6 Worst Places for Houseplants—5 Will Surprise You


Which are the worst places for houseplants?

The company I work for changed its headquarters a month or so ago, so all the employees, including me, had their offices moved into a new location. Obviously, I had to move all the personal stuff I had in my office, my plants included.

I have a couple of plant pots at work, but somehow, during the moving process, my spider plant got lost. I’ve tried to look for it and asked the nice ladies who do the cleaning stuff in the building, but at some point I gave up. My spider plant was gone.

Until one week ago, when one of my coworkers asked me to help her with some work stuff. I was there in her office, and while walking towards the chair, I saw it. My spider plant!

“Is it yours?” I asked, pointing at it.

“Oh, no, I’m not into plants. It was here when we moved,” came the response.

Somehow, my plant was placed behind her desk, between her printer stand and a bookshelf. After missing several weeks of service, the bottom leaves were brown, dead, and slightly curled. Unfortunately, my spider plant was long gone, and while glancing at its place, I realized it was a terrible spot for a plant.

While this personal story of mine is about an office plant, it can also apply to houseplants too. Though some indoor plants are hard to grow, many others are quite resilient and can live in locations such as the laundry room, the bathroom, or even the basement.

However, there are some worse places for houseplants you may want to be aware of to not threaten the health of the plants or even potentially damage some of your belongings.

This being said, here’s a list of the worst places for houseplants!

worst places for houseplants
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1. Next to a heater

Placing your plants right next to a heater is a bad idea. This includes space heaters, radiators, and heating or cooling vents. Greenery situated in direct proximity to a heater is exposed to very low humidity levels and high temperatures, which isn’t ideal for most plants.

As one of the worst places for houseplants, this spot can end up killing your plants. The ideal distance from the heater will vary based on the type of plant we’re talking about.

For instance, succulents, which generally require minimal care, may be fine if they are only around 3 feet from the heat source, while indoor plants that do better with higher levels of humidity, such as bamboo, should be situated significantly farther away (a minimum of 10 feet).

2. On top of the refrigerator

While it may be surprising, you should also want to avoid putting your plants on top of the refrigerator. As one of the worst places for houseplants, this one comes with so many drawbacks that it simply is not worth the hassle.

First, unless your fridge happens to be right in front of a window, the place won’t receive sufficient light for most plants to thrive. Refrigerators are often placed on interior walls or even underneath cabinets, making them one of the worst places for houseplants. If your fridge is in a rather gloomy and dark place, the top of it is certainly not what an indoor plant will be looking for.

Apart from the poor lighting, the humidity level and the temperature on the top of a refrigerator aren’t ideal for most plants. The area around the big appliance has low humidity. When that is combined with the heat of the fridge as it runs, it can only spell trouble for your plants.

They are going to be rapidly absorbing water from the soil, meaning you’ll have to water them much more frequently or… face them dying.

The third reason why the top of your fridge is one of the worst places for houseplants is the inconvenience of having to climb up a ladder every time you want to water your plant.

plant spot
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3. In a corner

Most people think that a plant looks lovely when placed in a corner. It fills up the space, making it look lively. It softens the hard edges of the room, sometimes keeps a tall plant out of the way, and often a corner is the only spot available.

However, this can be one of the worst places for houseplants if we’re talking about tropical indoor plants. Corners are often dark, and such a spot would likely be especially troublesome for plants.

With around half of the plant facing the wall, it just won’t receive enough sunlight to thrive and may wind up losing some leaves. If the corner of the room is the only place that’s available, be selective about the kind of plant that you place there.

Ferns, spider plants, snake plants, and other low-light indoor plants are a few options to consider, but even then, you may want to keep an eye on your plant after changing its place to make sure it thrives.

4. In a place with too much direct sunlight

Sunlight is good for plants. However, like in many cases, too much of a good thing can be bad. Many indoor plants do best in shade or partial shade, so placing them on a window sill where they are exposed to direct sunlight for many hours a day isn’t a good idea. This is definitely one of the worst places for houseplants that thrive in a rather shaded area.

When these plants get too much direct sun, it can make the chlorophyll inside each leaf break down, resulting in faded or pale sections that will turn brown if the damage continues. Moreover, excessive sunlight can also scorch the tips of the leaves. If you notice these changes in your plant and you have it on a window sill, move its spot.

We’re not done yet with the list of the worst places for houseplants! Keep reading to see other spots where you shouldn’t place your indoor plants!

plant spot
Photo by New Africa from Shutterstock

5. Too close to electronic equipment

Remember my story with the lost spider plant? Not only was it placed in a dark area, but it was also near a printer. You’ve already found out how that turned out.

There are several benefits associated with incorporating plants into the home office. According to the American Society for Horticultural Science, indoor plants can help reduce stress, and we all know how much of that we have in our lives these days.

However, you may want to be selective about where you place plants in your home office. Anywhere too close to electronic equipment is considered one of the worst places for houseplants.

This being said, you shouldn’t have your plants too close to your printer, computer, power strips, or other electronics. Keeping plants too close to these types of devices increases the risk that something will be damaged. For instance, as you’re watering your plants, you could splash liquid on your electronics.

By the way, if you’re looking for some new plant pots, here’s a wide selection to choose from!

6. On top of the microwave

Next on the list of the worst places for houseplants is the top of your microwave. Just as you shouldn’t keep your indoor plants on top of the fridge, the same rule applies to the microwave. The reason for this is twofold.

One is that it can threaten the health of your plant. Microwaves emit heat as they run, which can create an impaired growing environment for your plant.

The second reason why the top of your microwave is one of the worst places for houseplants is that when the appliance is in use, plants and other objects could potentially block the vents and prevent the electric oven from working properly. Moreover, heavy items, like big plants, could also potentially damage the top surface of the appliance.

If you liked our article on the worst places for houseplants, you may also want to read 10 Drop-Dead Gorgeous Flowers That Bloom All Summer Long.