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House plants in the ground - RonO's Ramblings

Jan. 25th, 2009 06:45 pm House plants in the ground

Intellectually, I know that most house plants come from wild plants; and that no wild plant originally comes from inside any building. However, I'm still often a bit startled at first to see something I think of as a house plant growing in some garden.

I first observed this after moving to the Chicago area. Most of the time I was growing up, we had geraniums in the house. Over the years we had several different colors, and even had some "lemon" geraniums -- which smell more like lemon than geranium when you rub their leaves. But in Chicago, and I presume elsewhere, geraniums are sold not as house plants, but as outdoor annuals. At first this seemed strange since I knew for a fact that in a house, geraniums could live for several years. But cold weather obviously kills them.

But geraniums as garden annuals is just the start. Now that I live in a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, I'm seeing more house plants in gardens than I've ever seen before.

Just outside the front door of the house we are renting are two spider or airplane plants, one variegated and one solid. The solid one has just sent out some runners, so there may soon be more.

Airplane plants, or as they are more commonly known: spider plants, were another common house plant growing up. They were usually in hanging pots where their runners could drape artistically below the main pot.

Also, I've seen a number of what I'm sure are snake plants used around here.

One of the house plants that I selected, but my mom took over caring for after a couple of years, was a snake plant. When I bought it, it was a single blade about 6 inches long. That plant, or possibly its descendants still live in my parent's greenhouse porch, but now in a 2.5-3 foot pot and has blades a couple of feet long.

I'm sure if I look around, I'll find other plants that I'm used to thinking of as house plants growing in gardens around here -- and that is without counting some of the larger plants that my mom now has growing in their greenhouse.

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Date:January 26th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
I have a snake plant that dates back to 1971. It has spawned several offshoots and currently the tallest spike is a good 4' tall.
Date:January 26th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
The one at my parents hasn't been around quite that long -- probably mid to late seventies. I got it sometime before high school, but I don't think too many years before that.

Some of the outdoor ones here are at least 4 feet, probably more. Of course most of them aren't pot bound which may allow even more growth.
Date:January 26th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
I think with the snake plants, the pot size dictates girth but not necessarily height.
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
I had a very similar feeling about plants my first trip to South Asia. All over the place are not only plants that I think of as house plants, but they are giants. I don't know the type of plant, but I have a couple in my house in the same pot as a sibling of the snake plant you got in high school, but this type of plant in India has leaves with a girth of 6+ inches and completely cover trees.