What plant should I get?

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rylemdr
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What plant should I get?

Post by rylemdr »

I've been thinking of getting a hobby. A long time ago I tried to raise some fish, but that didn't turn out too well as I didn't know how(to be honest, I didn't bother to read up on it either) to balance the water for the right conditions for them to live.

I plan to try again with fishes someday, but for now I want to stick to something simpler and less time consuming, like raising a plant.

What starter plant should I get? Something that bears flowers would be nice, but anything that is not too hard to take care of would work. I don't want anything that does not need any taking care of either, that would only eliminate any sense of responsibility I would want to develop.

What about orchids or a bonsai tree?

I prefer an indoor plant as I hate being in the sun.

I need to stop with my computer games and get a decent hobby :)
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

Indoor or outdoor?

Indoor: Get a philodendron. No flowers, but at least you probably can not kill it.

Outdoor: Depends.

I'm worried because fish are pretty easy to have ... if you do a few simple things like not feed them much (say once a month).

You might be better off with a parakeet.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

For indoors I would recommend a quality artificial plant. You know exactly what it will ultimately look like when you purchase it and there's no need to be concerned about under-watering, over-watering, light, temperature or disease. There are many available today that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing at reasonable prices.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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rylemdr
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Post by rylemdr »

livesoft wrote:Indoor or outdoor?

Indoor: Get a philodendron. No flowers, but at least you probably can not kill it.

Outdoor: Depends.

I'm worried because fish are pretty easy to have ... if you do a few simple things like not feed them much (say once a month).

You might be better off with a parakeet.
I would prefer indoor plants.

Is a philodendron a pretty plant?

It was more like a large aquarium where you have to cultivate an entirely new ecosystem from scratch for the fishes. It involved a lot of things like pH level and whatnot.. It was very hard :(

I should have stuck with a fish in a bowl.
FrugalInvestor wrote:For indoors I would recommend a quality artificial plant. You know exactly what it will ultimately look like when you purchase it and there's no need to be concerned about under-watering, over-watering, light, temperature or disease. There are many available today that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing at reasonable prices.
My point is to actually develop responsibility in taking care of a living plant so I can move on to other more complex living things. I don't think I will accomplish that with an artificial plant. :(
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dm200
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Post by dm200 »

Try Jade plants (indoors) - almost impossible to screw up.

For an "animal" - try a snake. A garter snake eats things like workms and goldfish.
chaz
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Post by chaz »

Grow orchids.
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dgm
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Post by dgm »

How about plants that also (might) help keep the air cleaner in the house?

http://lifehacker.com/5149643/three-pla ... indoor-air

These are all generally hearty plants, which mean they are hard to screw up and aren't very finicky.

I have a money plant and the mother in laws tongue and they are both great. Minimal maintenance and I get to pretend I'm also filtering the air in our place.

(caution: some plants aren't suitable for young kids so do some research before buying if you have little ones)
FinanceGeek
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Post by FinanceGeek »

I do indoor gardening too, I stick to cacti. Very resilient and some types flower every few years!
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Post by gkaplan »

Jade or cactus plants are difficult to kill.
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Post by Fallible »

rylemdr wrote:My point is to actually develop responsibility in taking care of a living plant so I can move on to other more complex living things. I don't think I will accomplish that with an artificial plant. :(
If you have the right kind of conditions (mainly light) for the indoor plant you choose, your main responsibility will be just watering it according to instructions and possibly some trimming. Also, if you have an indoor pet, check to be sure the plant won't be poisonous for them if they chew on it.
Whatever, get informed about the plant you choose; it's surprising how much there is to know and it's a fun learning process.
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SSSS
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Post by SSSS »

If you want an indoor tree, get a weeping fig. I've had one for a couple years and it's had no trouble, hasn't outgrown the window it's in front of, etc.
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

Here's another tip: Have you seen any indoor plants that you like? Either ask the folks around what kind of plant that is or take a photo with your phone and look it up on the web. As a last resort you could post here (close-up of leaves requested) for identification.

Basically all the easy indoor plants are available at big-box home improvement stores.
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newlyretired
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Post by newlyretired »

Start with one or more small cacti. They will be hard to kill, and you will be rewarded by blooms when you remember to water them. They are easy to buy online, too; just search for "cactus" at Amazon.
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LonePrairie
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Post by LonePrairie »

I recommend a succulent -- a Haworthia. I'm no good with plants, but this one has been with me since I bought it in Woolworth's basement in the sixties. It grows slowly, so rarely requires repotting, and is tolerant of heat and cold.

