Help! My Plants are Growing! (Problems Only Plant Collectors Can Understand)

It’s a sunny, Spring morning. I walk into the dining room where the majority of my houseplants are, watching the sun begin to cascade across the forest the room has become as I’ve slowly congregated my plants there.

They used to be spread throughout the house, but then some would be forgotten. Now they hang out with each other, where they appreciate their own microclimate together, and I am much less likely to forget to water them.

Let’s not discuss pest outbreaks in this setup though.

I see the signs of new foliage peeking out among the plants as they too recognize the longer days and I think to myself, “I LOVE SPRING AND NEW LEAVES.” and then, “Where in the world are these plants going to grow to? There’s no freaking space.”

I know. This has got to be the weirdest problem. It is THE thing we all want our plants to do and yet here it is, on a list of problems that plant collectors have. The plants growing is a problem and a blessing at the same time.

But here’s the thing. We all have limited space. We can only fit a limited amount of plants and those plants can only be so large because at some point we will run out of space. It stinks, but it’s inevitable.

Unless you are Summer Rayne Oakes of course – that lady has found more creative ways to add plants to a relatively small New York apartment than anyone else I’ve seen so far. Kudos to her. I wish I could have toured that amazing space.

I can already hear some people reading this post saying, “Cut your plants!”

Yes, of course. I’ve thought of that. There are some plants that I do cut.

Thai Pink Lipstick Plant

And then there are others like my huge Thai Pink Lipstick Plant pictured above.

My plant and I have worked hard over time to grow it into this glorious beast of a plant. I don’t want to cut it. I want it to stay the beast that it is. I could give it a trim (and I might). But it will still need significant shelf space.

I am going to make that space by displacing some of my hoyas. Oh, the horror. But it has to be done because the lipstick plant and I are together ’til death do us part.

This means that I have to start deciding which plants I will keep and which plants I will need to find new homes for.

The practice of choosing which plants to keep has become incredibly common recently.

My little plant-lover heart is very tired of making choices about what can stay and go, particularly as I’ve been repotting plants this spring and recognizing how much so many of my plants have grown.

But I have no space left and my plants are absolutely exploding with growth. What a glorious problem.

So I’m saying, “No,” to lots of my plants these days. It’s a hard, difficult, sad, “No.”

But it allows me to say, “YES,” to the plants that I really deeply love.

And that is worth saying, “No,” to.

That being said, do I still occasionally add a wishlist plant if I run across it? Yes. Do I still accept planty gifts? Yes. Does that make me silly? Oh, probably.

My nature-loving heart knows no bounds. I’ve taken in way too many unwanted plants, betta fish, bunnies, and others. I have what some would call a bleeding heart.

I’m watching my eldest daughter develop one as well. There are far worse things than loving all of the life on this planet no matter how small.


When I was a child I made friends with a ladybug. I loved that bug to death. I’m sure it was literally loved to death, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I was so sad about its passing that I buried my little friend in a purple easter egg in my yard behind my family’s pole barn. I grew up in the country.

I told my daughter that story and when she, age 4, had her own ladybug friend she too wanted to give it a proper burial in an easter egg.

The only problem was the ladybug was still alive. That part she didn’t quite catch. But her little heart meant well. We’re working on it.

Easter Egg

Anyway! Plants. I love them. I want to keep them all. But they are growing and I’m out of space. What’s a plant lover to do but be a grown-up and make hard decisions? Parenting is hard at times, whether it’s plants or the human variety. 🙂

Are you experiencing the pain and pleasure of your plants growing too? Tell me about it in the comments!

Happy growing and see you soon. <3



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