Why every care article includes how the plant grows in the wild

by | May 10, 2021 | Houseplant Care

If you read any of my houseplant care posts featuring a specific plant, then you will notice there is always a section that dives into where the plant is found in nature and how it grows there.

Why do I take the time to look into these details and find pictures of the plant growing in its natural habitat?

Knowing where and how the plant grows naturally gives us huge clues about how to keep that plant happy in our homes.

It provides an explanation for its houseplant care tips.

After all, every plant’s story starts somewhere in nature, where they have adapted to grow. Not in our homes.

To show you what I mean, we will take a look at 3 different plants growing in the wild and the information they give us!

#1 Lithops sp

Lithops are odd little succulents that grow between rocks, hiding among the stones by looking just like stones themselves.

These tiny plants are native to southern Africa, where they have adapted to going long periods of time in intense sun and heat with very little water.

Photo by: leandra-k_89, Source

To survive the drought and heat, most Lithops go dormant in the summer, laying in wait for a little more rain and a slight decrease in sun intensity.

When fall arrives, these plants wake up again to bloom and grow.

What does this tell us about their care?

Lithops need lots of sunlight, little water or humidity, and poor, rocky soil conditions.

Photo by: zawalker, Source

#2 Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium is from the tropical forests in southern Mexico.

You can find them clinging to trees or rocks with their roots completely exposed.

This position gives them lots of bright sun filtered through the forest canopy.

Being in a tropical forest, it rains often and the humidity remains high.

What does this tell us about its care?

Anthurium clarinervium thrives best when planted in a super chunky, airy mix that is watered often but doesn’t remain wet. They need lots of humidity and filtered light to thrive.

Anthurium clarivernium, Photo by: Héctor-Gómez, Source

#3 Hoya kerrii

Hoya kerrii is from Southeast Asia, where it is very warm and dry most of the year.

They enjoy climbing up tree trunks and living among another epiphytic plants.

Their incredibly succulent leaves retain water to help them through periods of drought, as well as tolerating lots of hot sun.

What does this tell us about their care?

Hoya kerrii doesn’t want to be watered often because its adapted to live with little rainfall and lots of sun.

It needs more sun than many hoyas do, for the same reason.

It also wants something to climb and will benefit from a trellis or some other type of support.

A super airy potting mix will ensure its roots don’t sit wet for an extended period of time.

Photo by: Nasser Halaweh, Source

Photo by: cdelrio, Source

Big Takeaway

Houseplant care advice and terminology can sometimes seem prescriptive without a lot of supporting information.

In truth, each plant has adapted to survive and thrive in their native areas.

When we take a look at what the conditions of their native areas are, we can understand what the plant needs us to provide in order to be healthy and happy.

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