The Dark Side to Owning Plants

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What you don’t see on Instagram

This is not the blog post I wanted make today. Originally, I wanted to show the plants that I have successfully grown from wet sticks. I will post that one soon after but I wanted to address this first.

Every day I am bombarded with these perfect plant instagram accounts. These posts make me inspect and criticize my own troubles and messiness with my plants. My environment just never looks as good as these perfect instagram accounts and it tends to make me sad and uninspired. I have a feeling they are not showing you the whole truth.

What you are seeing is not real life, just as instagram is a facade for skinny, beautiful people with filters on their face and photoshopping, it is also a facade for perfect plant life. One would have to clean constantly and spend all their time doing this to have such spaces. This is plant life and dirt is involved which makes it messy by default. A perfectly clean 24/7 plant area is not possible. It is not real so please don’t be so hard on yourself when your plants and plant area are not perfect.

My recent struggles

My house has a sunroom attached to it and it was originally unheated. So I began doing research because I wanted to use this room for my plants all year round even when it is cold in the winter and hot as heck in the summer. I found that a mini-split heating/cooling system would help me achieve this. I have been saving money for the past year and I finally had it installed this past week.

The mini-split has been heating the sunroom very well and I was very happy with it until the winter storm this week. We had ice and snow all day on Thursday and Friday so we got a lot of accumulation. Well, last night I noticed that water was coming in through the windows and on the floor. Due to the nice warm heat in the sunroom and the uninsulated ceiling, the snow build up of ice dams on the roof began melting and dripping into the sunroom. I now have to buy insulation to put on the ceiling to stop the ice damming.

We went looking for insulation at Menards today but it is out of stock all over the city. So I guess we will wait until it comes back into stock.

How was I heating the sunroom before the mini-split?

I have struggled with heating the sunroom for a very long time. At first I was using an oil filled radiator and it did provide some heat but not enough for some of the more sensitive plants. I didn’t have to worry about the room getting down to freezing and it always stayed at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I have never lost a plant to freezing in the sunroom while using the oil filled radiator.

At the end of last year, I decided to buy a heater that provided more heat for the sunroom. I did some research and instead of buying a more expensive heater that provided a thermostat, I bought a thermostat and heater separately. This heater would work great for a smaller greenhouse or area. My sunroom is 180 square feet with tall ceilings so it did help but wasn’t able to keep up when the temperatures got pretty low outside.

If you are interested in the weather station I have further down in the pictures I have provided the link here. I love it because it is round and looks great hanging on the wall.

Some pictures of the dark side of plant keeping you probably won’t see on Instagram

The sunroom in disarray after ice and water came inside
The messy floor after water an dirt came in due to melting ice
Ice on the window coming down from the gutters and soffits
Close-up of the ice on the window
Ice outside of the window and on the siding
Icicles hanging on the sideing
A view from outside of the sunroom with all the ice on the siding and windows
The minisplit

Some more positive pictures after I fixed the bad situation

I can now grow Anthurium Veitchii out here in the sunroom
It is now warm enough to grow the Alocasias out here, this is Alocasia Sarian
Ficus Lyrata loves it out here
Philodendron Giganteum growing out here, I used to bring this guy in during the day and out at night
Alocasia Amazonica
Monstera Thai Constellation grew bigger out here than the other one grew in the grow tent
I found this cool weather station on Amazon to monitor the temperature in the room
The sunroom looking a bit better but still needs a bit more organization

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