Tropical Obsessions

Now is the perfect time of year to splurge on some new houseplants. I’ve been a long-time fan of succulents and oncidium orchids since they thrive on neglect, but I wanted to share my new plant obsessions.

Monstera plants were popular in the 50’s and 80’s, and they are back in vogue again since their clean lines work well with minimalistic interior design. Several types are available, but my two favorites are both nicknamed swiss cheese plants. I picked up a monstera deliciosa last February and it checked all my boxes over the last year-pretty, easy care, and it thwarted my multiple attempts to kill it. The plant starts with solid leaves, then as it gets larger it develops a wonderful pattern of indents and holes, hence the swiss cheese moniker. They like bright, indirect light and you can put them outside under a tree in the spring and forget about them until fall. A terrific statement specimen, they can easily reach 8-10 feet when grown indoors. 

Monstera adansonii have beautiful elongated leaves sprinkled with holes, and they behave more like a vine than monstera deliciosa. They also like bright indirect light, but they need more humidity to do well. Placing them on a tray with water and pebbles helps with that, or the occasional misting helps. They can cascade out of their pot like a pathos, or you can tie them to a trellis or moss stick and make a more upright houseplant. With support they can grow up to 7 to 10 feet tall. 

My last green baby is a miniature conical snake plant, or fernwood mikado. It looks like a mature snake plant, but it’s in a two inch pot and it’s only 5” high. The extremely small ones are hard to find, but worth looking for as their tiny size makes me smile everytime. Snake plants are great plants for beginners since they do well in low light, and they are just about impossible to kill.

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