March 17, 2014

How to Keep Plants Alive if You Have a Black Thumb

I have a black thumb.  It’s like the black thumb of death for any plants that enter our house,  the “plant hospice,” but there are few plants in my house right now that have survived for over a year and I thought I’d share my secrets with you.

The hardest plant to keep alive in our house is our staghorn fern.  But it’s lived a year here.  How’d I do it?

Bribery.  I offered a reward to a very determined person in my household, my husband, and if the fern could live a whole year, he won.  If it died, he got nothing.  And now, one year later on March 15th (fitting, huh?) I still have a living, thriving really, gorgeous stag horn fern on my kitchen wall:

 

 

Watering a stag horn fern is no easy task.  (It’s a major pain actually.)   It needs to come off of the wall and have its cypress board and root ball soaked for 10-15 minutes every other week or so, and more frequently in the winter with the heat on.  We fill up our kitchen sink with water and weigh the board down (it floats!) with heavy glassware to keep it down.  Then, it needs to dry for a few hours so our wall doesn’t get all dirty.

 

{image from here}

 

But the key to this fern’s life was offering a reward to someone who wanted something badly.  More than I could possibly want a fern to live.  By raising the stakes of the stag horn’s life, he lived!!  March 15th and the still-living stag horn got me looking at the other two living plants in my house and wondering why they’re also still alive, without stakes.

So, I wanted to share 11 of my  tips for keeping plants alive, even if you run your own plant hospice:

1. Keep them right near water sources.  (So close that you barely have to think about watering them it’s so easy.)

2. The kitchen is a great place for plants to live.  It always has random cups of water around and of course, a water source, and you’re in it all the time.  I find it’s really easy to dump leftover water into plants and notice them when they started shedding leaves and bits.

3. Bathrooms love plants. They get so steamy you can all but forget about lots of things in there and they’ll still live.  Plus, there are lots of water sources.

4.  Bring plants outside when the weather gets nice.  This gives you a break from fighting for their lives.  I had a couple of fiddle leaf figs pretty much come alive from their death beds when I brought them outside for the Spring & Summer.  (They bit it when I brought them back in and forgot about them though. :/  wups!)

5. Some Plants like showers.  This is pretty labor intensive but strangely satisfying.  When my fig trees were looking sad last winter, I gave them showers and they sprouted new growth almost immediately.  (I think they also liked the steam in the bathroom.)

6.  Vacation Plans.  Think about your plants before you leave.  Can one good soaking do the trick?  Or do you need to have someone stop by.

7. Breathe on them sometimes.  It’s been something I’ve done as a kid and is half joke/ half maybe-this-actually-works, but carbon dioxide really is good for them and it will at least make anyone around you laugh.  I only do it with the small ones (because who has time to breathe all over a big one?!) but I think it just reminds me that they’re there and that they need water.  (And I’m sure you’ve heard about the studies showing plants that get talked to, do better.  It’s all that exhaled air!!)

8. Find out how much water your plant needs each week.  Lots of plant tags say things like, “water when soil is dry” or “water when 2/3 dry”.. honestly, what does that really mean????!!!  Look up approximate water amounts per week and you’ll be more diligent.  I recently saw an orchid being sold that came with its own shot glass and it said it needed one per week.  How easy is that??

9.  Intensive Care.  When they start to struggle, do something fast.  My natural inclination is that when a plant starts to look bad, I start not liking how it looks and I take even worse care of it.  How terrible is that??  Give it a shower, water it, prune it and give it a little love.  (I.e. breathe on that bad boy.)  I’ve been amazed at how quickly plants can perk up when I attempt to give them what they need.

10.  Offer a reward.  It should be offered to someone in your household who wants something really badly, even if that someone is yourself.  Maybe the thought of having a plant that’s alive isn’t enough to keep you watering, but maybe treating yourself to an afternoon or reading alone, enjoying some amazingly yummy treat, or a new something or whatever it is that floats your boat will keep you watering.  Kids and husbands want things too.  Find out what they want and offer that reward in exchange for a plant that still lives by X date.  Once that date comes, give the reward and offer a new one.

11.  Learn to love sedum and other plants in the cactus family.  My Jim Henson plant (below, found at Home Depot) barely needs any water:

 

 

And then of course do all of the normal things  (which I rarely do)- make sure their roots aren’t sitting in water, add fertilizer, repot when they outgrow their current pot, making sure they get the required amount of light and things like that.

I’ll be back this week with a list of my favorite plants that are both pretty & easier than others to keep alive.  Hope you had a great weekend!!

Subscribe
Notify of

154 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Guest

I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone
else experiencing problems with your blog. It looks like some of the
text in your content are running off the screen.
Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is
happening to them too? This may be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
Many thanks

Guest
2 years ago

whatever plate [url=http://cialisles.com/#]cialis prices[/url] bad commission possibly prompt brand cialis
online mainly engine cialis prices therefore big http://cialisles.com/

Guest
2 years ago

does cialis give you high blood pressure
[url=https://www.liverichandfree.com/#]buy cialis[/url]
cialis special offers
20mg cialis
can i take levitra and cialis together

Guest
2 years ago

ability relatively careprost buy online hard sky immediately
[url=https://careprost.confrancisyalgomas.com/#]careprost for sale[/url] hardly beyond https://naltrexoneonline.confrancisyalgomas.com/

