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To want a houseplants that just bloody lives

228 replies

Purplerayhan · 22/02/2021 22:41

That's all. No matter how much I read the instructions and follow them, source from proper garden centres, read up on the best plants for the room THEY JUST KEEP ON DYING. Even a sodding cactus went to the great compost heapnin the sky. I see other people's rooms with lush plants and I'm jealous.
And yes, I do have other things to be thinking about. No, I don't have much of a life. Yes, I talk to them but th singing might have finished them off.
YABU - clearly you're the Harold Shipman of horticulture, suck it up
YANBU - they are bottomless pits of promise and money, get over your hatred of plastic flowers

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

221 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
MaryIsA · 23/02/2021 11:32

@Purplerayhan J ust seen north facing room on a line of cupboards....cactus will hate it there - they need light.

Aspidistra might go there you need to look for plants that like shady rooms.

cravingthelook · 23/02/2021 11:32

They are called Patrick and Diego btw 😁

Corneliusmurphy · 23/02/2021 11:34

I seem to be alright with orchids, I’ve had the oldest years I mostly ignore them, although occasionally tell them how pretty their flowers are Grin

I actually thought my mum (a frequent visitor) was watering them behind my back but she’s not been in for the best part of the year and they’re still going strong. It must be the location I moved them to a different window and a leaf went black basically overnight so I put them back and stopped touching!

Ridingthegravytrain · 23/02/2021 11:38

I’m currently killing a weeping fig! Keeps dropping it’s leaves and will shortly be naked. And all new shoots turn brown and die. I’ve tried ignoring and feeding. I read online they are actually quite tricky and get shocked pretty easily.

AtLeastThreeDrinks · 23/02/2021 11:46

I am you.

A cast iron plant is the only thing I managed to keep alive for years and it is thriving. Literally bred to survive dark, dank Victorian corridors and they look great! I ignore it until it gets droopy and then water. I've now branched out to a boston fern and a Chinese money tree (specifically chose ones that are hard to kill). Some tips:

  • Plants are more likely to die from overwatering than underwatering

  • If you live in a hard water area, use filtered water or rain water

  • Not a tip, but some plants are just bad quality to begin with

I also have an aversion to plastic plants (allergic to dust, and they just seem to attract it).
Notavegan · 23/02/2021 11:50

My auntie once told me to only water an orchid once roots go white. Hardly ever.
Great thread for me as I'm on the lookout for new plants.

GrannyWeatherwaxsHatpin · 23/02/2021 12:01

I can absolutely recommend a sansevieria - I bought mine at Easter last year and it's still alive which is an achievement, I can tell you. I think I've watered it twice in that time so it clearly thrives on neglect, especially as it's in a North facing room.

Worst plant purchase ever was a Shameplant - you know the ones that curl up when you touch them? Maybe I poked it too much but it curled up and, despite being offered its choice of direct light/indirect light/shade/dappled light reflected from a Louis VI mirror/tap water/mineral water/sauvignon blanc that had been filtered through crystals, it still died. Bastard thing

Navilana · 23/02/2021 14:01

Maybe you'd do better with the help of a plant app? You give in the info once, and then the app send you a notification on the day you best water it. Very handy!

EnoughnowIthink · 23/02/2021 14:06

Only success I've had with houseplants is to water weekly, regardless of what they are, and use babybio in the water. Unfortunately, I am a bit ditzy and keeping it up is difficult. I literally had to make it part of my routine and force myself to do it and it worked. Plants were lovely. Then I moved house and killed them all 'cos my routine was out (I am about 2 years old, I think!). So I now just have fake plants. You really can't tell till you're close. Much easier.

Whitney168 · 23/02/2021 14:39

I also have a house full of plants.

Orchids I do very well with, they thrive on decent light and benign neglect. Kitchen windowsill is full of them.

Loads of different things doing well - particular successes, in different parts of the house, are Calatheas (particularly Medallion), Pilea, Dracaena, a lovely Sansevieria Black Dragon. Have just bought a huge Philodendron, which I am hoping I won't kill, and a small-ish Monstera that I'm hoping will grow at the rates others speak of.

