This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

September 3, 2013

Planting indoor plants outdoors

Here at The Tropical Paradise I am experimenting, mostly. And something that I like to do is to plant indoor plants outdoors. The Phoenix area has a beautiful, mild climate most of the time. It never snows here, and while it does get very hot, most "indoor" plants do well as long as they have some shade. Here in the foreground you can see some typical indoor plants, sansevieria. When I was growing up, they were called "Mother-in-Law's Tongues" but now they are mostly called "Snake Plants".

They have been in the ground now for a few weeks and are adapting fine. But before you rush over to go buy some, stop. There is a trick to it. And the trick is to find "indoor" plants for sale outdoors. Here in the Phoenix area, the best place to look is in the K-Mart garden center. Because you are not looking for fresh, healthy plants newly-delivered from the green house. You are looking for sad, tired, ready-to-burst-their-pots plants that have gotten shuffled over to one corner, to eventually be thrown away.

The sansevieria that you see here were from two small pots which were $3.99 each. Sansevieria sends up "pups" so there were several in each wildly-overcrowded pot. I took them home, gently pulled the plants apart, trimmed them and planted them with care. They are growing strong now, and I expect them to do well until the frosts of January arrive. In a way, this is like planting annual flowers, you don't expect them to last forever. But they are beautiful and will put on some nice growth in the time that they are here in The Tropical Paradise. And when they are finished, it will be time for more experimenting.
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