Since 2001, I’ve owned a small plant care business in Albuquerque called Good To Grow. Since 2009, I’ve maintained this indoor and outdoor gardening blog.

Each Wednesday, I’ve been posting emails from readers who had questions about their houseplants. Most of the letters came from people who are not regular readers, but who stumbled across this blog because they had a specific houseplant question. When I could, I wrote them back with advice tailored to their specific question. I saved all these emails in a file.

Since my regular readers are so sophisticated with their houseplant knowledge, and because everyone has their own take on caring for plants, I wanted to turn the emails over to them and see what their advice would’ve been had the email come to them. On Wednesdays, I’ll post the original question, and on the following Wednesday, I’ll reveal the advice from the regulars, as well as my response, so we can see how we match up. It’s been an interesting experiment so far, I hope you enjoy. If you have advice, please leave it in the comment section or on my facebook wall.


We’ll take a little departure here. I got an email yesterday asking for a plant identification. My original instinct was to say it was a Gasteraloe. But then I thought, no wait, it was probably a Gasterhaworthia. There are a lot of hybrid Aloe-shaped, pudgy, textured leaf plants out there. It’s hard to keep track of them.

Since I wasn’t sure of the correct ID, I wrote the person back and said that I would post the photos for the rest of you to see and comment on. I shared my guesses, and I did agree with her that it is a cool looking plant.

What do you think guys?



See? It’s funky! I love the texture of the leaves.

Even without an exact ID, the care for most succulents is similar. Both Gasteraloes and Gasterhaworthias are low maintenance plants, neither need much water to thrive. They both like bright light. I would recommend to this particular person not to keep her plant outdoors much longer – they do not like the cold. I’m not sure where she lives, but it’s best to error on the side of caution when it comes to bringing plants back into the house for the fall and winter seasons. You don’t want to risk them getting even a little bit chilly, especially not after growing well all summer.

Readers, you can leave your opinions and/or care advice in the comments section. Instead of waiting until next week to post your answers, I’ll post them tomorrow. Hopefully we can get our writer steered in the right direction. Thanks for your help!


Good To Grow is an Albuquerque-based interior and exterior landscaping service. We use plants and flowers to decorate offices, homes and patios around the city. We also offer memorial garden services, meaning that when a loved one passes, we can plant a customized garden in his or her honor. If the person who passed was an avid cook, we can plant an herb garden to honor that person’s memory. If a Veteran dies, we can plant a red, white, and blue perennial garden. If you lost a beloved pet, we can plant a garden around the burial site.

If you’d like to know more about the landscaping or memorial garden services offered, please send an email to Thank you for your consideration.