I am no green thumb. Most of my relationships with my plants are tentative at best, but Iâ€™m a hopeless romantic when it comes to gardening. In my head, I have the potential to create beautiful greenery both inside and outside of my home.
That beautiful life seems to forget that I have 2 cats who like to nibble on spider plants, or the dog who loves to get caught in the garden fencing, or my constant forgetting to water/feed the plants.
But damn it, hope springs eternal.
Most of my plants and flowers come from the clearance section at Loweâ€™s, which comes with its own challenges. My grandfather is a fixer; heâ€™s always able to fix a broken appliance or widget by tinkering with it. When I asked him how he learned to do all of this he said â€œwell, we never had any money so if something broke I opened it up and tried to fix it. I figured it was broke anyhow, so whatâ€™s the harm in trying?â€
Thatâ€™s how I see my life in the clearance plant department: these poor things are on the way out and are discounted as such. If I can save these plants, awesome! If I canâ€™t, well, at least I didnâ€™t kill something that was strong and healthy before.
So far Iâ€™d say that my success rate has been 70%. Most of the plants are salvageable, but only for a little while. Very few of my plants have gone on to become successful adult plants.
But I keep trying, nonetheless. My most precious plants are my 3 hibiscus plants, mostly because itâ€™s so unlikely to have them in a New York climate. I rescued all 3 of them for $1 each, and Iâ€™ve committed to working my face off towards keeping them alive. Iâ€™ve been able to nurse them back into continuous blooms on my deck during the summer, but the winter…the winter is another story.
I think Iâ€™ve mentioned this before but, my house doesnâ€™t get a ton of light. The majority of the windows are on the west so they arenâ€™t the best for trying to keep tropical plants alive. I have only 1 window that faces east and that’s in the guest room. Needless to say, itâ€™s a little cramped around the window.
So howâ€™s it going?
Plants That are Surviving Winter
Weirdly, the plants that are doing the best are the ones on my front porch. While theyâ€™re protected from the elements, the porch isnâ€™t heated so theyâ€™re still susceptible to the cold temperatures, but that doesnâ€™t seem to be a problem for most of them. I mean, even the snapdragons are still blooming!
Also, my aloe plant, which didnâ€™t grow at all for a year, is suddenly flourishing, but more on that later.
Plants That Arenâ€™t Doing So Well
Let me sum it up with: 98% of the plants Iâ€™ve brought inside have had issues. The exception being the tropical plants: hibiscus, aloe, and my palms.
My house is dry AF. You know how I know that? All of my flowering plants shriveled up like Spongebob at Sandyâ€™s biodome.
Smarter people wouldâ€™ve guessed this based on their perpetually cracked lips and itchy scalp, but I never gave it much thought. Iâ€™ve now bought a humidifier for the guest room and an old-timey looking spritzer to mist the plants in addition to watering them.
Also, ferns. I canâ€™t seem to keep a fern alive and flourishing no matter what I do. Eh, whaddyagonnado.
Plants That Are On The Mend
I had a panic attack when I saw the beautifully rehabbed hibiscus plants lose their leaves and blooms within a week (maybe a week+). Luckily these plants seem to be ridiculously hardy, as theyâ€™ve come back from the brink of death for the second time and are slowly starting to green again.
My succulents I have a love/hate relationship with. Donâ€™t ever believe people that say theyâ€™re easy to care for, especially if youâ€™re an anxious person. Succulents need to be left alone, I hear, but I hover and then over water. Which then goes into an under watering freakout and it becomes a vicious cycle of emergency triage. Shout out to jade plants for being so chill.