Won’t somebody please think of the tables!

Tables. Stools. Floors. Whatever. Wherever. Because no matter where you put it, you need to think about protecting the surface your plant is sitting on. Well. You know. Under the plant. Beneath it. Even if you’re not actually setting it on something. You might be hanging it. Plants do that. They hang.

So whether you’re setting it on a surface like a table or the ground, you’re hanging it on the wall, or you’re hanging it from the ceiling, we all know that plants can make a mess. With water, with soil, and sometimes with the scratchy bottom of planters and pots.

This is just one of those universal plant truths. So much so that there are products custom made to solve this problem. Some of them are better at the job than others. But I don’t like being limited by what society says I should be putting under my plants. I like to play fast and loose with the rules here and get a little creative. A while ago when one of my Courtney’s told me she needs help finding to stuff to put under all her plants to protect the surfaces they rest on I immediately wondered what plants she had. And then I wondered just how stunning they are. But like a split second after that I started to think of all the things I’ve put under my plants over the years and decided that I wouldn’t just send her a message… I’d write a whole blog post just on things that can go underneath your plants.

Exciting right?! Oh… Well it is to me so here we go.

The Matched Set

From my earliest remembering of potted plants I think of two things. One of them is the giant terracotta strawberry pot we had in the backyard when I was a kid. But the other is the simple clay or terracotta pot and saucer combo. Even now that I have a metric ton of different pots and planters, that combination is what I think of first any time my mind conjures an image of a potted plant. It’s incredibly effective for a number of reasons. Is it okay if I tell you why? Oh good because I was going to anyway. The natural clay helps to wick moisture out of the soil to avoid the roots getting overly soggy and the saucer beneath catches water that pours our of the hole on the bottom of the pot.

It also helps with overflowing water or soil from the top if you accidentally get a little too water happy. If you’re not sure what kind of pot or planter your houseplant belongs in it is my amateur opinion (remember I don’t get paid for this it’s just a very intense hobby) that the unglazed pot and saucer is the way to go. But if you are prone to overwatering and it’s sitting on a wood surface or anything with a water soluble finish you may want an added layer of protection.

The Decorative Tray

A tray is a tray is a tray. You can use them for all sorts of things. I use a flat polka dot tray a friend was getting rid of years ago to turn my upholstered ottomon into a coffee table. Because I don’t need a whole table surface for coffee or cocktails. Just like… two feet of it. It keeps me from spilling drinks and protects my fabric from spills when they do happen. Also it’s pretty darn cute. But those trays aren’t just for drinks and food and… I guess the one in this pictures has seashells…

Photo by Emily Bauman on Unsplash

You can also use them to protect your surfaces from water, soil, and scuffing. Added bonus you can group plants with similar care needs together by trays to move them to more appropriate light or a dryer or more humid location. If the tray can hold water you can also fill it with rocks, place the pots on top of those rocks, and then keep the tray filled with water to provide a more humid area RIGHT THERE.

Unsightly Plastic & Decorative Basket

When I first started getting into plants, I was maybe more into the pots and planters. They’re like these amazing little pieces of art that you can fill with living greenery. That didn’t work out so well for me. I have a ton of amazing planters and pots that I then have to find just the right plant for. Also many of the plant casualties I’ve had over the years have been a result of repotting when I shouldn’t have or putting a healthy plant in a pot that didn’t work for it. I was completely resistant to the thought of putting those cheap plastic nursery pots into a basket or pot. Something told my brain that this was cheating and mean to the plants.

That is not true. As long as they’re in the right sized nursery pot for them they’re perfectly okay. Those things have great drainage and the nursery they came from probably put them in the right soil blend for the plant. So it is totally okay to leave those lil baby plants in their nursery pots. Just get something cute and/or functional to surround them. You can get baskets, fabric buckets, pots, and all sorts of other things to nestle those pots into and they look super cute and the plants will stay happy.

