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Vermont Garden Journal: If You're Short On Space, Check Out These Hanging Houseplants

Jessica Ruscello
"String Of Pearls" is a succulent that has fascinating small, round, pea-like leaves along the stems. It can go for weeks without water, especially in the winter.

With the surge of interest in houseplants, many home owners are rethinking indoor plantings. While floor plants, such as ficus and dracena, are dramatic, a more practical approach is hanging baskets. Hanging houseplants take up less space, fit into small nooks and can have interesting growth. Here are some of the easiest to try in your home.

Pothos or "Devil's Ivy" is a common hanging foliage plant. It comes with plain, dark-green or chartreuse leaves depending on the variety. I think the most colorful are the variegated green and gold types. Pothos thrives in a bright room with high humidity but without direct sunlight. I grow mine in the bathroom and it loves the humidity from the shower. Pothos is also easy to propagate. Simply take a four-to-six-inch long cutting from the end of a stem, dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder and stick it in a pot filled with moistened potting soil. In a month, it will be rooted. Snipping the stem ends is also a good way to keep the growth in check.

For a different cascading look, try "String Of Pearls." This succulent has fascinating small, round, pea-like leaves along the stems. "String Of Pearls" likes well-drained soil so use cactus potting mix when growing it. Place this hanging plant in a sunny widow and let it dry out between waterings. You may not water it for weeks in winter. A similar cascading sedum is "Donkey's Tail." It's cared for just like the "String Of Pearls."

Dichondra is a familiar outdoor annual often found in garden centers in spring. It also makes a nice houseplant. Look for varieties such as "Silver Falls."  Dichondra needs lots of sun to grow well indoors, and you can move it outdoors in spring.

Now for this week's tip: do a seed germination test of your left over veggie seeds. If the test shows a germination percentage lower than 80 percent, buy a new packet of that variety.

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