Old 12-08-2014, 08:27 PM #1
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Default Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Hello LPF,

A few hours ago I decided to try and grow my own plant. I really am trying to do something exotic & tropical like and I found a few plants which I think look pretty cool and aren't too expensive. They also will be able to survive in Northern California, which is good!

Below are the plants I have found so far, what are your thoughts? Which do you prefer? If anyone has a link to other websites please link below

Plant 1: Chinese Fan Palm
Hirts: Seed; Palm Chinese Fan Palm 10 Seeds - Livistona : Tropical Plants

Plant 2: Mandarin Plant
SmartSeeds - SmartSeeds

-Alex


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Old 12-08-2014, 08:56 PM #2
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

You've never grown a plant before?

Start with something easy to care for, before you delve into exotics. Grab a standard Basil plant, it's very hearty and harvestable so it will benefit you other than just experience.

Exotic plants are an incredible pain to care for and grow. You need to balance soil PH, soil density and composition, solar/lamp irradiation and spectrum, soil moisture levels, soil mineralization, day/night cycles, humidity levels, and more. It gets expensive fast.

Take it from someone who has grown some challenging plants in the past. It isn't a "secondary" hobby.

Here are my three favorite and most challenging species that I've grown in the past. I wish I could still rear them but living this far north they won't survive.
-Mandragora Officicarnum var. Autumnalis
-Aconite Vulparia
-Ocimum Kilimandscharicum
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:04 PM #3
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

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Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
You've never grown a plant before?

Start with something easy to care for, before you delve into exotics. Grab a standard Basil plant, it's very hearty and harvestable so it will benefit you other than just experience.

Exotic plants are an incredible pain to care for and grow. You need to balance soil PH, soil density and composition, solar/lamp irradiation and spectrum, soil moisture levels, soil mineralization, day/night cycles, humidity levels, and more. It gets expensive fast.

Take it from someone who has grown some challenging plants in the past. It isn't a "secondary" hobby.

Here are my three favorite and most challenging species that I've grown in the past. I wish I could still rear them but living this far north they won't survive.
-Mandragora Officicarnum var. Autumnalis
-Aconite Vulparia
-Ocimum Kilimandscharicum
Thank you for your response Sigurthr!

Actually I tried once to grow a watermelon plant but it ended up dying since while away on vacation the person who was taking care of the house forgot to water it.

I appreciate the input & will take a look at what you suggested. Im not 100 % sure if I want to start growing one yet since it's just a thought but I will keep updating this thread if I decide to go on

-Alex
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:13 PM #4
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Can you grow sunflowers? How about peppers. In all the gardens I've had over the years, peppers are the easiest. It looks like you don't want it to have flowers? Do you want it to be big or small like a Marigold.

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Old 12-10-2014, 08:55 AM #5
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Great idea! Over the past 5 years I managed to pull off some successful vegetable gardens.
Squash, peppers, tomatoes mainly, with many varieties of all except the squash.
That one year I grew squash it was ********* squash and OMG those leaves were around 18 inches.. One of the 'fruits' was the size of a regular watermelon! I will not ever grow squash within the area of my main garden again.. I am not sure if the smaller varieties grow smaller.
RIP to my bonzai'd Lemon and Lime trees, too much drama and crazyness and my having to move killed them last year.. they were 8 years old in small pots.
One of my varieties of raspberries and my 1 asparagus type made the trip over to the new spot, I lost quite a bit, other raspberries and two types of grapes.
Here is a link to what I really wish I had ordered from last year.
Bonsai Tree Seeds Make You Own Pack 12 Varitey to Choose From | eBay
yet it was sort of depressing, if you are young go for it but I was feeling like I would not live long enough to really see the results! I wanted to buy a bunch and divide it up and send off mixtures to my 2 neices 2 nephews & my portion of course.

I have some Mimosa (Sensitive Plant) seeds here, they grow into a freaky plant that will quickly move if you bump the pot or touch them. I should get them going.

Plants are a very interesting thing as they seem to grow with a background of the fibonacci numbering order.. Sunflowers do for one.

Carnivorous plants have always interested me, I seen that Home Depot had more to select from than the regular venus flytrap in the last few years. I have only bought a flytrap and THEN go about trying to setup a terrarium for them, wrong order, I have failed.
That was not enough knowledge: 3 years ago I researched it and its not such a simple thing, it had me outside purifying sand and pebbles of all the nutrient/minerals with rainwater... now I am not quite sure what bag of this and that is what and will have to do it over again.. I used s simple EC meter to read off the mineral contents.

I have these mint plants now, they are pretty cool, they can survive outside in places like Minnesota.. they have a minty smell and taste. I dunno how I would ever share them, growing in the pot I have, I have not seen them seed or anything.

My asparagus threw out some seeds that rewarded me with 17 more plants.

at the last place I had 3 types of hops, one survived the move.. well two I'm thinking, will know next year for sure, yet I harvested from one of them this year, not much but it was something at least.. these are the type of hops you brew beer with :cheers
I harvested massive quantity of them at that place though... at that place I'd watched craigslist in the spring for the free compost postings, load up the van with five gallon buckets, a few shovels & a buddy to help... that stuff was nice.. all around the house and a raised garden practically full of it.. shit..

