Do I Have Too Many Plants?
Too many plants? Because I garden and live on their property, I’ve heard the complaint many times from my parents: – The patio looks a mess! – or – Can you clean up a bit?
At times, both my father and I thought this meant we should organize. You know:
- Buy or build a planter
- Configure our patio to hold the plants that are sprawling around, creeping up on the pool and sliding doors
Recently, it occurred to me that maybe there are too many. It’s on my mind when my mom tries to bring home new plants, though I give in. It’s also on my mind when I think of all the things my plants need.
Do I Have Too Many Plants?
Some Signs That You Might
- You’re losing track of what you have – consider using an app
- Plants are suffering
- You dread taking care of your garden or it’s becoming a hassle
- You feel overwhelmed
- You or your housemates think your garden space looks a mess
What I Have Might Be Too Many Plants
- (3) Inch Plant/Tradescantia Zebrina
- Many other houseplants I can’t remember the names of..
- Green Tea/Camellia Sinensis
- Dragon fruit
- Sweet Potato
- Purple Sweet Potato
- (2) Genovese Basil
- Purple Basil
- A couple of orchids
- (2) Succulents
- And more plants I’m likely forgetting.
You get the point!
This all sounds like a dream when I write it out, but when my garden is in disarray, it can be harder to be as attentive and therefore grateful for all these plants.
What Can We Do About It?
1. Clean Up
It seems obvious, but this needs to be said anyway. My mom helped me out by cleaning our patio recently. It’s important for staving off plant diseases too that we tidy up around plants as needed.
2. Throw Them Away
I know, it sounds harsh, but hear me out. Ask yourself:
Do I have some half-dead plants that I don’t plan on rescuing?
If you do choose to throw some away, compost plants that aren’t diseased. And carefully dispose of those that are depending on the disease/pest.
You don’t have to throw away plants if you don’t want to. It’s understandable if it makes you feel guilty, although this can be part of gardening when diseases are present.
3. Gift Them!
I love gift-giving. It’s important to me that the gift is thoughtful and something the recipient will probably appreciate. Some plants that we have can make perfect gifts.
For the perfect example, my purple basil seems to yearn for repotting and maybe even splitting. Its stems are taller and some lean over.
What Is Splitting?
Splitting refers to separating multiple plants that take up one pot into their own planters. I plan to split the purple basil and give away at least one to my coworker and another to my neighbors.
This coworker of mine loves to garden and cook. And the neighbor and their kids enjoy gardening. I feel this would be a great gift since I already have more than I can use.
I will make sure the plants are healthy before they leave my patio. And I’ll advise my recipients to quarantine them just in case.
What If They Already Have Too Many Plants?
Just in case my recipients also don’t want too much plant clutter, I will ask if they want the gift before I offer it:
- Start by picking a healthy plant that you’re ready to let go of
- OR choose one that’s outgrowing its container and could use some space
How to Gift a Plant
To gift, you can simply ask a friend or neighbor if they want a plant you plan to give away. You can also take the harder and more fun route of splitting or propagating a plant and gifting the new plant once it’s stable.
Be sure to research the best way to split or propagate your plants if you’re unsure.
How to Reorganize Your Garden Space
My tip for avoiding a messy look:
- Use similar containers
- Do not plant haphazardly, as I do sometimes
A New Layout
- Map out where the sun hits your garden space
- Group your plants depending on how much sun or water they need and if they are beneficial to each other – e.g., tomatoes and Marigolds
- Consider planters or different containers – e.g., bringing your herbs indoors or merge them into a more compact planter
- Use an app for keeping track of tasks in the garden
It can be difficult to remember the needs of so many different plants. That’s why having so many plants can be a serious problem sometimes.
Why I Have So Many Plants
If you’re wondering why and how we got to this point… Well, collecting is fun for some odd reason. There must be a thrill to it which we can explore at another point. I’ve even heard of people smuggling rare succulents because of the growing demand.
I adore plants and would love to keep as many as I could. I wish there were never too many for me, but that may not be the case. Take this advice with a grain of salt because you should always do what’s right for you.
As for me, the next step in decluttering my garden space is one of my favorites. Splitting and propagating plants excites me!
It has something to do with the fact that I love giving gifts. One of the first things I think of is being able to give away plants to friends. The next thing that comes to mind is the thrill of watching plants grow from cuttings!
Let me know if you’ve ever had to downsize your plants, gifted one, or use an app to get organized in the garden! Share your experiences with me down in the comments. Or share it with us in our Facebook Group.
Christine is a student in Florida Zone 10b slowly but surely turning a black thumb green on a screened-in patio. She enjoys the challenge of propogating plants and collecting seeds and has her sights set on a cut flower garden and a lemon tree you’ll never hear the end of. If you wanted to hear something amusing, she once grew (a lot of) mini tomatoes but actually has never liked them all that much. Catch her zealously pruning a basil plant, deadheading rose bushes, taking pictures of pretty flowers, and searching for cuttings to propogate.