Friday, March 26, 2010

Why house plants are silly in South Florida

When I was a wee brat in Suburban South Jersey, I had a room that was full of three things:

and Plants.

The radios never really seemed to mind, but there was a constant humidity in that room that wasn't in the rest of the house.   It was warm, green, and there was always something moving in the room.   Unfortunately, there were nowhere near enough shelves and storage so my bedroom as a kid was a rather crowded mess.

Fast forward to today.   I have a house in Sunny Suburban South Florida.   There are exactly one house plant in this house and I find myself wondering why I have that one.  Its a "Lucky Bamboo" and it is the last of about four I had a while back.

The first gift that I had gotten when I got this house was an orchid.  I had made it a point to put that plant outside since the irony of having a house in Florida means that you don't really have direct sunlight.   If you did, your house would be painfully hot and all your furnishings would be bleached and dried out.

The dog would be happy, but the rest would not.

So if you love plants in Florida there are a few suggestions I have. 

One is that if you simply must have plants in the house, get some low light loving plants and see what will grow.   Indirect light is about all I get here.  There is a big drawback with having real plants in the house, even if they are low light plants.  That drawback would be the soil.  Florida has critters that will be inside if they are not there now and the soil gives them a home.   I've had visits from fleas, ants and geckos to name a few.   The geckos are completely harmless and sometimes eat the others, but they can't cope with a plague of insects.  Better to not give them a home!

You could also get some silk plants but really that isn't for me.  I can't recommend them because they just don't look all that realistic.  Plus you just have to clean the blasted things!

Ok so the best suggestion I have is that you do what I did... Strap Orchids to the trees and sheds and irrigate them.  I have a bougainvillea that I have a love-hate relationship just outside the window that I am propagating Spanish Moss on and other "air plants" when I spot one that fall outside of the trees they were anchored to. 

Why care for something indoor when you can create a garden just outside the window that blows away anything you can put into a pot?


  1. Fresh flowers is all you'll ever find inside my house. I forget to water indoor plants, so I long ago gave up any attempts at cultivating potted plants indoors. It's truly stupid here in south Florida. Outside every door is an abundance of plant and animal wildlife, so why bother?

  2. That's a nice suggestion, Constance. For a while I was bringing in the cuttings from the Philodendron I have outside for greenery. The leaves are on the order of four feet in size but stopped since I didn't want to cut too much off the plant.

    Now I just look out the window. The Palms look great!