For a smaller plant that gets moved to the tub for watering, you probably don’t need anything else to keep your surface safe as long as you’re letting the plant drain well a little cloth basket like you see above will protect your surfaces from soil and scuffing. But if you’re dealing with something a little… bigger

Like my very big palm. This thing is taller than me by more than a foot. It’s in a big plastic nursery pot with pots of drainage and soil that it likes. Every time I try to move it around the poor thing gets its fronds snarled up on me and they whack everything in their path. That’s not good for the plant. It’s also not good for my back because it’s heavy. Also I’m clumsy so I’ve also dropped the poor thing. None of that was even while I was trying to water it. Just while I was trying to find the right place for it to live. My daughter refers to it as another member of the household because it takes up so much space. And she’s not wrong. It’s the tallest living thing in our home. I think… yeah I think it’s the tallest thing in our home. It’s taller than our 6ft ladder.

So let me give you a peek at what is going on inside of this unassuming basket around this giant plant….

If you look all the way down at the bottom of that photo you can kind of see a blurry clear plastic tray. That sits at the bottom of the basket and is about 2″ larger in diameter than the pot the plant is in. It catches all the water leakage from the bottom of the pot and keeps the shelf beneath it dry and scratch free.

Distressed Dishes

It is possible that when I most recently bought new dishes it was in part because there were several salad plates and saucers that had mysteriously gone missing from the kitchen and found themselves, through no fault of their own, beneath plants. You see not all pots come with drainage holes. Which means not all pots come with a pretty saucer. And you don’t always want one of those plastic liners I mentioned above because you may not want to tuck that cute little pot inside another decorative pot, basket, sack, or whatever. This all started honestly enough. I had a plate that was deeply chipped and I was going to get rid of it so no one cut their hand on it or got a flake of glaze or ceramic in their food. But I’d just drilled a hole in a planter that didn’t have one previously and I didn’t want to ruin the bookshelf where I put it. So I put the plate under it as a temporary fix. That fix was permanent. Now anytime a plate, saucer, shallow bowl, or other useful dish gets dinged it is set aside to live with the plant accouterments.

If you happen to be a person who enjoys yard sale-ing, thrifting, or antique shops you can take this a step further and pick up used saucers and plates to add a pop of interest to your collection. Or if you saw some cute new plates somewhere that weren’t too costly I suppose it would be okay to pick those up too.

The Decorative Planter

I don’t know if anyone has told you this, but that perfectly cute highly glazed or glass pot you picked up that has no holes in it… it’s not really meant for you to plant most plants in. I mean… you could use it to make a terrarium or something but it’s not generally going to be a healthy environment for a plant and it’s precious little root system. Throughout the years I’ve tried A LOT to try to bend these decorative planters to my will. But you know what? They almost always win. The only exception is when I fundamentally change the decorative pot into a planter by drilling a series of holes in the bottom. And we all know what happens when you do that. You create a whole new problem. The very problem we’re trying to solve with this post. You have to put something UNDER it.

So I propose to you that a decorative planter can just be the thing you put under the plant. Most of the time when we buy a new plant baby and bring it home it’s in a planters pot. Now sometimes that plant baby is root bound and needs to be potted up. But sometimes it’s just fine and it’s happy in it’s planters pot and you gain nothing at all by ripping it from its cozy little home.

Especially if you happen to bring that plant home in the winter. So I say use these decorative pots with no holes in the bottom to their best advantage and just nest the planters pot right inside. It won’t work every time but the fit is surprisingly perfect more often than one would think.

In fact there are some plants that you should ALWAYS do this with. The only one I have that I can say for certain I would be my orchids. They always come in a special little growers pot which fits neatly into a pretty little decorative pot. I’ve only managed to keep one orchid around long enough that it needed to be repotted and I repotted it into another special planters pot with allllll the drainage one could hope for and then nestled it into a new slightly larger decorative pot.

