The Greater Good!

Problems happen with our houseplants. You know, it, I know it. This time of year, when we're dealing with issues of humidity, temperature, pests, etc., we have to think about optimizing our conditions, getting creative with our solutions, and cutting our losses. Got any maidenhair ferns? Got central heat? Then I've got news... your fern is as good as dead. Don't freak out! Maybe you can find a cloche or a suitable terrarium. Maybe you can give them away. Or, if you're me, maybe you can throw those fuckers out and find a fern that is more compatible with your indoor habitat. When a threat, sickness, or general weakness is detected, it pays to consider The Greater Good. Here's a few of my current problem plants.

Epipremnum aureum "Marble Queen," suffering shock from change of temperature and light. If you keep pothos outside during the summer, like I do, you can expect to see some leaf shed as they re-adjust to indoor conditions. It's normal. Yellow leaves will not recover and also invite pests; trim them. THE GREATER GOOD!

Phototropism in a N. exaltata "Emina." This results from low light levels or single-direction light. Moving the plant closer to a window or simply rotating the pot every week should solve this problem.

Musa acuminata "Novak." Dead lower growth likely due to cold draught exposure and dry air.

Citrus meyeri suffering from underwatering. Well, not so much "suffering from" as "dead from." I've already thrown them away. THE GREATER GOOD!

Defolation in Adenium obesum due to cold exposure and transplant shock; A. obesums occasionally go dormant in the winter when conditions fluctuate. Don't panic if you lose all your leaves... hold back on the watering and wait for spring.


  1. "crusty jugglers!"

  2. I thought of you the other day - I've assassinated my first houseplant. It was a Soleirolia soleirolli and it was slowly dying of spider mites.

    Maybe it was not an assassination but an assisted suicide? Just like you say, it was done for the greater good; I could kill the mites on all my plants but that one, so out it goes.

  3. Right on! This is a fun vocation/avocation, not something to cause undue stress.