Trying to Identify a Houseplant

Trying to identify a houseplant is a bit like trying to find the penny with a chip on it, in a bucket full of pennies. There are so many different varieties and families of plants, and sometimes different types can look remarkably similar to each other.

A few things to look for when trying to identify a houseplant, are the shape and size of it’s leaves, and the size of it’s stem, or stalks. Are the leaves star shaped, or rounded, long or short? Is the stems of the plant fat and short, or long and skinny? Is the texture rubbery and shiny, or hairy and prickly? Does the plant have flowers or blooms?

Some other things to note when trying to identify a houseplant, is where is the plant located? Both geographically and the exact location it is growing in. Is it growing in the shade, or growing in direct sunlight? Is the surrounding terrain rocky and barren, or lush and green? What is the geographical weather like? Humid and hot, cool and dry, or a mix of the two?

All of the above mentioned factors can help you rule out particular types of plants when trying to identify a houseplant. Also look at the size of the plant overall, and the size of the pot. Trying to identify a houseplant can be time consuming if you don’t educate yourself on what to look for. They can all start to blend together and look the same if you don’t know what to look for.

Once you learn the fine nuances of plant identification however, no two plants will ever look the same for you again! One thing can you can do is try a little online research for photos of various species. Many sites may offer a type of picture catalog that you can do a search in for the characteristics of the plant you are trying to identify.

Another option is to purchase a few books on various types of plants to thumb through. You can possibly find a match in that manner as well. Trying to identify a houseplant is important, because if you don’t know what kind of plant it is, you can’t give it the proper care that is needed for optimal growth. That means your plant may not quite live up to it’s full potential.

Trying to identify a houseplant is also important for safety purposes. If you have small children or pets, some houseplants may not be safe to keep around due to the toxic effects if a leaf is eaten. Many dogs like to munch on stray leaves, and if you accidentally get a houseplant that is toxic, you could end up making your pet extremely sick. While trying to identify a houseplant is by no means an easy or fun job it is unfortunately very necessary.