The All In One

This is just what it sounds like. It’s an all in one. There is both a planter, which has holes in it, and a saucer that is attached that catches the water that comes out of those holes. This is ideal for many many things. As long as you do things in an ideal way. Which… I don’t. It’s possible that I shorted out a cable box and a dvd player once with one of these all in ones that were sitting on a shelf above them and the water totally caught in the attached saucer… until there was more water than there was space in the saucer and then it did what water does. It flowed. All over the shelf. All over the electronics. All over the floor in front of the electronics. There was kind of this moment when I was afraid I was living next door to the Griswold family and an icicle had somehow been shot into my living room. But then I realized that the much more obvious was true and it was my own damn fault.

These all in ones were originally my go to for hanging plants as well but, same problem. They pee on everything when you water them. But we’ll talk about hanging planters another day.

Coasters, Of Course!

I almost published this post without mentioning coasters. How on earth did that happen. But coasters are absolutely the perfect thing to put between your plant and your surface. I have giant coasters that sit on the ground with plants on them, little coasters that sit on tables with little plants on them. Coasters were literally made for this function.

I mean… they were made to sit between a beverage and your surface but it’s pretty much the same thing. And it goes the same for trivets. Let’s be real… a trivet is just a really big coaster. So what that it was meant to protect a surface from something hot instead of something wet. It’s the same thing. And they’re fantastic. If you want something that’s just a nice barrier I am a huge fan of marble trivets and coasters. If you’re looking for something soft and absorbent to prevent scratching or water damage the incredible cost effective and available everywhere cork coaster is the way to go.

Is that all?

No. Probably not. I said a lot of things with a lot of words but I’m sure there are other solutions to protecting your surfaces from plants. If you do something else I’d love to hear about it. You know… in the comments.

orchids are my add-on plants…

At some point a couple of years ago I realized that I could add an orchid to my grocery order through one of the places I shop. I realized this pre-pandemic. It’s the reason I have so many orchids. I tend to order a new one anytime the life of the flowers on one plant comes to an end. Those blooms last for a surprising amount of time though, so I only wind up getting a couple each year.

I had always read that orchids were fickle and hard to care for, so way back at the beginning of my plant lady career I decided that I would be able to consider myself a “real plant person” once I was able to keep an orchid alive for a second bloom. I thought it was going to be a real challenge. Because Orchids are these mysterious exotic things that need constant care. You can’t even leave them alone in a room for 5 minutes without turning some mood music on because they’ll just die. Just like that. Poof. Dead plant.

Except that is totally and completely the furthest thing from the truth. They take patience, but they aren’t actually hard to deal with. The first orchids I had I most certainly killed. I killed them dead. By not understanding anything about them at all and not doing any research. At all. I just did what I thought I should do. And… well that never works out when I’m caring for plants.

As is pretty common with me, I got the watering all wrong. Yes. I know this is surprising to you. I mist things when they don’t need to be misted. I water things when they want to be dry. I overestimate the amount of liquid and care things need. It’s possible that I smother plants with love, water, care, and repotting so I can take a break from smothering and over communicating with my favorite humans. Plants are most certainly a coping mechanism for me. But part of why I love them as a coping mechanism, and just as what they are, is that there is so much you can learn. Both about them, and from them. So today I’m going to tell you a little bit about what I’ve learned from and about orchids.

Currently I have five of them. One has some gorgeous blossoms going right now, one has little blossom pods all shiny and green and preparing to someday bloom, and three are just chilling out being green and healthy and not flowering at all. All are healthy. All are beautiful. All are well. And I have no doubt they’ll all bloom again at some point. But only when they’re ready to.

Orchids are a diverse plant family (Orchidaceae) that includes more than 700 genera and some 28,000 individual species. 

The Spruce

That’s a lot of freaking different kinds of orchids. Like… A lot. I have a friend whose mom breeds and splices and does mad science stuff with orchids. She fauns over them and creates new hybrids and wins awards (shout out to Alma Bannett!) and it’s amazing. And I happen to know someone who knows her. Like… who she gave birth to. And I don’t really know that many people. It would be a huge coincidence if I knew one of the only people birthed by an award winning orchid breeder. So are there really only 28,000 individual species? Are they really tracking what orchid enthusiasts the world over are doing in their at home green houses?

