a jungle for my monkeys

I keep on telling my family I want more houseplants. They tease me that I want to turn the house into an indoor jungle. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Do you?

I love trees

There’s an entry in my baby book about how I loved to just sit and stare out the window watching the trees sway. It said that I could be found swaying with them. My love for trees has never faded.

growing trees of my own

As a young girl, my aunt gave me an oak tree to grow and raise as my own. There was a beautiful ceramic pot designed to look like a tree trunk. Beside it stood a ceramic squirrel. It was full of dirt. All I had to do was plant my little oak tree seed. I transplanted that tree in my backyard so many years ago. I like to believe it’s grown tall and strong in the Texas sun.

Meanwhile, here at my current residence, they seem to have hacked down every darned tree to put in this little piece of suburbia. While they may not sway to the breeze, nobody can chop down my indoor trees to pave paradise and put in a parking lot.

We have two trees we keep behind the closed door of our bedroom because they are poisonous to the cats.

Madagascar Dragon Tree

Madagascar Dragon Tree

One is a Madagascar Dragon Tree. It’s only about a year old. It currently stands around two and a half feet tall, though it can grow as tall as six feet from what I’ve read. It’s grown so fluffy it stands about as wide as it does tall.



The other is a Dumbcane. It’s also around a year old and stands at about two and a half feet. It can grow up to six feet tall, as well. It’s had a bit of a struggle while we find it a place in our new home, but it just unfurled a new leaf, so I’m hoping it’s on the right track, now.

Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island Pine

We’ve added a new tree to our home tree collection. A Norfolk Island Pine tree can grow over 100 feet tall! It only stands about a foot tall right now, and, fortunately, it’s not likely to pass six feet here in the house.

It’s a perfect time to bring in this little faux pine tree. It came with some cheesy decorations which we’ll leave on until after the twelve days of Yule which are just around the corner. After the festivities have ended, it can grow tall and strong in our living room because we finally found a tree that is non-toxic to the cats according to the ASPCA.

pet friendly plants

Not all of our plants are dangerous for the cats. That would be silly indeed. It is my hope that the more plants we add to the collection, the less nibbling the cats will do on one.

Boston Fern

Boston Fern

We have a couple of Boston Ferns. They’re named Ferngus and Fernando. The cats have over loved these poor, helpless ferns. Fernando is doing alright in the corner of the living room. The cats have stopped devouring it. I hesitate to prune it this time of year, so I’m leaving it until spring.

Sadly, its pal Ferngus isn’t fairing quite as well. The cats nearly devoured it. I’ve currently got it set up in a sunny spot in the kitchen hoping its newest babies will grow, grow, grow. I’m too embarrassed to post a picture of that one. I’m hoping to transplant those babies in the spring.

Spider Plant

Spider Plant

We had two spider plants. Well, two pots full of spider plants. One of them didn’t survive the move so well. We took plants that were hanging on and repotted them in the hopes they may take root and regain their health. So far, they’ve continued to perish. There are two still green and holding on. One seems to be growing new shoots.

The second pot full of spider plants is lush and green, though its been getting a little overwatered recently in our daughter’s room. It’s in the living room now where I can ensure it’s given the chance to dry out. I hope to divide it amongst many pots in the spring and leave them around the house.

safe succulents

Along with our new pine tree, we picked up a couple of other plants. These ones are succulents, so I’ll be careful to not let our daughter handle their watering schedule. I was happy to find a couple of healthy succulents that were listed as safe for the cats.

Green Bean Plant

peperomia ferreyrae

We found a beautiful peperomia ferreyrae which also goes by the name of Green Bean Plant because of the shape of its leaves. It’s actually sitting up on the kitchen counter right now. I’m not sure if it will stay there forever, but it seemed a nice place for it to begin. There appears to be a wide variety of peperomia; all seem to be non-toxic to pets.

Dragon Fruit Cactus

We got this cute little Dragon Fruit Cactus. We found it in this cute little pot which I believe is in the likeness of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. This little cactus (or maybe they are cacti?) has been given prime real estate in a prominent location. I’ve placed it center of the table in the center of our living room.

room for more

I believe that there should be a plant (or more) in every room of the house. Plants are great for air circulation and purification as well as providing mood and health benefits.

I’m currently on the hunt for some plants that will grow happily in our windowless bathrooms. They need to be cat friendly because the cats do wander into the main bathroom from time to time.

Our son has requested a cactus for his bedroom. Cacti are supposed to make great sleeping companions. That is they’re great for cleaning the air while you sleep. I wouldn’t recommend grabbing one for a cuddle buddy. Ouch!

Sadly we are just leaving November, and I will have to wait many long winter months before the nurseries open up again, and I can check out their wider selection. Until then, I’ll continue collecting random (safe for the cats) plants from my local Meijer store. I think I may pick up another Norway Island Pine next time I’m there. Like I said, I love trees.


3 thoughts on “a jungle for my monkeys

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