Indoor Plants

By Jeff Rugg

February 12, 2020 5 min read

In the midst of all the political turmoil and worries about the spread of the coronavirus, you may have missed some good news. Recently, it was reported that a survey conducted by OnePoll found that 7 in 10 millennials consider themselves to be plant parents. There is hope for the future of the world after all.

The odd thing about the survey was that almost half of the millennials surveyed currently don't own any plants, and 20% would rather have a root canal than take care of a plant because of the pressure of keeping it alive.

According to the study, the most challenging part of taking care of a plant was knowing how much light it should get, followed by how much water, whether it should be grown indoors or outdoors and how to prune it. Despite the anxiety of taking care of a plant, many millennials still desired to grow houseplants.

For all of you parents of a millennial, the survey found that 80% said that taking care of plants had caused them to start taking better care of themselves. I don't know if buying your child a few houseplants will get them to move out of your basement, but it may be worth a try.

If you know a millennial with plants or who is afraid to try growing plants, show them today's article and the articles of the next few weeks. I will explain how to take care of houseplants so they don't have to have any anxiety growing them.

Houseplants do require some care, and they can have short or long lives. People can become attached to their plants, but they don't have to become a botanist to grow them.

Houseplants fall into several loose categories. Foliage plants are grown for their leaves. Flowering plants are, obviously, grown for their flowers. Seasonal plants are grown for special occasions or holidays and mostly disposed of afterward. Some subcategories could be edible plants, bonsai, vines and plants used for terrariums, windowsills, hanging baskets and fragrances.

All plants need the same basic care. They need sunlight, proper temperatures, moisture in the soil and humidity in the air. Some plants are very specific about their needs, and some are pretty tolerant of whatever they get.

The various rooms in your house will meet the needs of some but not all plants. You can decorate your home indoors pretty much the way a landscape designer would work outdoors. Tall plants like trees create a ceiling effect. Shrubby shaped plants can be used for screening, and flowering plants are used as focal points.

Before you buy your first plant, survey your house or apartment. How much light does each room get during the day? What temperature range does the room go through between day and night? Depending on what kind of heating and air conditioning system there is, the humidity level might be very low in the winter or very high in the summer. When you go looking for plants, you will be looking for plants that can thrive in the conditions you have in each room.

You will not want to spend the money on a plant that can't survive in a dark room or where it is too hot. Besides the money factor, who wants to see a plant languish and slowly die in your care?

What makes a plant a good one to grow in a house? It would be a plant that grows in nature in conditions similar to those found inside a house. Where on the planet is that? It is the tropics, with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s and nighttime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. There is bright light in many places, but there is lower light on the tropical forest floor. Rainfall and humidity may be high in jungle areas or low in desert areas. Some tropical areas have high elevations and therefore lower temperatures.

Next week we will cover proper lighting, watering and humidity.

Email questions to Jeff Rugg at [email protected] To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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