It lived happily in my SF apartment for many years, then was shut in a cardboard moving box in a hot moving truck for 14 days last August and in another moving box for 18 days in May, yet after each move it not only did not die, it grew stronger. Here are some Google images of the Haworthia reinwardtii.

http://goo.gl/lWdI8
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Crystal Ball
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Post by Crystal Ball »

I think african violets are good "learn to be responsible" plants.

They need regular watering and repotting about once a year. It's not time-consuming or onerous and they will reward you with nice flowers.
And they will notice if you neglect them.
If you don't have a window with good light, a daylight CFL in a lamp will do.

Best of all they aren't expensive.

Crystal
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TxAg
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Post by TxAg »

maybe an aloe vera. comes in handy if you get sunburned, too.
wesgreen
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Post by wesgreen »

The next time you have an orange with seeds, stick a few seeds into a yoghurt container with some drain holes, filled with soil. Keep soil moist and place someplace where it gets some sun. Will turn into a nice tree with evergreen leaves, which smell delicious when rolled up and crushed. (If you want to grow oranges you'd need a LOT of sun.)
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Dale_G
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Post by Dale_G »

For indoor plants I second African Violets. There is a good variety of flower colors, they are easy to grow, they don't take up much room and are inexpensive.

Do a bit of reading though. Growing plants is similar to investing. A little knowledge goes a long way.

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Post by Fallible »

Crystal Ball wrote:I think african violets are good "learn to be responsible" plants.

They need regular watering and repotting about once a year. It's not time-consuming or onerous and they will reward you with nice flowers.
And they will notice if you neglect them.
If you don't have a window with good light, a daylight CFL in a lamp will do.

Best of all they aren't expensive.

Crystal
I LOVE African violets and they HATE me. At least I have never been able to maintain one very long, though I've tried harder to do right by them than any other plant. My guess is it's mostly the light, because one year I brought my sick violets to work where there were large, high windows and tons of light and they revived nicely. I brought them home and sick again. So I brought them back to work and kept them there, making for a much happier plant. The CFL lamp you mention is the first time I've heard of that, so maybe I'll try that.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

rylemdr wrote:
FrugalInvestor wrote:For indoors I would recommend a quality artificial plant. You know exactly what it will ultimately look like when you purchase it and there's no need to be concerned about under-watering, over-watering, light, temperature or disease. There are many available today that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing at reasonable prices.
My point is to actually develop responsibility in taking care of a living plant so I can move on to other more complex living things. I don't think I will accomplish that with an artificial plant. :(
Eh, you'll come around in time. :wink:
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
macrocarpa77
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Post by macrocarpa77 »

What about a Peace Lilly? I've never kept one but they are supposed to be like tanks and they flower.

While it's probably more than you want to take up right now, there is no reason you can't mix plants and fish! Search google for dutch or amano aquariums. They are simply stunning!
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Post by Mudpuppy »

There have been several good ideas for plant species. But I would avoid buying plants at the big box stores. They just aren't always that healthy or well-tended. And if you start out with a sickly plant, it's going to be hard to keep it alive.

Find a local gardening club or a good local nursery. Not only can they help you find a good starter plant, they can help teach you how to keep it alive. It would be rare to find such help at a big box store.
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Post by Mudpuppy »

macrocarpa77 wrote:While it's probably more than you want to take up right now, there is no reason you can't mix plants and fish! Search google for dutch or amano aquariums. They are simply stunning!
It takes a whole lot of work to keep a planted aquarium like Amano's work. We're talking substrate planning, CO2 injection, regular doses of macro and micro nutrients, extensive lighting systems, careful choice of fish to create a balance with the plants....

If you read Amano's books, you learn it is as much a science as it is an art. The art comes in the design, the science comes in nourishing it. I tried it in graduate school and eventually gave up due to a lack of time and money to manage it all. I still have a half dozen Amano shrimp all these years later though. The books never mentioned how longed lived the little crustaceans are.
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Post by ginyah »

For years I killed every plant I had. So I know what kind are hard to kill and which require care. Both orchids and bonzai require a great deal of care. Philodendrum are vines, look pretty and are hard to kill. African Violets are beautiful but too much water, too little water, not the right kind of light and they die or certainly don't flower. I don't recommend them. I've had good luck with geraniums. They don't mind if you forget to water them and they will flower all year long (indoors) with minimal care. Peace lilies are also very forgiving. Good luck!
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