House Plants–To Compost or Not?

I mentioned on Monday that this is about the time when I cast a critical eye on the house plant collection and decide what’s coming back inside and what’s becoming compost.

Windowsill space is always an issue and there’s no reason to look at plants that I don’t love. Several of the windows are already nicely filled and no plants have come inside yet.

Many of you may wonder why I take the plants in so early. As a general rule, I try to begin transitioning them in on Labor Day weekend. It doesn’t have so much to do with temperature as it does with light.

If I leave them out a few weeks later–as I have on occasion– when I bring them in, they drop a lot more leaves. So I try to avoid that.


This ruellia may not make the cut. There’s nothing really wrong with the plant, but it does nothing for me and the drooping habit is depressing. Who needs depressing plants right now?


It’s a good bet this one is gone. Again, the problems speak for themselves (I think). I could try to salvage and root the top, I suppose but why? It’s such a common plant.


This is the one I am not sure about. Something–chipmunks? Squirrels? Keeps making a mess and using the pot to cache their nuts. In the process, pieces of the plant are broken and uprooted. I may try to salvage it just before I bring it in. We’ll see.

And there may be others. Because after all, I will need room to aquire a few new plants too.

2 thoughts on “House Plants–To Compost or Not?

  1. tonytomeo August 30, 2020 / 5:21 pm

    Some of my houseplants have been with me for a very long time. I work with them like plants in the garden. If they are not doing well, I do what I must to renovate them. Of course, in this region, we have the option of leaving them outside during recovery. If sheltered, frost is not such a serious problem.

  2. gardendaze August 30, 2020 / 6:35 pm

    A few of mine have been with me for a very long time too. I have my grandma’s ficus–I think that I have mentioned that one to you before. I got it in 1988. And I have now inherited the care of my husband’s rubber plant, which dates back to the 60s and survived a break-in at his office and a night in front of the broken window–in February. After that trauma, it came to the house. It’s just generally these “little ” ones with no history that go–although I did jettison one from my retail gardening days today. I made 3 attempts to renovate it and finally just gave up.


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