• Home Home

Gardener shares photo after accidentally committing major blunder with houseplant: '[I] didn't know at the time it was so invasive'

"I'll make sure in the future to Google before I plant."

"I'll make sure in the future to Google before I plant."

Photo Credit: iStock

Houseplants are an interior designer's best friend to liven up a room. They also provide many benefits, including stress reduction, increased creativity, and cleaner air. But you should be aware that some houseplants are meant to be just that — indoor plants.  

One Redditor learned this lesson the hard way and shared a photo of their blunder in the subreddit r/plants

"When you plant your Pothos houseplant outside this is what can happen," they wrote. 

In the image, the plant is seen weaving itself up a tree trunk. 

"I'll make sure in the future to Google before I plant."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Many commenters responded with concern, noting that the pothos plant could harm the tree, as well as the surrounding environment. 

Pothos plants are invasive species, which means they are not meant to be grown outside of the South Pacific's Solomon Islands, Indonesia, or northern Australia, according to TCPalm

They were initially introduced to Florida for the "interior foliage industry" — or, in other words, to be houseplants. If they are cultivated outside, once they're fully grown, pothos plants can block sunlight. Trees that don't get enough sunlight can eventually die.

Other similarly "pretty" plants can be just as harmful. 

In one TikTok video, Stephen Camp (@b0tanica), explained how a field of wild mustard — a tall plant with clusters of small yellow flowers — was "actually really sad." Since the mustard was invasive, it made it hard for plants from that area to grow, including purple lupines, California poppies, and mariposa lilies. When native plants are unable to thrive, local wildlife and vital pollinators can be negatively impacted. 

Commenters under the original Reddit post also pointed out some other reasons that invasive species, like the pothos plants, can be harmful if grown outdoors. 

"They're also toxic to pets and children," one Redditor commented. "Just take some cuttings and remove the plant."

The Reddit comments taught a good lesson: Always research a plant before you decide to grow it outside of your house.

"Didn't know at the time it was so invasive," the OP explained in the comments section.

"I just thought it was amazing how it had grown. I'll make sure in the future to Google before I plant," they added.  

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider