Meet the OFPL Plants – What’s Growing at the Library?

Patrons often ask about the striking potted plants that grace our library. Fortunately, we have our resident expert, Annie in Circulation, to introduce a few of our residents.

While visiting the library within the past year or so, you might have noticed our new residents! The choice to have plants in the library was an easy one; who could say no to a plant who just wants some water, sunlight, and a little attention?

To learn more , see titles below!

After giving these plants what they need, they repay us by filtering the toxins out of the air and replacing them with clean oxygen.

In addition to air cleaning abilities, plants also help bring a bit of the outside in, brightening up the space – which can be especially helpful during winter or days with furnace-hot weather.

Pothos Plant

The first member of our tiny jungle is the Pothos plant, or the Epipremnum aureum. Two of these lovely plants live here at the library, one on top of our Café Display and one on top of the Book Sale Nook. They are characterized by their trailing vines and oval shaped leaves with pointed tips.

While the two we have here are the Marble Queen and Snow Queen variety, pothos plants can come in a range of patterns like the Golden Pothos, the Neon Pothos, or the Pearls and Jade Pothos to name a few.

Split Leaf Tree
Philodendron

Next, meet the twins: the Split Leaf Tree Philodendrons, or the Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum.

This expressive pair canopies over the Large Print shelves, shading browsing patrons. Their dynamic leaves can be more than a foot wide if you measure from one wavy “finger” to the next.

As these leaves grow old and retire, they pop off the main stem and over time, this creates almost a “trunk” and the plant gets vaguely tree-shaped. Given the right care these guys can grow very large!

One of the most notable plants here at OFPL is the Swiss Cheese Plant, or the Monstera deliciosa.

This big guy lives on the desk behind Adult Services.

Swiss Cheese Plant

While its smaller leaves are cute and heart-shaped, as the Monstera grows in the correct conditions the leaves begin to get interesting.

More mature leaves start developing fenestrations, which are splits and holes in the leaves. In mature plants these leaves grow to a massive size of more than two feet across, dappled with holes and fenestrations, or holes, to allow light to reach the lower leaves.

Peace Lily

Upstairs we have the Peace Lily, or Spathiphyllum wallisii. Ours resides on top of the Adult Graphic Novels.

The peace lily has long, shiny green leaves that shoot out of the soil like a fountain of water.

Mature plants in the correct conditions will grow strange looking white flowers that have a center pointy part covered by a leaf- or sail-shaped petal.

Miss Lily is very theatric. Water her just one day late, and her leaves will “faint” and go limp.

Luckily recovery is easy and fast, and a heavy watering will remedy any wilting. Just be sure to not over-water!

ZZ Plant

Last but most definitely not least is the ZZ plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, who resides atop the Young Adult Manga.

The ZZ plant almost looks fake with its perfectly almond shaped, shiny, waxy leaves that grow off thick, unbranched stems.

With water storing potato-like rhizomes just under the surface of the soil, the ZZ plant is extremely tolerant to droughts (and those without green thumbs 😉).

Many thanks to Circulation Assistant Annie for sharing her insights on our green residents! The next time you see her, be sure to ask Annie about these and other plants with personality. Plus, here’s a grateful shout-out to Circulation Assistant Katie for providing the “family photos.”

More reading suggestions on gardening and caring for house plants:

The Healing Power of Plants: the Hero House Plants That Will Love You Back by Fran Bailey Features over 80 indoor plants that will turn your house into a happy, healthy, healing home. Discover plants that will clean the air you breathe, help you get a good night’s sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, help you get well soon, boost your brain power and bring greater joy and wellbeing into your life.

From cacti and succulents to ferns and palms; flowering plants and foliage – find the perfect house plants for your living room, bathroom, bedroom and even your workspace. Bring the joy of the outdoors in and harness the natural healing power of plants.

Wild At Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants by Hilton Carter – Learn how to care for your plants, where to place them, how to propagate, how to find the right pot, how to arrange them so that they look their best. Combine sizes and leaf shapes to stunning effect, grow your own succulents from leaf cuttings, create your own air plant display, and more.

How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart by Summer Rayne Oakes explores the positive and meditative benefits of tending indoor plants, and explains how people who cultivate plants take better care of themselves, their friends and family, and the planet.

The First-Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables [Electronic Resource] : All The Know-How And Encouragement You Need to Grow – and Fall in Love With! – Your Brand New Food Garden by, Jessica Sowards. Grow your own healthy, organic, nutrient-dense food This book is part of The First-Time Gardener’s Guides series. Each book in The First-Time Gardener’s Guides series is aimed at beginner gardeners and offers clear, fact-based information that’s presented in a friendly and accessible way, including step-by-step instructions and full-color illustrations throughout.

Kitchen Garden Revival : A Modern Guide to Creating a Stylish Small-Scale, Low-Maintenance Edible Garden by , Nicole Johnsey Burke, Design and grow a beautiful, productive, small-scale vegetable garden with Kitchen Garden Revival. Discover which edibles grow best in kitchen gardens and get season-by-season advice on planting, tending, and harvesting.

The New Plant Parent : Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family by Darryl Cheng covers all of the basics of growing house plants, from finding the right light, to everyday care like watering and fertilizing, to containers, to recommended species. Topics include caring for plants, the plant parenthood mentality; understanding house plants; holistic house-plant care ; pruning, propagation, and repotting ; Philodendron vines; Pilea; Ponytail palm; Pothos; Prayer plant; Rabbit’s food fern; Snack plant; Staghorn fern; String of hearts ; ZZ plant

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