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Connecticut Garden Journal: Try growing new versions of classic houseplants

Philodendron Erubescens Pink Princess Variegated Plant
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Philodendrons are known for their low maintenance. The Princess series features gold and green, white and green and even pink (pictured) and green leaf variegations that makes them shine in a darker location.

January is houseplant season in our home. With more time indoors due to the weather, garden geeks can't help but fuss over their houseplants. We're no different. We're evaluating, tossing and shopping for new houseplants right through the winter.

The houseplant craze has spurred the creation of some great new versions of some classic houseplants. We all know philodendrons. This vining plant is one your mother or grandmother probably grew. It has dark green, heart shaped leaves. They're known for their low maintenance. There are some interesting new versions of this common houseplant. The Princess series features gold and green, white and green and even pink and green leaf variegations that makes them shine in a darker location. There is even a version that has black leaves as well. And there are philodendrons that don't cascade. Clumping forms, such as 'Prince of Orange' and 'Caramel', feature larger, elongated leaves that start out orange, or caramel, colored then fade to green. Tortum is a spiky leafed philodendron that looks more like a fern.

Snake plants or Sansevieria thrive in low light and have low water needs. This tall, spiky plant comes in newer versions. 'Whale's Fin' looks like a twisting, spotted whale's tail as it grows. 'Samurai' is a small snake plant with two thick, fleshy leaves edged in red. It looks like a succulent. There are even versions that have thin, straight leaves that look like pencils.

The beauty of these new versions of old classic houseplants is while they look and grow differently, they still have the low maintenance qualities that made them so popular in the first place.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.
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