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Surprise Houseplants: CPs and others?

I'm just curious if people know of examples that surprised them of plants that grew as simple houseplants--no artificial lighting, just a sunny window at best.

I heard of two new examples in the last week. The one today really surprised me, because it is one of our most dramatic outdoor plants in the SF Bay Area. It's not particularly common, but it's a fun plant.

The plant which I saw a post of today is Agapetes serpens, one of the tropical blueberry relatives. I've posted about this plant on here, years ago, but I'll introduce it again. It's from the Himalayan foothills. i think Agapetes distribution tend to be centered a bit North of where Nepenthes are found in Asia, although there is considerable overlap. Agapetes serpens likes it on the cool side. A friend was disappointed recently when hers died in Florida, and she has given up.

When Agapetes serpens flowers, it can flower heavily. The post today was of a stunning hanging plant sprawling (and "climbing") in the corner of a room in San Francisco, next to a window. It's in bloom. So it must be getting some sun, although San Francisco is notoriously cloudy/foggy. Unfortunately the photo is posted on a private group on Facebook, so I can't link to it.

I've always thought of it as exclusively an "outdoor" plant, although I imagine it would do fine in the appropriate artificial conditions indoors or in a greenhouse. This is my mom's plant, a few years ago. It does make a few edible, but bland blueberries:

Mom's Agapetes serpens .jpg

The second example I heard in the last week or so was Petunia exserta. That's the only naturally red Petunia and the only Petunia pollinated by hummingbirds in nature. In the wild, it's numbers were reported as few as I believe 14 plants a few years ago. Luckily, in cultivates, it makes buckets of seeds, and is easy to grow.

I've been recommending this plant for a few years as one to get some quick color if grown inside under lights. I don't remember exactly how long this took, but it was less than two months. The first bloom, and again this was under lights:
Petunia exserta, first bloom.jpg

A couple months ago, I gave a volunteer seedling to a friend, assuming she'd grow it outside. Instead, I saw it blooming indoors. Again, it just had natural light, as far as I'm aware. I continue to be surprised at how some plants manage.

Of course, there are many CPs which can be grown on windowsills, natural light only. Nepenthes are good examples. For years, my mom had a couple Nepenthes hanging in her kitchen, pitchering regularly. These were in a North window. So there was very little if any sun. One was N. burkei x truncata, the other was N. x curtisii. I never got decent pictures of those, but here's an upper pitcher of the N. burkei x truncata:

Nepenthes burkei x truncata.jpg

I've posted this recently, so apologies for the repeat, but more recently my mom grew this Pinguicula (P. 'Tina' apparently) on a reasonably sunny windowsill.


Anyone else have any surprises, CP or non CP, thriving with natural light only?
Haha, leave it to capensis to be surprising. This por little plant has gone through thick and thin and yet it still manages to do OK. I’m going to put it under grow lights or something this summer to give it proper lighting and see how it colors up (it’s the ‘Red’ cultivar lol).
I just ran across a nice video from Damon Collingsworth where he picks the "Top 3 Carnivorous Houseplants" and he chooses Drosera capensis, Mexican Pinguiculas, and some Nepenthes. No surprises there. He does argue against North windows, which is where my mom's Nepenthes did fine.

I'm also intrigued by some of the surprise (to me) reports of people growing plants like Cephalotus and Heliamphora on windowsills.
I've seen magnificent plants grown on windowsills without added lighting - Drosera, Nepenthes, Cephalotus.
I've seen magnificent plants grown on windowsills without added lighting - Drosera, Nepenthes, Cephalotus.
Absolutely. It always surprises me though, perhaps because I've never really had sunny windows, and many things one reads puts a big class of carnivorous plants into the group of needing either near full sun, or lots of artificial light. Again, my mom did succeed with Nepenthes in a window facing due North. The N. truncata hybrid she grew got huge pitchers. I was surprised to hear that Cephalotus can do fine in the right window, based on the general impression I had from reading about the plant.

At my previous place, the outdoor deck was like a cave, so that by the time the light reached the windows and sliding glass doors, it was incredibly weak. I couldn't even grow very low light "houseplants" up against a window with only natural light. I had big windows, but I was unable to grow a single plant with natural light only. Even outdoor full shade plants were impossible outside near those windows.

But a plant like Agapetes is something I would never think of as an indoor plant. My mom's is outside in nearly full sun. I wish I could post the picture of that person's indoor plant--it's really cool.