Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On the Inside

I may have mentioned that my ability to grow plants indoors is pretty limited.  Mostly because I forget about them.  Then every once in awhile I walk by and think Oops.  Some plants can survive on pure neglect and they get a thumbs up from me.  Others don't.  I looked in on my window seat this week and here's what I saw.

Spider Plant aka Chlorophytum comosum.
This guy caught my attention.  The last time I looked this plant it was tidily situated in its little green pot.  When I walked by the other day I suddenly noticed that it was invading the aloe.  Neglect can be a good thing.  But now I'm not sure whether to transplant this guy.  I like this pot but those runners will eventually drop and hang down.  A hanging planter might be better or perhaps just a small table that allows the runners to dangle.

Next to him is that purple plant or Tradescantia pallida

I gave this lady a haircut a few months back promising I would take better care of her.  I haven't.  It's still alive, I think, but at this point I don't care.  It's messy and ugly and I have no patience.  To the compost with you.

The Aloe

No big issues here.  Not growing much but not dead either.  A stalemate.

The unknown.
I think I picked this up for $3 at some home renovation store.  A look at my 2850 House And Garden Plantssays it's a Dracaena of some type.  sanderiana? fragrans? deremensis?  Who knows but neglect apparently does not suit him.  Seems to prefer warmer temperatures, probably could use some fertilizer or something.  I suppose I could try a little harder.  He's cute after all.

African violets
I like these little guys.  They're cheap and come in bright cheery colours.  And so far they haven't died.  The pink guy lives in the kitchen so he's a little better kept than my other plants.  I tend to spend more time in the kitchen so I notice him more and he actually gets watered.

A second violet lives in the bay window.  Good news is he's showing signs of revival. (just ignore those dead leaves hanging off the side)
I purchased this plant, again some random hardware store, in February and it was cold.  He 'accidentally' got left in the truck while other errands were run.  Only a couple hours, not much!  Oh, okay, I know, that wasn't a particularly nice thing to do.  He went into shock and I had to shear him.  He's starting to make a come back though.  He has leaves again which is a good start.

So from 6 houseplants we're now down to 5.  Not a terrible average.  I can't be the only one to kill a houseplant or two, can I?


  1. I kill all kinds of house plants. After taking care of them all day at work, I just can't be bothered when I come home. Any I have, ie: orchids, go outside for the summer, and then suffer all winter when they come inside. They must hate me!

  2. Marguerite, I have a collection of houseplants that are survivors of abuse and neglect. I go around and give them all some water once a week; anything that doesn't like weekly watering doesn't make it. Amazingly, I have some plants that have happily endured this regimen for 30 years or more. -Jean

  3. Inside plants need to be able to thrive on neglect for me. I don't know why, but I can never remember them. Sure I water three separate gardens daily, yet I can't remember, with any accuracy to water the poor indoor plants. Because of this I have one unknown survivor. You are an indoor gardening Diva compared to me!

  4. i know that whole thing with indoor and outdoor plants .. not sure why .. i mean, i call myself a gardener .. well, fortunately for me, there are a few of those hardy indoor guys who forgive my neglect .. sweet things ..

  5. Hmmm, seems I may have struck a chord here.

    @Kilbournegrove - I used to put my inside plants out of doors when we had a shady deck. That seemed to suit them quite well. They might go into shock now that we have a hot sunny deck but could be worth a try.

    @Jean - wow, you water weekly?! It's no wonder my plants are dying.

    @Laura - I understand completely. I know exactly when it's rained and how much and top up my veggies and flowers regularly outside but inside, for some reason it just does not compute. By the way, my indoor plants have only been in my care for 8 months of less. They may not all be dead now but we're still in early stages.

    @Jane - isn't that the funny thing? I like gardening, i like plants and I even like plants indoors. I think they make a home more cozy. But yet for some incomprehensible reason I just can't bring myself to keep them alive.

  6. Oh I kill the house plants all the time. And then I will walk by a little display at a store and one will talk to me. And I know better...poor thing.

  7. Nope. My 'house' plants live on the verandah. At least I walk past and think - oh dear - better water that one!

  8. My house plants pray for fall. I confess that I neglect them totally in summer.

  9. LifesHighway - I can't say the plants at the store talk to me but I'm sure a sucker for a sale price and I always think, I'll do better this time.

    Elephant's Eye - I love container plants on the patio! And they seem to do reasonably well, it's just that once a plant makes it inside the house my radar gets switched off.

    I wish I could say I just neglected them in summer. This seems to be a permanent state of affairs. Perhaps even worse in winter because in my head gardening is done for the year.

  10. Not an Aloe vera, definitely a proper South African aloe.

    1. Diana, what is the difference between the two? When you buy these plants in stores here they are labelled aloe and nothing else. I assumed, wrongly, they were all the same.