Indoor Plant Stands

 

The primary reason to use a plant stand is to elevate the plant – indoors or outdoors – which improves plant health care by making the plants more accessible. Indoor plant stands give an interesting depth to a plant collection, and, single or tiered, cart, shelving, or other design, can be the quintessential accent to your foyer, hall or any room. They come in many sizes, shapes, colors and materials as well as ones made for specific plants or for personal reasons; indoor/outdoor, decorative or basic. Hanging plant holders are great for plants like Spider Plants, while shelves or tables are good for Cylamen, African Violets, many varieties of succulent plants, and improving Orchid care. Stands with wheels on the bottom are great for moving large plants such as Palm Plants, potted Roses, and other tropical plants that might need a periodic change of environment. Custom-made plant stands can be unique and often fill a niche in the room that otherwise appeared useless. Floating shelves offer a sensational display for your plants. See how to install floating shelves :

 

Plant stands add an elegant touch to patio furniture, garden furniture, planters, beside raised garden beds, holding groupings of plant pots, at the side of a garden, near an Adirondack chair or under the edge of a patio umbrella where they are shielded from direct sunlight.

Indoor Plant Stands - Handcrafted Scroll and Lattice

Figure 1: Handcrafted Scroll and Lattice Plant Stand

Accessorize any room or patio area with beautiful plant stands made of scrolls and lattices. Figure 1 is a wonderful example of a handcrafted plant stand that can be used for indoor plants or with patio furniture.

Raising a plant to eye-level is visually appealing and makes it much easier to water, spray and prune. In addition, having a plant higher up can protect children and pets from poisonous plants. Size-wise, plan on about 3 inches of space around the flower pots; consider what surface the stand will be placed or hung on and make sure it will not tip over or fall. Shelving can be fastened to a wall for more stability.

 

Indoor Plant Stands - Elegant stands

Figure 2: Tiered Indoor Plant Stands

Selecting Indoor Plant Stands

Be careful to not let the plant stand take the focus from the plant; you want it to be serviceable, sturdy, and to just showcase your best indoor plants not ‘steal the scene.’ Figure 2 is a good example of elegant indoor plant stands and can be purchased through Amazon.  Buy a suitably-sized plant stand; too large or small can spoil the whole appearance. If you are purchasing a plant stand for  flowering plants you may want to buy it in a neutral color so the blooms become the highlight.

Lighted Indoor Plant Stands

Small indoor plant stands are a good solution if you have limited space at home or in the office.

Indoor Plant Stands - Office

Figure 3: Intelligent Plant Light in Office

Even many of the smaller stands offer 1-2 shelves, a tray, sometimes a tabletop light with a fluorescent fixture; some have humidity domes. Small indoor plant stands may have a wire frame to allow you to adjust the fixture height.

One computer operated indoor plant stand – Intelligent Plant Light – takes care of numerous gardening needs. The automated, computerized timer is responsible for lighting – turning it off and on and synchronizing the length of day with spring, summer, winter and fall. The base of the lamp is the indoor plant stand. A full spectrum light simulates the sun’s rays; an adjustable stem can handle plants from 4 inches to 12 inches or can also increase/decrease light intensity. A moisture sensor indicates just when the plant needs watered and the pebbled base catches and holds the water for extra humidity, the moisture sensor also keeps the pot from sitting in the water.

Sources and Citations

http://www.amazon.com/Handcrafted-Rectangular-Metal-Plant-Stand/dp/B000F1ONE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333457549&sr=8-1 – research source

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gibVoELMNQ – research source

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf/Gardening/Creative_Planters/Creative-Planter-Ideas.html – research source

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVjgVqWowKc – research source

http://www.amazon.com/Handcrafted-Rectangular-Metal-Plant-Stand/dp/B000F1ONE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333457549&sr=8-1 – research source

Succulent Plants

Succulent Plants - Desert Cactus Dish Garden

Figure 1: Desert Cactus Dish Garden

Succulent plants are sometimes referred to as ‘Succulents’ or ‘fat plants’ since parts of them are thick and they usually retain more water in dry climates/soils, according to Wikipedia. Their low demand for water allows them to survive periods of neglect, making them some of the best indoor plants for beginners. They are perennial tropical plants often grown as ornamental plants in flower pots and gardens because many of them have a very unusual appearance. Joshua Trees (pictured in Figure 2, below) are often confused with succulent plants, but they are actually a variety of Yucca.

Succulent Plants - Joshua Tree Yucca

Figure 2: Joshua Tree

Many Succulent plants are flowering plants that offer easy care and look beautiful in your home alone or with a companion plant such as CyclamenHibiscus, Hydrangea, Azaleas or Geraniums–which have similar requirements for lighting. Succulent plants come in a myriad of colors and leaf shapes and a current trend that is gaining popularity is to include different varieties of succulent plants with Peonies and other flowers in bridal bouquets. Unlike Spider Plants and Palm Plants, Succulents generally like the low humidity and warm conditions found in many houses; they seem to be able to adapt to direct or lower light. Many of the smaller plants look great on indoor plant stands, and stands with wheels are available for larger plants. Succulent Plants prefer a good draining soil that’s not watered often, and it’s best to let the soil become completely dry between waterings.

Succulent Plants – Interesting facts

  • The tallest free-standing Cactus is about 63 feet tall (19.2 m); the smallest is approximately 0.4 inches (1 cm) at maturity
  • Plant health care for Succulents is less demanding than Orchid care
  • A fully mature Saguaro Cactus (Figure 3) can absorb as much as 200 US gallons of water during heavy rainfall.

