Biology Teacher Needs Help!

Zophra(z6 NJ)July 20, 2006

Hi. Going back to teaching this year and my classroom comes with this huge water pond and space to surround with plants - with a huge mural of a deciduous forest (we are zone 6 in NJ). Can someone with more experience please tell me what colorful annuals can be made into indoor perennials in this colder zone? Somehow using tropical plants with a forest scene just isn't "good biology" and I'm feeling overwhelmed with this "ecosystem" in my classroom. Thank you for your time and knowledge.


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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

I can't seem to wrap my mind around this scenario... a pond in a classroom? Or is it just outside the classroom?

If inside, how big is it, how deep, what sort of bottom soil does it have, and (most importantly) how much light does it recieve? Is it supposed to be functional or [like the mural] representational?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 2:21PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

It sounds like a classroom assignment to me. Send the kids to google up what you want.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 1:24PM
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It sounds like you want some fairly tough low-light tollerant easy going plants, that won't run an arm and a leg. Annuals indoors will tend to get leggy in low light, but if the ones you grow will root easily, you could just take cuttings whenever the planting looks bedraggled. Could make that into a class project, too.
So I'm thinking maybe impatiens, geraniums, and coleus would all be good candidates as they should root well from cuttings.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 3:07PM
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pansies, petunias,

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 7:39PM
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You can google indoor water gardens and get some ideas. I would stick to native bog/marginal plants like pitcher plants, ferns, cattails, Louisiana irises (or other types), maybe native violets, rather than African. You can also have a few water lilies in there. Good luck! It sounds like a fun project and a progressive school! A few "tropical" plants wouldn't look too bad, I wouldn't think. Like some papyrus, cannas, elephant ears or philodendrons. Just for filler in the back part. You need some height. You could also put some bamboos or sedge in some pots.


Here is a link that might be useful: here's a schoolyard pond for indoor or outdoor

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 6:14PM
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