House Plant Love

I’ve always loved house plants. From my early twenties onward.
I was too busy back with young children back then to go out and plant a garden. So this fed my need for greenery and nature.
Some of you think I have a green thumb. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don’t. It’s trial and error.
This plant is in the kitchen. I purposely took a photo of the brown edging the leaves. I have a feeling I know what that is from. 
The house is constantly running the heat in the ceiling vents, and it’s probably drying it out. 
I need to dig around and see if I have a spray bottle so I can give it a little spray of water on the leaves.
I don’t recall what kind of fern this is, but ferns typically like humidity.
You’ll notice when you put a fern outside in the summer (in the shade please; they don’t deal well with sun), it seems to just take off. That’s because the outdoor air has more humidity. Then when you bring it back in, it’s blah. 
If it’s a Boston fern, which I don’t have right now, I usually put it in the bathtub and turn the shower on (cold please, or just not hot) and let it have a little bath.

I move my plants around. Especially if I feel like one would do better in a different light. This is one of those plants, the peace lily, that doesn’t need a lot of light. Certainly NO sun. 

This one just put out a lily bloom. This thing has been blooming for about four months now!

This has been my little plant corner for the winter. The yellow Bromeliad just seems to want bright light. And they are both thriving.
The pothos next to it just got repotted about a week ago. So far I haven’t noticed any distress. That sometimes happens when you repot your plant. 
Here’s a tip: When you bring a plant home, don’t immediately repot it in a much bigger pot. (Now how many times have I done that?)
The plant does not like that for some reason. Maybe one move, from the store to your house, is all it can withstand for a time. 
When you repot, just go up about one size. 
I’m really fond of the ponytail palm. I haven’t had one in many years, and I just love the way its shaped.
It’s in its original little pot from Lowes. I just stuck it in that bucket one day and never have taken it out. 
Yes, this poor Bromeliad plant gets its picture taken a lot. Well of course it does. It’s red. 
It’s across the room from the yellow Bromeliad, and I had the yellow one in this same spot before I got the red one.
These two are by the front door. I noticed they were kind of in the dark awhile ago and I turned the lamp on low. I may need to do that more. I just moved them here the other day. So we’ll see. 
These three just got put together in the bedroom for some reason. I have two windows in there and I open the blinds during the day to give them light. 
You want some plants in your bedroom, because they’re taking toxins out of the air you breathe.
These are the last two house plants I have right now. I had a bunch last spring.
The gnats got bad and we all know Charlie Ross is absolutely terrified of gnats, so I put them on the back porch, which has a roof, in the vintage wagon. 
They got too hot and most of them died. I was so upset with myself. But I had tried the vinegar water and it wasn’t fixing the gnat problem.
Anyway, these two pothos plants are friends now. I just moved the top one in here yesterday. Plants often look better when grouped together. Plus they help provide one another with humidity. 
I just wiped their leaves with a paper towel and water this morning to get the dust off.
I was reading FactRange today and learned even more about plants purifying the air we breath. So go over there and get the low down.
These are my key points: Don’t over water. I put my finger in the soil up to my knuckle. If it’s dry, I give it some water.
Over watering will kill a plant faster than under watering. Or at least that’s been my experience. 
Always have holes in the bottom of your pots for drainage. I put broken pottery in the bottom to make sure water doesn’t rot the root system.
Plants are your friends. They clear the air. Just ask NASA. 
To me, plants make your place cozy. And I’m all about cozy.
Happy indoor gardening!

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  1. Brenda this is so funny. I am reading your post about houseplants and just this past week I bought a ponytail palm, a spider plant, and some other plants for my house! You are a wealth of knowledge – thank you for sharing all your tips!

  2. Brenda, I love house plants. I had many at one time but now only have a couple. I was just thinking the other day I want a plant in my bedroom. When I worked I had the greenest cubical! It helped with the bad air for sure. Now I need more in my home! Thanks for the great info! Hugs, Linda

  3. Thank you for posting the pictures of your beautiful plants. I love them, and I love plants, too! They give me peace and I feel very tranquil while taking care of mine. I used to do a lot of outdoor gardening, but drought, grasshoppers, and age got the best of me, so I replaced my need to love and care for those challenges with inside house plants, and I haven't been happier.

  4. Your houseplants are lovely, Brenda. I especially like the white-leafed with green-splotch pothos and I love the green and white pretty teacup and sauce you have with your plants. I had (notice past-tense there) maidenhair fern that was gorgeous in my garden containers last summer, and brought it in to overwinter. Cats got to it, and I'm trying to see if it will come back to live in a protected spot under a grow light away from cat's reach–we'll see–it was beautiful.

