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Potting houseplants together is a great way to reduce your workload (less watering!) and make cool displays. It’s also a good way of filling a big pot if you’ve only got small plants.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to potting houseplants together, just a couple of principles to bear in mind:
- Plants potted together must have similar light/humidity requirements
- It’s a LOT easier if they have the same watering requirements
You could try potting different plants in different soils, but over time they’ll end up getting mixed together.
How to decide which plants to pot together
There are LOADS of pictures of people potting Pothos and succulents up together, and they do look pretty cool. However, I had a brainwave of keeping certain plants in one pot to make things easier for me.
I am a bit of a monkey for underwatering, so I generally choose plants that aren’t that bothered about that. I usually go around and check everyone weekly, and that works fine for most plants.
I do have a couple of small Calathea that would perhaps prefer more frequent waterings. So I decided to grab a few small plants with similar requirements, and pot them in a rectangular pot.
I have three aglaonema, a Calathea, and a Syngonium in there.
I picked them out of the terrarium, hence the slug bites.
The soil should stay moist for a week EASILY but because there’s a higher volume of soil than there would be in one small pot, it should stay moister for way longer.
So how did I pick them?
The calathea is the most fickle guest. The fate of the planter must revolve around him. The light is fine for him, and the soil is nice and airy but retains quite a lot of water.
All I had to think about next was which plants would also enjoy these conditions? Aglaonema was a no brainer. They live in very similar situations to Calathea in the wild but are FAR chiller. They also add a gorgeous pop of colour (I think, I’m colourblind). The have a very similar growth pattern, so they all grow nice and bushy and not climb all over each other.
The Syngonium is a bit of a wild card. It might not get quite enough light in the spot I’m planning but we’ll see.
They’re generally pretty chill PLUS I don’t want it to grow too quickly just in case it starts climbing over everyone else and getting in the way.
I put it in the middle because it may need staking at some point, and having a pole in the middle is the least weird place to put it.
I could have also tried adding ferns to this – they also like dappled light and moist soils, since they grow on the rainforest floor as well.
When you’re choosing plants to go in the same pot together, consider if they come from a similar, er, background to one another.
Which plants can be potted with Monstera?
Monstera are a bit of a pain because they don’t really like sharing their pot (they release hormones to inhibit the growth of other plants) AND they have very obnoxious roots that take up a LOT of room (see also anthuriums).
There’s also the question of whether you would want a plant to climb it or not. For example, a Pothos would probably do ok with a Monstera and look cool trailing over the side BUT you’d be forever trying to stop it from climbing the Monstera.
You could try keeping Monstera with aglaonema, but it’d be easy to end up accidentally over-watering the Monstera or underwatering the aglaonema. Both could do well, but not as well as they could do apart.
Another option could be Syngonium, especially if you kept it bushy by chopping and propping. The issue here is that Syngoniums tend to have quite fine roots. Fine roots tend to stick together, and you’d probably end up accidentally grafting the roots together and not being able to separate them without doing a LOT of damage.
Which plants can be potted with spider plants?
I would actually kind of like to try potting a spider plant with a Monstera because they’re both equally chill, like a decent amount of light, and have roots that are bullies. You’d probably end up needing a ridiculously large pot for normal-sized plants.
I would pot spider plants with a small-leaved peperomia or Syngonium.
Which plants can be potted with snake plants?
Snake plants would look nice potted around the base of a dracaena marginata. They’re actually part of the same genus (i.e. they’re all dracaena) so pop them in a nice sunny spot and they;ll get along well.
If I was planting a snake plant with another plant I would NOT put it in low light. If the other plant got root or something, it’d suddenly be in a massive amount of soil with no way to use up the water.
If you had a big snake plant, you could try keeping a Hoya with it. Both are quite succulent but need more water than you’d think (if kept in the appropriate conditions) and the snake plant would protect the Hoya from the sun.
This is just me spitballing, but I think it could work (but don’t shout at me if it doesn’t).
Keeping companion plants in water/leca
If you’re separate to keep, say snake plants and Calathea together, you could try keeping them hydroponically or in leca. That way there’s less chance of the plant that prefers to dry out from getting root rot.
For maximum success you do need to consider the lighting/humidity requirements of each plant, but I keep snake plants and Calathea next to each other – the snake plant shades the Clathea from the window.
There isn’t that much information out there about keeping certain plants together, because it’s generally easier to keep single plants healthy. That being said I have a pot that has a neon Pothos, lemon-lime philodendron and manjula pothos all together and they seem to like it.
Bear in mind that Pothos and heartleaf philodendron live in very similar situation in the wild so I was pretty sure they’d be fine. I mix it up at some point and put a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma in there.
The issue comes when the plants start to outgrow their pots. You can just keep increasing the pot size, but at some point, you may have to separate them. As I said, the roots have a tendency to all fuse together so you may need to do a bit of rehab work once they’re all separated.