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House Plants/High Altitude Plants


Hi Will,

We recently moved from CT,  few hundred feet above sea level and often highly humid, to the mountains outside Taos NM, our home being situated about 8,000 feet above sea level and the humidity being pretty low.  My wife is suffering from plant deprivation, having gifted her extensive inventory because she didn't want to risk hurting them in our move.  Can you give me a recommendation on a variety of different plants that will do well here so I can surprise and fulfill her?  She's also into herbs.  Most appreciated!



Hi Chris,

This may surprise you, but the high altitude and low humidity will not have an adverse effect on most of the commonly used indoor plants. Even in CT, the indoor humidity levels in winter when the heat is on are lower than the desert. Do avoid most fern species and Orchids other than Phalaenopsis that require high humidity.

Otherwise, plants should be selected by the available light. If a plant will be located in front of a sunny window, then you are best off with a high light plant such as Ficus. On the other hand if you want to place  plant 6 or 8 feet from the nearest window, then you will need a low light plant, such as Pothos or Dracaena 'Janet Craig.' Of course, there are dozens of other plant species in between that are suited for medium light.

Herbs need lots of direct sun so they must be kept in a sunny window.

In low humidity, soil moisture evaporates more quickly, so more frequent watering may be necessary. Misting is not effective at increasing humidity, but pebble trays and humidifiers are.

I have written detailed articles on evaluating light for plants that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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