Having a varied collection of houseplants is great, isn’t it? It’s really fun to turn the inside of your house into something that looks like a tropical jungle! But do houseplants grow better together or should you leave them by themselves? Let’s have a look into the sociability of plants.
What You'll Learn Today
Do Houseplants Grow Better Together?
Everyone loves a bit of company, right? Well, houseplants are no different! They do enjoy being grown with other plants – but you do have to watch which ones you grow together.
Mimicking the natural environment is always the best way to encourage plants to grow well. In their natural environment, they are surrounded by other plants!
Houseplants that like the same conditions will grow very happily together, as long as they have those conditions.
Plants that have different requirements should be grown in different areas, as what is right for one will not necessarily be right for the others.
The one thing you should remember when growing your houseplants together is that they should not be touching!
If your plants are all in contact with each other, it is much easier for pests and diseases to spread, plus there will not be enough airflow between them.
Do Houseplants Get Lonely?
It may sound strange to imagine this, but actually yes, plants can get lonely! Not in quite the same way as people, but they do need their connections.
In the wild, plants are all very much connected and interlinked, below the soil where we cannot see.
Plants can “meet” other plants underground via their root systems, and while they do compete for space and light, it must be comforting to know that there are others out there!
We are just starting to learn about the vast web of interconnectedness that plants experience, and how they communicate and connect with each other.
The huge amount of fungi in the soil act as a link between many different types of plants and their roots, and we are only just scratching the surface of how this is so important.
Plants and fungus form a symbiotic relationship, something that is usually absent in plants that are grown in pots.
You may not wish to plant up one pot with many plants, but having them near to each other can make them feel as though they are still living in the wild.
Here is a really interesting article, explaining how and why house plants can actually feel lonely.
Do Plants Like To Be Crowded?
Although we know that they like a bit of company, it is not recommended to pile your plants all together as if they were in an apartment building!
In their natural habitats, plants get constant airflow from the wind, which helps to keep them healthy.
Indoors, the air flow is much reduced, which can cause problems with your plants if they are too close together.
Another problem is the spread of disease and pests – plants that are really close to each other are really good at passing on health problems!
Try to maintain a bit of distance between your houseplants, to allow them space to breathe and to prevent the spread of diseases and bugs.
You can, of course, have lots of houseplants together in one room – but vary the height of them so they are different levels (not only is this good for your plants but it looks lovely too!)
What Indoor Plants Look Good Together?
As a general rule, you can grow plants together which like the same growing conditions.
For example, if your favorite plant likes low light, high humidity and cool temperature, it’s no good getting one that likes full sun, dry air and warmth to put next to it – it simply won’t thrive!
You should also consider getting different types of plants with different shapes, to make the most of your beautiful indoor rainforest.
You can grow different plants in the same pot (as long as you choose ones which like the same conditions) for a living display.
As you would when planning your outdoor garden, try to vary the heights and textures of the plants, for maximum effect.
You can also try experimenting with color – if you have a very dark green plant, try pairing it with one that has pink variegations, for example.
Climbers and trailers generally look their best when paired with an upright plant with more of a stem.
Small, shrubby plants can be placed near to a tall, eye-catching plant – the contrast is a great way to draw the eye around the room.
What Plants Should Not Be Around Each other?
As obvious as it may sound, don’t put two plants together that like completely different conditions.
This can result in the failure to grow, or even complete death, of at least one of your plants – and no one wants that!
Avoid putting plants that are susceptible to the same pests and diseases too close to each other, as you could spread them.
If a plant which has been infested with insect pests is too close to another plant which also happens to be favored by that insect, you could end up losing them both!
Plants that share diseases should never be too close, because they can easily spread it back and forth between them, and again, you could end up losing more than one plant.
And for purely aesthetic reasons, avoid putting two or more of the same plant near each other. Let’s have a little variety!
This is a great video that sums up both what you should plant together, and what you shouldn’t:
Once you have figured out which plants like growing together, you can create your own indoor jungle. As long as you stick to the right conditions your plants will be happy!
Remember to always leave enough space and enough air flow between the plants so that they can grow, or you may end up with a problem.