When it comes to watering house plants there are
basically three types of people - those who overwater, those who
underwater, and those who water just right, but most fall into the
overwaterer and underwaterer categories. Which one are you?
The fastest way to kill a house plant is by
overwatering, however there are a few plants that will die just as
fast if allowed to severely dry out. For house plant success, try to
match your watering personality with the appropriate plant. The
following are some good house plants for those who tend to overdo the
watering. Click on a plant name below to order it from Pernell
Gerver's Online Store.
fig (Ficus pumila) is one plant that should never be allowed
to dry out. Overwatering this plant is not a problem. Creeping fig
has small, heart-shaped, paper-thin, green leaves on long, trailing
stems. It is often grown on moss-lined topiary forms. The stems cling
to their support with aerial roots. It can be grown in a hanging
basket or as a groundcover in a large pot. It grows well in low-light conditions.
plant (Acalypha hispida) is a shrubby house plant with unique
flowers. Its flower is actually a long, bright red tassel that hangs
down from the stem. The tassel is soft and is usually a foot or more
long. The flowers appear from the leaf axil, the spot on the stem
where the leaf meets the stem. Chenille plant has long, wide leaves
and can grow several feet tall. It prefers to be moist at all times.
house plant related to chenille plant is called strawberry
firetails. It's a trailing house plant with small,
deep-green leaves on semi-woody long stems. Its flowers are fuzzy,
red "tails" that appear in the axils of its leaves near the
ends of its stems. They resemble chenille
plant flowers, only shorter. Like chenille
plant, the flowers of strawberry
firetails are long lasting. In addition to growing indoors,
I also grow strawberry firetails
in container gardens outdoors during summer, where its long, trailing
stems hang over the edges of the container. Like chenille
plant, it prefers moist soil at all times.
(Camellia japonica) is a flowering house plant shrub with showy
flowers in late winter. Flower colors include red, pink, white, and
bicolored. Depending on variety, flower form is single, semidouble,
or double. Its leathery, shiny leaves resemble rhododendron foliage.
This woody, indoor shrub does best in cool locations in the home.
Keep the soil moist. To maintain its shape, prune it right after it flowers.
all of the house plants I grow, I think African
gardenia is one of the best for many reasons. First, it's
easy to grow, unlike its relative, the common gardenia. African
gardenia blooms reliably indoors during winter (and all year
long, for that matter!). Its small, star-shaped flowers are pink in
bud and open creamy white. The flowers are held in clusters all along
its stems and even the smallest stems will have a few flowers. There
are dozens and dozens of flowers in bloom at any one time and, most
importantly, their fragrance is wonderful! It's very similar to
gardenia, albeit a little more subtle. The fragrance easily carries
on the breeze, perfuming a room. It's a shrubby plant that looks
similar to gardenia, but on a smaller scale. It has short, slender
leaves that are carried on woody stems. It rarely grows larger than a
couple of feet high and wide, making it a good choice for even a
small windowsill garden. Not a fussy plant, African
gardenia can be grown just about anywhere in the home - in a
sunny or shady window, in cool or warm temperatures, in low or high
humidity, and moist or dry soil.