After my Christmas tree and other decorations are packed away, I enjoy the space left behind. But then I miss the GREEN. I also like to trick myself that spring is just around the corner, so it’s about this time of year that I love to decorate even more with plants. It seems like plants are hot right now. From the ever-present (in all magazines and interior shots!) Fiddle Leaf to a simple, yet classic angel fern, I love having live plants in my house.
Do you love plants as much as I do? Now, before you say you can’t keep a plant alive, you should try what I do to take care of my plants: NOTHING. That’s right. Nothing! Well, technically I should say it’s “not much.” But really, it’s that simple.
About once a week (not exact) I walk around to all my plants and stick my finger in the pot up to about my fingernail. If the plant is dry (not wet at all), I take it to my sink for a thorough soak. If the plant is still even a little, tiny bit wet, I leave it be until the next time. Yep. That’s about it.
Now, let’s define the term “thorough soak.”
Thorough soak (verb) To place in a sink and douse heavily with water at a medium rate until the plant is totally wet BUT the dirt is not removed (or overflowing) from the top of the pot and water is draining out of the bottom.
Repeat 2 or 3 times, again being careful not to use too much water, too fast that the dirt flows out too.
Then, I leave it in my sink until I think it’s not too drippy from the bottom anymore or until The Boss gets tired of working around it and moves it for me. Win! Win!
Now let’s talk about light. I buy most of my plants from the grocery store and they seem to prefer bright, but not direct light. This makes sense because at my grocery store, the plants aren’t sold in front of a window. Mine are next to the tomatoes! In your house, this translates to a room that seems bright most of the day, but out of the path of scorching rays. Here in Northeast PA in the winter, I don’t have many scorching rays to contend with, but maybe some of you have a wall of windows? If you do, I want them.
And that’s it. Let’s review:
- Buy a plant.
- Pop it in a basket or galvanized bucket or empty flower pot or whatever you have.
- Ignore it for about a week or longer until it is dry past your finger nail.
- Water liberally and then repeat a week or so later.
Then, enjoy something green all winter! It will brighten up an entry table, sofa table (check out that brass lamp!), a kitchen counter, your kitchen table, a bookshelf, The Boss’ desk.
And, if you totally ignore your plant all winter like I’ve instructed you to, you will be able to transition it outside to your porch in the spring. I promise I will show you how. If I can, you can too!
Here are some beauties that I spied at Weis this week. I bet they’re at your grocery store too!
(from top LEFT clockwise)
- Cat palm – Great space filler.
- ?? Loved it, but too wide for my space
- Warneckii Dracaena (this is the same kind of plant that is on my desk at school.)
- Corn plant- So striking. Modern.
- Hawaiian Schefflera – loved this one too but I wanted larger leaves
My neighbor had a plant like this on her patio last summer that was huge and it looked so tropical by her patio table. Hoping to move him out by our pool in the summer. For now, he’s in the kitchen. Unloved like the rest of my plants!
Now how will you decorate with a plant? I would love to see pictures!
I’m so buying a plant. Thanks for the inspiration
What what you will buy? Maybe something for your big kitchen island? A plant would look great there!
I love your blog, Angie! When I traveled to Hawaii in the 90s, I bought seeds and a starter shoot for some green in my new home. The ginger plant shoot grew lush and beautiful for many years but did not survive the third generation cousins. Repotting one too many times put the plant in shock and then a slow decline. The one of two seeds took over three months to germinate! I was ready to toss it out, call it a loss. It came with directions to score, soak, and plant. Patience prevailed. I have a huge Bird of Paradise plant that has yet to flower. Twenty years later, I am still waiting for that seed to flower. The other packet of seeds germinated, grew lush, even flowered, but eventually died, probably from over watering. They were my favorite, stephanotis. The same fragrant flower found in a bride’s wedding bouquet. I was trying to grow for my daughter’s wedding. I believe root rot is one of the main reasons plants die. I agree, sometimes a little neglect goes a long way, or as you noted, ‘unloved’
Hi Karen! It sounds like you have quite the green thumb. I could learn a lot from you!
Love the idea of adding green after Christmas and thanks for the tip on how to not kill them! I’m going to try to buy one and put it in a cute container!!!
I can’t wait to see what plant you buy and where you put it in your beautiful home. Take a picture and share it! Thanks for reading!