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Besides my back and front yards, I also have plants inside my house. Many of these plants were received as gifts and are hard to identify conclusively. Some of them — such as pothos, philodendron, nephthytis, and Dracaena — are occasionally renewed from rooted cuttings.
At one time, we had a "slider" (a sliding glass door) leading from our breakfast room onto the patio. Because we rarely opened it, we had it removed, the sill built up, and a greenhouse window installed. This window is open to the house and thus has the same environment as my wife and I have. It's on the north side, but the house is not square on the compass. Thus, from late April until early October, I hang shade cloth over it, from hooks embedded in the outside stucco above the window.
Most of the plants are in clay pots sitting in clay saucers. All of the pots are raised above the glass shelves by hose washers so that air can circulate under them. The plants in this greenhouse window are:
Next to the greenhouse window, a pot suspended from a hook in the ceiling by a macramé hanger contains a variegated pothos (E. pinnatum 'Aureum'), which is seen much more often than the all-green variety in the window.
Two weeping Chinese banyans (Ficus benjamina) are in a flower pot set in a blue jardinière. They are rooted cuttings from the potted plants outdoors on our front porch. Their pot is sitting on the outer hearth of the fireplace and must be moved when we make use of the fireplace.
On a plant stand near the front window, there is a Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii', commonly called "Snake Plant" or "Bow-String Hemp". Sansevieria has a reputation of being difficult to kill; its persistance is why another common name is "Mother's-in-Law Tongue".
Just before we had a new roof put on our house in 1986, we had a skylight installed in this windowless bathroom. Now, even on cloudy days, there is ample indirect light.
To make a hanging planter that would not drip, I drilled a hole in the bottom of a glazed jardinière. I threaded a large eyebolt through the drain hole of a clay flower pot, put a nut and then a large steel washer on the end of the bolt, and then threaded the bolt end through the hole in the jardinière. Finally, I put a large rubber washer on the end of the bolt, followed by a matching steel washer, a smaller rubber washer, a matching smaller steel washer, and another nut. Tightening the bottom nut to the jardinière compressed the rubber washers and sealed the hole in the jardinière but left the flower pot loose and its drain hole clear. I placed a hook in the wall of the skylight shaft and hooked a thin steel chain over it. The other end of the chain is attached to the eyebolt in the planter with an S-hook. By having two pots, I can pour off excess water that drains from the inner pot, without pouring away soil.
Several times, I tried to grow ivy in the planter; but even miniature ivies sold as house plants eventually failed. Now, a variegated pothos (another E. pinnatum 'Aureum') has grown from the planter, up the chain to the hook in the shaft, and back down the chain to drape over the sides of the planter.
When my mother moved in with us in 1999, she brought a large ornamental bottle of dark blue glass in which Philodendron had been growing in water for several years. The bottle has a spherical base, a long neck, handle, and pouring spout. Four years later, Mom moved to a board and care facility but left her plants behind (including the Aloe vera in the greenhouse window). The Philodendron sits on the vanity counter in the bathroom.
12 February 2006
Updated 30 June 2022
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