That was not a rhetorical question by the way. If you happen to be a person who does the orchid census and can tell me, please do. I’d love to know.

But unless you’re going out and looking for specialty orchids you’re probably getting something that was bred to live in your house. So let’s talk about what those orchids need, shall we?

Three of my orchids seem to be Phalaenopsis Orchids, which is often called Moth Orchid. They’re super common and made to be indoor plants. While they could live outside, they tend to struggle when you change their environment drastically. And outside they need to be in bright shade… Yep. Bright shade. No. It doesn’t make sense.


Bright shade is when the plant is in a shaded area and isn’t hit directly by the rays of the sun but the area is otherwise overall bright. It’s hard to make that work outside, so it’s a good thing I’m only keeping mine indoors.

Indoors they still crave bright indirect light, especially if you want them to grow up to blossom again. But indoors it’s a lot easier to control. Keep them in bright naturally well lit rooms out of the harsh rays of the sun. They also thrive with artificial plant lighting.

Then there’s the thing that kills them. Watering. Or not watering. Either thing will do it. What I know about orchids is that they are tropical plants. To me a tropical plant should need a lot of water. A lot. It’s like I thought they lived in swimming pools somewhere and now that they’re in my house they’re just always thirsty. In fact most orchids are air plants. Which means they need water but not in their soil. In fact most orchids don’t need soil at all. They prefer to grow on trees, other plants, and in some cases rocks. Which is why when you get an orchid from the store you’ll usually find it growing in what I can best describe as bark chips. Its roots are usually partially exposed, and much like a Cthulu, you’ll find they reach out like tentacles or tendrils stretching into the air and wrapping around things they come in contact with. So, you know. You can’t just pour water on them and expect it to take. And you can’t just fill up their pot with water or they’ll drown. They’re air plants, not water plants.

Once I got over needing to water them like a “normal” houseplant I got a couple of recommendations.

Ice it.

The first is the ice cube method. And it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Once every week to 10 days you set an ice cube over the roots and bark and you let it melt. Then your plant is watered. Some people swear by this method. I know my aunt is an ice-cuber. I tried this for a while but it didn’t seem to work for me. It could be for any number of reasons. Variables I can’t figure into the equation. But it just didn’t work for me.

(Photo by C MA on Unsplash)

Soak it.

This is my preferred method of orchid watering. Especially with orchids that are actively blooming or trying to bloom. Orchids should come in special little baskets, rather than your standard grower’s pot. That basket is then set into a decorative planter. With the soak method you water every 10-days to 2 weeks depending on the humidity of the area your orchids are in. I take all my orchids to the bathtub, leave them in both their growing basket and decorative pot and fill them all up to the top with water. Then I let them soak for 10-15 minutes before pulling the orchid baskets out of the decorative pots, dumping the excess water, and letting them drain for a couple of hours. This is incredibly similar to how many folks care for their air plants. I will never go back to the ice method.

Steam it.

Okay… there is a third method that no one has ever recommended to me but that I stumbled upon and that I tend to use with my dormant orchids. It’s the steam method. My blossoming orchids tend to be on display in the living room or in the bedroom so I can enjoy the flowers. Once they lose their blooms they’re significantly less showy. At some point after soaking one of my dormant orchids and draining it and putting it back in its pot I took it out of the bathtub but never really got around to taking it out of the bathroom. So it just sat in the windowsill of the frosted window next to the bathtub soaking up diffused light and steam from all the showers. And it just seemed… so… happy there.

So happy that when my next one lost its blooms I kept it in the bathroom. The healthy sheen on the orchid’s leaves and the plump curviness of their roots are just perfection. Those dormant plants get a lot less care from me. I probably only water them once a month. But they have gone through multiple blossom cycles each.

So that my friends is the tale of my orchids. They’re the plant I feel should be the most mysterious but somehow aside from ZZ plants they’re the ones I manage to keep the healthiest and happiest.

