Indoor Plants That Do Not Need Soil

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It is wonderful to bring natural beauty indoors with house plants. Many people can find it to be a bit tricky to sustain certain varieties and their care regimens. Plants that do not require soil are often more self-reliant and need little more than occasional watering, light and possible fertilization.

Orchids

  • Most orchids grow naturally by attaching onto trees in humid tropical or rainforest locations. Many of their nutrients come through the air, making the plant able to thrive with its roots exposed. As a household plant, the orchid should be placed in a sunny window area. Use bark chips and sometimes moss pieces to stabilize the plant in a pot, being careful to leave plenty of space for drainage. Overwatering and excess moisture will cause the roots to rot. Place the potted plant over a tray filled with pebbles and a small amount of water. This causes evaporation allowing for excess humidity surrounding your plant. Feed your orchid no more than once per month with an orchid fertilizer.

Tillandsias

  • As part of the bromeliad family, these "air plants" can be very attractive. There are hundreds of species, some with specialized care instructions, although there are common types sold as indoor plants. Tillandsia care is rather simple: they require at least 12 hours of light and watering two to three times per week. Watering in the morning and shaking off any standing water is a good idea here since these plants "feed" from the air at night and water inhibits absorption through the leaves. Fertilize twice monthly with a type specific to bromeliads or a general purpose fertilizer diluted to one-quarter strength.

Lucky Bamboo

  • This form of bamboo is really not bamboo at all but a species of dracaena. Its reputation of bringing good luck has made it readily available in many stores, garden centers and florists, often in braided, woven or sculpturelike designs. Lucky bamboo is normally sold as a cutting with little to no rooting. It can be grown in a vase or shallow container with a water level of roughly 1 to 2 inches and gravel or pebbles for stabilization. As it is sensitive to the additives in our drinking water, use only filtered water, and fertilizer is not needed. It is important to clean the container and rocks regularly to remove any algae or unpleasant bacteria.

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