  5. One thing that might help ferns and some of the other humidity loving plants is a pebble tray. Put a tray/saucer/whatever with pebbles/rocks underneath the pot, have water just covering the rocks(not touching the bottom of the pot). The water provides humidity as it evaporates. Also, in the winter, you can use a regular humidifier in the area.
    The reason plants don't like to be repotted in a much bigger pot is they spend their time growing roots, and no tops. Also, a way big pot tends to be too wet for the roots. Most plants like to be potbound. You can prolong repotting pothos and philodendrens by cutting them back. If you want to keep some of the hanging down part, cut about a third of the trailers. I usually just go around the edge of the pot and cut off everything hanging down. Then you can root all the cuttings.

  6. You have so many pretty plants. I really think plants make the air much cleaner and it's nice to have something "living" in your home. Moving them around is important, too. I used to have so many plants, Brenda. But I was spread so thin with 4 little kids that they got neglected and I couldn't justify the expense of getting more. I was a murderer!! And what's more, I have no space, not even a surface for one. I bring in the ones I keep on my patio in the summer and they make my family room look like a jungle!

    Thanks for the tips. I do need to replace the rosemary tree in my garden window that didn't make it this winter despite all my attention and effort. I like your ponytail palm. Did you get it at a big box store that I may find here?


  7. Brenda I have plant envy…yours are beautiful and so homey. I would love to have more plants right now I have some type of cactus and my amaryllis just lost it's last bloom and I have to figure where we go from here with it…made me sad it was so pretty and the first time I ever had one. I don't get a ton of lignt but I'm going to try and figure what kind of plants I can get and add some. Thanks for the information!

  8. Good morning Brenda. I love all your plants and they all look very healthy to me. I agree that plants make a house feel cozy. People don't have houseplants like they used to. I remember back in the 70s everyone's houses were filled with plants. The only plants I have right now are the ferns from my porch which I brought in last fall. I do the shower thing with them and they had survived quite well. (hugs) Rhondi

  9. The gnats may be fungus flies from soil being to moist. I had that problem last year. I just couldn't get rid of them and ended up dumping a lot of my plants. Then I read that if you bake your soil before you plant it will kill all the eggs in the soil. They really like african violets and many times will come home with you in one, then they lay eggs in the other plants. This is the time of year that I usually buy a few new planys for my house. It just feels good to see green and helps with my Spring fever.

  10. Your plants are beautiful Brenda. Your home looks like a "green house"/plant nursery. They know that you love them.. That's why they are doing so well. Do you talk to them ?
    I have some spider plants that I'm trying to keep alive until warmer weather gets here. They will go back out on my deck.
    Pippa loves to bite the baby "spiders" off and bring them to me. I guess she thinks she's bringing me a present.
    I would love to have more plants but having kitties makes that difficult.. I guess Cheryl and I are in the same boat.

  11. You have such pretty, healthy looking plants! Plants add so much to a home, I think. I have several, but I have a hard time keeping the kitties from chewing on them. The bird's nest fern in your second photo is one that I've tried to grow, but I've never had any luck with them. I'm not sure what I do wrong.

  12. Brenda . . . I loved seeing your groupings of indoor plants and your sound tips for their care. Since I moved to a different house a year ago, I AND my plants are a bit "disoriented". I had lots of southern sunlight coming in (I'm in Minnesota) in my previous house, but this house has it's bedrooms along the south side. A bit of confusion here . . . tee, hee.

  13. Your first fern is a bird's nest fern. My indoor plants are all on wire shelf units in front of my patio doors. What I'd give for a sunroom…

  14. Your houseplants are definitely feeling the love and care and reciprocating! 🙂
    AND…Java Talk ( your post and all of the comments / participants ) was so much fun….just seeing everyone pitch in and Judy jumping in every once in awhile there about your birthday, lol…
    that I hope you continue it in some manner or another! I think that you should…based on the comments, tea and soda pop drinkers joined in everyone was happy to join into a sort of coffee-klatch at your place / it was fun. Maybe once a week or once a month but do it again! 🙂

  15. Your plants are lovely, Brenda. I especially like your bromeliads. I must look for one for my home. Houseplants add so much to our decor and gives us something "alive" for the inside. I enjoy african violets that are now blooming quite happily in our Florida room. Enjoy your day! ♥