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Houseplants

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MissK
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Houseplants

Post by MissK » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:28 pm

Hi there.

I realize there is a lot of information available on plants safe and unsafe for our birds. It's honestly Too Much Information for me. While I'm a great lover of my outside garden, houseplants are pretty much foreign to me. Lists of names of safe plants isn't very helpful when I have no idea what those plants are.

SO I need a little help. What can you recommend for safe and hardy houseplants for INSIDE the bird cage? What have you grown, yourself, and found hard to kill? What is very forgiving? Fast growing? Sturdy? I would like a fluffy plant (probably going with Boston Fern - even I know about Boston Fern!), a true trailing vine, and an upright plant, possibly even a tall and skinny tree-style plant. A combination of styles (leaf size, texture, colour) would be ideal. I'll need some that stay pretty small, for the Canary and Budgie cages, and some can get bigger, for the parrot cage.

My plan is to raise the bar for my birds' environment. They already have a variety of perches, ropes, swings, and (of course) toys. The next step is plants. I feel confident I can protect the main stem of plants from the birds, maybe with a plastic barrier, and I can put them in organic soil and water them out of the fishtank for plant food. (Goldfish water is *excellent*, BTW, you need never buy fertilizer again!) I want some plants inside the cage and some on top to hang down into the cage. I also am tinkering with an idea for a bird-tree style plant stand, something sturdy and steady enough for birds, with plants held in such as way as to look more like a tree or garden than a contrived structure. Maybe it could be vertical, like a tree, or long, like a garden. There's a lot of unused space on top Rocky's five foot long cage! My bird just doesn't like the flimsy nature of my potted fig tree, and it's time for that to go out for the good weather anyway.....

So, if you have some ideas for safe houseplants that don't need supplemental lighting, easy to grow and sturdy, please share! It would be best to include the Latin name, so I don't make any mistakes at the store, but a common name with a photo would also be helpful. I'd really appreciate it, team!

Thanks,
-MissK
-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:19 am

His MissK...hope I can help a bit.

Safe and hardy house plants for inside the birdcage...spider plant, needs minimal lighting, medium to fast grower. Dracaena...prefers shade or natural light, no direct sunlight, slow grower. Areca palms, need natural light, low need for water, medium grower. Rubber plant, shade or natural light, minimal water, slow grower. Snake plant, shade to natural light, low water requirements, slow grower. And my favorite for any bird owner that breeds is yucca. The fronds can be used for nesting material, but regardless most birds love to chew on them.

My favorite indoor tree is a ficus. They can be pruned into any size you need. They are very low maintenance and you can manipulate the branches over time to form a tree house for the birds to play in :)

Hope this helps. If you need anything else let me know.

You can also try reading this article. Love EB Cravens

http://www.parrots.org/pdfs/all_about_p ... 0Birds.pdf
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:04 am

Hey, Thank you!

More ideas also welcome!

-MissK
-MissK

MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:14 pm

I've just been to a plant site, not a pet site, that says both Dracaena and Sansevieria. It's the first time I've read this.
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/18indoorplants

Thoughts? I was making one last plant compatibility check before putting my things in a long planter. Now I'm feeling a little stuck.
-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:34 am

Im thinking they mean cats and dogs. I keep both varieties and my cockatiels and ringnecks love the dracaena. Ill research this a bit more though because I know there are many sub species of dracaena and maybe not all are safe.
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:43 am

They are tagged "Sansevieria superba" and Dracaena "marginata magenta". I feel good about the labels because they are stuck to the growing containers, not just those little tags they insert in the dirt. Appreciate! I went ahead and potted them in a window box, and it looks fine, just need to know the facts.
-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:09 pm

Ok...here are two sources...dracaena and all sub sp. are safe as are all sub sp. of sansevieria. They both fall into the family name of Lily.

http://www.multiscope.com/hotspot/safeplants.htm

http://www.parrotislandinc.com/articles/aplants.htm

Can we get a pic of the window box...pleeeeease :mrgreen:
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:13 pm

I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:09 pm

Thaaaaank Youuuuuuuu!

Photos. Working......
-MissK

MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:20 pm

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For lack of a better spot, here's the travel cage on top the big cage, next to the window box. Box didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped, but it's a start. Never got those Spider plants in there, no room. Maybe eventually a second box.
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-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:32 pm

Looks great!! I have that variety as well as a few others. And spider plants all over lol...they love the new baby off shoots :D just be careful not to water the dracaena too much. Did you mix the dirt with mulch or pebbles?
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:04 pm

No. The bottom of the box has ridges. I used a nice organic potting mix. My original plan was to top dress with small stones. Gonna depend on if it looks like anybody want to eat the dirt or toss it around. I think the biggest worry is rotting those ponytail palms. I have a habit of losing indoor plants to desiccation, though, so this will most likely be fine. I think the African Violet is the only one who is going to suffer from drying.

