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The Indoor Garden

January 20th, 2011

I have a lot of plants inside the house, some of them are outdoor plants that spend the winter indoors because they’re warm weather plants and some of them live inside all year long. There’s at least one plant in almost every room of the house.

They’re tucked all over the house, taking up almost all the window space. I have a lantana between the dryer and the hot water heater by the laundry room door, it gets just enough light from the window in the door. I also have a few fig trees, other tropicals, and a lot of herbs under some grow lights in the basement.

All of my houseplants are organic just like my outdoor gardens. Once a year they get a fresh layer of worm castings on top of the soil, usually they’re mixed with some Dr. Earth Organic All Purpose Fertilizer. They also receive some fish emulsion occasionally as well. My miniature citrus trees get fed on Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day with a special organic citrus fertilizer. I also put all my old tea leaves on my house plants, kind of like mulch.

I don’t usually have any trouble with my houseplants, they’re pretty happy and healthy. If I ever have any kind of pests I use a homemade insecticidal soap, but I’ve only had to use it once over the past couple years. I simply mix a little Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap with some water in a small spray bottle. I just used this earlier this week, I bought a rosemary plant last month and put it by my dwarf variegated citrus. I noticed earlier this week that there were some little white furry insects on my citrus tree. I carefully sprayed each little insect with my homemade soap and now they’re gone.

I really do enjoy having houseplants, they’re not only beautiful, but they help keep the indoor air clean. Houseplants can absorb all sorts of chemicals that pollute the air in your home (and they don’t use any electricity to clean the air). I wrote a blog post about this specifically a while ago, it includes all the different plants and what chemicals and VOC’s they help clean out of the air.

I especially love this pothos that helps clean the air in our office. This particular plant was on the stage at our wedding twelve and half years ago. It’s been thriving in our various residences since. It has produced a lot of offspring as well, I have a few of them in other rooms around the house.

Do you keep houseplants in your home? What’s your favorite?

18 Comments to “The Indoor Garden”
  1. Nebraska Dave on January 20, 2011 at 9:27 am

    My space for plants is outside. I have never had indoor plants. The house I’m in now really doesn’t have window good for plants. So on occasion I have a few fake plants here and there. Even a black indoor garden thumb like me can have good looking plants inside if they are not real. Sorry I expect that’s like scratching on the chalk board to real gardeners.

    Have a great inside plant day..

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  2. goatpod2 on January 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

    We have some house plants that we got from my sister-in-law.


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  3. Terry on January 20, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I have a lot of succulents because they are so easy to care for and I would sometimes get them for free at work if they were in bad shape. One cactus I have had for 4 or 5 years and never watered it, I just put it outside when the weather is warm so it gets the rain then I bring it in when the weather turns cold and put it in the window. It seems quite happy with this arrangement.

    I have a rescued lemon verbena in the house this year and one day I noticed it had little white bugs flying around it. I didn’t have any insecticidal soap so I was going to pick some up the next day. When I looked at the plant the next day tiny spiders had taken up residence and most of the other bugs were gone. Nature is amazing!

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    • Susy on January 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      I’ve noticed this as well, we have a few jumping spiders and a small crab spider living on the plants. I try to only spray if it looks like things might get out of control. Which I’ve only had to do once in the past 4-5 years.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Rhonda on January 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I’ve just got your basic Spider plant and then I’ve got a little palm, pothos and pepperomia that were part of a mixed arrangement from my Dad’s funeral, 5 years ago. Not many indoor plants right now.

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  5. Anne on January 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I have a mix of outside plants and inside plants right now. My favorites are probably my Grandmom’s huge variegated spider plant and 2 hibiscus plants. They normally bloom in January/February, when I’m dying to start planting and the weather is gray and gloomy.

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  6. melissa on January 20, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I haven’t had houselpants for a long time because of the cats but recently have got the bug to start growing things in my house again. I have to put them up high because I have one cat who will chew on anything green, but she is also fat and way too lazy to jump up on countertops. ;) I now have an impatiens and a hosta in the kitchen window, and some pansies in a wally pocket hanging from the dining room wall. I have some night-blooming cacti on order that are going to go in hanging baskets–inside or out, I haven’t decided yet.

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    • Susy on January 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      I have a cat like this as well, if you notice in the herb photo I have a cardboard wall around my basement plants as this keeps the cats away. I do have a baby’s tears plant that 2 of the cats eat, it doesn’t seem to bother them or the plant.

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  7. Grant on January 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I have a pothos…how to you get it to produce an offspring?

    Reply to Grant's comment

    • Susy on January 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      You can simply cut some of the long vines and put them in water until they root (cut off the leaves for the parts you put in the water). You’ll notice root nodes along the vine. You can also put a pot of soil beside the main plant and pin a few of the vines down to the soil. In a couple months you can cut it away from the mother plants and you have two plants.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Grant on January 21, 2011 at 10:09 am


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  8. Tara on January 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I sympathize with other’s cat situation. We have had to keep our house free of houseplants for the last several years with our three very curious and destructive cats. Moving into our new home we created “cat free zones” for things just like having houseplants (and sanity). Our bedroom is now filled with an assortment of ferns and succulents. Both are so beautiful and require very low maintenance.

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  9. Freedom Journey on January 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Hmmm, I have a cat and a toddler but want more houseplants. I have a few right now but lots of large beautiful windowsills that are calling out for plants!! Do you grow your own worms for the castings?

    Reply to Freedom Journey's comment

    • Susy on January 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      Not yet, but I’m in the process of designing and getting ready to build a worm bin for my basement. I’ll be sure to blog about it when I do.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. MAYBELLINE on January 21, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Wow I am so glad I don’t have to bring plants indoors. Everything that’s outside stays there forever. Indoors there is an ivy topiary and a couple of Christmas cacti that are starting to bloom.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  11. […] I’ll continue admire Suzy’s beautiful indoor garden and read all about everyone starting their sprouting for spring planting and noodle just how to […]

    Reply to City Roots, Country Life » Blog Archive » Houseplants's comment

  12. Latest Indoor Plants News | Your indoor plants on January 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    […] keeping the air clean while we work. It’s produced many offspring that live in other rooms. Vermont Police bust pot growing operation in New Haven A tip led to an investigation and search […]

    Reply to Latest Indoor Plants News | Your indoor plants's comment

  13. Kirsten on March 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    We have struggled to keep house plants alive since having children. We don’t have many good spots for them that are out of reach of them and not put of reach for me, LOL. At the moment my older two kids are beyond plant destruction (I hope) but the third one is just moving into that phase! So I think we have two surviving house plants rightnow. However, I’m off now to read the post you linked above on their cleaning effects to be reinspired to care for some more.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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