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Do You Have a Green Thumb?

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM
  • 16 Replies

How to NOT Kill Your Houseplants

Posted by Adriana Velez

plantI've heard it so many times. "I have a black thumb!" "I kill every plant I get!" I love growing plants indoors. I just need that green in my life. But my record with house plants is far from perfect. I get it -- it's just too easy to kill some plants, and then you feel like a terrible failure.

But it's not as hard as it seems to keep a houseplant alive. A lot of it just comes down to keeping good habits and paying attention to your plants. Here's a few suggestions that have helped me.

1. Choose your plants based on your environment. Where do you want your plant -- in a bright space filled with direct light, or a darker window that gets almost no direct light? You can grow plants in either location, but different plants like different kinds of light. 

2. Choose an easy-care plant. Talk with the nursery or store owner and ask for a plant that's "impossible to kill." Use those specific words. No plant is impossible to kill, but they'll know you really mean EASY.

3. Set up a watering schedule. Set up recurring calendar alerts to remind you to water your plant. (Find out how often you should water your plant -- some of them need lots, others hardly any.)

4. Be careful not to over-water. Don't leave your plant in a lot of standing water. Make sure the pot drains well. And if the leaves start turning yellow, that tells you that the plant is getting too much water.

5. Feed your plants food. Find out at the plant shop what kinds of plant food they recommend, and how often. Compost isn't always ideal for house plants, so be careful with that. Apply sparingly and get deeply into the soil -- some plant food can fry the plant's leaves.

6. Find out what other care your plants need. For example, I have ferns. Mine are hardy, but they need to be misted with water every few days.

7. Trim off the dead leaves. A few brown leaves every once in a while is normal and doesn't mean your plant is dying. Just trim them off -- it doesn't hurt the plant!

8. You may be able to save a "sick" plant. For example, one of my plants came down with black spots -- it was a fungus. I dumped out all the soil and re-potted the plant in a better-drained pot. I also trimmed off all the affected parts of the plant. It actually worked!

9. Watch the temperature. I left the window partially open on a frigid night and it killed one of my plants. Sadness.

10. Forgive yourself if you fail. It's a major tragedy when a pet dies. But it's not as big a deal if a plant dies on you. Just empty the pot and start over. Learn from what went wrong and start again. It's okay!

Do you have a green thumb or do you kill everything?

 

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
GaleJ
by Bronze Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I think plants must see me as the botanic version of the Grim Reaper, I can kill plastic plants...lol. I will never forget when I told a very dear friend that I was pregnant. She kind of looked at me oddly and said that at least a baby, unlike my poor plants, would be able to cry to let me know it needed something.

Why123
by Nancy on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:09 AM

My daughters say that I could kill plastic.  I don't have any plants at home but I have a few at work and they are still alive.  One of them I have had for about 15 years.

LEK19
by Platinum Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I can grow some things well and then some things not so well. I take a little too long to get them in pots when they are rooting. My daughter just showed me a small glass with a little spider plant in it. The glass is just full of roots - more roots than leaves! 

I like having plants to help clean the air!

Bmat
by Barb on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I inherited being able to grow plants from my grandfather. I have a dozen plants in the living room and dining room.

LeJane
by Bronze Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:21 AM

 I am getting better...   my plants are alive.      :-)

mac1940
by Mary Ann on Feb. 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

I much prefer outdoor plants and do quite well out there with whatever I plant or transplant.  Indoor plants - not so much as I tend to either overwater or underwater.  My hubby has finally taken over the watering and I simply take care of transplanting so now we have several quite lovely houseplants.

DesignGirl450
by Lynda on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I am actually quite good with plants, inside and out.   I fertilize my houseplants and give them  plenty of light, and appropriate watering.  I love to see thiings grow and enjoy them as decorative accents in my home.  

homeskoolmama
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

If it's outside I can grow it, if it is inside, chances are I'll kill it.

LadySaphira
by Lisa on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

LOL! Lets put it this way....if it is green, and you want it to live, don't even keep it in the same room as me for an extended period of time.  I kill everything. I even managed tokill an aloe plant.

sweetnana1964
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 7:51 PM

OMG this is so me lol. My husband is awesome at growning any type of plants. He has asked me a couple of times to water his plants and I wont do it because I am afraid I will  kill them lol

Quoting LadySaphira:
LOL! Lets put it this way....if it is green, and you want it to live, don't even keep it in the same room as me for an extended period of time.  I kill everything. I even managed tokill an aloe plant.



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