ATNN: Green thumbs! need Plant suggestions

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Pamela, May 19, 2004.

  1. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    I have a large patio which is in desperate need of greenery. The problem is, I am a plant killer. Yes, I admit it. I have slaughtered countless innocent varieties of vegetation. I do not have a green thumb [hangs head in shame].

    My money tree is dying a slow death of white spots. My snow bush is now at the bottom of my trash can. My sunflowers have shriveled up to nothing. Well actually, I do not take responsibility for that one. I went back to the nursery where I bought them and their sunflowers were in the same sad shape as mine. I do believe they were destined to die. Surprisingly, my ficus is doing ok, despite a branch being torn off during transportation. I have "color bowls" full of beautiful flowers and they seem to be doing ok. For now. Ask me in another week.

    What hardy plants do well on patios? I get lots of strong sunlight back there, although if I put them by the fence, they do get partial shade. I want dense, lush foliage. I want bursts of color. I WANT PLANTS! Indestructible plants that can survive my lack of horticultural nurturing instincts.

    Any suggestions would be most welcomed!
     
  2. Kim D

    Kim D Stunt Coordinator

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    My garden is my deck. What I wouldn't give for an actual yard! (Other than moving to the suburbs that is.)

    I grow salvia http://www.gardenguides.com/flowers/annuals/salvia.htm, vinca vine http://www.hamiltonfarms.com/spring/popups/vvine.htm and ivy geraniums http://www.fernlea.com/annual/variety/ivyge.htm.

    The flowers bloom from now until October or November and the vinca vine looks better the longer it grows.

    I also grow herbs. I don't think you can kill either thyme or mint. Give them room to spread out in a long planter.

    - kim
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  4. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the links, Kim. Did you know Salvia can be smoked? [​IMG] I like this plant a lot, but unfortunately, it says it likes a humid climate and I'm in dry-as-a-bone Southern California. I will keep reading on this one. The vinca vine is gorgeous and likes a variety of conditions, so that one is definitely on the list.

    Ted, thanks for the link. Most of those plants are house plants, however. I need some hardy outdoor plants. Have you had any luck with any of those plants?
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    tbh, i think i bought one of those houseplants and promptly killed it ... so i kinda gave up. :b

    good luck though! having plants around the house is pretty cool. my fiance has a semi-green thumb and we've got this fresh herb garden...which is cool.
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I don't claim to be any kind of expert on plants and have had my share of ones that have died. My uncle, who is definitely a green thumb, has had some die on him too. Sometimes that's just the way it goes.

    I can't make any specific plant recommendations, but one thing I've learned is to look at the size of the leaves on a plant. If the leaves are large, then generally they won't do well in full sun. If the leaves are small then they will. I might be overgeneralizing but large leaves mean the plant has existed in full to partial shade and has developed the larger leaves to soak up all available sunlight. If you throw it into full sun, that's too much for it to handle. Small leaves develop because sun is plentiful.

    I could be wrong, but your desire for "lush" foliage may not be be possible in a full sun setting. In my mind that would require some degree of shade. In full sun you get cacti, evergreen junipers and plants that generally aren't so fun to touch. Again, not being a plant expert I could be overgeneralizing.
     
  7. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    one word...silk
     
  8. John*C

    John*C Stunt Coordinator

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    Pamela like Marijuana Salvia denatura AKA Kava Kava, can be smoked for a high or swallowed it can be used for a lucid dreaming experience. More can be found on www.erowid.com like Morning Glory or Nutmeg. Just go there and read the plants and drugs section on the home page, you can go read some people will tell you their experience(s)using a number Psychoactives.


    Pamela the word 'toke' came from Alice B. Toklas 1954, which contained her recipes for Marijuana brownies and Hasish fudge(hash hish) 2 others that don't have to be smoked.

    If you want the formula for basing cocaine I know it, it's not crack just coke that has had it's cutter removed. A crystalline substance for a basement to the 164 floor head 'rush' in less than a second, you 'must', blow it out your nose. Angel Dust can be put on wet Marijuana and microwaved to dry state to have the dangerous to your health product. Pamela crack is made differently as a paste/rock and smoked in cigarette ash, using a stainless steel filter in a glass bong and it's very additive; I have never used it. Crack gets it's name from a crackling in your pipe sound, based cocaine is silent.


