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I am looking for a plant recommendation for a home office. I would like it to be 'interesting' - which rules out most of the typical office plants like spider plants, mother-in-law's tongue, etc.

The location is a north facing window. This is Texas so outside light is fairly bright, but of course north isn't direct.

I have a thermometer/humidity meter, so the temperature is usually 80-82F but can range from about 70F (when I have the window open) up to about 85F.

With a/c and computers the humidity is low. As I type this it is 31% - no doubt it will go up with tonight's rain. Over winter it was below 20% for an extended period.

A local nursery has some nice hibiscus but from what I've read, the dry air would be a problem.

I have a small grow lamp if need be.

As I type this, I've just thought of trying my hand at cacti again. I've had mixed results with indoor types in the past though - usually because you don't know they're sick/stressed until it is too late.

  • Nice to hear from you again, drop by more often – kevinsky Apr 13 at 1:34
  • have you looked into a dwarfing citrus tree, or a morenga (bonsai it)? – black thumb Apr 13 at 13:06
  • I think citrus also usually likes a lot of light? I tend to also think of indoor citrus needing a lot of space, but as you say maybe there's a very dwarf plant. – winwaed Apr 13 at 20:25
  • A local high school career center have some kind of biology/horticultural program, and had a plant sale today. So we went. Pouring rain outside, but I bought some small cacti and succulents. The plan is to get a shallow pot & sand/etc in the next few days and re-pot them all together. I think simply writing the question above gave me the idea of cacti! :-) – winwaed Apr 13 at 20:36
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Many Araceae with thick leaves would suit your environment: zamioculcas, monstera. They grow quite big and don’t care about humidity. Zamioculcas is my favourite for being chubby and easily surviving 2 week holidays without watering.

Forest cacti are a good choice: check epiphyllum (orchid cactus). Desert cacti would need some more sun than you have.

African violets love northern windows, and there are many colourful species.

As for snake plant, there are more exotic varieties, that still have the hardiness of the original plant. Check sansevieria spaghetti.

Several orchids are completely OK with dry air: haemaria/ludisia has beautiful leaves and phalaenopsis flowers.

Ficus varieties with dark leaves will also be happy.

If you like to experiment, check ivy plants. You can make them climb a basket, wall or any surface. They are also resistant to shadow and dry air.

  • Thanks. I thought African violets needed humidity? I've had mixed results with orchids in the past although they are of course extremely diverse - I'll look at the ones you mention. Also the epiphyllum and araceae. – winwaed Apr 17 at 13:50

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