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I recently bought inverted planters for my living room (indoors). I planted a spider plant in it. Used the water indicator to water it twice a week. To my dismay it died in two weeks. What did I do wrong? Is there anyone who’s had success with these planters? (Indoors, so no sunlight). Most of the reviews said they don’t work. Is it true?

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if the spider plant you put in the pot was a good size and had been growing a while the right way up, it probably couldn't adapt to the new conditions. Plants react to both gravity (geotropism) as well as light direction. If you take a small, seedling tomato plant, it might well be able to make the adaptation to continue to grow despite now being upside down - fruit yield may be somewhat reduced because the plant has to work harder to work out where it is - gravity is telling it the roots should be going down and the growth be going up, but as tomatoes are rapid growing annual plants, they seem to be able to adjust. But if you take a healthy plant that is, say, 18 months old and suddenly stick it in an upside down pot, the plant seems unable to adjust to the fact its roots are in the air and its topgrowth growing downwards. So it gives up and dies, (I'd suggest from sheer confusion!).

So far as I can tell, tomatoes can be grown successfully upside down. I've never used an inverted pot nor will ever do so, but the only three people I know who very enthusiastically sang their praises and had tried with ordinary houseplants did not have the pot and plant 6 months later, and often won't talk about what happened either, or if they did, brushing away my queries by saying they just didn't like them, from which I deduce the project was not successful. They may not have been keen to talk about it because they were embarrassed about their initial wild enthusiasm, especially in the face of my own (freely expressed) scepticism in the first place.

If you want to try again, perhaps seek out a very, very small houseplant, or a seedling, or start your own plant and transfer it to your pot when its still small. I'm not saying that will definitely work, but if you're keen to have an upside down plant, its probably worth the experiment. There are some suggestions for things to grow upside down here http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plants-can-grown-upside-down-besides-tomatoes-cucumbers-58975.html, but there are only two foliage houseplants mentioned; all the other suggestions are annual plants.

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  • Thanks a tonne for this, had never considered gravity had any role. Returning my very expensive other five inverted planters first thing tomorrow. Going to give anyother try with tomato in my existing one, though i’m skeptical it’ll grow without any natural light. – Ladybird29 Jun 2 '18 at 15:21
  • You're right, a tomato plant won't grow without natural light unless you use a grow light - needs to be outdoors really, if you have space outside. But were you growing the spider plant somewhere with no natural light? – Bamboo Jun 2 '18 at 16:34

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