How To Care For Indulgent Houseplants

A firm reminder here that the perennial houseplant kingdom is about 24 planets wide and sits on a solar system the size of the planet Jupiter. So, anyone who thinks that the easiest way to grow a houseplant is just to follow a couple of basic instructions will shortly learn that simply a rocket ship would probably be even easier.

One of the staples in the how-to books for annual houseplants is the saying that, even if it doesn’t take long to grow, it should take as little as possible to care for. That’s true of any plant. As the theory goes, the more your garden area gets visited with a plant, the more impatient you should become.

Your goal is to spend minimal time and effort tending to your houseplant every day. You don’t need to replace the plant every year, and the success of your plant has nothing to do with how quickly you can remember to water.

All this gets a bit easier if you realize that this is the biggest problem: caring for houseplants.

But the good news is that there are plants (many in fact) that are amenable to mistreatment only very gradually.

Where to grow plants

Being a plant lover, you know from experience that choosing the correct plant for your garden is far from an exact science. You can’t force your view on a random selection of plants from a major catalog, except for perhaps a Texas-size succulent, a yellow cane and an ornamental grass; and you can’t ever have enough plants.

As a rule, though, the right plants tend to be those that are popular or popularized by the voluminous introductory books on houseplants.

Our favorites

We prefer plants from the following books to the standard generic varieties that are out there:

Dixie Kites: A purplish dove-blue, lime-green slipper-shaped leaf plant with tiny hearts at the top of the leaves

A purplish dove-blue, lime-green slipper-shaped leaf plant with tiny hearts at the top of the leaves Joan Richardson’s Kita: A purple-tinted sky coral for the contemporary garden

A purple-tinted sky coral for the contemporary garden Audubon: Roots and Trunks: The Fine Line Between Ornamental and Semi-Autumnal Trunks and Feeder Planting Guide

Plants from the standard ordinary garden book:

The Malleable Plant: A mix of palms and climbing vines

The Malleable Plant: A mix of palms and climbing vines Punch the Zen: A hosta growing through a Japanese zen garden

The next seven, in order of popularity:

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