And this woman from Minneapolis gave me, along with a lot of other things i forget the names of, she gave me a Plume Poppy.. as she said everything was native to the area and she tried to have her yard natural like that.. this Poppy grew 15 feet high each year, not pretty like a flowery poppy but yet unique in its own way.. like a sunflower.

So there ya go, garden veggies, fruits, (i forgot to add strawberries to my list, and blueberries and blackberries), carnivorous plants.. oh yeah i had herbs like basil.. chives.. outside like was suggested here. chives smell great and can be smelt from some distance.

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Old 12-10-2014, 01:15 PM #6
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Talking Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Have you looked into bioluminescents?

Around here, there are fungi that glow in the dark, we call them all generically "foxfire"...so, you have an old log, etc, with glow in the dark mold on it.

If you have a terrarium, it glows and looks pretty cool.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:31 PM #7
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teej View Post
Have you looked into bioluminescents?

Around here, there are fungi that glow in the dark, we call them all generically "foxfire"...so, you have an old log, etc, with glow in the dark mold on it.

If you have a terrarium, it glows and looks pretty cool.
I would like to know if that glow in the dark mold and fungi existed 100 years ago. I have been through NJ a few times, Unfortunately I lived in NYC for 3 years. I suspect they are mutations caused by large scale industrial pollution over many years.

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Old 12-10-2014, 11:39 PM #8
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Hey guys,

I've decided to try Bell Peppers & see how they come along. My mom used to have a set-up to make them grow & im doing it right now. Does this sound good?

I have 4 seeds on top of toilet paper(thick) on top of a glass plate. I watered the paper so it's wet but not drowning. So far it's been 2 days and we haven't had much sun so the water is still there & im afraid of re-adding water

-Alex
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:39 AM #9
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Talking Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Greenlander View Post
Hey guys,

I've decided to try Bell Peppers & see how they come along. My mom used to have a set-up to make them grow & im doing it right now. Does this sound good?

I have 4 seeds on top of toilet paper(thick) on top of a glass plate. I watered the paper so it's wet but not drowning. So far it's been 2 days and we haven't had much sun so the water is still there & im afraid of re-adding water

-Alex
Be careful, I've heard of people using toilet paper like that, and the entire crop got wiped out.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:23 AM #10
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

So green I have grown cucumbers, sunflowers, beans, and peppers. It's pretty easy to do. Are you in the germinating stage?
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:02 AM #11
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha Greenlander View Post
Hey guys,

I've decided to try Bell Peppers & see how they come along. My mom used to have a set-up to make them grow & im doing it right now. Does this sound good?

I have 4 seeds on top of toilet paper(thick) on top of a glass plate. I watered the paper so it's wet but not drowning. So far it's been 2 days and we haven't had much sun so the water is still there & im afraid of re-adding water

-Alex
Good idea. I've grown bell peppers for years.

But, no no no!!!!!!!! Don't use toilet paper. I had that happen twice and heard it happen to other, where the toilet paper causes the seed to dry out and die! I'm saying from experience, it might get by, but you don't want to spend 10 days waiting for germination, to find you must wait 10 more! Even if they have water on the paper, it can still cause trouble, just saying, that's how I learned the bad way.

Last edited by USAbro; 12-11-2014 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:35 AM #12
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

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Originally Posted by starlight View Post
your do not want light on the seed before it sprouts. If you want to use the wet paper route use paper towel and keep it wet and put the seeds in between the towel. My best luck with seeds is just a cup of water and toss seeds in. Seeds will float until they take in water but if they haven't sank after 24hrs give them a poke so they sink and you will have a sprouting seed the next day or so. Also these will be is complete darkness until sprouted. Good Luck
Alright sounds good! So just fill a cup with water, place the seeds in it & in about 2 days I should see roots? After that do I just put them in a pot & water them every day?

Edit: I just filled a cup with water, added 4 seeds & then sank to the bottom. I placed them in a dark area.

-Alex
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:56 AM #13
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

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Originally Posted by Tha Greenlander View Post
Alright sounds good! So just fill a cup with water, place the seeds in it & in about 2 days I should see roots? After that do I just put them in a pot & water them every day?

Edit: I just filled a cup with water, added 4 seeds & then sank to the bottom. I placed them in a dark area.

-Alex
I'm pretty sure that soaking the seeds may kill them by over saturation, but you'll get the hang of it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:08 AM #14
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

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I'm pretty sure that soaking the seeds may kill them by over saturation, but you'll get the hang of it.
Yea that's what I was thinking also. If I can't even get peppers right I can forget about a palm tree

Most places say to put them in a small pot with dirt, so I'll try that next if I don't see anything in 2 days.

-Alex
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:20 AM #15
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

If you have trouble with seeds, by sprouts at your local Wal-Mart or other similar store.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:49 AM #16
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Default Re: Opinions Needed! Thinking of growing first plant.

paper towels/toilet paper may work but there is a high risk of the paper molding and then into your seeds.
Coffee grounds work well, they have had boiling water thru them and are pretty 'clean'.. and there is something in coffee grounds that sort of helps get seeds going, way less problems doing it on grounds than paper!
Dirt is probably your best bet, keep it covered yet open it up a bit here and there otherwise it also will catch mold
TeeeeeJ I have a package of bioluminescent mushroom spawn plugs that I have been meaning to get around to inocculating a log with them... that log sat outside in a bucket of water all summer and it is now out there still, it is a bucket of frozen water now LOL
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