can you help me identify my plants?
January 25, 2011 9:14 PM   Subscribe

I slowly discover that caring for plants is not always as easy as water and light, so I would like to identify my indoor plants to know better how to care for them. can you help ?

I tried with various sites, and wikipedia, but couldn't find anything close. even USDA was not very helpful. Ideally I would like to know if there is an easy way to id plants, but I guess it's part knowledge, so here are a few pictures:

B is quite tall, 1,50m high, A is 1m tall, all others are small.

posted by anto1ne to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A is a philodendron I think, B is a Ficus elastica, C is a zamia of some sort, D also looks like a philo, F looks like a ficus too, but it's hard to tell. G may be a kentia palm, but all these pictures would be a bit more helpful if not taken from above the plants, in order to see structure.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:35 PM on January 25, 2011

e is a Peace lily.
posted by bibliogrrl at 9:35 PM on January 25, 2011

Oh, and in case it's not clear from my omission, Burhanistan is right about E (and not necessarily wrong about G).
posted by oneirodynia at 9:37 PM on January 25, 2011

A looks like diffenbachia. I'll second B being a ficus elastica, C is...maybe a croton that isn't getting enough sun so it doesn't have any colorful streaks? (at least that's what mine looks like when it's not getting enough sun). E is most definitely a peace lilly. G is some kind of palm.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:48 PM on January 25, 2011

Best answer: I think C might be Zamioculcas Zamiifolia aka zz plant. If so, its pretty tolerant of abuse, except overwatering. Keep it in a bright indirect light, and watch the water.
posted by rube goldberg at 10:07 PM on January 25, 2011

Response by poster: awesome!
pictures were indeed not so good, but guesses were enough to put me on the right track.
here are some more of A, D and F: A2, D2, F2
posted by anto1ne at 10:36 PM on January 25, 2011

B is a ficus elastica or Rubber Tree
Preview- D'oh! Still, I'll leave the link here for you anyway.
posted by Wroksie at 4:11 AM on January 26, 2011

Yeah, A might be a young Dieffenbachia, now that I see the new pictures.

All these plants pretty much need bright light and good humidity (especially the palm), but you especially want the zamia to dry out between waterings and never to stand in water. The (possible) dieffenbachia can take less light. People say that about spaths too, but they do better with brighter light. Don't use soil with fertilizer added, or miracl-gro. These promote lots of leafy green growth that attracts pests and pathogens. I like Eleanor's VF-11, and plant houseplants in a good mix of organic soil- look for soils that list their ingredients, like this one.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:53 AM on January 26, 2011

I learned the hard way that taking care of container plants (indoors and out) is an art and a science that I'm only beginning to understand. They need regular fertilizing, you need to re-pot them when they start to get too big for the containers they're in, you should care about humidity, might want to put them outside in the summer, etc. It might be worth getting a book or two on indoor plants and container gardening for help. I can recommend Indoor Plants: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Caring for Houseplants, by Reader's Digest, that talks about general care as well as outlines the needs of what must be hundreds of specific houseplant varieties.
posted by paindemie at 8:56 AM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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