Scented house plants

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Scented house plants

Postby Safesound » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:15 pm

I'm looking for advice as to what house plant I could get that likes shady areas as no direct sunlight gets where I want to put it, is happy in a 65 cm wide space (alcove), is anywhere between 40-60cms high and must be scented.
Not asking for much am I :lol:
I liked the Jasmine I saw in the garden centre but the care instructions said it needed plenty of light so I didnt get it as I didnt want it to die.
Any suggestions?

sharon
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Postby carpinus » Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:53 pm

my good lady wife couldn't come up with a suggestion meeting all of your criteria but suggests 'Stephanotis floribunda' as a fragrant indoor plant. However, it may demand a little more light than you can offer, to do well.
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Postby Safesound » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:15 pm

Would it help if I said the smell and the need to do okay in shade were the more important factors? :oops:

sharon
isnt really hard to please
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Postby Hellonwheels » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:06 pm

hi Sharon
A good easy to understand book is 'The House Plant Expert by Dr D.G.Hessayon which has sections on both flowering house plants and flowering pot plants. As far as I know it is still in print, or the library should have a copy.

Sorry to say but all of these plants seem to need bright light to produce the flowers. Not all of them need direct sunlight, infact some to be kept out of direct sunlight except in winter.
I can only come up with 2 suggestions.
1- Get the smelly plant, and invest in a lampstand with a daylight bulb.
2 - Get a realistic fake of your chosen smelly plant (found on e-bay at a reasonable price, or office furnishing suppliers). Buy bottle of oil scented with the relevant plant smell and pour some into small dish and place behind plant.
Your friends will marvel at your horticultural skills, unless they get too close to the plant, or catch you hoovering it to get rid of the dust. :oops: :lol: :wink:
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Postby carpinus » Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:31 am

Safesound, my gardening mag' has just answered a readers question which mirrors yours by recommending a Streptocarpus. The good lady says they come in a variety of flower colours, must be shaded or the leaves & flowers will burn & shrivel & must not be overwatered. However, she also tells me that ours is not scented! but then I wouldn't know, there are lots of smells that elude my smoked out nostrils!
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Postby Safesound » Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:32 am

I've just had a quick nose around on google and from what I can see they are more grown for colour than smell, no-one mentions if they smell or not. I think maybe I'll have to go and see if I can find one in a garden centre and give it a sniff :lol:
Thanks for giving me something to look out for.
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Postby Beech » Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:28 pm

There's a lovely chocolate scented cosmos.

We've got a Jasmine growing on a north wall, it's fine so should be alright in your shaded area. Ours was an 'indoor' plant that we put outside, it was cheaper that way. ;)
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Postby Dorset Boy » Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:34 pm

Safesound

Hi there, your options are pretty limited and you do really need to get some light onto the area of the alcove to get plants to thrive. Generaly plants will need around 500 lux to do well, otherwise it will be a struggle.
Streptocarpus do produce flowers and tolerate shade but fragrance has been lost as breeding of modern varieties has concentrated on flower quality.
The jasmine you mention was probably the white flowered polyanthum type and it does need good light to thrive but think another way ,select a specimen with lots of buds bring it home and let it flower ,you will get the scent and then if it weakens put it on a sunny window sill and try to bring it back over the coming lighter months. If you succeed all well and good if not get another plant to replace it, it all depends how attached you get to your plants! Another alternative is gardenia which have a reputation for being difficult but with a little care, a specimen with plenty of buds should produce the goods. Again if the plant struggles after flowering move it or get another. Without the light you are pushing water uphill as the light is needed to give energy to the plant in a useable form, without it a slow decline is inevitable.
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Postby Beech » Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:20 pm

Oops, sorry, I misread the question and thought it was outdoor plants. :oops: A lot of scented indoor plants are going the way of Musk, which lost its scent in Victorian times.

I'd agree with Dorsetboy that in this situation a rotation of plants would probably be the best option. You could, slightly, raise light levels by putting a mirror in the right position.
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Postby Safesound » Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:46 pm

Actually the mirror isnt a bad idea. I have unit in the opposite corner that if I put a mirror on that potentially could reflect light into the right place. We arent talking midsummer sunshine here but it would certainly help raise the light levels...
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Postby Safesound » Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:51 pm

Dorset Boy wrote:If you succeed all well and good if not get another plant to replace it, it all depends how attached you get to your plants!


eh, put it this way, I have a small fir tree in my garden that is directly in the way of opening up my two lawns but I cant bring myself to cut it down/poison the stump so there is stays...
Plants are people too! :shock:

So yeah, I get attached to plants, and feel personally responsible when they die.
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Postby Beech » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:50 pm

We have trees in the wrong place for exactly the same reason :oops:

Safesound wrote:... I get attached to plants, and feel personally responsible when they die.

You could use garden plants, in pots that will fit the alcove, and put them back into the garden once they've flowered. Have you got a greenhouse?

You could also replace the nearest light bulb with a 'daylight bulb', the same as used for sufferers of SAD. Look on ebay for some, they aren't too expensive there.
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Postby Dorset Boy » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:58 am

Safesound

Good for you in loving your plants,I do wonder about humanising them but only in a lighthearted way! I would have such a large family...think of the christmas card bill !!! Birthdays every day and I have to admit a fair few wreathes on the compost heap as well in memory of those who left me for a better place!
Seriously though, Beech has asked a very valid question ,if you have a greenhouse, that you can keep frost free, then rotation becomes a viable option without the guilt of being a serial killer, although to make you feel a lot better, many seasonal potted plants are very difficult to keep going Jasminum polyanthum is a good example as are pot chrysanths and of course azalea species. I know some people keep specimens going for a long time so please don't all jump on me with takes of decades old Jasmine, it is a generalisation I make.
If you have a greenhouse, it is, with a bit of research or help, straigthtforward to keep things moving and develop the next fragrant specimen as has been done for centuries. Please also remeber at this time of year that bulbs offer fragrance, not only Hyacinth but Narcissus as well. you can then move these outdoors, feed the bulbs with liquid feed and bulk them for next year although the hyacinths will have to be carefully grown. They do not need to be prepared if you do not want to have them really early, although again you can extend the season by buying some prepared bulbs each year and then growing on a crop of last years bulbs yourself which will flower later.
Hope all goes well for you.
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Postby beagle » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:00 pm

Beech wrote: A lot of scented indoor plants are going the way of Musk, which lost its scent in Victorian times.


I always thought musk came from the glands around an animal's bottom ......... can't remember which animal though.
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Postby Conveyancer » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:04 pm

Buy a plant you like the look of and get some pot pourri.
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