    Succulent Plants - Saguaro Cactus

    Figure 3: Saguaro Cactus

  • Both Succulent Plants and Orchids produce oxygen at night, unlike most other types of plants which only produce oxygen while they are receiving light. For that reason they are a great option for bedrooms.
  • Remember that all Cacti are succulents but all succulents are not Cacti
  • Popular because they use less water and have less impact in droughts
  • They are fire-resistant and fire retardant
  • Many of them are not poisonous plants, but use barbs or needles for their protection, similar to Roses

Some of the Simplest Succulent Plants to Care For

Aloe Vera: Although the sap of this plant has been used for hundreds of years to heal wounds or sunburn, it has sharp teeth on the edge of the leaves that can cut – needs to be placed where it will not be bumped into for that reason.

Succulent Plants - Aloe Vera

Figure 4: Aloe Vera

Let the soil dry out between heavy waterings but do not leave it standing in water. Keep Aloe Vera in direct sunlight and fertilize 3 (three) times in the summer with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. If you have African Violet fertilizer you can use that on your succulent plants as well. Do not repot unless you particularly want to or the roots are pushing their way out of the pot.

 

Pin Cushion Cactus: There are approximately 200 species of this group for home-growing, most of them coming from Mexico.

Succulent Plants - Cactus Garden with Pincushion Cactus

Figure 5: Cactus Garden with Pincushion Cactus

The spines (modified leaves) appear fine and harmless but have hooked ends like a porcupine quill, which makes it difficult to pull out of the skin.  These cacti may take different shapes and often flower in the house. They require a lot of light. Let the soil get fairly dry between waterings; do not water in the winter time as the plant is in a dormant period, necessary for flowering. A balanced fertilizer, 10-10-10 is needed three times during the summer months.

Burros Tail: This succulent plant looks cute in a hanging plant pot or basket with its tails out over the side; gray with green or blue ‘leaves’ can grow up to 3 feet long.

Succulent Plants - Burros Tail

Figure 6: Burros Tail

Allow the soil to dry a little between waterings and fertilize in summer with a 10-10-10 fertilizer; be aware that it rarely flowers but it is possible that pink or red flowers could appear during the summer. Leaves fall off of a Burros Tail easily; try to keep it where it will not be bumped by anything. If you move it outside for the summer, put it in the shade so that it does not get sunburned, or, on the patio where it could get morning light then shade from the afternoon sun.

Ponytail Palm: The Ponytail Palm is not a palm tree and does not appear to be a succulent plant although related to the agave. Use a quick draining soil for this plant – cactus potting soil is a good one.

Succulent Plants - Ponytail Palm

Figure 7: Ponytail Palm

It is a long-lived indoor houseplant with average room temperature good for most of the year in a location with bright light. Winters it prefers temperatures around 50-55°F. Spring through fall you should allow the surface soil to dry before watering; during the winter only water once-in-a-while. Fertilize in the spring with a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer, and give it a very bright room for the summer months. Repotting every second year is adequate for this succulent. This plant can grow up to twenty (20) feet high indoors!

                                                     

Snake Plant (also called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue):

Succulent Plants - Snake Plant

Figure 8: Snake Plant

These succulent plants have stiff, upright leaves that can grow to 3-4 feet tall. The Snake Plant has a green border on the leaves while the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue has a yellow border.

They make a tough houseplant and can withstand almost any conditions with the exception of over-watering or not watering. Soil should be a loose and well-drained potting material; preferably with sand in it. Give it a mild 10-10-10 cactus fertilizer in the growing season. Prune out damaged leaves.

Hens and Chicks: Two succulent plants use this name – both produce chicks – little plants offset from the mother. The flowering patterns are different: one grows bell-shaped blooms while the other grows pink star-shape flowers on plants that die after flowering.

Succulent Plants - Hens & Chicks

Figure 9: Hens and Chicks

Grown in the house, the two perform identically; both should be allowed to dry a little between waterings – overwatering will rot both plants. Water very little during dormant period. Feed them a 10-10-10 fertilizer in the summer. New growth can be started by removing the offsets and potting them. The plants will be scarred if water touches them or the leaves get bumped.

Panda Plant: This succulent plant is a native of Madagascar and is grown for its foliage – thick, green leaves covered with silver hairs; the edges tipped with brown or rust-colored hairs.

Succulent Plants - Panda Plant

Figure 10: Panda Plant

Let the top couple of inches of soil dry out between waterings and in winter, its dormant period, barely water it at all – just don’t let it dry out completely. The panda plant likes medium to bright filtered light. A 10-10-10 fertilizer should be used in the summer. The plant doesn’t require much in the way of pruning.

Jade Plant: this succulent plant, originally from South Africa, is so easy to grow. It has thick stems with shiny green leaves that have a touch of red. Allow the soil to become bone dry between waterings, but don’t leave it that way.

Succulent Plants - Jade Plant

Figure 11: Jade Plant

Jade plants are most commonly killed by too much water. Fertilize three times in summer with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. The terra cotta pot offers good air movement through the soil; repotting is rarely necessary as the plant has a small root system. Keep the plant pruned for balance – both appearance and weight – if one side grows too large it could upset the whole plant.

 Sources and Citations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succulents – research source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succulent_plant – research source

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/projects/top-10-succulents-for-home/ – research source

http://www.skh.com/gardeningatoz/cactus-succulent-care/ – research source