Vandalism and Abuse

Vandalism and abuse to interior plantings may necessitate replacement earlier than expected. Certain locations will bring certain predictable types of abuse. Plantings in cocktail lounges or nightclubs may have alcoholic drinks poured into their soil. Those in college snack bars and dorms may have cigarette holes burned through their leaves. Plantings in shopping malls may be mutilated by home propagators who take cuttings faster than the plants can replace them. Sometimes entire plants are stolen from the planters. The planters themselves are used as litter bins for paper cups, cigarettes, chewing gum, and assorted other debris.

The only real defense against such damage and abuse is public edu­cation and cooperation. By keeping the plantings attractive and well maintained, they are less likely to be deliberately damaged. Replacing or repairing damaged plants as soon as they are noticed displays the concern of the owners for an attractive planting that all can enjoy.

Grouping Compatible Species

Grouping compatible species simplifies the maintenance of the interior plantscape. Within any one planter the species selected should have the same requirements for light, moisture, fertilization, and soil mix. Although a large plantscape may effectively combine tropical species, desert species, and sometimes even temperate species, they should be in separate planters. When plant replacement is necessary, the new plants should be compatible with the existing ones.