Houseplants can be tricky or easy depending on your choice of plant. I am not proud to admit that my compost pile has seen its share of dead houseplants. Then there are plants that I have had since the age of 16, and some that I have to give a trim every few months and others that just die, just this week I chucked 3 plants that went from pretty to dead in a matter of days. For me ferns are tricky, I have no idea why but I tend to either over water or dry them up. I either end up killing them or my OCD self gets frustrated with all the leaf dropping that some ferns do. One fern I will absolutely not have in my house is an asparagus fern. They are pretty, but growing up there was one beside the recliner in the living room, to many times when I was on that chair I ended up loosing some hair due to it getting tangled in my Mom’s huge asparagus fern that draped to close to the chair. I have found a solution to my houseplant-killing problem and only grow the houseplants that do well for me, so people think I have this brilliant green thumb.IMG_3875_2.jpg

Houseplants like certain light better, for an example I have three nice ivy plants in my kitchen that need a trim every few months but if I would take any of these ivy plants into my living room they would be dead within a few weeks. Then I have plants in my living room that look terrible if I put them in my kitchen. So the trick to having nice houseplants is to find the room they like, each room in your house has different airflow and lighting that affects houseplants. I also give my plants a shower every month. If the weather is above freezing I set them outside and hose them down with the garden hose, but in the freezing temps I fill my tub with plants and turn the shower on for a minute or so. This ivy basket on the left is a bit of happiness at my sink window. This plant comes from cuttings started by my mother.

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Another interesting thing I have discovered about my houseplants is that they love the area outside my front door. Whenever I have a houseplant that looks about dead, come springtime I set it outside the front door and by fall when I am ready to bring my plants inside for the winter, it is nice and big like it was when I first got the plant. I barely even water the plants on the front stoop but they survive I have no idea if it’s the cool indirect lighting that does it or what but it works like a charm every time. I call the front stoop my plant hospital! I know some people don’t take their houseplants outside during the summer due to bugs coming in the house with the plants when they bring them indoors for the winter, but I have never had an issue. I usually repot my plants into a larger pot so I can add more soil, and give them a rinse with sudsy dish soap water. I mix a few drops of Dawn (the original blue) with a gallon of water and dump it over the plant, let it set for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse with the garden house. I have been using this method for 8+ years and it seems to work for me. Also when I give my plants their winter shower in the tub, I first give them the same sudsy rinse.

IMG_4021.jpgSo before you give up on houseplants play around on them, start with easy to maintain plants such as a ficus tree, peace lily or a philodendron vine. These where my first 3 houseplants and I have split my peace lily and philodendron plant many times, and the ficus tree that wa
s only a foot tall when I got it, is now almost 6 feet tall. I have added more complicated houseplants to my collection; one that I am so in love with is a maiden hair fern that I have had 5 years now. I have learned the trick is to keep the roots wet. I water mine maybe 2 times a week and I have it in the coolest room in the house, and it gets indirect light. As you will notice by my pictures, I am not at all a professional. These pictures may have been taken with a iPhone. Someday this summer I want to get someone professionally out to my house to photograph gardening moments to share with you.

Some day when I grow up and my thumb is close to dark green I want to attempt orchids. Much to my despair I have killed one of these, and since it was an expensive plant I have not continued my orchid growing attempts.

One thing you will notice in my blogs is that I am not a delicate handler when it comes to my plants, gardening and ect. My husband usually leaves me to do my own thing when I come with the shovel, trimmers or hoe. He has often asked me how I break so many garden tools, but after seeing me dig up some bushes with a shovel, he said; “ now I understand why you like landscaping so much, you get to demolish things but they still grow back bigger and better.”

Till next time

Jo

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