Person takes care of plants while wondering - can you have too many houseplants?

Plant Talk: Can You Have Too Many Houseplants?

Plant Talk is a series of posts about plant hobbyist life, issues, and dilemmas.
Today’s topic is: Can you have too many houseplants?

Many houseplant lovers fall into a trance once they get introduced to the plant hobby.

I mean, it’s impossible not to.

Plant care is a fun, mindful, soothing, and uplifting activity with many benefits.

There are a myriad of interesting, easy plants you can grow at home, and each of them is prettier than another.

There is a whole plant-related social media world where people show off their gorgeous, mature plants, rare, or variegated varieties.

Visiting plant nurseries feels like hitting a gold mine if you found a new lovely species you like.

Suddenly, everywhere you go, you see plants that could become a part of your beautiful, growing plant collection.

can you have too many houseplants on a sill - plant photography

Caring for your plants is fun; new leaves are unfurling everywhere, and you live in a beautiful indoor jungle, bringing more and more plants in…

Until you end up feeling overwhelmed.


Can You Have Too Many Houseplants?


Unfortunately, yes, you surely can, and it is very easy to overdo it.

Having too many houseplants can happen gradually or quickly, but it is absolutely possible to reach a state where you have more than you can care for.


Can You Have Too Many Houseplants In One Room?


Just like overwhelming yourself with too many plants to care for, cramming too many plants into a single space is not be the best idea either.

While plants do purify the air and add a touch of nature to our living spaces, overcrowding can lead to problems such as poor air circulation, higher than ideal humidity levels, and potential pest infestations.

It’s all about finding the right balance to ensure that each plant can thrive without compromising the health and aesthetics of your surroundings.


How Many Houseplants Is Too Many?


Please know that I am not here to judge you if you have a lot of plants.

Or tell you how many plants you should have.

There is no number that defines how many houseplants are too many for you because it is a very individual thing.

The most I had in my life at the same time was around 65 houseplants.

It was a gorgeous collection of common and rare plants, some easier to grow, some – finicky and demanding.

I loved taking care of them all… At first.

Quite quickly, I noticed signs that this collection was growing too big, too fast (we will talk more about these signs too).

Unfortunately, I reached a point where I couldn’t take care of all these beautiful plants by myself and the room was stuffed beyond belief.

The aftermath was heartbreaking, and while I was giving my plants away, I promised myself that I would never have so many plants at once again.

You never know what will happen in your life, so it’s important to own only as many plants as you can care for, even if you are stressed out, tired, or sick.

At the moment I am writing this, I have 18 houseplants in my plant family.

Six of them are small, so I can even count them as one (they’re very easy and quick to care for).

This amount feels manageable to me.

It might still be too much for others and might even become too much for me, too.

Or, I might get more if I find myself in a life situation that allows me to dedicate more time to plant care.

But plants, no matter how amazing they are, should never become a burden.

It’s important to be mindful of how many you can handle, and how many can enhance your space without overwhelming it.

Inspecting a plant shelf


5 Signs You Have Too Many Houseplants


You will notice a few signs when you overstep your plant parenting limits.


1. You Are Tired of Watering, Repotting, Or Fighting Pests All The Time


Plants need care, and the more houseplants you have, the more time and dedication you have to devote to them.

If taking care of plants has become a big part of your life, and most importantly, if it’s starting to bother you, it’s a sign that you might be overdoing it and heading towards burnout.


2. Your Plants Are Not Doing Well


To keep a plant happy and healthy, you have to learn what it likes and create the environment it craves.

It’s not an easy process.

It takes time, effort, and kind of an intimacy with this plant to find out what it needs.

When you have too many plants, creating an environment that benefits them all equally is very hard.

Your plants might start looking unwell while you scramble your head, trying to understand why.


3. Your Plant Hobby Has Become a Chore


Having a hobby is about having a good time doing something that relaxes you, creates good emotions, and just feels good.

If plant care suddenly feels less like a hobby, and more like work, it’s also a sign that you probably have too many plants to match your current time and energy resources.


4. You Are Running Out Of Space


Another thing to be mindful of is the space you can dedicate to your plants.

Plants like to have some space around them to grow free and undisturbed.

If you are already running out of space for them now, things might worsen with time because plants are always growing and getting bigger.


5. The People You Live With Are Concerned


Sometimes it can be hard to notice unhealthy behaviors in ourselves.

No matter how comfortable you feel having a ton of plants, it’s also important to be mindful of the people who live with you.

If your partner or family starts commenting about how many plants you have or how much time or money you are spending on them, it might be helpful to take a break and see how you feel.


What To Do If You Think You Have Too Many Houseplants


It’s okay to downsize your collection if it is too overwhelming.

Once you cried over the spilled milk and learned your lesson (that is, not to visit that plant nursery so often…), it’s time to make things better.

The first thing to do is to take a good look at your plant collection.

  • Which plants give you joy?
  • Which ones feel like a burden?
  • How many plants would you be willing to let go of?
  • Which ones should definitely stay?

These questions will help you downsize your collection to something you truly love and can oversee.

Once you know which plants you want to keep, make sure that those you say ‘goodbye’ to will be cared for.

The best option is to give the plants to someone who also loves plant care, and is happy to welcome more plants.

Another option is to donate your plants to local business offices if they are willing to take them.

You can also sell or gift plants online, using Facebook Marketplace or a similar service.

The last, absolutely last option is to toss the plant.

This might seem controversial, but if no one wants to adopt your plants and they are seriously affecting your mental and physical health, it might be for the best.

No matter how much you love plants, you and your well-being are more important than any plant in the world.




So, to conclude, can you have too many houseplants? Absolutely, and it’s best to avoid and prevent this situation in the first place.

When you shop for plants, try to think about the plants you already have.

Assess your current time, energy, and space resources.

You can also set a rule for yourself, for example, to not own more than ten plants.

This way, if you really want a new plant, you can consider gifting one of your current plants to your family or friends so that you can have that new plant.

When in doubt, remember that less is always more.

It’s better to take great care of several plants than mediocre care of many.

What do you think about this topic? Can you have too many houseplants, or the more, the merrier? Share in a comment down below.

Hi! I am a plant lover and houseplant hobbyist. My favorite plants are hoyas, peperomias, pothos, philodendrons, cacti, succulents... Who am I kidding. I love them all! You can learn more about me here.

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