Have any orchid pointers? Orchid questions? Drop them in the comments.

Sordid Tales of the String of Pearls

When I first started this plant blog nearly three years ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Three year ago me and now me still have that in common. But I know now that I don’t want to do what I did then. One of my early posts here was about Sting of Pearls. Well kind of. There’s a lot of babble about my favorite purse, polka dots, and Jackie Kennedy in that post. I’m not really sure, looking back, what I was going for with all that. But I digress.

I’d been caring for this particular plant for a bout a month and I really thought I had everything figured out. I gave some care tips in between moments of pontification about bourbon and Kate Spade and polka dots. And those care tips are not… inaccurate. If you read about how to care for a Sting of Pearls most places on the internet you will probably read something very similar to what I said.

Care tips to remember?

  • They love light. Yay light. But it shouldn’t be beating down on them.
  • Don’t over water. Those little pearls? They soak it up and store it for later.
  • Those strings? They’re like stems and they’re delicate so be careful with them, but…

And then I went on to explain how easy they are to propagate. Which is actually true.

But what I didn’t spend enough time on is how incredibly fickle this plant is and how easy it is to kill. I’ve said it before, I’m awful with succulents. TRULY terrible with them. But somehow I’m even worse at this particular variety. And so of course I’ve decided to try again. In my late Friday night plant ordering spree I decided to order one each of the plants from my most killed list and document how they’re doing.

New String of Pearls, I shall call you Lucy…

Enter the new Sting of Pearls and what I have not yet verified as the best advice ever, but what came in as a comment on Facebook in a thread in which the plant murder of succulents in general and String of Pearls in specific was being discussed. Emily F. says you have to water these little divas FROM THE BOTTOM UP. Yep. You read that right. So this new lil devil will be cared for using ONLY the bottom up watering method.

 Never put water on the top soil. Let them sit in a little bowl of water and it will soak it up from the bottom. But wait until it’s totally dried out before you water it. Like no moisture at all. If it’s say a 6 inch pot that would be around once a month

Emily F plant genius

Will it make a difference? Well I sure hope so.

But wait… there’s more. This String of Pearls and a few other plants we’ll discuss later were delivered by Hammer + Vine yesterday afternoon. They were the second of the orders I made late Friday evening last week. And totally the last plants I’m allowing myself to buy this month. Though I should note that I have a special planter and succulent on order from a cute creepy Etsy shop that has still yet to arrive so look for that good news soon. But that was actually the first plant I bought this year so, it doesn’t count?

Back to the String of Pearls and this plant delivery. Before the order arrived I received an email:

 I packed your order myself, the pearls and spider plant have been freshly watered. String of pearls are more prone to rotting than other succulents, at the shop we always hang them right in the window or keep them directly under our grow lights.

Janelle from Hammer + Vine

Now what is this? I had always thought they shouldn’t have the direct light shining right at them. Because, you know, I read it on the internet. But according to Janelle who I am suddenly willing to trust with my plant’s life and perhaps my own direct light is exactly what these fickle high-maintenance little suckers need to keep them from rotting and dying.

So armed with new information from two women who seem to know what they’re talking about I feel like I’m read to start this String of Pearls adventure again with some hope of keeping it alive for the long haul this time.

I mean given my track record here it’s not terribly likely, but anything is possible. Right?

Featured image by Kara Eads on Unsplash

the desk plant…

I’ve been absent here on the plant blog. Mostly because I’ve been in a period of readjustment. My 3 month sabbatical ended about a month ago and I’ve had to figure out the best way to still be me. To integrate my sabbatical learnings into my daily work. To figure out how to be the nurturing plant lady while nurturing the community in which I work. 

There was a lot of fear on my end that I would wind up undoing all the good work I did with my plethora of plants once I went back to work. That I wouldn’t be able to focus on one more thing. That on top of being a parent, a partner, a friend, a family member, a community member, an employee that I wouldn’t have time to be the plant lady I had come to know and love over the past months. 

