Re: Cubicle worker.

peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote:

Hmmmm.
I'd like to suggest that you grow the plants elsewhere until they reach the fruiting stage and then bring them to work. This is the basic idea behind the firms that rent plants to commercial entities such as malls and office buildings -- they get the plant all showy and then bring it into the client's building for a set period of time.
Plants are fussy about the conditions immediately preceding fruiting. Your office does not offer enough light, or enough variety in the lighting schedule / heating. I know of no worthwhile fruit that will bear under those circumstances. That said, consider a miniature lemon or orange tree.
Bill
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Zone 5b (Detroit, MI)
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Fito
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On 8 Aug 2003 20:41:17 -0700, peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com (peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com) wrote:

I think they'd look pretty too, but I don't think they'd have enough light.
Can you get one of those adjustable desk lamps and put it on your desk, over the plants, to supplement the ceiling lights? Some of the desk lamps have fluorescent bulbs - or you could use a compact fluorescent.
Red Robin and Yellow Canary are miniature tomatoes: the Red Robin plants get about one foot high and will grow happily in a 6" pot, although probably an 8" pot would be even better. The Yellow Canary are indeterminate and will grow indefinitely, I suppose, but could be pruned.
I have nine Red Robins (each in a 6" pot) growing happily in my bay window, but this is a huge window (8' x 6') with another two windows at 45 degree angles to it (the whole affair sticks out from the house and faces southeast), so they get a terrific amount of light there - no doubt several orders of magnitude more light than ceiling-fluorescent office lights.
Have you considered herbs? They'd probably need less light than a fruiting plant.
Pat
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peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com (peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com) wrote:

ummm... without light the plants won't grow and would probably die off.

The color of the fruit may not matter enoughh. If you get the plant to the point where it would bear fruit, which may be tough, they would be all green fruits. The fruits only ripen to another color at the very end. Leaving ripe fruit on the plant after it ripens will tell the plant it is done reproducing and it will stop producing fruit...ending the show of color. Your desire for color would be self-limiting. My peppers grown outside have been growing 5 months now and while I've got plenty of peppers not a single one is anything but green. Also peppers grow best in 85 degree weather...much warmer than the typical cubicle...so you would probably see limited growth without sunlight warming the plant to a higher temp.

Maybe some bizarre flowers with unusual seed pods, or something with small berries. Some plants take forever to show color and some show it for only a short period of time. Finding plants with interesting foliage fills in some interest while you are waiting.
I wouldn't worry about size. A pair of heavy scissors or pruning shears will keep any plant in check. Some only look good when you prune them back and force them to fill out bushy-like.
Most of the variety people enjoy in plants(flowers,fruits,veggies) need strong light(full sun). You'll probably need to provide a light source on a timer for whatever you grow.
I'm not sure which would work well inside. A mix would make it interesting. I grew Nigella which are funky little plants. Flowers are short lived but odd little seed pods last. I love the Angel's Trumpet and it will definitely get noticed by people. People love passion flowers--although I think they look rather alien. I wouldn't know if these would be easy to grow indoors or not.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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My thoughts:
At my university, they were totally cool about letting me grow some tomatoes and stuff around the corner of the building. They all grumbled at first, but they turned on to the idea when my profs would pick a couple of tomatoes on the way in in the morning.
The plants sort of became a focal point for our department. ANd you would be amazed at how people, even in the middle of the city, will not damage your plants. Even college students think that it's a pretty cool way to spend some time.
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On 8 Aug 2003 20:41:17 -0700, peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com (peter snipped-for-privacy@juno.com) wrote:

What you read is correct. Flowering (and fruiting) plants generally need a considerable amount of light. As someone else mentioned, if you want color and drama on the desktop, you're going to have to grow elsewhere and bring plants into your cubicle for brief periods.
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On 09 Aug 2003 22:01:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.no.junk (EvelynMcH) wrote:

"Ornamental Peppers" require at least 4 hours of "full sun" per day. "Goldfish Plants" (aren't they cute? Thanks for mentioning them.) grow in "bright indirect" light. An office cubical with overhead fluorescents just isn't enough light. Don't know about your own conditions, but office ceiling light is often 12' or more away. (Am still looking up comparisons of 'lumens' between lights and sun.)
Think of what we regard as comfortable reading (office) light. It's *sure* not direct sun. We read in the shade -- whether under a tree or a big hat. Even "bright, indirect" may be too bright for comfort. Typical office plants are 'low light' ones. They survive, 'though seldom bloom, in a fluorescent environment. The only plant I ever saw bloom in an office was a Peace Lily. I'm sure that's not the *only* one, but low-light bloomers are few and far between.
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