I realize that, if successful, these plants will greatly outgrow the container, but I'm expecting that to take some time. I did think my box was longer, but that's how it goes. I'm excited to have finally got them out of those little pots in that little tub!
-MissK

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:53 pm

You may be able to get away with just misting it every couple of days and water once a week. I have one pony that was the size of a walnut when I got it. It was so pathetic looking lol. Now ithree years later it's the size of a coconut. I'll send you some pics tomorrow by email. :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:28 pm

Well, I got some orchids and I just HAD to go to the plant shop and get them inspected, and pick up some orchid care tips. Long story short, things that seemed unhealthy were not so bad, and a very nice guy there took a lot of time to tell me how to manage them and get products for that.

He also helped me get some more little bird safe plants to sprinkle here and there about the room, including the most DARLING miniature African Violets. They cost the same as regular ones, though......  I may need to bring in supplemental light (Hello, Baltimore Gas and Electric; can I do *nothing* without you??) but I'll cross that bridge as it comes. It's a very exciting time in the living room, but untidy, with parcels everywhere. I'll also be babysitting some of my MOM'S plants, but I think they will have to go in another room, since I don't really know what they are.

Earlier this month I bought a sweet bromeliad (red spikey "flower") and a pair of african violets for the top of the canary cage, and I potted up an aloe and another ponytail palm for by the window.

Skye'sCrew, I know, I know. I'll make pictures "soon".

That makes the complete plant list:
dracaenas
ponytail palms
african violets
mini african violets
snake plants
spider plants
orchids
a variety of boston fern
parlour palm
bromeliads
aloe
On a side note, I was having a really stressful day and it was getting the better of me emotionally. Spending time in the greenhouse really did a lot to fix me, and I followed it up with a trip to the used book store. Tonight it's plants and tomorrow it will be reading (and maybe baking cookies). I highly recommend this type of therapy, though I must admit it cost some money. We are eventually going to discover the load limit of the HQ Double Flight!!
Last edited by MissK on Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-MissK

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Donovan
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Donovan » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:28 pm

I love the dog in the picture... it's like he's competing with the birds in a way.... I wonder if there is newspaper under his bed

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Houseplants

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:05 pm

Plant therapy is my favorite way to unwind...it used to be shoes...that was before the kids lol. I can't wait to see pics...I LOVE orchids. And bromeliads grow wild here...I have a few varieties in the garden. Sounds like you're turning your living room into a hot house...the air quality will be supreme :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:38 pm

I have a confession....... the dogs don't have to compete with the birds. The dogs have my heart on a leash. They're old, though. Rocky's day may come, unless, maybe another dog. But I did start calling him "Baby" this year...... I bond slowly.

I was thinking that possibly the great air in the greenhouse, along with the soothing visuals, was probably doing the helpful thing for me. My house has been dry, despite the many humidifiers. It's hot air heat. I'm never going to be able to achieve the overall humidity of a greenhouse unless I make pasta in the kitchen or it's the middle of the summer. Then it rains in the foyer. Go figure.

I can't wait to get a good picture of it all so I can take it back and show the plant store guy. He really treated me very well, though I got the feeling he maybe explained orchids to people too often for his own taste.

Gotta go; dog wants something. :wink:
:lol:
-MissK

MissK
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Re: Houseplants

Post by MissK » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:15 pm

Pictures of Houseplants in and on the cages - I cross posted this same picture in "MissK's Photos" thread, sorry - and also some of the other plants. I also rearranged Rocky's interior because I thought he was getting bored. And I couldn't leave the Budgies untended either. :wink:

At the left is the planter with ponytails, snakes, and Dracaenas. I pulled the violet to keep more suitable company and had to trash out my center snake plant because it was improperly divided. Oops. I feel like something tall could go in the corner. Not sure what. At right are parlour palms, spider plants, and a leftover ponytail. Eagle eyes will notice I cut a hunk off the tree and managed to get it more securely propped up. I think it can stay this way.

All these plants are said to be tolerant of low light, and that's a good thing, because low light is what they got. I still think they are going to need supplementation. Inside the cages are more parlour palms (they were cheap and fluffy) and some quasi Boston ferns. Mounted on the fronts are miniature African Violets that will never outgrown those tiny 3" pots. They are so cute. Unfortunately, they cost just as much as the full size ones. I opted to keep them in the coop cups after all, to help watering. I am also thinking the plants inside will need more light.

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Not Content with that challenge, I let myself get suckered into a bunch of things that need a bunch of light. (Fortunately, since then I bought a houseplant book!) Here are the orchids, bromeliads, and aloe. They will need to live right in front of the window. Just when I thought the room was starting to look tidy..... In the next photo are the newly combined standard size african violets. I have currently No Idea where these are going, but they need light.
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-MissK

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