Posted: 10/03/2014 at 06:27
Another waste of time on here after dog disconnected lead to laptop and message lost. So frustrating. so here we go again!
Fatsia and ricinus very similar. Large, lobed, hand-shaped leaves. Fatsia very hardy and also good houseplant as suffers most conditions ifkept on dry side.Large, glossy bright green leaves, as if overdone with the leafshine. Ricinus grows shockingly fast from seed, but needs to be brought inside for winter or started again from seed in spring. Very similar leaves to Fatsia, but a bronze purple colour. Grows so fast, probably cheapest to sow yearly, especially if you can collect own seed. Although seems expensive for seed, results are nothing short of spectacular. Only reason not a 'kids' seed, is probably because the seed is very poisonous. However, with older kids, get them to sow into 4" pots. Germnatation within a couple of days, large plants within 2 months, by June 5' or more in good soil.
Have you tried 'houseplants'? many are tropical, and all appreciate a spell outside in warm weather.Accustom to sun gradually in 'hardening off', as they can scorch as people sunburn. They will green up quickly and grow fast. Almost any can go out. I have used spider plant offsets as bedding. They do look 'tropical', or 'exotic' and are very quick and easy to propagate. All ficus, including weeping fig, rubber plant and fiddle leaf fig will love you if you chuck 'em out for a few months. Umbrella plant, aspidistra (especially variegated), ferns, palms, Chinese evergreen, Cheeseplant, you name it, will appreciete an outdoor spell and good feeding, and will reward you by needing o be re-potted! Many will also flower, eiher outside, or when you bring them back in, depending on type, season and care. They will need more water and feed, and possibly pruning when out, but will reward you tenfold. You will realise that they 'survive' indoors, but 'thrive' out. All of mine go out every summer.All of our housplants began life outdoors, and are usually tropical in nature. Just make sure the shade-lovers like most ferns get that, and the sun-lovers get some. Natural rain watering cleans off any household dust so they can breathe again, and pure uv light, instead of filtered through windows and blinds gives them a boost, as it does us. If anyone ever doubts the effect of Real sunlight on people (most gardeners don't!) and that SAD exists, just try chucking all of your houseplants outside for a couple of months, and see the effect, even without extra feeding. It may teach you a little more about all of your plants, and what can grow in your garden, if only for a short time. My houseplants go out from May to September with the cymbidium orchids. The houseplants get hardened off first, (the orchids don't much!) Sun lovers have to get used to sun,so only get morning sun at first and all have to adjust to night temps that may be quite low, and fluctuate. My house is never heated above 18C anyway, and drops to at least 12C at night in Winter. So colder temps aren't a prob,as they go out late, but sun is. plants need to become accustomed to sun in much the same way as gh raised plants need to get used to less heat, going out earlier. If you are comfortable outside in light clothes at night, so will your indoor plants be comfortable.They live in the same conditions as you do, and are used to them. But most sensible people need sunscreen for at least a few days in summer until they become accustomed. Either move into sun for just an hour or so at a time, place where sun will come and go naturally, or shade with fleece, green mesh or sim in hottest psrt of day.
Most people never think of this, but you can bring your comfortable 'inside' outside with you, and all acclimatise together, and by bbq time, your plants should be as happy as you are outside, read