Author Topic: Anyone keep pot plants?  (Read 1305 times)

Offline bluefoxicy

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Anyone keep pot plants?
« on: September 04, 2011, 04:25:10 PM »
How difficult is it to take care of house plants in an apartment?  There is little sunlight intruding into the bedroom, and the temperature stays between 70 and 80 degrees mostly.  In the winter I sometimes let it drop at night but I've stopped doing that.

The plants I want include Peace Lilies, Red-edged Dracaena, Warneckii Dracaena,and an Areca Palm tree.  All of these reduce mold.  The Lilies and Dracaena also aggressively absorb benzine; the Lilies and Red-Edged Dracaena absorb Formaldehyde; the Dracaena and Palm absorb Xylene and Toluene; the Peace Lilies and Warneckii Dracaena absorb trichloroethylene; and the Palm actively performs as a humidity control and keeps the air from becoming too dry.

Most of these are small and go in 6-8 inch pots.  Peace lilies survive well enough in enclosed rooms under office light... the other plants are mostly indirect sunlight plants.  Direct sun can actually kill peace lilies.  Dracaena and palms can get some 8-10 feet tall but will survive well enough trimmed to 3-4 feet.

Offline theoman

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 01:43:28 AM »
I've had bad luck where I'm living now. The lighting is miserable. I'll try again when I move into the house I'm building next year. I especially like the idea of chemical-absorbing plants in a new house.

FYI - Where are you from, bluefoxicy? In the USA, houseplants are usually called houseplants or potTED plats. If you're growing pot plants, you usually don't want to advertise it on a public forum.  ;)

Offline punatic

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 02:11:47 AM »
Good grief BFI, if you live where you have to worry about all of those VOCs, keeping potted plants alive is the least of your worries!

Although, that would explain a lot...
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 04:18:33 AM »
I've had bad luck where I'm living now. The lighting is miserable. I'll try again when I move into the house I'm building next year. I especially like the idea of chemical-absorbing plants in a new house.

Building a house?  I'm not the type to buy a home (too expensive, and I think owning is mainly outmoded and stupid--people with particular special needs should own, else I hope you have a LOT of money), but building a house seems interesting.  I've been looking at alternate designs and materials.  Couple floor plans that help maintain temperature (i.e. stay cold in summer, hot in winter, without running the balls off your furnace and A/C) with materials like bamboo ... seems nice.  Not into the crushed beercan houses.

If you want more natural light, put big windows in south-facing walls, perhaps by pointing a common room southward and putting the large windows there.  If you do that, I strongly suggest triple pane sealed argon-filled windows due to the large surface area.  Coating with an IR-blocking tint is preferable:  in the summer the days are long and the heat introduced by large windows contends with your A/C; while in the winter days are short, and so any benefits of filtering in sunlight for heat are lost.

Another thing you could consider is hot water driven radiator heating rather than forced air heating.  I'm not sure how efficient this is, but I know modern styles are expensive to install:  you put the pipes under the floor and heat the floor.  In any case, the bigger point is that radiator heating can take advantage of an evacuated tube collector, so you can use a solar water heater to heat your house.  This bypasses energy conversion into electricity (as with photovoltaic or any other generation method), and so is a 100% efficient use of collected solar energy.

Just some thoughts.  Do your own research.

Offline theoman

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 05:20:42 AM »
Building a house? 

Yep, and I'm way ahead of ya. Huge windows covering the southwest corner; underfloor radiant heating throughout, geothermal/heat pump powered; gas fireplace in the living room for mid-season. No air conditioning, but that might change for the bedroom, since that faces south and also has huge windows and is on the 2nd (3rd for Americans) floor. We'll have bamboo floors in the dry areas, but that can be high in formaldehyde - we'll be getting the more expensive, low-formaldehyde stuff. The house is being made out of 36-cm Ytong block, which is extremely highly insulating. The windows will be low-energy rated double-pane. Triple-pane is a waste of money these days. The roof will be an extensive green roof and we'll have a 5000 liter water collector, which will be used for the garden, toilets and laundry.

