House plants are challenging to grow because they are grown in an unnatural environment. Often, at least one factor in the home environment is not favorable to a particular plant's growth. For successful growth, the house plant environment must be manipulated to the point where plants will tolerate it. Rarely will the home environment duplicate a plant's natural environment.
House plant problems often have environmental or cultural causes. Perhaps an environmental factor, or interaction between environmental factors, is lacking or has been overlooked. For instance, a plant lacking adequate light exposure will be worse off if given high temperatures or too much fertilizer.
A plant may be purchased and placed in the home without consideration of its cultural needs. This often leads to the purchase of a plant which can only be grown well in a greenhouse. Select house plants which grow in conditions available in a particular home. If there are no bright, sunny windows, do not select plants requiring lots of light. Where the air is hot and dry during the winter, avoid plants requiring cool temperatures or high humidity. Environmental conditions plus the growing skills of the recipient ought to be considered when selecting a gift plant.