This plant, which bears a decorative mass of broad, glossy, dark green leaves, has remarkable qualities of endurance, bearing up under thirst, heat, dust, and dim light almost better than any other plant. It is excellent for the poorly-lit vestibule.
All begonia varieties bear flowers but many are grown especially for foliage. The so-called rex begonias or foliage begonias bear large, thick, irregular leaves. They like a moist but not a wet soil and do best below average room temperatures.
Grapefruit, lemon, and orange trees, grown in pots, sometimes make fine foliage plants but seldom flower satisfactorily and even more rarely do they bear fruit indoors.
These plants are grown readily from seeds and bear foliage in a variety of green, yellow, and red patterns. They must have sunshine, moisture, warmth, and dry atmosphere, and do not survive chilling. They are especially susceptible to mealybug attack.
The main attraction of crotons is the bizarre appearance of their tough leaves of green, white, pink, and scarlet. For success in pots these gaudy plants need warmth, good light, uniform moisture and light, and rich soil.
Plants of this genus need good light but do not require direct sunlight. They want rich soil, abundant in humus, and ample moisture. Slow growing, they retain for years their handsomely-coloured leaves, green with tints of pink or copper, some with silver markings, and in maturity are beautiful specimen plants. They are of the same family as the pineapple.
Not only is this a good pot plant but its brilliantly variegated leaves are useful in flower arrangements. It likes rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water. However, do not permit water to lodge at leaf bases, where it causes decay.
Moderate light, average temperatures and any good pot soil serves the silkoak grevillea (Grevillea robusta) in house planting. It grows into the form of a good sized shrub with attractive, fernlike leaves, and when it grows to outsize may be cut back to form a new top of proper proportion.
This plant (Araucaria excelsa) needs light to prevent irregular growth but will succeed in good soil. Its chief attraction is its symmetrical tiers of branches. In its native abode it becomes a tree. It is useful as a pot plant in early stages.
Sometimes called the screwpine, this plant is potted for its attractive foliage and growth habit. The common green form bears a rosette of arching, sword like leaves which spiral as the trunk develops. Some varieties have marginal white or irregular yellow stripes.
Like the aspidistra, this plant will stand up under almost any conditions. For best development it needs a rich, heavy soil and sufficient watering. It develops a strong, erect clump of bladelike leaves of green with marbleised grey and white markings. The common sansevieria is familiarly known as bowstring hemp and snakeplant, and in New England as lucky plant. Sometimes it will surprise you by bearing spikes of star like white flowers.
This relative (Cyperus alternifolius) of the papyrus plant of antiquity almost always succeeds indoors. It needs constant moisture but will grow in any rich soil, in sun or shade. It produces a dense clump of tall green stems topped with a ring of green leaves like the ribs of an umbrella. Propagation is easy. Cut off the leaf stems and turn the leafy parts under water; new plants develop quickly from the axils of the leaves.