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 06:35:17 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_tube

Good lighting for those dark rooms where you've got your potted plants.
We have a couple column cactus, a jade plant, and a sago palm and a prayer plant...thats enough.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 06:50:18 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 07:37:48 AM »

Yep, and I'm way ahead of ya. Huge windows covering the southwest corner; underfloor radiant heating throughout, geothermal/heat pump powered; gas fireplace in the living room for mid-season. No air conditioning, but that might change for the bedroom, since that faces south and also has huge windows and is on the 2nd (3rd for Americans) floor. We'll have bamboo floors in the dry areas, but that can be high in formaldehyde - we'll be getting the more expensive, low-formaldehyde stuff. The house is being made out of 36-cm Ytong block, which is extremely highly insulating. The windows will be low-energy rated double-pane. Triple-pane is a waste of money these days. The roof will be an extensive green roof and we'll have a 5000 liter water collector, which will be used for the garden, toilets and laundry.


NICE!

If you're worried about formaldehyde output into the air from your flooring, the plants I've cited will actually consume formaldehyde.  NASA did a study on this intending to use them in space stations.

I still say look into solar water heating, and see if you can pipe that into your in-floor heating system in the winter.  Nice on collecting the water; depending on plant life, you can reuse output laundry water for watering plants.

There's a company that makes a pretty decent spin dryer you should look in, but be wary that it's stressful on clothes.  I'm getting laundry mesh bags for when I use it on wool, to avoid stretching.  It's a 3600RPM spin; I usually hang my clothes afterwards, but a tumble dryer on high heat dries them in under 10 minutes.  The damn thing uses 400W of power and takes 3 minutes to extract most of the water from the clothes (and I hand wash anyway).

http://www.laundry-alternative.com/catalog/Drying-3-1.html

Honestly for laundry, I think the best way to remove water would be pile the clothes over a smooth cone with an exit hole at the base,, then seal the vessel and compress it at 60-80PSI.  Then crack open the drain  ;D  Repeat this 3-5 times and your clothes will have very little water in them... without high speed spin.  Nobody makes such a thing; the theory is sound but I imagine there would be operational issues below a certain water content or, more likely, with clothes not packing to create a seal around the floor and into the drain.

Ah well.

Offline tonyp

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 08:46:47 AM »
I was expecting a totally different thread! ;)
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Offline punatic

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 04:34:00 PM »
I was expecting a totally different thread! ;)

Yeah, me too. 
If you do grow those kind, they may not remove VOCs from your air, but it will remove them from your worries.   ;D
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 05:32:35 AM »
My wife would kill me if I put plants in her pots.  what would she cook with  ;D

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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 04:35:26 PM »
My wife would kill me if I put plants in her pots.  what would she cook with  ;D




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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 06:56:53 PM »
"(too expensive, and I think owning is mainly outmoded and stupid--people with particular special needs should own, else I hope you have a LOT of money)"

So true, worse for some depending on where and when you bought.

Which brings me to the title question. Yes, LOTS.

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 08:26:33 PM »
I've had bad luck where I'm living now. The lighting is miserable. I'll try again when I move into the house I'm building next year. I especially like the idea of chemical-absorbing plants in a new house.

FYI - Where are you from, bluefoxicy? In the USA, houseplants are usually called houseplants or potTED plats. If you're growing pot plants, you usually don't want to advertise it on a public forum.  ;)

That's what I thought! The title is calculated for a response. Obviously. ::)

I have Dracaena type plants. My favorite is D. marginata which if set in front of windows (even with closed shades) will thrive. When you realize you haven't watered your plants in six weeks they will still be there. Waiting. Loyal as ever. 8)
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Anyone keep pot plants?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 03:34:41 PM »

I have Dracaena type plants. My favorite is D. marginata which if set in front of windows (even with closed shades) will thrive. When you realize you haven't watered your plants in six weeks they will still be there. Waiting. Loyal as ever. 8)

Dragon trees will suck up tons of toxins.  D. Marginata, red edged Dracaena, will actually destroy formaldehyde and benzine, and they look nice.  :)