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Friday Favorite: Houseplants

May 18th, 2018

I love houseplants and have lots of them in every room. Perhaps I got this love from my mom, our home was always filled with different kinds of houseplants in all shapes and sizes. ¬†Houseplants are pretty easy care, though every now and again then can use a bit of love. This pothos sat on the stage at our wedding, 20 years ago. It’s been growing in the same container ever since. Earlier this week, I decided it needed a new pot and needed to be divided.

The majority of the foliage was removed, then it was turned out of the pot. This plant was potted up and growing in this container when I purchased it. In the bottom of the container, I found lots of styrofoam peanuts. Also, about midway down in the container, I found this plastic disk. Clearly, it was repotted from a hanging basket and whoever planted it didn’t know this should be removed. I’m pretty surprised that this plant has thrived for so long. It’s definitely a testament to the hardiness of this plant.


The root ball was cut in half and trimmed, then I repotted it into a new container with fresh potting soil. I don’t add time release fertilizer to my houseplants, I figure they’re just fine with a bit of liquid kelp in their water every now and again. I find that the chemical fertilizers seem to leave a salty/mineraly residue on containers and water reservoirs.

This plant should have a new lease on life. I’m hoping it survives for another 20 years at least.

Do you enjoy having houseplants around? Do you repot them on occasion? What’s your favorite way to fertilize houseplants?

The Indoor Garden

December 21st, 2016

This winter, the indoor garden in flourishing. I’ve always had houseplants, probably because my mom always had them scattered throughout the house. I have a dwarf banana that should be fruiting here soon, I’m pretty excited at the possibility. There are also a host of different things under the grow lights upstairs, herbs, African violets, orchids, ivy, lemons, and so much more.
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Some of these plants are new, some are old. In fact one of our houseplants was on the stage during our wedding 18.5 years ago. Some plants come and go, I don’t like some, some don’t like the climate in the house. I enjoy having them around, not only for their air cleaning qualities, for for the beauty and greenery during the long cold winters here in Maine.

Do you have lots of houseplants? Do you have a favorite?

Decluttering the Houseplants

January 18th, 2016

I’m one of those people that doesn’t really have trouble getting rid of things, in fact I’m in a constant state of going through the house and taking loads of stuff to Goodwill on a regular basis. The longer I live the less stuff I want to have in my home to clean around and organize. This past weekend I decided it was time to reduce the houseplants. I got rid of plants that I no longer enjoyed. Some were plants that never lived up to their expectations. Like a piece of clothing that never quite fit right, sometimes plants just don’t quite perform as expected. These all went into the compost bin.
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Houseplants that were staying also received a good pruning and then a dose of liquid kelp. I have a lot of houseplants that I love, these lovely little succulents in a tiny window in the bedroom.
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This lovely dwarf papaya tree lives large on my bedside table. I’m hoping it will produce fruit this summer when I move it outside.
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The dwarf banana in the living room is growing like crazy. It will probably be another year or so before it produces fruit. I repotted it a few months ago but it already needs a much bigger pot.
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Under a big window upstairs, I have a few containers full of lettuces and herbs. I like to grow a variety of edibles during the winter.
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Just like reducing clutter in other areas, getting rid of houseplant clutter gives me more space to breathe. Not only do all my plants look better, I feel better as well. Tomorrow I’ll show you my favorite houseplants, one that I’ve had for almost 18 years.

Have you pruned and reduced your houseplants recently? Do you have a favorite houseplant?

Bring Them Inside

September 29th, 2015

It’s starting to get cold in the evenings here in Maine, the lower areas were said to be 32 the other morning. The benefit of living on a south facing slope is that it was 45 up here on the hill. That’s a considerable difference! Event though it’s not getting that cold here, it’s still time to bring in all the tropicals. Usually I take this time to repot and prune them all, cleaning them up a bit to make them look nicer indoors. For more on where I got these plants and what varieties they are see this blog post.
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I have a lot of edible tropical plants: avocados, bananas, guava, mango, papaya, citrus, etc. They all live outside in the hottest part of the garden in the summer and they live in the warmest spot in the house during the winter. Most of them are only a year old, but they’re all dwarf varieties that should start producing fruit next year or the year after. I have a few citrus trees that are older and are currently loaded with fruit.
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The banana plant had a few pups that needed to be cut off and repotted. I gave one to a friend, I haven’t decided if I want to keep the rest or find them new homes. I’m pretty excited about this plant, I think it might produce bananas soon. We had a banana plant in our front yard when I was young (we lived in Colombia, S.A.) and watching it produce bananas was such an amazing thing. I can’t wait to see it happen again!

Do you have any edible houseplants?

For more info on growing edible houseplants I highly recommend the book: Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere

Winter Bloom

December 23rd, 2014

Both of my small ‘Hedgehog’ aloes are blooming. The flowers are rather insignificant, but quite lovely in their simplicity. I love that they come this time of year when the garden outside my window is devoid of color.
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This particular plant lives on my beside table. It’s nice to know that it not only brings beauty to my room, but it also cleans the air as well.
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These two plants were pups from the big aloes that I had on my front porch back in Ohio. They’re spectacular plants when grown in large containers. I left one for my neighbor, it lives in her living room now. Mine came to Maine and I harvested pups the first winter because I didn’t have space for the giant pot.
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The photo above was when I first planted them. When we finally moved they were about twice as big and they were stunning! I really love the structure of the aloe plants, the shape of the leaves, the fleshiness , and the thorns. They are very artistic in their form.
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It will take a few more years, but these little beauties will once again become large spotlight plants in my garden. By then hopefully I’ll have a better space for overwintering large tender plants. Until then, they’ll live with minimal fertilizer and water to keep them growing as slowly as possible.

Do you grow any succulents indoors during the winter?

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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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