The seersucker plant is another rare plant that's worth seeking out. These very unusual plants have striking variegated foliage with slightly puckered leaves. They are native to rainforests, where they are low-growing groundcover.
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Often called the torch ginger, the Etlinger elatior is a rare plant outside conservatories and botanical gardens. It's a member of the ginger family, with flowers that arise from the roots to cluster around the tall canes. The effect is a remarkably beautiful, very tropical plant.
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You want to make your cat happy? Try growing catnip indoors.
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With a few exceptions, herbs aren't great indoor plants--but that doesn't matter much in the long run, does it? For the most part, people grow herbs indoors only to consume them, so even if they are less-than-ideal houseplants (and the lemon balm isn't really an ideal houseplant) it's worth the little bit of hassle. While lemon balm is known as a prolific grower outdoors, the main draw back to growing it indoors is that its leaves will be somewhat reduced in potency.
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I've frequently written that commercial phalaenopsis (and some dendrobium) orchids are basically substitutes for cut flowers. For what it's worth, I don't particularly like making this argument, because it means lots of plants will be discarded. But the sad truth is that most home growers can't get anywhere near to approximating the conditions these pampered and slightly mutant plants were produced under. Here's why.
The chestnut vine, or Tetrastigma voinieranum, is an unusual plant only because it's rare, but it really shouldn't be. They are tolerant of poor light and variable water conditions and have beautiful foliage as well. I say if you find out, grab it.
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When looking for a third philodendron to profile, I was struck by the embarrassment of riches, but finally settled on the P. domesticum. This plant actually makes a decent houseplant, something like a large pothos vine but much prettier.
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So clearly I'm in a philodendron kind of mood ... but this profile is on the Philodendron erubescens. There aren't many genus of plants that are more popular than philodendron worldwide, and while it's true that most of the plants are collector's items, the group does feature some of the world's most striking, most tropical foliage. This particular plant is a rampant climber that is the picture of a rainforest plant.
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There's a wonderful example of a Philodendron giganteum growing at a botanical garden not too far from my house. These will be difficult for many home growers, but not necessarily impossible. Like all philodendron, they need lots of water and warmth and ideally someplace to climb.
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The idea seems crazy on the face of it: growing indoor water lilies. But the topic came up not too long ago and I wanted to see if it was possible. Turns out not so much, but just as with every rule, there is an exception.
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