Senin, 27 April 2009

Profitable Plants To Grow In Your Greenhouse

Author: Gerald Mason

Here are some profit making plants to grow in your greenhouse Philodendron and Pothos

It is truly hard to beat philodendron and pothos for planters or use as specimens. Philodendron cor datum is the one with the green heart-shaped leaves. Pothos' leaves are also heart-shaped but are marbleized. Southern growers can produce small plants in quantity for sale in markets, as well as florist shops, and at a price northern growers cannot hope to meet. But it may pay you to obtain stock and propagate your own small plants or grow them on and sell them as larger specimen plants.

Philodendron pertusum starts out with a complete heart-shaped leaf, and as the leaves mature they split into interesting designs. These plants are native to regions of torrential rains. Nature endows the leaves with these splits so the rain can pour through without injury to the leaf. The "adult" plants of this species are the ones we know as cut-leaf philodendron or Monstera deliciosa.

Because of the abundance of existing sources of supply, you would be wise to check carefully for potential business before you go heavily into production of pothos or philodendrons.

Pilea
Pilea is ideal for the 2-inch pot sales. Grown mainly for foliage, it ranges from fernlike Pilea microphylla (or P. muscosa), the artillery plant, through P. involucaira (friendship plant) with crinkled bronze leaves, to P. cadieri, the so-called aluminum plant.

Ordinary potting soil meets the requirements of these plants. They grow rapidly in 60 to 70 degrees if kept thoroughly watered, and take medium light.

Propagate pilea through cuttings or basal shoots. Cuttings taken in late January will make salable plants by May.

From one mature plant of P. involucatra in a 4-inch pot, I was able to obtain fifty cuttings. This being a great favorite at plant counters, I sold my plants to the retailer for 25 cents each; the retail price was fixed at 49 cents each.

Plectranthus
From Australia and Africa comes plectranthus, the spur plant. This rapid grower, a relative of coleus, is a real find for the 2-inch pot. There are a number of species, but only the one named Plectranthus Oertendahli is obtainable in America. This plant has hairy, silver-veined green leaves and red petioles; sprays of dainty mauve flowers decorate it most of the year. In my collection is an unidentified one having smooth, waxy green leaves that on warm humid days give off a fragrance like rose talcum powder. I hope some day to have sufficient time to propagate this unusual plant and distribute it. I think it deserves a place among the green trailers used in the indoor garden.

Plectranthus sets its own seeds. Sow these little spheres in any light soil mixture. Seed sown in January produces flowering plants by July, and you can prick them out of the flats and plant directly into 2-inch pots of porous soil. To insure a superior floral display your plectranthus plants should be fed dilute fertilizer at 10-day intervals after they have been potted for 6 weeks.

Prayer Plant
Of interesting foliage and growth habit is Maranta kerchoveana, the prayer plant. The leaves of soft green are blotched with dark brown. At night maranta folds its leaves upward as if in supplication-thus giving rise to the common name.

Grow this one in ½ peatmoss, ½ loam. Give it plenty of drainage and a warm greenhouse. Propagation is by plant division.

Rivina Humilus
Among the prettier of the rapid-growing house plants is white-flowered, red-fruited Rivina humilus, the rouge berry plant. Successive plantings of seeds or cuttings will give you plants with flowers and fruit for easy sale through the year. It is an especially good seller for fall and winter holidays. Seeds germinate in about 10 days, and the plants will flower and fruit 4 months after seed sowing-in 2 to 3 months from cuttings. A warm house of 70 degrees is to their liking; they grow in sun or slight shade. Symmetry can be produced by pinching out tips on older plants. Pot directly from the flat to 2-inch pots, a valuable time-saver.

Royal Poinciana
Although not strictly classed as a pot plant, the royal poinciana tree (Delonix regia or Poinciana regia) is so easily grown from seed into a ferny little shrub that it is a splendid subject for the dish garden. It will stay small enough for indoor use for some time.

Seeds resemble large beans. Plant them in any good soil; they pop up in a week or less. Their chief requirement is water; if you forget this, the leaves will fall all over the place. These plants have the intriguing habit of folding their leaves toward evening.

Ruellia
Pretty leaves, pretty flowers, and easy to grow that's Ruellia macrantha. With olive green leaves daintily marked in white and rosy-purple petunia-like blooms, it is a real eye-catcher. Propagate through cuttings inserted into light soil or other rooting media. Three or 4 months bring you plants ready for 2-inch pots. Flowers last several days; and ruellia becomes more beautiful if given monthly feedings of liquid fertilizer. Temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees, moderate light, and ordinary soil are the growth requirements.

Samevieria
Called sword plant or snake plant, this tough individual remains high on the popularity list with people who dislike the fuss and bother of caring for flowering plants. Sansevieria is also invaluable for poorly-lighted indoor areas. It grows in virtually any soil, in temperatures from 60 to 80 degrees. Improved forms of the old-fashioned snake plant are numerous. This, however, is another case of a plant in plentiful supply; so check your market first. One gardener made a considerable profit by selling these plants to residents of housing projects.

Many of these folks have indoor planters and, while they like to see something growing in them, they cannot afford the more expensive green plants. For such planters a combination of sansevieria, anthericum (spider plant), and Chinese evergreen is hard to equal. All these plants can be offered at a price these householders-mainly young people can afford to pay. Sansevieria propagates easily from 2-inch cuttings of the swordlike leaves.

Propagate both philodendron and pothos by tip cuttings or leaf-bud cuttings. They root rapidly in any soil in temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees, and grow best in somewhat shady areas.Terminal cuttings taken in February will produce 2-inch potted plants in about 3 months.

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