Indoor Or Outdoor Plants?

By Susan Albert | February 10, 2022
Image by sagarmanis
by Susan Albert
February 10, 2022

Anyone who loves growing and caring for plants probably has indoor plants as well as outdoor plants. But does owning a large number of houseplants indicate a growing obsession? Possibly. 

I counted about 60 indoor plants, not including the ones from outside that I am overwintering indoors. Those are another issue altogether. I have a mix of easy-to-care-for plants as well as those that are more finicky in their needs. 

Overflowing Houseplants May Indicate Growing Obsession

On the easy side, I would say pothos, airplane, snake, schefflera, and wax plants require the least amount of attention. My Thanksgiving and Christmas cactuses can take a certain amount of neglect, but they will drop papery stems if I let them go too long without water.  

I have an African mask plant that needs moist soil and high humidity. My local tap water, which contains chloramines for disinfection, is not good for it, so I use distilled water. I also use the distilled water on my orchid and my Lucky bamboo. Adding the element of distilled water to their care moves them into the more finicky division.

The need for high humidity also puts a plant on the finicky list. To increase the humidity, I have the plant sitting near other houseplants. I tried a pebble tray (tray of pebbles filled with water) but can’t remember to keep the tray filled with water. It is important that the pot sit on the pebbles and not in the water or it will draw up excess water. 

Plant literature says the rattlesnake plant is high maintenance but worth it. It has bold variegation on its leaves, with purple undersides. It, too, needs moist soil and high humidity with filtered light and a warm location without dry drafts. I occasionally spritz its leaves with water to increase humidity. So far, so good. 

Houseplant Care

At one time, I only allowed succulent plants indoors because I believed having to water less often was a boon to my work and home schedule. Succulents are supposed to be easy plants, but I find the timing of the watering to be stressful. It is hard to know when to water each one because requirements vary. One early watering can cause the whole plant to die back. I do wait till the plant feels dry to the touch, but some succulents need more water than others. 

I have gone through several string-of-dolphin succulent plants. It seems as if the first time I water it, away it goes into a quick demise. It’s the cutest plant ever, so I keep trying. 

On the opposite end, if a plant needs watering often, like a fern, it has my sympathies. Chances are it won’t do well in my home. I seem to do best with the moderately watered houseplants. 

I love growing and caring for plants, indoors as well as outdoors. If that indicates an obsession, I am in a lot of good company. 

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