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indoor companion planting...

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Jiffymouse on March 26, 2005 03:02 PM
several members have asked about indoor companion planting. of the information asked, one of the questions was if planting mums, marigolds, or other plants of that type with your tropical house plants would work to repel pests. the other question regards the beauty of companion planting.

there is a simple answer to a really complicated idea. the thing to remember is that it is flowering plants that usually provide the protection from the critters. the thing about the flowering plants is that they need light. lots and lots of light. tropicals, or house plants as we call them, need just as much light, but not the full sun that marigolds and mums like. BUT, tropicals, most of them being part shade plants, will thrive in the low light conditions of a "normal" household. that is why a "smallish" draceana "janet craig" will just "burst out" with growth when taken to the office and put under the brighter flourescent lights. not to mention the flourescents have a better light spectrum than the incandescent bulbs usually found in a house.

the companion planting of tropicals together is a different story. as long as you consider watering needs, root ball size, and feeding needs (i wouldn't put an african violet who likes to eat with a peace lily who is just a thirsty sort - OR - a christmas cactus with a draceana, for similar reasons), you are good to go. the ability of tropicals to live together is why the "dish gardens" that florists sell for such outrageous prices do so well.

the thing to do is check out the garden helper's guide to growing house plants regarding the needs of the plants you want to plant together, and then go for it!
by Cricket on March 27, 2005 08:12 AM
Aesthetic companion planting and symbiotic companion planting are two separate issues. As you point out, Jiffy, aesthetic companion planting is relatively easy, but there appears to be very little research on symbiotic indoor tropical plant companion planting.

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