Big Plants Indoors?

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A couple years ago, in a fit of longing for greenery in my loft in San Francisco, I went out and bought a huge houseplant. Well, it was more like a tree (or at least that is what the bum who lived around the corner said to me as my friend and I lugged it up sidewalk). After transferring it to a pot big enough to sit in, this plant did fairly well at first and I loved being able to look down from the mezzanine and seeing it in the corner. However, after a few months, something unexpected happened...

The neighbor's cat had escaped from their loft from the roof and slipped into my apartment through the open bedroom window. When I came home from work that evening, I was met with a tipped plant, a broken pot, soil everywhere, remnants of half-chewed leaves, and deep scratches all up and down the trunk. Ever since that incident, my tree was never the same again; when I moved, I ended up giving it away to a co-worker.

There are a few lessons I learned from this experience (like remembering to close bedroom windows); and since then, I haven't had the urge to get another big houseplant. In fact, I've realized that my tastes have changed: I've been leaning more towards smaller plants to place around the house, rather than one huge statement. How about you? What do you prefer? Anyone have any tips on maintaining large indoor plants (or protecting them from pets)?

(Image: Oly Studio)

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