Houseplants as conversation pieces
January has been all about houseplants at Garden Guide, and we’re ending the month with small houseplants that make a big impression.
We visited Hicks Nurseries in Westbury to share three quirky houseplants that are fun to grow and sure to start a conversation.
Did you know that you can grow pineapple at home? These small, prickly tropical plants are bromeliads, which have shallow roots and remain small. It is one of the few tropical fruits that can be produced in a small container.
Although most pineapple plants for sale at local nurseries are grown for display rather than food, it is possible to obtain edible fruit from locally grown pineapples.
- One pineapple consists of dozens of small fruits. Each one has a small flower, but pollination is not necessary to form fruit
- The top of the pineapple fruit can make a new plant. Simply peel off the bottom leaves and place the bottom part in a pot of soil. If the central growing point is intact, roots will grow from the area where the lower leaves have been pulled.
- Some pineapples have both pink and white flesh! In Hawaii, the sugarloaf pineapple has pure white flesh. Pineapple is one of the few fruits that the USDA has approved for return to the mainland United States from Hawaii.
There are hundreds of elephant ears to choose from, but the ‘Mickey Mouse’ alocasia is particularly trendy right now. Collectors love the unusual heart-shaped leaves that look a little like Mickey Mouse. It is also famous for its white markings. Each sheet looks a little different! This slow-growing plant stays small and loves a bright windowsill or summer outside.
Succulents are low-maintenance houseplants that are perfect for those who forget to water their plants from time to time.
Although many succulents love sun, Corio rowlianus (also known as string of pearls) can tolerate indirect light indoors. It is a trailing plant native to Africa with modified, ball-like leaves. Its function is to retain water, and it resembles a green pearl necklace.
There are many other “plant series”. The banana string has oblong leaves that look just like a banana. The hook string has larger and longer leaves than the banana string and takes on a gray colour. The dolphin series is even more unusual. It has modified leaves that may be reminiscent of a dolphin’s hundreds.