Turns out that being that plant lady. Taking the time to tend to and nurture all these beautiful plants I’ve cultivated seems to be helping me with the other stuff. Caring for the plants gives me some much needed space, both mentally and physically. I take the time to care for them and in a way that’s become one of the ways I care for me. Taking time to breath. Taking time that is just my own for something that I love. On days I work from home I take a plant care and mindfulness break every day. On days I work out of the office I come home, put down my bag and then check on my plants while I check in with myself. And I breathe. 

But as could easily be predicted I found that anywhere I spent significant time was a place I wanted to be around plants. I’ve spent the month back at work not only readjusting to the job but also transitioning from being a full time stay at home worker to working most of my week out of an office. It’s an experiment to see if I can maintain some of the healthy mindfulness I set in place more easily if I have separation of work and home life. Though I’ve become fond of just calling it separation of church and state. 

So before I even moved in a monitor and keyboard. before I put up a picture of any loved ones. before I brought in a coffee mug of my own. Before almost anything I moved in a plant. Just a little one. A few weeks ago I picked up a big beautiful and unusual Sansevieria (also known as Snake Plant and Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.) It was too big for it’s part. It had sprouted pups and those pups had grown into fully formed plants. They’d grown so much that I divided the plant into three separate pots. Since the only place in my home I can have snake plants is my bedroom since the cats can’t go in there I decided that at least one of them should make its way to the new office. 

Sansevieria, aside from being absolutely beautiful and also completely toxic to cats and dogs, is one of the easiest plants to grow and hardest plants to kill. You can lock it in a dry dark room and not open the door for 6 months and when you peek back in on it, it’ll probably be happy as can be. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count that the only way to kill it is to care for it. You can water it a few times a year and it still seems to thrive. Plus  create more oxygen than most other houseplants so it seems an all around win.  

At the moment it’s the only plant on my desk. It stands tall and proud between my monitor and my jar of protein bars and gum. I think it might be a little lonely. But not for long. 

plant nanny?

I’m on sabbatical at the moment but when I’m not I have to travel for work from time to time. Also sometimes a person just likes to get away. I have a kid. I have a couple of cats. So I’m not unfamiliar with needing to make sure someone is around to handle things while I’m on the road, whether that be for work or a getaway. But Until the past couple of months the instructions for plant care while I’m away have been super simple.

water those on Sunday…

But that’s just not going to cut it anymore, you know. I’m currently resisting counting the number of plants I have in the house. Partly because I’m not sure I want to know, partly because what counts? Full grown plants and baby plants? Plants in the kid’s room? Starts in water? That tray of succulents I’m playing around with to see how they do? If I have one planter with many plants in it does that count as 1 plant or 8?

Better just not to count them right? Not to reveal the depths of my plant depravity.

But I do need to document these sweet sprouts and full-grown plants in some way so it’s not just all in my head.

This feels kind of like when my daughter was much younger and obsessed with My Little Pony. First of all, yes I was totally stoked. I loved MLP when I was a kid and to have her into them was AMAZING. But here’s the thing, I had to know all of their proper names. You know their Hasbro given names. But I also had to know all of their kid given names. It was a complex dance that my daughter and I did and if some adult that wasn’t me was playing ponies with her… HOW WOULD THEY POSSIBLY KNOW THE PONIES’ NAMES AND PERSONALITIES?!

Well the answer was simple, they could just ask the kid. She was always more than happy to tell them.

But my plants, last I checked, don’t speak. And my people, while patient, don’t read the tell-tale signs of plant health and wellness. They won’t remember which plants need water daily and which need to dry out between waterings. Which plants like to be misted and which like to have their water poured. Which should be moved into the sunny spot for a couple of hours, which need to just stay there all the time, and which prefer to dwell in darkness.

If only the cats could be trained to do plant care…

But because I can’t possibly expect my cats or my family to keep track of all of that and there’s no way I’m going to document all of that here I’m thinking of starting a little plant journal, probably complete with polaroids, in the hope that when I come back from a week away this fall I won’t return to a house full of drooping, damaged, or dead plants.

