Houseplants, I Have Too Many (Part 2) and the Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way

A couple of weeks ago Sam helped me load a pick-up full of houseplants. Here are Christmas cactus, Hoya, Dieffenbachia and more, all on the way to their new home.  These Christmas cactuses bloom like champs but got too big for their window and also too big for me to re-pot them.

A pick-up full is too many houseplants

How many houseplants is too many?

Here they are after unloading at their new residence — they’re just a few blocks away with a neighbor who has a greenhouse and a plant business. There’ll be lots of new baby cactuses in the neighborhood by this time next year.

A new home for my house plants II love having house plants but I do feel suddenly freer now that I’ve downsized. I’m planning to find homes for even more by the end of the summer, but I’ll still keep one Hoya and a few small Christmas cactuses.

One more example of a container full of plant material — I took this photo at the High Museum in February, on the way through the museum after the preview of “The Coca-Cola Bottle, an American Icon at 100.”

Art in Bloom at the High MuseumThis was my favorite from a three-day exhibition called Art in Bloom. A little closer look —

Art in Bloom at the High Museum - detailThough they may look a little garish after the purity of the calla lilies, I’ll risk posting an older photo of some of my Christmas cactuses.

Christmas cactus in bloom

This photo was taken a few years ago, when they still fit in the window. I’m keeping the (slightly) smaller one on the tall plant stand.

The window seems a little empty now, but I keep reminding myself that empty is good when I’m downsizing, and extra anything, even plants, can be perceived as clutter.

How many houseplants is too many?

For more on the weekly photo challenge: On the Way

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22 thoughts on “Houseplants, I Have Too Many (Part 2) and the Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way

  1. Houseplants. Such a great topic of discussion. Your cactuses look very fine. Blooming. I don’t think there are ever too many houseplants one can have. As long as they each can get some sunlight and if you like having them around, why not.

    Growing up, there was always one or two of these kinds of plants in my house. If I’m right, they didn’t need much watering. Never saw my parents watering them much. I’ve always been a bit concerned about water and soil spilling out of the pots, don’t know if anyone else does.

    • Yes, my water spilling has always been a bit of a problem. I have extra big saucers. My mother always had lots of plants — the hoya I still have originated as a start from one of hers, so that’s one I’ll definitely keep. Over time, plants seem like friends, so I’m already a bit nostalgic about the ones I gave away.

      • Oh dear. I hope the water hasn’t spilled on carpets before (assuming you have carpets at home). Watering the plants every day, seeing them each time you enter a room, it’s hard not to think of them as friends. They are like your best buddies who will listen to every word you say and never say a bad word back 😀

      • Yes! They listen to every word, and grow so nicely when I think good things about them. It’s lovely to see them bloom, but sad when they get a brown leaf. Orchids are difficult. I can only keep them for 3, maybe 4 years of re-bloom, not sure why. My last one will have to take its final resting place in the compost soon.

  2. Some indoor plants filter out toxins & CO2 – so they can be functional not just nice to look at. “NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.” (I didn’t actually read the NASA report. Source & list of plants & what they filter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study)
    PS My zygocactus is flowering right now. We don’t call them Christmas cactuses in Australia.

    • Wow, great list — maybe I should invite in some lilyturf and english ivy from the yard. I’ve always felt the plants and I had a symbiotic relationship. What I kept should be just the right amount, sq foot wise, for my fantasy future apartment. They’re hard to take care when they get so big. And, I no longer have the office to overflow to.
      I’ve seen zygocactus on labels. I wonder if we call these Christmas cactus to distinguish them from the ones that bloom only in spring– called, of course, Easter cactus?
      Let’s all take a deep breath now, courtesy of the plants.

  3. Love your post and photos. This winter I lost my Christmas cactus. It was a very sad demise of a very old ‘friend’ that originally belonged to my Aunt. She has been deceased for a very long time but having the plant was a constant reminder of her and my mother. The plant was decades old and one day too long on the front porch resulted in a freeze moving in and killing it. I tried to help it survive but the smell of the decay was too much to take after day three and it had to go the way of the garbage. Like yours it was very heavy and difficult to move from one location to the other. Your plants looked beautiful but I understand the need to remove them and let others enjoy them too. Hoping to try another cactus but my rental doesn’t seem very plant friendly. Maybe the next place I live will be a little brighter and more accepting of plant life.

    • Oh, so sorry about your plant – I treasure the ones that are reminders of loved ones. Christmas cactus especially seem to need plenty of light. But, it’s possible if you are determined. When I lived in an apartment with only north windows, I kept a geranium blooming all one winter by setting plant-lights in clamp-lamps. I’m lucky to have south windows now (but still not enough light for geraniums). Several of the vines I have did really well in my office with only regular florescent ceiling lights. Not the cactus though; they lived but wouldn’t bloom. I wish you many future south windows — Sandy

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