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Old 07-10-2008, 09:42 AM
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wildcat82 wildcat82 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 77
Overland Park, KS
4th Grade Teacher
Best Classroom Plants?

I am not very familiar with various types of plants, but I would like to have a plant or two in the classroom for the cozy aspect and since it can help you stay healthier during the flu season.

My classroom does not have a ton of light, and I can't guarantee it will be in constant sun. I would also like something that is pretty hardy and won't die on me easily if it goes a day or two without watering.

Any ideas? What do you use in your room?
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:14 AM
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teacherpippi teacherpippi is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 888
2/3 Split
Spider Plants! They are hard to kill and are easy to split into new plants. By the end of the year, you could have enough to let each child take one home (which also means that you don't have to take anything home over the summer)!
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:16 AM
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giraffe326 giraffe326 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,067

They are nearly impossible to kill! I'm talking about watering once a month and giving it no sunlight, LOL.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:18 AM
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ku_alum ku_alum is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,524
Middle of the USA
HS English & Psych, Adjunct too
I second the Pothos ... I've read they actually prefer artificial light. ???
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:23 AM
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dtrim dtrim is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 56
Madison, Wis.
education writer
Sanseveria (mother-in-law's tongue). You can ignore this plant and put it in the basement - it will still grow.

I agree with giraffe and ku_alum: pothos is fabulous. They get leggy, though, so every once in a while just loop the vine back into the pot. It will take root and be bushier. Pinching the leaves doesn't make a pothos bushy.

Another good one is Chinese evergreen. It thrives with neglect.

Avoid ivys: spider mites and white flies are terrible in a classroom.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:29 AM
TeacherShelly TeacherShelly is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,569
California, USA
2nd & 3rd Grade Multiage
NASA's List of Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Question: Below is NASA's list of plants that most improve indoor air quality. Can a teacher here check off which of these is easiest to grow?? I'd like to hit two objectives at once!

1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium', heartleaf philodendron
2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
3. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana', cornstalk dracaena
4. Hedera helix, English ivy
5. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
6. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig', Janet Craig dracaena
7. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii', Warneck dracaena
8. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa', peace lily
11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:28 AM
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wildcat82 wildcat82 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 77
Overland Park, KS
4th Grade Teacher
Going by what the above people have mentioned, and your list of approved Nasa plants, I think I will go with a golden pothos or a spider plant.

On a comical note, a (not so bright) teacher at my school decided to bring in a little cactus on the grounds that they are very easy to take care of and require little watering. Lets just say one indoor recess later and parents requested the plant be removed. The cactus went over like a pack of wolves on a 3 legged cat. Not good.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:48 PM
BellJ BellJ is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 10
5th grade Math teacher
Look at a peace lily. It's a very easy plant, adjusts well without sunlight, and it lets you know when it needs water (it gets droopy).
I just bought a second one for my room.

I will also add a vote for the golden pothos (it doesn't get much easier) and the spider plant.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:39 PM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
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Posts: 3,223
philodendron's can live with neglect! My peace lily can be very picky about water & light. I have a Christmas cactus that seems to be very hardy.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:45 PM
teach_each1 teach_each1 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 378
4th Grade Teacher
Just because you can never tell what a child might do here are some do not's as far as plants and children

Houseplants can be very beneficial in our lives. They purify and renew our stale indoor air by filtering out toxins, pollutants and the carbon dioxide we exhale - replacing them with life sustaining oxygen! However, many of our most popular houseplants come from tropical climates where the highest percentage of poisonous plants reside. If you have any of the houseplants listed below you should find out how toxic they are, and if the risk they pose to your children or pets is worth keeping them.
Aloe barbadensis Aloe Vera, Burn plant
Amaryllis sp. Amaryllis
Anthurium andraeanum Flamingo lily
Caladium hortulanum Angels' wings
Chrysanthemum indicum Chrysanthemums, Mums
Clivia miniata Kaffir Lily
Codiaeum variegatum Croton
Cyclamen persicum Cyclamen
Datura innoxia Angel's Trumpet
Dieffenbachia sp. Dumb cane
Euphorbia milii Crown-of-thorns
Euphorbia pulcherrima Poinsettia (yes, it belongs here)
Hedera helix English Ivy
Hydrangea macrophylla Hydrangea
Kalanchoe daigremontiana Devil's Backbone
Monstera deliciosa Ceriman, Swiss-cheese plant
Philodendron sp. Heart leaf philodendron, Philodendron
Rhododendron sp. Azalea
Solanum pseudocapsicum Jerusalem Cherry


Common name Toxic parts Level
Alocasia all species Leaves and stems 3
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) Bulbs 2
Anthurium all species Leaves and plant saps 3 ~ 4
Asparagus Ferns Leaves and plant saps 4
Aralias (Polyscias family) Plant saps 4
Azaleas (Rhododendron) Leaves and flower nectar 3
Cardboard Palm (Zamia) All parts 1 ~ 5
Caladium (All species) Leaves and bulbs 3 ~ 4
Century Plant (Agave) Plant saps 3 ~ 4
Chinese Evergreens Plant saps 3 ~ 4
Christmas Holly Leaves and berries 2
Clivia - Kafer Lily All parts 2 ~ 4
Crotons (Codiaeum sp) Leaves and plant saps 2 ~ 3
Cyclamen (All species) Bulbs 3
Daffodils ( Narcissus) Leaves, flowers and bulbs 2
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia) Leaves and plant saps 3
English Ivies (Hedera spp) Plant saps and seeds 3
Easter Lilies Leaves and bulbs 5
Euphorbias ~ Poinsettias Milky sap 4
Ficus (All species) Plant saps 4
Fishtail Palm (Caryota) Seeds and plant sap 3 ~ 4
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum)
Mistletoe (Phoradendron)
Ornamental Pepper 3 ~ 4
Oleander (Nerium) All parts of the plant 1
Oyster Plant (Rhoea) Plant saps 4
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Plant saps 3 ~ 4
Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia) Milky sap 4
Philodendron (All species) Leaves and plant saps 2,3,4
Pothos (Scindapsus) Leaves and plant saps 3 ~ 4
Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) Seeds 1
Schefflera Leaves and plant saps 2 ~ 4
Snake Plant (Sanseveria) Leaves and plant saps 2 ~ 4
String of Pearls (Senecio)
Yew (Podocarpus)


Last edited by teach_each1; 07-10-2008 at 05:47 PM. Reason: adding links
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