It’s that or garishly colored post-its on every surface in all the rooms. Maybe I should flip a coin.

If you have a house full of plants how do you leave care instructions while you’re away?

(string of) pearls are always appropriate…

In my spare time when I’m not working, or parenting, or partnering, or being completely obsessed with plants, or thinking about how incredibly perfect a nice bourbon can be I spend a fair amount of time appreciating polka dots.

The polka dot is, in my reckoning, the perfect pattern. It’s versatile, clean, sophisticated, and whimsical all at the same time. And when I found that appreciation for polka dots and detached a bit from my goth-girl roots to realize that it’s okay to love polka dots I also invested in one of my first really nice purses. A black and white Kate Spade structured handbag with a pattern of tiny little polka dots. It was the perfect combination of fun and fashionable and every time I picked it up I thought of two things:

First “Wow this is a really nice purse… am I really responsible enough to have this?”

Second for some reason it made me think about Jackie Kennedy who seemed to wear pearls quite often and was famously quoted as saying “Pearls are always appropriate.”

Why am I rambling about polka dots and pearls you ask? Well because the plant I’m going on about today not only looks like a delicate string of green pearls, but is aptly named String of Pearls. Well that’s its common name because it’s a little easier to remember than Senecio Rowleyanus.

Now I tell you the little technical things… at least the little technical things I’ve picked up from the back alley plant dealers. And, you know, internet research and caring for my plant for a whole month.

String of Pearls is a succulent which means that they’re super easy to care for and super simple to propagate. They tend to grow in long dangling strands. Not up, not out. They hang and trail. Beautifully I think. As I said, I’ve only had mine for about a month but so far, so good. I’ve read a few folks complaining about how hard they are to keep alive but mine is as happy as can be.

Care tips to remember?

  • They love light. Yay light. But it shouldn’t be beating down on them.
  • Don’t over water. Those little pearls? They soak it up and store it for later.
  • Those strings? They’re like stems and they’re delicate so be careful with them, but…

If one of those strings happens to pop off it’s time to help that little string be a plant all its own. Gently pop off a few of those pearls and plant the end of the string from which the pearls have been removed into the soil of a new little pot, give it a good first time water, and wait for plant magic to happen.

Or you could try to wear it, but I wouldn’t actually recommend that…


buy plant. repot. repeat…

Over the past few days or so, as happens, I brought home a few new plants. And by a few new plants I mean… well let me count. Well first let me decide how to count. Do plants I bought for my daughter count?

Well I’m the one who’ll likely be taking care of it.. so yes?

  1. I got a tiny little baby Plantation Palm
  2. a little white Echevaria (for the teen)
  3. a little pinkish-lavender Echevaria
  4. a Monstera Deliciosa
  5. a Selenicereus Chrysocardium

So 5 new plants. That’s not as scary as I thought it was. Except that all but one of them needs to be repotted. And there are a few other plants that need to be repotted. Like my big ol Pothos who is tangly and unruly and if I’m reading the yellowing leaves correctly, isn’t getting the drainage it needs.

And so I also bought a few new pots. A few fancy pots that I think are just amazing and a handful of good old-fashioned terra-cotta pots. I go with the terra-cotta pots mostly because I know they have excellent drainage. And the lovely pots I have without drainage?  I need to drill a hole in the bottom of each and risk breaking them or just use them to hold a more drainage friendly pot. I chalk all of those up to a rookie mistake but it’s one I will likely make again and again.

But the big thing I’m noticing as I repot plants is that I’m left with little lovely pots that once served me so well sitting sad and empty. So clearly it’s time for some new little plants to fill them?

Does anyone else thin this whole healthy houseplant thing is a beautiful vicious circle?


** update** I potted/repotted 14 plants today… and yet there are four lovely pots (and a ton of throw-aways) that sit empty. Whatever shall I do?IMG_5309.JPG