When House Plants Attack
Just kidding, this ain't Little Shop of Horrors. For real though, I have 33 houseplants at last count in this house, four at the loft project I've been working on and a couple at the Section house. So forty-ish plants that I have to keep alive! That is a lot of responsibility but so far I've been up to the challenge and I am not afraid to give plants away when it gets overwhelming. Never another fiddle leaf fig will I give away (I'm looking at you, all THREE of you, bad fig parents) but other plants, I will part with to qualified adoptive plant parents. I will give a snake plant to just about anyone, they are resilient and can handle loads of neglect and poor lighting. Which brings me to the point of this post. My favorite houseplants and how I care for them, as well as a couple that leave me scratching my head as they wilt on the sill.
I can't believe this thing! I repotted it but not really into a larger pot, just a cuter one and it grew like wildfire. I think it's due for a repotting again, it's been about a year. I love how it looks in this little pineapple-like guy so much, I'm going to hold out as long as possible. I water it once a week and keep it in a sunny spot. It tolerates being moved around pretty well. It photographs beautifully, is low maintenance, and readily available at your local home improvement store at a low price.
All the heart eyes for these guys. Low maintenance, lowlight and you can buy pink varieties. OMG. Pink is THE color that's happening right now. This one is just run of the mill green but compensates by being planted in a swan. I mean come on? I water very occasionally (read: lazily) and they remain happy. The more TLC you give them though, the more you will be rewarded with vines. I also pick these up at Lowes or Wal-Mart even.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
The "it girl" of house plants. She is everywhere. You can't scroll five posts on instagram without seeing one of these exotic beauties. They used to be hard to find and they still can't be had in my corner of the Earth. Thank the Lord for mail order. You can buy babies from Home Depot for $30 and have them delivered anywhere. Pro tip: Don't order them when it's 5 below or they will damn near freeze to death in the ten minutes spent on your front porch, plus any cold they encountered in transit. Disclaimer: That was not a pro tip. I'm an idiot, I can't believe I did that!! The three fiddles I ordered two winters ago, all survived with months of TLC... that is until I gave a couple to the aforementioned fig killers. Anyway, these beauties are a little finicky as you may have guessed. I give them 16 oz of purified water once a week and place them each in a sunny window, where they will not get bumped into. They do not like to be moved around (from one shot of your living room, to the bedroom on the other end of the house?) and they do not like "wet feet", so I poke my finger 1"+ into the soil before the weekly watering to be sure it has dried out enough. I know that all sounds a little "difficult" but they are worth it. I also take them out onto the covered porch when the mercury rises. They will grow a foot or more in the summer months, if given the right conditions. NO direct sun, "dappled" light is preferred for these plant divas. Oh and dust their leaves, very gently, through the winter months with an old sock. If they (or any houseplant really) is coated in dust it can't fully absorb the sun light. I'm keeping four figgys somewhat satisfied at the moment, although all are clamoring to get outside, as evidenced by a few browning leaves.
The "WTH?" plants, at least for me are ivy, ferns, and succulents. I just recently killed a tiny ivy and it's brother that I purchased the same day is barely hanging on. No idea? They get watered at the same time as my other plants and yet they wilt away to nothing. I am desperately trying to keep two ferns happy right now they both look pretty ok but I'm not holding my breath. They usually dry right out on my watch and are half dead before I catch on to the problem. I have been putting these two in the sink twice a week and giving them a spritz in hopes of providing the moisture my house obviously does not have. Also, I kill all succulents. Indoors and out. Too much love? I don't know. I have tried and tried again and they all eventually croak. ALL varieties. I am currently growing a prickly pear cactus, that I have maintained for over a year. I think I have it's care (or lack there of) pattern down. Succulents though, for me, are way needy in an unneedy way. I'm kind of over them.
What are your favorite house plants? Do you have any foolproof tips for me on the plants I kill time and again?