I have been absolutely loving the Master Gardener training! After finishing the section on houseplants, I opted to add some to my home for a number of reasons. For one, I’d like some experience behind me when answering questions about houseplants for people. I’d been thinking of non-edibles as useless, but I suppose that isn’t true. Besides being “homework”, they add oxygen, filter the air of nasties like VOCs, and I’ve found them to have a positive influence on my mood. They’ve also changed my habits from keeping the blinds closed to keep out some extra cold, to throwing them open every morning to let the light in for both me and the plants. A little greenery and sunlight do a lot to combat the winter blues this time of year.
My main consideration in choosing houseplants was my cats. I knew from experience that when looking for floor plants I’ll want to choose one with an upright habit. Plants with long dangling leaves, like ferns and my poor banana, are irresistible to most cats. I also need to watch out for calcium oxalate crystals, which is the same chemical that makes rhubarb leaves toxic and is common in many houseplants. That would be the reason plant poisoning is one of the most reported issues to the poison control centers.
My innocent looking Pothos cutting here is the only toxic houseplant I chose to bring home. When the little tyke gets established, I plan to keep it in a hanging basket far from furniture or other climbables so that cats can’t get access to it.