June 2017: Commitment Free Plants Houseplants of the Month

on Friday, 02 June 2017. Posted in News

The story of Commitment-Free Plants
Rugged, easy to live with, and a must-have for every ‘man cave’. Commitment-Free Plants not only make a man’s home more attractive but also show instantly that the guy in question is caring enough to keep something green alive.

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The selection for this Premier League consists of Croton, Philodendron, Snake Plant, Umbrella Tree and Devil’s Ivy - all strong personalities the can take a knock.

Origins 
Croton (aka Codiaeum) is derived from the Greek word ‘kroton’, which means ‘tick’ and refers to the seeds, which resemble these bugs. This handsome plant grows in Indonesia, but can also be found in many other warm holiday destinations. Croton is an evergreen shrub with variegated, very colourful leaves that are unlike any other plant.

Croton

Philodendron grows in the tropical rainforests of South America and occurs as a bush, small tree and climbing plant with aerial roots. The name derives from the Greek and means ‘tree hugger’. This refers to its preference for growing up the giants of the forest.

Philodendron

Snake Plant (Sansevieria) is one of the easiest houseplant ever. The plant grows in the dry regions of southern Africa and Asia, where it has to survive in deserts. The Snake Plant does that with sturdy rhizomes from which thick upward-pointing sword-shaped leaves with succulent properties emerge.

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Umbrella Tree (Schefflera) is native to the deciduous forests of New Zealand, Taiwan and Australia, where the plants can reach a height of 20 to 30 metres. It is one of the most air purifying plants, and offers an impressive green presence with eye-catching leaves which resemble a hand with a few too many fingers.

Schefflera

Devil’s Ivy (Scindapsus) is a hanging climbing plant which is a member of the arum family, the Araceae, and can be identified by the spike-shaped flower/spadix with a bract. This houseplant is known as a bringer of luck. In the tropical rainforests of South-East Asia and Indonesia, Devil’s Ivy also serves as a rich source of food for lizards and other reptiles, amongst others.

Scindapsus

What to look for when selecting Commitment-Free Plants
• With these plants the first impression is important: are the plant’s proportions right, is the foliage full and healthy, and is the plant firmly in its pot?
• With the climbers, check the material that is being used to support the Manly Plant. A moss pole, wood or bamboo must look cared for.
• The plant must have good roots and sufficiently hardened leaves. Leaf drop can sometimes be caused by lack of light (particularly winter) and brown leaf tips can be a sign of insufficient humidity. The plants must be free of pests and diseases. Especially look out for mealybug and scale insects.
• Most Commitment-Free Plants are sensitive to cold at a temperature below 12 to 15°C - something to bear in mind when transporting them during the cold months.

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Choice of range
The range of these plants’ is varied in terms of shape, size and colour. Various species and cultivars exist of each type, making for an impressive choice.

In addition to many different sizes, Croton also comes in many cultivars. They are all part of the species C. variegatum, which means variegated and refers to the fantastic leaves.

Philodendron is available both as a climber with large or small leaves, and in bush form. The leathery leaves are often green, or slightly reddish. Larger climbers sometimes have aerial roots.

Snake Plant is available in many different sizes and shapes, from fans and interwoven specimens through to plants with painted or felt-covered tops to the leaves - we're seeing a lot of these pop up in members' installations. The leaves are green or grey, depending on the variety.

Sansevieria cylindrica

Umbrella Tree comes in various forms, which are mainly members of the arboricola species, which means ‘tree-like’. In the wild, the Umbrella Tree can grow into a real tree. The trade offering ranges from single and branched plants in a pot through to indoor trees. All Umbrella Trees can be recognised by the hand-shaped leaves.

Devil’s Ivy (Scindapsus or Epipremnum) is known as a climbing and hanging plant with attractive green and yellow marked leaves.

Best care tips
• The more variegated the 'Manly' Plant, the lighter the position it requires. If the leaf contains more chlorophyll, it can also be placed in partial shade.
• Philodendron, Umbrella Tree and Devil’s Ivy cannot cope with direct sunlight. Croton and Snake Plant can cope with full sunlight and can be placed outdoors in the summer months.
• The bigger and thicker the trunk, the easier the plant is to look after. Never allow the soil to dry completely, water at room temperature and avoid permanently soaking the soil. For the Snake Plant in particular, it’s better to give too little than too much.
• Any yellow or ugly leaves can be removed.
• If a 'Manly' Plant gets too tall or is no longer looking good, it can be pruned (with the exception of Snake Plant), preferably during the darker months.

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Display tips for Commitment-Free Plants
Their size means that Commitment-Free Plants are ideally suited to a display that suggests an indoor forest. This fits with the trend of bringing living nature indoors and placing it on a pedestal in the home or office. An additional sales argument for 'Manly' Plants is that the profusion of leaves has an air-purifying effect. Finally, the fact that these are very easy plants is often also an important argument for the target group.

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