Houseplants: I have too many.

Admission: I hoard houseplants. When I trim the big plants back I see the cut tips of their stems or their tiny hopeful rootlets, and I just naturally put the cuttings in some dirt. Voila – more houseplants.

My houseplants and I love my back porch. Each year when fall comes and I move them inside, they’ve grown too much to fit at the windows any more. I’ve already saturated the market of giving plants to friends, so now what?

Red Christmas cactus blooming in May 2013

I even have a Christmas cactus blooming NOW, May 7.

In my neighborhood there’s a lady who raises and sells many bedding plants and houseplants in her greenhouse. I see her driveway full pots, with a “plants for sale” sign, and think aha! Maybe I can take some of mine over and abandon them as foundlings.

Instead, honesty wins out and I simply ask her if she’d like some. Yes! Elated to find a good home and help with downsizing, I load up two boxes of plant-babies and take them to her.

It’s difficult to part with them, like parting with memories, and for the first time I realize that is exactly why I keep so many plants.

Bob brought a dieffenbachia from Kansas City when we moved here, and it’s made babies more times than I can remember. I just gave one to the guy who installed blinds for me and I have three pots of it left. The hoyas are descended from a plant my mother had. Hers bloomed with an otherworldly fragrance, and tangled itself all around the corner window of the living room in the house where I grew up. She started it from a cutting of a plant in the back window of our hometown drugstore, a childhood hangout since destroyed by fire. Major nostalgia.

Hoya ready for its close-up.

My hoya ready for its close-up.

My hoyas don’t bloom as often as my mother’s did, but when they do, I feel like she just stopped by to check in on me and leave a blessing.

This post surprised me. I see I have more reasons to hoard plants than I thought. Can anyone suggest some help for me to break this habit?

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15 thoughts on “Houseplants: I have too many.

    • I spent too many years in IT and I always think I need a fallback… gotta get over that, and trust that the one I keep will survive, and if it doesn’t then I wasn’t meant to keep that plant.

  1. I love plants, but I think even one inside is too many unless you enjoy cleaning. Free the plants from confinement I say! 🙂

    Mr Simple
    lessisbetter.org

    • They are glorious when they bloom. I found homes for the largest ones (too big to re-pot, donated to neighbor with a greenhouse, so she’ll have lots of babies to sell) but I kept one of each color Christmas cactus. My gold one is blooming its after-holiday bloom right now. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Aha – I don’t really have that many to get rid of, but it might help when I need to give away more houseplants (I think they multiply when I’m not looking). I could use a stall at the antique market too.

  2. I have the same problem, but in my garden. I cannot pull plants out when they are about to finish, nor can I throw away bits I break off accidentally. The result is a mess of plant pots sitting all over the place. It’s very colourful, but no one cold call my garden neat.

    • I still can’t throw away the bits that fall off, end up rooting baby Christmas cactus in little pots. So far I keep finding homes for them. Even though I’ve given away so many of the big plants, the ones left are still multiplying. Maybe we were meant to have greenhouses, but somehow missed our calling!

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