Wilson

Wilson

Question: I love indoor hanging plants, but have not had the best of luck with them. Could you suggest some easily grown hanging plants?

Answer: Almost everyone likes to have green living plants in their home and office. Here are three hanging plants which can be grown easily even by those who are not usually very successful with plants. They are all fast growing, adaptable to a wide range of conditions and are very forgiving if not given perfect care. If plants become scraggly, just trim the stems back, and they will quickly regrow.

My favorite indoor plant has two common names, Pothos and Devil’s Ivy. Scindapsus aureus is the scientific name so you can make sure you are getting the right plant. Leaves are heart shaped and typically about 2 inches long, although they can get much larger if given ideal growing conditions. The dark green leaves have mottled golden yellow variegation. The selection called ‘Marble Queen’ has white variegation. Variegation can mutate to solid green. If I get a solid green branch, I cut it off so I keep the two-tone effect. Vines develop rootlets which will cling to twine, pole or bark support. Vines can get 10 feet or longer if they have something to cling to. I start new plants by sticking several 4 to 5 inch branch tips in a 6 inch pot, so I have a full multi-stem plant shortly after rooting.

Plectranthus australis is the scientific name for another plant with two common names, Swedish Ivy and Creeping Charlie. There are several other plants with the common name Creeping Charlie. Plectranthus has round, waxy green leaves with small scallops or rounded teeth on the edges. It also has clusters of small white flowers. It is strictly a trailing plant unless twisted around support. It is also easily rooted from a piece of stem with three or four leaves. I cut stems just below a set of leaves, remove the two bottom leaves and then stick that piece of the stem into potting soil. White Edged Swedish Ivy, Plectranthus coleoides ‘Marginatus’, has shorter vines and makes a more compact plant. It has small purple flowers.

Wandering Jew, Zebrina pendula, has pointed oval leaves with purple and silver stripes or bands. The colorful foliage makes a nice contrast to green plants. Wandering Jew should have the tips of stems cut or pinched to encourage thicker branching. New plants are easily started the same way as Swedish Ivy.

All three of these plants can be grown in plain water, without soil. Just stick several stems in a glass or bowl of water. Add a few drops of liquid house plant fertilizer occasionally.

Allen Wilson can be contacted by email at allenw98663@yahoo.com

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