Thursday, May 4, 2017

House Plants

"Wow, Emily is really suffering for blog topics these days. 
A whole blog post on house plants." 

Yes, yes, and yes. 
I never claimed my life was riveting. 

Since graduating college and embarking on "adult life," 
I've wanted plants in my living space. 
Until this past year, I never pursued this because: 

1. Our prior home had little tabletop space to put plants. 
(Which, as we see below, can be remedied!

2. Our prior home (a townhome) was very dark, 
and surely all plants need a lot of sunlight? 
(Not true!

3. I assumed that I have a Black Thumb and would kill everything. 
(Turns out, many plants - including some below - fall into the "impossible to kill" variety)

When we moved to our new, 
I was determined to populate our home with plants. 

Our dining room with the Spineless Yucca in the corner. The dining room still feels sparse (we need a buffet, but are planning to buy a new dining room table so want to wait) but the Yucca helped fill the space a lot.

First off: What plants should I buy? 

My favorite pins: 
15 Easiest Indoor Plants that Won't Die On You
Top 10 Air Purifying Plants
Easiest Houseplants to Keep Alive

See a theme here? 
Read enough of these and you start to see a lot of reoccurring plants! 

Next Up: Where to buy these plants? 


IKEA's plants are so cheap. 
Sooooooo cheap. 
Soooooooooooooooo cheap. 
They start at $3/plant (that's less than a Happy Meal). 
The most expensive run up to $20 (for a floor-to-ceiling size). 

But there are two problems with IKEA: 
stock and names. 

First of all, the stock situation is unreliable at best. 

They may have a great selection one week then dwindle to nothing the next. 
They also rotate their inventory pretty dramatically, 
so if you don't see something one month, 
come back in another month or two and it may be there. 

Second: names. 
While nurseries and big box stores use easy-to-identify named like "snake plant" or "Jade plant" or "spineless yucca", 
IKEA uses the officially plant name like "mumbais lateras cocinas" (not a real plant name), 
So I spent most of my time in the store googling these long ridiculous names to find out if this plant fit one of the ones I was looking for. 

Now: How to Plant? 

"Don't you, uh, just add dirt?" 
Well DUH. 

But my first question was: 
Am I supposed to take off the plastic black pot that I bought the plant in? 
And no amount of googling would help solve this dilemma. 

Finally I messaged a long-time acquaintance 
(long-time as in, haven't spoken a word in 15 years 
but her pictures on facebook show that she likes plants), 
who responded: 
"Up to you.  Some people leave them on the plant, but I don't." 

She also added some helpful tips, 
like putting a base of stones at the bottom of the pot to give the water somewhere to drain. 
I ended up removing the black plastic container for all but my teeny tiny cactus, 
because I just didn't feel like pricking my finger to pull it out. 

Keeping the Damn Plants Alive 

All of my plants (with the exception of the cactus, ironically) 
are supposed to be watered about every 10 days to 2 weeks. 
I set a reminder on my phone for every other Sunday.
Aaron generally helps and he LOVES IT. 
Like LOVES LOVES LOVES watering the plants. 
He spills a little on the floor so I usually follow around with a rag. 

So far, my Spineless Yucca has struggled the most. 
It's a big plant and it suffered quite a bit in the repotting process. 
It also requires a TON of sunlight so much that I had to move it out of our dinning room in the winter because it just wasn't getting enough. 

The best plant is my aloe. 
It is growing, growing, growing like crazy. 
Soon enough I think I'll need to replant it. 


This is my newest addition, in the corner of our bedroom. 
The bottom is a Pothos plant 
(Pothos: the hardiest of hardy indoor plants, the-YOU-CAN'T-KILL-IT-variety). 
Second up is a Jade plant, both good at air-cleaning and an easy plant to keep. 
Second from the top is a Peperomia plant, a good plant since it can take low indoor light. 
The top is my mini Cactus, which ironically is NOT among the easiest plants to keep. 
But the cactus was $2.99 from IKEA so if it dies, I'll buy another. 

Already mentioned my Spineless Yuca in the dining room. 
This one has struggled the most. 
It was pretty sad looking a few months ago (huge yellow spots, shriveled leaves) 
but has bounced back nicely even though it still has some brown spots. 
It is a GREAT air-cleaning plant. 

The top plant is informally called "Elephant Foot" and it is my favorite because of its quirky look. 
The bottom is my Aloe Vera which has tripled in size since we brought it home.  

Probably the best part of this photo is our insanely crazy wallpaper. 
I've been promising photos of our new house but... ugh, so much work. 
Needless to say, our master bathroom needs an update like WHOA. 

Anyway, I brought in this Snake Plant and it is doing just fine despite its crazy conditions. 
Tucked away in the corner, it has minimal sunlight, 
and temperatures range from super steamy hot (showers) 
to freezing cold evenings when we keep the windows open for airflow. 
It looks exactly like when we brought it home
 and several times I've questioned if it's actually a fake (it isn't). 

My favorite part is the bright pink pot, 
which is a fun burst of color in our totally black-and-white master bath. 

Any other secret plant lovers out there too? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed with all of your indoor greenery!! We had one indoor house plant that made it for 6+ years until about a month or two ago when it got infested with some bugs and started to smell and gave up. It was super low maintenance which was about the only reason it lived that long, ha!