My Devil's Ivy (Pothos) is just a basic ivy and it grows very well. It's actually more of a climbing vine, but I just let it go and it either drapes or spreads out along a ledge/table. I've also got quite a few fake plants in the room, mostly on a high ledge that is not reachable for watering real ones!
I'd like to have some sort of live tree (ficus or something) in my room, but feel it would be a waste if it were to die. My houseplant/indoor greenthumb is limited. I do better outdoors!
no windows?? I am planning to bring a peace lily that has been thriving in my bathroom at home with no windows and I am hoping that it will continue to live at school. I like the peace lily because it gives you a second chance...it will look dead then you water it and it is back
Last year I had a fake ficus in my room...it took up too much space!! But on the bright side only required dusting.
I have had cactus (the barrel kind), philodendren, pothos, and for the last few winters I've brought in some of my geraniums to winter over. Then I just set them back outside in the spring! Our janitor used to take cuttings of his impatiens, put them in water, and when they've sprouted roots, plant them in dirt and they over winter well, too! I like to have plants in the room, makes it look more homey!
I, too, have a hard time keeping plants alive in my classroom. Each year I try something new, and each year they die before Christmas. I will definately be watching this thread for some good ideas for plants that require little attention.
Thispast year was the 1st time I attempted to have plants. My mother passed away and we received a TON! The best ones for my room seem to be the 2 peace lilies, the mother-in-law's tongue, the parlor palm and aloe vera. I have heard that MIL tongue is poisonous if eaten, but I have 3rd graders, so it's not a problem. The aloe vera was given to me by a friend. It was taking over her garage. Another teacher friend divided it for me--it had 16 "babies"! I gave them to everybody who would take one--I still ended up with about 5 left and the "Mother" plant now has at least that many new babies coming up!!! I also bought a small jade plant and a pepperomia (I think that's what it's called). All of these plants' tags said "let dry slightly between waterings". I can do that!! My classroom gardener managed to keep them alive all spring semester, and I have been going up about once a week and watering them. They don't look too bad.
The MIL's tongue gets NO light except fluorescent. ONe of the peace lilies is on my desk and doesn't get much natural light. The only effect I see is that the blooms aren't white w/out some natural light. They are just green like the leaves.
After 5 months these things are still alive, so maybe there is hope for me as a plant person yet!
I have had Swedish ivy. It does well without natural light and a little water. My kids were very good about watering each week however. It is another one of those plants that gives you a second chance. If you have windows Spider plants do quite well also.
Some tips: At my school the windows are about 12 inches wide and high (up at the ceiling). We are not allowed to hang plants from the ceiling because of the danger of them falling.
Also there is some discrepancy about plants or the soil I guess causing mold. As if my small 5 inch potted plant is the cause of the mold problem in the whole school! It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that the roof has leaked for years and years!
I have a horrid time keeping anything indoors alive! Plus, I do not have a window. Last year during grandparents week a wonderful older friend visited my classroom and brought me a plant...I killed it before Christmas!
I've had ivy and ferns in my classroom. I'm lucky because one wall of my classroom is made up of windows, but I've also grown them at home. I think that the trick is watering them. I assign the job my students, and they usually water them 2-3 times a week. I'm planning on having them in my class again this year.
I'm glad to know some plants I could use this year in my classroom. I do have windows so maybe that will be a plus on keeping them alive. I too think plants will add another touch to make my room look homey. Please keep your fingers crossed that I'm successful. "SMILE"
I like to grow a sweet potato in water. Students can see the roots, stems and leaves form.
Philodendroms are great. They last year after year after year.
Around Christmas buy an Amaryllis bulb. They grow very fast, a couple inches a day. It will get to be about 36 inches tall. You will need a dowel stick to keep it from falling over. It will get 2 or 3 beautiful blossoms on it. You cut it back and it will grow back again next year. It is amazing to watch because it grows so quick.
We have an artificial tree. It is about 4 foot tall. Bought it at Wal Mart. To start the year we decorate it with plastic apples. At Easter when we are studing animal cycles we hang plastic Easter eggs with yellow baby chickens in the inside. Christmas time we get candy canes and put on the tree. Students get the candy canes the last day before break. Put a string of clear mini Christmas bulbs on the tree.
We also grow "Wisconsin Fast Plants" Do a google search to read about them. You plant the seeds, watch the plants grow, bud, bloom, students pollinate the pretty bright yellow flowers, seed pods form, plants die and you harvest the seeds for students next year to plant. A complete cycle in seven weeks. We recycle our pots and etc from year to year.
I like to buy a Poinsettia around Christmas time, also. They are beautiful. They don't last very long, but I enjoy them during the holidays.
Another unique combination that I found at Wal Mart. Is the Belta Fish and Lily. You never have to feed the fish because it eats the lily roots.
We have been talking about plants that filter the air on another thread and I am planning to bring some of my numerous houseplants into my class this year. My husband, who also teaches, has had some of my "cast-offs" in his class for the past few years and they have actually survived quite nicely despite the fact that he doesn't worry much about them (i.e. does not water them for weeks on end)! The ones he has in his class are umbrella plant (or parasol plant?), and draecena(dracaena?). I am planning to bring a ficus, mother-in-law's tongue, corn plant and spider plant. All of these are good air filterering plants and I have had no problem with them. They are not fussy, though most need some light source.
Betta fish are carnivores. They DO NOT eat the lily roots. In desperation they will gnaw on them, but they do not eat them. They need to be fed just like any other fish. Also, the betta in a vase usually does not allow enough room above the water and plant for air. Bettas have to come to the surface to breath. Also, the plant roots usually will begin to decompose after a period of time fouling the water. The water needs to be cleaned frequently. They will survive this way, but not flourish.
Sorry if I seem critical. I am a obsessive animal lover and do my best to get the right information out about fish and turtles.
Growing a Mimosa pudica (a.k.a. sensitive plant, sleepy plant and the touch-me-not) in the classroom might be an exciting way to get kids interested in plants and science. Imagine growing a plant that closes its leaves and even lowers its branches when you touch it!
It is great fun for all grades. You can order the seeds online for just a few dollars.