easy to handle. As a general rule it is only when one turns to some of the more exotic and glamorous plants that one runs into trouble, usually becauseand high temperatures are lacking.
For the very beginner or for the person who is so demoralised by a series of failures with house-plants as to be fearful of making any further attempt, any of the following plants can be recommended:
- Aechmea rhodoganea
- Ficus schryveriana
- Hederas or ivies (any)
- Rhoicissus rhomboidea
- Sanseviera trifasciata
- Araucaria excelsa
- Aspidistra lurida laurentii
This sounds like a much more formidable group than it really is; all these plants are really easy to handle, all will live for months, if not years, and from them it is possible to select a plant for almost any situation or location in the home.
It will be noted that only one flowering plant is included. This is because there are very few flowering house-plants which are decorative for long periods yet are comparatively foolproof for the beginner. The only exception in the list is the aechmea which will produce a flower which is actually a singleor scape bearing many . The themselves have a comparatively brief life but the prickly and highly decorative scape will live on for weeks if not months. Bulb flowers such as tulips and and those such as cyclamen which are grown from corms are dealt with in Bulbs
Unless we purposely specify to the contrary and are prepared to pay extra, all house-plants are marketed small and immature. This way we have the pleasure of watching them grow and at the same time they are able to adjust themselves to the changes in atmosphere and surroundings in their new homes.
The aechmea, araucaria,, and also the chlorophytum and sansevieria will never grow to unmanageable proportions, although over the years some may double or more in size. The ficus, a more decorative form of the rubber plant, will grow to a tree that will reach the ceiling. The remaining plants are climbers or trailers and depending on how they are grown and trained will cover a wall, decorate an archway, fill in a division or make a screen. Some will need support but the ivies will, if you wish, attach themselves to your indoor walls and work their decorative way up to and across the ceiling. They do little harm to the basic fabric of the house but they do make things difficult when decorating. If removed they will take paint and paper with them, so unless you are an avid plant-lover or relaxed, informal and tolerant in your ideas of home decoration, you may be wise to control your plant and restrain it from climbing. Otherwise, particularly if you live in a city, you may have to choose between putting off redecorating a grimy ceiling or tearing down your cherished plant.