Empty Planter:

January 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

There is an empty plant pot in my apartment, my very empty apartment, and I have a good deal of potter soil left from the re-potting of the veteran Pachira aquatica that has come back to life more than twice now.

Call it nesting or boredom or even random but I figure I should get a new house plant. Like everything, it’s not simple for me to just arrive at the local nursery. I think it’s due to a fear of ending up with something I didn’t want in a moment of me being too hasty. So, with little knowledge except for my gut knowing what I need I made a list and proceeded to find that perfect houseplant to sit by the computer.

The list was:

1. Must not kill Ramses

2. Must not be expensive

3. Must not be high maintenance

I began the search in my handy Dirr’s Guide to Plantings I got while taking a site planning course at Michigan. If I wanted to landscape the apartment complex this guy would help me, but not for a simple houseplant. The following research I did was to track down a Dwell article where I found my Pachira at, to no luck as it was an article that was probably five years old by now. Next step was my best friend google. I googled “indoor plants”, “cool indoor plants”, ” cool houseplants”, and you get the idea. Not much came up. Slight frustration.

So, I went back to the Pachira – back to the money tree. I love this plant, and after typing in “money tree” I was brought to some great rabbit holes of images and information that I could then select from. I browsed for a shortlist of three plants. Those were the Jade Bonsai, an indoor Ginkgo, and the Norfolk Island Pine.  All had some attributes I liked. The Jade Bonsai looked strong. The big “leaves” set against the smooth trunk just looked really great aesthetically. The Gingko just has a great story to it. A prehistoric plant is made into supplement pills and drops its leaves all at once, but not sure how I would deal with a five year old ginkgo without going all bonsai on it. The third was the Norfolk Island Pine. I was drawn to this one based on the lightness of its needles and the smell it’s said to release (might hide some of the dog smells?!).

There was a little table I made, and with the resources at my disposal (i.e. online) I went about finding that best plant for myself. The Jade plant and Norfolk were said to be slightly toxic to Ramses while the Ginkgo was pretty harmless. They all three actually sounded like they were harmless, getting tired and some wretching does not mean it’s toxic to Ramses – those signs mean its the morning for him, or he really has to get outside to handle some business. The Jade plant was said to be very high maintenance in my book while the other two were actually find with some moments of neglect. That canceled out the Jade for me.

The final criteria was the price and one easily beat the other in this respect. The Norfolk was a fraction of the cost of a ginkgo, although the Jade was by far the most of the three.

So, I made my decision and I’ll have to see how it all works out. Now whether I can find a Norfolk Island Pine in the Austin nurseries and I’m not caught off guard by something (like it’s an outdoor plant) I’ll have to find out. I might be heading to some bonsai predicament with my choice

“Be not afraid of growing slowly”

“Be afraid of standing still”


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