The practice of houseplants can be traced back to over 2,500 years. But nowadays, people keep houseplants as they purify the indoor air by absorbing pollutants that are toxic to humans. Houseplants can also be fun to care for; however, like any other hobby, this may soon become an obsession. And you might wonder how many houseplants are too many?
You can never have too many plants. You only have too many when you can longer access critical parts of your house and can’t properly take care of them. The amount of plants is never the problem, but the cost of maintaining and time required to take of your plants can definitely become a problem.
In addition, you start with just buying a plant or two, but you have a jungle in your house before you know it. Breeding a whole jungle in your house can turn this inexpensive hobby into an expensive activity. And, for all those wanting to know how many plants are too many, this is the perfect guide.
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How Many Plants are Too Many?
When it comes to actual living plants, how many plants are too many depends on several factors. You have too many plants when:
- It is more than you want to take care of
- Run out of space to put your plants
- You don’t have enough money or space to take care of your houseplants.
- You don’t have enough time to take care of them or don’t enjoy taking care of them anymore.
- Your pets can also be a potential harm to your houseplants because they may have a habit of munching or chewing on them.
You don’t have too many houseplants, as long as you still enjoy repotting, watering, feeding, propagating, pruning, and pest control your houseplants. However, the problem usually is running out of space.
As you can see in the table below, time, money, and space are the most important factors to consider when deciding on the number of plants to grow indoor.
|Number of plants||Weekly Time Required||Purchase and maintenance||Potential space required per sq foot|
|1 Plants||4 minutes||$5||1|
|2 Plants||8 minutes||$7||2|
|4 Plants||40 minutes||$20||6|
|20 Plants||3 hours||$55||32|
|40 Plants||6 hours||$100||65|
How Many Plants Should You Have in Your House?
You can have as many plants as you want as long as you can adequately take care of them and enjoy taking of them. Besides, houseplants can keep you happy, clean, and humidify the air in the house.
The only issue of having too many houseplants is that it might not be visually appealing to others people. Have you visited your brother’s room, and it’s too messy because there are stacks of video games lying around?
To the external eyes, your houseplants might look a little messy and unappealing. Your house may become a mess as this is exactly the case with too many houseplants. Houseplants can liven up the indoor environment. Although you may have spent thousands of dollars on the interior of your home and breeding too many houseplants may not seem appealing to the eyes.
Even though it is difficult to say precisely how many plants you needed to purify indoor air, NASA researchers recommend at least two good-sized plants for every 100 square feet (about 9.3 square meters) of indoor space.
And, the bigger the plant and leafier the plant, the better because the surface area of leaves influences air purification.
How Do You Know If You Have Too Many Plants?
Solving the problem of air pollution and replacing oxygen levels by putting houseplants inside your home is not a practical solution. Instead, having houseplants should be more of a hobby than a necessity.
How do you know if you have too many plants? You might feel exhausted after taking care of so many houseplants, or you do not have enough budget to maintain them. It is also possible that the indoor climate is not suitable for different species of plants, and they die out sooner.
Every plant needs some time in your day. Imagine there are many plants for you to take care of. In this case, your hobby may become time-consuming and tiring. In some cases, your plants may get sick and hence require extra care and time. It is not easy to maintain them. You can not go on a long vacation if you have 30 houseplants to tend to.
Often houseplants are a cheap hobby to have, but some plants cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. You not only have to invest in plants, but also some helpful accessories that are required.
Moreover, space can usually become a serious problem when you start wondering how many houseplants are too many. You can buy as many houseplants until one day you look at what a mess your house has become.
Can Plants Kill You at Night?
There is not even the slightest chance of houseplants consuming your oxygen and ending up killing you. The amount of oxygen that a plant takes in is much less than what a human or animal needs. This myth persists because a lot of people have the wrong concept of photosynthesis.
The respiration of plants at night happens at a much slower rate than photosynthesis in the day. This means that they will gain a relatively smaller portion of oxygen from the environment. No amount of houseplants can deprive you of oxygen or affect your health. However, having no plants may be more dangerous.
Houseplants also increase the humidity of indoor places. Studies have also shown that houseplants tend to reduce psychological stress and increase the toleration of pain.
Best Houseplants to Purify Air
Plants release oxygen throughout the day in the presence of natural light through the process of photosynthesis. While at night, the plants absorb oxygen and liberate carbon dioxide called respiration. However, some plants can absorb carbon dioxide during the night because of their ability to achieve Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), a type of photosynthesis. Therefore, having these plants at home improves air quality during the day and helps you to sleep better at night.
Many houseplants can act as a natural air filters to remove organic air pollutants. Formaldehyde and benzene, and trichloroethylene are two of these compounds, according to a 1989 NASA study.
|English Names||Scientific Names|
|English ivy||Hedera helix|
|Devil’s ivy, pothos plant||Epipremnum aureum|
|Peace lily||Spathiphyllum ‘mauna loa’|
|Chinese evergreen||Aglaonema modestum|
|Bamboo palm||Chamaedorea seifrizii|
|Variegated sanseviera ‘snake plant,’||Dracaena trifasciata ‘laurentii’|
|Heartleaf philodendron||Hilodendron cordatum|
|Selloum philodendron, lacy tree philodendron||Philodendron bipinnatifidum|
|Elephant ear philodendron||Philodendron domesticum|
|Red-edged dracaena, marginata||Dracaena marginata|
|Cornstalk dracaena||Dracaena fragrans ‘massangeana’|
|Weeping fig||Ficus benjamina|
|Barberton daisy, gerbera daisy||Gerbera jamesonii|
|Florist’s chrysanthemum||Chrysanthemum morifolium|
|Aloe vera||Aloe vera|
|Janet craig||Dracaena deremensis|
Tips for Taking Care of Too Many Plants
- Try to go through all the plants at least once a week to check the soil and leaves.
- Choose flexible and low-light houseplants, so you don’t need to move them around.
- Keep a watering schedule but pay attention to your plants’ needs.
- If any plant shows signs of distress, move it until you identify and solve the issue to avoid contamination.
- Watch them every day.
I hope this article answers the question of how many houseplants are too many. And remember that you can grow as many plants house as long as:
- You don’t feel overwhelmed
- Properly take care of them
- Don’t run out of space
- And enjoy having your plants around.
Houseplants are an excellent companion because they don’t shed or poo, and you can have as many as you want as long as the plants are healthy and cared for, and you and your family can easily move around your home. Above all, they make you happy and keep you mentally and physically healthy.