Guest
2 years ago

taking low dose cialis
[url=http://cialisle.com/#]online sildenafil[/url]
cialis for daily use half life
generic cialis tadalafil
is tadacip the same as cialis

Guest

complaint [url=https://chloroquinego.com/#]chloroquine eye drops uses[/url] them chloroquine
phosphate buy across https://chloroquinego.com/

Guest

price of keflex 500 mg https://keflex.webbfenix.com/

Guest
2 years ago

Historically, a limited discernment of the biology mechanism of erections restricted
the treatment of ED to vacuum-tightness devices, prosthetic implants,
intracavernosal injections, and intraurethral suppositories.4 Since its advent,
the separate of agents known as type-5 phosphodiesterase (PDE5) inhibitors has revolutionized the management of ED.
PDE5 inhibitors feature turn the first-assembly line therapy for ED, as suggested by the American Urological Connection (AUA) and the European Connection of Urology http://lm360.us/

Guest
2 years ago

cialis dont work anymore [url=http://www.gangstagayvideos.com/cgi-bin/at3/out.cgi?id=117&tag=toplist&trade=http://www.cialisle.com/]gangstagayvideos.com[/url] how long do i need to take cialis gangstagayvideos.com how long does it take to ejaculate on cialis

Guest

Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I will send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

Guest

vidalista for high blood pressure https://vidalista.mlsmalta.com/

Guest

vidalista 10 mg for sale https://vidalista.buszcentrum.com/

Guest
2 years ago

viagra pills http://viaaagra.com/

Guest

Your means of explaining everything in this piece of writing is
genuinely nice, every one be capable of effortlessly understand
it, Thanks a lot. http://herreramedical.org/chloroquine

Guest

new study on hydroxychloroquine http://hydroxychloroquined.online/

Guest
1 year ago

[url=https://60lmentop.com/]viagra benefits[/url] [url=https://viamengo.com/]viagra best buy reviews[/url] [url=https://didoviamen.com/]viagra cvs[/url]

Guest
1 year ago

[url=https://60lmentop.com/]60lmentop.com[/url] [url=https://viamengo.com/]viamengo.com[/url] [url=https://didoviamen.com/]didoviamen.com[/url]

Guest
1 year ago

High-end simulation wigs for men, let the real you face everyone haha.

Guest
1 year ago

This information is invaluable. How can I find out more?

Guest
1 year ago

whoah this blog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.

Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of
individuals are hunting round for this info, you can aid
them greatly.

1 year ago

… [Trackback]

[…] Find More here to that Topic: laurenliess.com/pure-style-home/how-i-kept-my-fern-alive/ […]

Guest
1 year ago

The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my
apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

Feel free to surf to my site; Hack WordPress

1 year ago

metformin kidney failure

modafinil 50mg http://pro-vi-gil.com/

1 year ago

metformin fertility

neurontin 2018 https://neu-ron-tin.com/

1 year ago

metformin life extension

lasix 250 mg tablet https://la-si-x.com/

1 year ago

metformin 500 er

ivermectin brand https://stro-mec-tol.com/

1 year ago

metformin problems

ivermectin drug http://stro-mec-tol.com/

1 year ago

metformin insomnia

plaquenil sulfate https://pla-que-nil.com/

1 year ago

berberine and metformin

zithromax 500 mg https://zith-ro-max.com/

Guest
1 year ago

I am sure this post has touched all the internet visitors, its
really really nice piece of writing on building up new blog.

Feel free to surf to my page :: hack wp Website

1 year ago

metformin miracle drug

provigil prescription https://pro-vi-gil.com/

1 year ago

metformin long term

albuterol nebulizer https://ven-to-lin.com/

1 year ago

metformin starting dose

neurontin brand name http://neu-ron-tin.com/

1 year ago

metformin wonder drug

80 mg prednisone https://pred-ni-sone.com/

1 year ago

metformin and creatinine

provigil https://pro-vi-gil.com/

1 year ago

glipizide metformin

ventolin.com http://ven-to-lin.com/

1 year ago

2000 mg metformin

cvs amoxicillin price https://a-mo-xil.com/

1 year ago

metformin prescription

avana 3131 http://pri-li-gy.com/

Guest
1 year ago

Wow, great article.Really thank you! Awesome.

Guest
1 year ago

Just appear at the 49ers final year – they opened the season with
+4400 odds to win the Super Bowl and wound up just
a handful of plays brief of winning it all.

… [Trackback]

[…] Info to that Topic: laurenliess.com/pure-style-home/how-i-kept-my-fern-alive/ […]

Guest
1 year ago

Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I
find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others
like you aided me.

Guest
1 year ago

hydra onion it is popular resource prohibited products. For execution shopping on anonymous platform hydra site on any day takes many users, for input you need to click on the button and confidential to make purchase, and in case you are in first once i went to market before buying product we must register and replenish balance. One’s anonymium is our important task, which we are with pride perform.

1 year ago

Google

One of our visitors lately advised the following website.

Guest

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really
recognise what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally visit my website =).
We could have a hyperlink exchange agreement among us

1 year ago

Google

The time to study or stop by the content or internet sites we have linked to beneath.

1 year ago

buy stromectol

ivermectin syrup

1 year ago

clomid test

molnupiravir germany http://topmolnupiravir.com/#

1 year ago

nolvadex pct

aralen testing https://toparalen.com/#

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive design inspo, exclusive content, shopping guides, and more.