Growing Houseplants: No One Tells You How Addictive It Is

By Nikki Tilley | January 18, 2022
Image by Bogdan Kurylo
by Nikki Tilley
January 18, 2022

One hundred twelve… that’s the latest number to date. As of now, there are 112 plants in my house. I didn’t intend on having so many houseplants. In fact, for years I struggled getting just one houseplant to live. I can grow nearly anything outside, and actually prefer it that way, but growing indoor plants is a whole other story. It’s taken many years and lots of practice to get where I am today, and I still lose a plant or two each year. But I keep on trying.

Like Sands in an Hourglass, These Are the Plants in My House

I know it’s a big number, but can you have too many houseplants really? How on earth did it get this way, especially when I’ve always struggled so?

Try, try again. This is one reason for having so many plants in my house. I continually propagate new ones to take the place of any lost. And I simply cannot bear to toss out plants. So whether I’m pruning houseplants back or find myself with leftover kitchen scraps, I must grow the pieces. 

I’m also somewhat addicted to plants (yes, I admit it) and have both a monthly plant subscription box and an affinity for buying new plants whenever I find a good deal, or basically whenever if I’m being painfully honest. Warning: Growing indoor plants can be addictive! Plant numbers will quickly add up if care is not taken. They don’t tell you this pastime can become addictive but perhaps they should. I suffer the same affliction with outdoor plants.

Can You Have Too Many Houseplants?

While the addict in me says absolutely not, the sane part of my brain says it’s quite possible. There’s pros and cons to having 112 plants in my home. On the plus side, my houseplants provide the following:

  • They bring me happiness – I’m at my happiest when surrounded by green. Even when the majority are outside throughout spring and summer, I make sure to leave a few inside, especially in my office where I spend a lot of time.
  • They’re my best friends – I’m not a crazy person, though others might disagree, but I think of my houseplants as friends. Some even have names. Others I have conversations with. They make great listeners, by the way.
  • They teach me things – I’m always gaining knowledge from my plants, like what I should or should not do. I’ve learned how to better tell when to water (or not) and what they need by the clues they provide. It’s improved my indoor gardening skills.
  • They give back – Some of the plants I grow indoors, like herbs, can be used for meals. Others emit the most beautiful aromas and some houseplants help medicinally, such as when I burn myself in the kitchen. I can always trust my aloe plant to take care of this.

You would think the cons to having so many houseplants would be many, but really the only major downside is that they can be high maintenance. It takes a lot of time caring for all of these plants. Each has different needs, so I’m basically busy all the time watering, pruning, feeding, etc. I will sadly admit that I miss a few here and there only to find them later in dire need of water. Perhaps it might be time to downsize – or just to do better on my part.

It also takes a lot of time moving them all outside once the warmth of spring returns, and just as much time when bringing them back in. And then there’s the problem of deciding where to put them. They don’t always fit in their last location. And, of course, there’s the new additions that have to go somewhere. It normally takes days of rearranging to get it just right but, truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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