I don’t think New England is the most optimal place in which to have an addiction to houseplants, but it is where I live so…
I have always enjoyed houseplants and have always indulged myself. My husband, does not agree with me on this point, but has given up trying to have an intervention. I usually bring them outside in the summertime and when it comes time to bring them back in, they are usually bigger. He did say once “Aren’t they suppose to die in the winter” I allowed as to how if I left them outside they surely would but that was not my intention.
I do not have nice generous window sills or even sunny rooms in most of the house. My office faces south and it has a window on the south as well as facing west so most of my plants are happy to stay the winter in there, the fact that my husband doesn’t frequent the room is also a bonus. The fact that my master bedroom has south facing windows and one facing north works for some plants, but I have to be careful of the placement so my husband doesn’t really notice them, I have even snuck in a small ivy plant in the master bath, this was daring on my part. I am not sure the plant is all that happy because it has not really increased in size, but it is still alive, a point in it’s favor.
I will point out that there are quite a few houseplants that I love, but well, they will not live in my house. I have tried, but their deaths are always slow and painful to watch. They look great for a few weeks then they settle in and they just languish, I don’t want to be a plant killer, but when I go into a greenhouse in January and February I want all those tropical plants and throw caution to the wind. With my outdoor gardens I am very careful to buy and cultivate plants that are suited to the place in which I choose to plant them, but when I look at houseplants I rationalize everything. Sure I have bright indirect light! I don’t even have a place to set the plant on. Plants are known to be healthy and purify the air, it sets me to wonder if the plants are doing so much to purify the air that they can’t handle it anymore and just die.
I never really thought my house was dark until I started watching houseplants slowly die in my care. I am beginning to wonder if the plants talk to each other and tell themselves that if they can just hold on until spring it will be okay. I talk to them, I spritz them, I feed them, but you can tell some of them are just humoring me.
I can grow spider plants, Pothos, Christmas Cactus, and Peace Lily with regularity and yes I have a lot of them but I would like a variety as well. I am trying to blame this all on light and environment, but I know that it is also me and the way I care for them. I either shower them with attention or forget about them. Of course, the plants that do well under these latter conditions are the ones that I have quite a few of, so do I stick with those or do I keep trying new ones.
It has been said that houseplants give off an addicting substance that makes you want more and that you will be able to grow anything you want even without a greenhouse. This type of bravado gets me into trouble, I think this year will be different, I will be the best plant parent ever, I will give classes on how to have wonderful, healthy, vigorous plants. Yeah, well, that may be a pipe dream, but what is life without dreams!
I am off to a local greenhouse, I have a coupon and a dream! Watch out plants here I come.