The Q&A Archives: Houseplant?

Question: I purchased a Grecian pattern Plant. Can I maintain this plant indoors, or is it really better suited outside. If I can maintain the plant indoors, are there any different growing/watering/sunlight tips?

Answer: This plant, Acanthus mollis, is usually grown outdoors in the ground, in part because it gets very big (three feet tall and wide) and tries to spread into a widening clump. I have never seen one of these grown indoors as a container plant, perhaps because the root system becomes too large for a manageable pot size. If you want to experiment and have some space, you might be able to keep it indoors since it does grow in climates as warm as Florida and it is an evergreen. It prefers partial shade outside, so would likely need good bright to full sun light indoors. It is native to the Mediterranean and prefers a well drained soil, so make sure to use a well draining potting mix to minimize the chance of overwatering. In my experience, however, it is usually more successful to use adapted tropical plants for indoors. There are some large leafed philodendrons that would give you a similar foliage texture and grow very happily indoors with minimal care.

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