    I use essential oils like Hyacinth for lucid dreaming or looking at richly colored flowers, while your safe in your own apartment or house, not while your driving. Using E.O. you don't get flashbacks like LSD (LySergic acid Diethylamide) [​IMG]
     
  9. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Cacti and succulents are easy and forgiving. True, they don't have lush foliage but they do have their own type of beauty.

    Beaucarnea recurvata is a nice container plant. Water it once a month and it should do fine.

    Pregnant onions are very hard to kill. They can be grown outdoors in California and they grow, grow, grow, and otherwise multiply. I like them a lot. Which is good, because I started with one and now have a whole bunch.

    Star jasmines should do nicely on a patio as you describe but they need lots of water. You can train them to climb up the fence and in the spring you'll get wonderfully scented flowers.
     
  10. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    Pamela, what zone do you live in and do you plan on keeping the plants outside year 'round?
     
  11. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    I live in Southern California. I plan on leaving them outside all year, unless there is some weird weather this winter.
     
  12. Kim D

    Kim D Stunt Coordinator

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    The Pregnant Onion looks very intersting. I've seen them but didn't know their name. Now I can't see how I could ever forget it.

    - kim
     
  13. Drue Elrick

    Drue Elrick Stunt Coordinator

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    There are spice/herb packages that allow you to make your own parsley, sage, etc. and they tend to add a nice fragrance to the area. They aren't overly hard to grow.

    And unless you have a garden already, you could grab a few very large pots, various vegetable seeds (tomatoes, peas, etc), soil, and plant food and try that out. Having an edible reward may give you more incentive to tend to them.
     
  14. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    Schefflera or Umbrella tree makes a great patio container plant.
    http://www.littletimber.com/images/schefflera.jpg The picture is a schefflera trained as a bonsai. Note the aerial roots(roots growing from a branch or trunk to the soil) which is a characteristic of the schefflera.
    Chlorophytum comosum or Spider plant makes a great hanging basket.
    http://www.griffin.peachnet.edu/ga/c...spdrplnt1b.jpg
    Both of these are hard to kill, not too particular about watering and easy to propogate. To propagate the schefflera just cut off one or more branches and stick it moist potting soil. It will root quickly and you have a new plant! I have a schefflera that is about 24 years old and when I trim it back I use the trimmings to make new plants. Same with the spider plant except you cut off the plantlets that cascade out of the pot. Also moss rose or portulaca is a good flowering plant for planter boxes, pots or hanging baskets. For large showy leaves check out the ornamental palms. I'm sure there is a good selection of these in SoCal. Whatever plants you pick read about them on the internet or library. The plants I listed should be easy to take care of and hard to kill.
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    Pamela, I assume that you get lots of sun, and relatively little frost?

    If you want a relatively indestructible plant that can cope with full sun, try the rosemary bush (aromatic leaves, and if you're lucky, an annual display of whtie or blue flowers). A lot of fuschias will also stand full sunlight (lovely flowers all summer long). If you want to try a climber, then many types of japonica and honeysuckle will thrive on full sunlight (check the label though - some will hate it). Avoid bonsais if all you can offer them is full sun (they prefer to be out of direct sunlight).

    However, if you are doing container gardening, there are several key rules:

    (a) you will need to water regularly - in summer this will almost certainly mean every day or even twice a day (if you can, it might be worthwhile investing in an automatic watering system). When you water, never *ever* water the leaves, as this can lead to them being 'scorched'.

    (b) In planting new plants in containers, try to get compost specially designed for pots/containers/hanging baskets. It contains water-retaining gel, which whould slightly reduce the frequency with which you have to water (though in honesty, not by much). Also make sure you put adequate drainage at the bottom of the containers (i.e. holes in the base, and line the base with broken crockery or those special ceramic beads - ask your garden center for advise).

    (C) You need to feed your plants - because they're confined to pots, they cannot extend their roots in search of new nutrients when the old dry up . You have to feed them. On the other hand, you must not overfeed - many newbie gardeners make the mistake of adding extra fertilizer and just as in humans, over-eating is bad for plants (at the very least, in many flowering species, you won't get flowers).

    Container gardening isn't difficult, but it does require perseverence and routine. Plants won't thrive unless you regularly feed and water them.
     

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