by Contributing Writer CJ
It's spring(ish)! And I need some green. But since it's still cold outside, I am going to attempt to bring the lush feeling of a spring garden inside my warm and cozy home. ...If I don't kill everything first.
I guess you could say I have a black thumb. I come from a long line of green thumbs, but it must have skipped a generation. Keeping a plant alive has always been a challenge for me. I don’t know why. It seems easy enough: water, light? Is there more to this? Keeping kids alive is way more complicated - but I've managed to do that for years! And not barely, like my plants.
So you can imagine my inner panic when my mother-in-law asked me to take care of her plants when she went to Florida this year. My mother-in-law asks very little. In fact, as mother-in-laws go, you really can’t ask for better. I could never say no - but how embarrassing would it be if I killed her plants?!
Drop off day came and she brought the plants over, with a bit of ceremony, and handed me instructions for care on a little post-it note with dates listed in two week increments. Those were the days I was to water. (I suspected that she didn’t exactly have confidence in me if she needed to spell out what watering every two weeks meant.) Together we chose a spot for them with good lighting and she was off to sunny Florida for a month.
It was an anxiety-filled four weeks, but I am happy to say that upon her return the plants were alive and well. She even brought me a lovely lavender plant as a thank you gift. Maybe she had more confidence in me than I thought? And if I'd kept her plants alive, maybe I'm finally ready for my own?
Over the years, I have managed to learn a thing or two about plants - but most of my dabbling has been outside in the garden. It took much trial and error (mostly error) to find what works. But after several years of trying different species, I have now found the right plants for both my garden and my flower boxes that will withstand the full-on summer afternoon sun and actually thrive throughout the season.
I find house plants to be much trickier - not enough sun, too much water; the process doesn’t quite right itself like it does outside. Outside, nature takes over and helps to carry out what you started.
However, armed with my new found confidence and a desperate need to see green after a winter of too much snow, I decided to so some research on the house plants that are easiest to manage.
Here’s what I found out:
- Jade, Aloe, Rubber Plant, Spider Plant, Grape or English Ivy and Philodendrons are all good starter (read: hard to kill) house plants.
- African Violet, Peace Lily, and Hibiscus are the top blooming house plants. (I think I'll work on those for phase two).
- Basil, Rosemary, Sage and Parsley are all great Herbs to grow indoors.
Before I head to the plant store, I’m off to give this new lavender plant some company. It's not on my short list of black-thumb-immune plants, so I'm not sure it's going to make it. But, I’ll let you know how I do.
How about you?
Are you ready to test your skills with one of these easy-to-care for plants? Let me know what you pick and where you place it!
A former city girl with a degree in graphic design from Parsons, Cynthia Jordan is now based in a suburb of Philadelphia where she is CEO of her household and a contributing writer for Spruce + Furn. She shares tips and tricks for setting up your home, hosting etiquette and her advice for dealing with common domestic challenges - the Right way. Have a question for CJ? Email her at: AskCJ@spruceandfurn.com and she’ll answer your question in an upcoming post!