Too Many Houseplants: Is There Such a Thing?


Maybe my house does look like a jungle, but as long as my plants are healthy does it matter? I am sure you have heard this response when some people get accused of having too many houseplants, but is too many really a thing? I was curious if it was myself, especially because of the jungle I happen to own in my own home. 

Is there such a thing as too many houseplants? Yes, but it is not the same as having too many animals. Some people just end up with more than they can care for, and both plant and caregiver can suffer because of it. The biggest issue is finding the balance between not enough and too many. 

There is no exact number that says you have too many houseplants and most people who love them don’t see it as a problem, so I thought I would break it down. Even if you have a living room that resembles a jungle more than a home, this does not mean you have too many. It really comes down to clutter, health, and how you feel. 




Clutter

While some people think that plants are just more clutter, I never thought so. It was when I had to weed my way through (pun intended) my plants to get to my front door that I realized maybe I needed to reorganize things a bit. I loved having a virtual forest to sit and read in, but it did get to be a bit much, so I figured I would move things around a bit to spread the love. 

Since I used a full spectrum LED grow light in my living room, I tended to put most of my plants by my indoor vegetables. Once I did some research on the different varieties that I loved, I was able to spread them around my home a bit more. Doing some research allowed me to determine which plants had a lower light requirement so I could place them in lower light areas. 

This allows the plants to be able to improve the air quality around more of my home, and I still get to enjoy reading in a jungle, it’s just a smaller one now. Although I could see where this would be an issue in some homes as moving around the plants can be a bit of a pain. It just takes a little research and a little planning to make sure everyone gets the light they need. 

By spreading out your plants more and taking into consideration the different lighting needs of individual plants, you can still ensure all of your plants are healthy and happy. You can also take advantage of windows or sliding glass doors that allow for more sun exposure as well. Investing in some hanging planters may be a good option as well for rearranging them. 

Health

One of the biggest factors that I had to take into consideration was both the health of my plants and my own health. While the plants did make me feel better, it was still a chore trying to take care of all of them. I did gift a few of my plants away, but my family is getting pretty used to getting plants as gifts and honestly giving the gift of life always made me feel better. 

I wanted to make sure that my plants were all healthy and well cared for. As I started to go through and look at all of my plants, I did find that some of them were not as healthy as I had originally thought. This led me to realize that maybe I had more plants than I could comfortably care for. If I couldn’t take the time to check every plant regularly, they would get sick and die. 

While caring for multiple plants is not the same as caring for multiple pets, since you don’t have to clean up after plants like you do pets, it can be a bigger job when considering more plants. Checking on the health of each plant can be a task if you are trying to take care of over 100 plants. This can be made easier by setting a regular schedule to check each plant. 

Another problem I did need to take into consideration when determining if I had too many was when I went on vacation or if I got sick. Any time I was away from my home for more than a couple of days, I had to rely on someone else to care for them, check on them and water them. I found that hiring a plant nanny when I left home more than two days at a time was a big help. 

Even if I did a good job of caring for them simply because it was something I enjoyed, it would be a large job for someone else to do, if it wasn’t a part of their daily routine. Asking a family member to do this when I was not at home was quite a big ask, which is why the plant nanny was such a good idea. A trusted neighbor kid is always a good fit for this temporary job. 

Mental Health

While my plants did amazing things for my mental health, I would stress some if one of them appeared sick or not feeling well. It can be heartbreaking to have to get rid of a suffering plant because it died. Of course, some plants will only live for a year, but I hated putting a ton of effort into growing a plant just to have it die after it blooms. So, I started focusing on perennials.

I do find that being in a room with just a couple of plants did seem to have the same effect on my mental health that a dozen or more did, so it wasn’t the number of plants I had that made the difference. Just a couple was enough to help my mood and make me feel better. The benefit of better oxygen from the plants was a big plus for me too. 

Especially when I lived in the city, the smog and exhaust fumes sure didn’t do my health any good. Being around all of my plants helped both my physical and mental health and did help with my depression as well. While I wouldn’t call a plant a cure all, it did help to increase the quality of my life and they didn’t mind when I had a break down from anxiety either. 

Too Many Plants

In general, I have come to the conclusion that it is possible to have too many. Though this does have more to do with caring for all of them than anything else. When it comes to space or providing for their individual needs, it did not seem to be an issue.  

The main issue I seemed to have was making sure each plant was able to be checked, and I could not give that individualized care to each plant as when I had fewer plants. I just didn’t seem to have the time to check each plant’s leaves for signs of illness or neglect. Giving away some of my plants was hard, but it needed to be done. 

By limiting the number of plants I kept, it helped me to be able to ensure that everyone got the care they needed. I could also take the time I need to check all of them pretty regularly to make sure they stay happy and healthy and had all of their needs met.

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