Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sustainable Saturday - Spring (Plant) Cleaning

(My Earth Day post will be on Monday.)

When we are trying to engage in sustainable living, it's a good idea to have some plants strictly for pleasure. Plus, houseplants can clean indoor air, improving your quality of life.

I have several of the air cleaning plants at home.  I have three spider plants, several Mother-in-law's tongue (I bought my first plant at a "houseplant party"in 1977 and still have the original plants-or their descendents), a Warneck dracaena (my plant is over 6 feet tall) and aloe vera (more on that later).  At work...well, that's a post for another day (luckily I work in a plant-friendly office.)

But over the years, plants can get spindly, woody, or need dividing.

My Vicks plant, for example, is woody and has been dropping a lot of leaves - perhaps due to some overwatering.  I am going to take some cuttings and propagate it, and then put the rest of the plant outdoors once we pass our last frost date.  It will have one nice season in the sun and then I will have to figure out what to do with it come fall.

Most people don't have rosemary plants as houseplants, but we have to - at least, in the winter.  We overwinter several plants - luckily, my spouse is strong as I have a bad back.

We lost a rosemary over the winter - the first one we propagated from our original mother plant. In the Binghamton, NY area where we live, it is too cold (zone 5) for rosemary to overwinter outdoors. (This is how we do it.)   This elderly plant is struggling to come back but my spouse is not optimistic.  This plant may date from 1989 - and if it doesn't live, this plant above will be our new senior plant.

My Aloe Vera came from Home Depot (it begged me to buy it) and must be close to 10 years old. It is  seriously pot bound, which may not be a problem, but I think I've been watering it too much, too.  I need to see if there are any pups and if so, I'll divide it.

Do you have houseplants?  Do you have a spring "cleaning" of your plants?


  1. Oh wow you do enjoy your plants. I'm not much of a gardener so my garden has mostly perennial plants. Hope the Rosemary rejuvenates.
    Dropping by from UBC.

  2. Yes I do have ONE houseplant. Only ONE. And you reminded me how much I love plants (eventhough I dont have a green thumb). I love spider plants and every year I plan to get one - this year I will get a spider plant. Plants are so amazing, I just potted a plant at work for the first time in a vase (a friend taught me how) and I love watching the roots grow - it has gotten much larger in a few short weeks :)

  3. I don't have any house plants but yesterday a great variety of potted herbs were calling my name while grocery shopping. I didn't have time to consider them seriously but think I'll stop back later in the week and pick out one or two that might survive my brown thumb!


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