Posted by: Erin | July 17, 2008

Quest for Houseplants: Part 1

I know I started this blog with the intent of it being a cooking blog, but, well, I’m a plant geek. Don’t know what to tell you guys. But as it’s my blog, I can write about whatever I want, so I like to think of this as my little blog of domesticity, which just happens to be mainly about food/cooking. 🙂 Anyway…

I am on a quest for some new houseplants. I’ve been considering crotons for my kitchen, but I’ve been at a loss for what to put in my living room. I saw a few 10″ potted tropicals at the grocery store last week, including crotons and dieffenbachia. The crotons didn’t look that great (I think the nursery has better ones), but the two dieffenbachias looked pretty nice. (I assume the nursery probably has them as well, since they’re apparently quite common.) When I went to pick up some groceries tonight, I discovered that they’re also on sale this week, so I could get the two for $20, which is pretty appealing to my wallet and plant geekiness. But I’ve never had them before, so I’m not sure how easy they are to care for. From what I’m reading, they should like the spot I’ve got picked out for them, so I’m not too worried about that. Though they’d be by windows, I think they’d be okay in the winter, since they’d also be near the heat.

The thing that’s kinda off-putting to me is that it’s apparently crazy poisonous. Granted, I have plants, not pets, so I’m not worried about accidentally killing puppies or anything. I assume it’s not poisonous to humans unless you do something dumb, like eat it. Do any of you guys have experience with these? Good idea, bad idea, stuff to avoid, stuff to make sure I do? I’m thinking about rescuing the two pretty plants from the grocery store sometime this weekend, unless someone can give me a good reason not to.

Addendum: After reading the list of poisonous houseplants (and drooling over this picture) on this lovely person’s blog, I’m thinking I shouldn’t be so paranoid about the dieffenbachia. I’ve already got two peace lilies and lots of aloe, and none have made an attempt on my life thus far. 🙂


  1. Dieffenbachia is a good choice for a living room. It will grow to a good size and it’s color will help brighten the room. Crotons require fairly bright light or their coloring will fade whereas Dieffenbachia will grow well in much lower light conditions.
    Pets or people really have to eat the plant to be poisoned so as long as you have no pets or small children (they will eat anything) you will be OK.

  2. Thanks, Jack! I did end up getting two crotons for the kitchen (I’ll post pics soon). I only got them last weekend, and we haven’t had much sun, so I’m not sure how affected their color will be, but I think I should be able to swap them around if one gets greener than the other.

    I haven’t acquired the dieffenbachia yet, but I think that’s what’s going in the living room. They’ll get some bright (but not direct) light in there, so they should be happy. And since I’d like to think I’m smart enough to not nibble on the plants, I should be okay (no small children or pets here).

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