Proctor: Start the new year green

9:21 AM, Jan 2, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - With the tree gone your house may seem more spacious. After you make sure your tree is put to good use as a bird feeder or as mulch, add living plants to your home. There's no excuse such as "I don't have room," or "I don't have enough light," that I'll accept.

Every home or office can accommodate plants if you select the right ones for your conditions.

Cheer yourself up during winter with flowering plants such as amaryllis or cyclamens. Miniature gardens are also big, so to speak. Create a magical miniature landscape using small plants and appropriate additions from dinosaurs to fairies. Miniature gardens keep housebound gardeners occupied and their care is easy.

If you're brand new to gardening indoors, I have the easiest, most rewarding plant you can grow: the spider plant. Also known as airplane plant (or properly Chlorophytum comosum) this African native features thin, grassy leaves that may be green or striped with white. The plant produces small white flowers on long, arching stems. Small plantlets are also produced on these stems; these root when the stems droop and touch new soil.

Spider plants are often grown in hanging baskets to show off their lush tropical look. They have water-storing fleshy roots and are forgiving of negligence. Water when dry; avoid over-watering. These plants are difficult to kill. They thrive in sunny or low light conditions. Mine vacation outdoors in summer in the shade. They are not prone to pests and need little maintenance or fertilizer.

You only have to buy one spider plant. The plantlets can easily be grown on in small pots and grow to full size in a few years. Besides their beauty, spider plants are excellent at absorbing airborne pollutants such as formaldehyde, and make your home healthier.

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