Have lovely trailing Satin Pothos which seems bombproof, and a fabulous Hoya that I am sure was mis-priced in garden centre as it is enormous and cost me £10. A single strand of it seems to cost more than that elsewhere.

My failures ...

Ferns I don't do so well with - although the blue star fern that I repotted in to orchid bark on Saturday seems to have notably perked up already, I think the poor thing was choking in the proper soil it came in.

The Maidenhair seems to be irredeemably fried. Not an expensive plant though, so I'll try again.

Callisia Rosato - so pretty I've tried it twice. Second one died as quickly and comprehensively as the first. Not sure what I'm doing wrong with that, they don't last long enough to tinker.

My current main fight is with an Alocasia Zebrina, which came beautifully healthy but seems determined to die. I love it, so I am determined it won't. Alocasias are drama queens apparently, so am hoping once it gets to spring and he's got over his travels, he might thrive. My previous Alocasia Polly has never given me a minute's worry though.

Navilana · 23/02/2021 14:41
To want a houseplants that just bloody lives
Notavegan · 23/02/2021 15:38

I'm looking to buy house plants online. Any recommendations?

Purplerayhan · 23/02/2021 15:49

Loving the named plant pets!
I'll look at trying the few ones that I haven't killed that people have mentioned. Tha is everyone.
I'm going to give it one last chance, then plastic ones it is!

OP posts:
NotJosieGrosieAnymore · 23/02/2021 15:50

Elm, based in Norwich. I’ve bought devils ivy, Philodendron and Cissus striata for myself and also as gifts. All have been well-packed and great quality.

Purplerayhan · 23/02/2021 15:51

Will try the plant app tooGrin

OP posts:
Navilana · 23/02/2021 17:27

Yes please, give it another go! Grin
Easiest are spiderplants. They store water in their roots, so they don't need regular watering. Water needs to go somewhere, so I always use planting pots with holes (might sound weird but my sister didn't like the look of those, discarded them, planted plants in full soil and afterwards was disappointed that every plant had root rot.)

This is a plant you can actually play with a lot. See if it does well on the wardrobe for about a week and if you see the colour "fade", this is not the right spot. I dunk them in a bucket of water, wait for about 15 minutes and then let the excess water leak out, before putting them back in their "outside" nice pot.

I honestly do this with many of the plants I have, because I'm afraid of giving them too much water otherwise Grin. Also, misting works wonders on a regular basis, the leaves of your plants stay free of dust and can get their share of sunlight Smile.

I'm wondering if there are plant shelters in the UK. Some cities around here have shelters where unwanted/near dead plants get nursed back to their full potential and some are given away, or can be bought at a very low price. Might be a way to cover the costs? Or swap with friends Smile

WhiskersPete · 23/02/2021 17:39

I would repot all your plant after buying and make sure there is plenty of grit mixed it to the potting mixture for drainage.

Then water much less frequently than you think you need to.

Eckhart · 23/02/2021 17:48

You have to get to know them a little bit. 'Following the instructions' isn't a way to keep anything alive. Imagine if our parents had 'followed the instructions' raising us Smile

I go for a benign slight neglect, which seems to work for most plants. They'll tell you when they're thirsty by looking a bit limp and faded. They'll tell you if you've overwatered them by going yellow. They like consistancy, so moving them about is a bit of a no-no. And they don't like drafts, so windows aren't very good for a lot of them.

It's usually the watering that kills them though. The schedule will change with the season; just like us, they get thirstier and their soil dries out when the weather is warm, so 'half a glass of water, once a week' isn't going to cut it. Not all the time, anyway.

Fluffycloudland77 · 23/02/2021 17:55

My snake plant is doing ok. I killed a peace lily, and a spider plant.

Souther · 23/02/2021 18:03

My daughter spotted a spider plant in school.
And as usual it's up to me to take care of it.
The advice was to put it in a and water once a week.
Well I'm sick of being the one who has to take care of all the plants/ pets.
So I thought we'll get rid of this one quick.
I put it on the coldest room in the house the conservatory and have been neglecting it on purpose. Maybe watering it once a month.
It seems to be thriving.

Dutchesss · 23/02/2021 18:10

I have an Orchid and a mini money tree, both have lived for 5 years. I forget to water plants and these often go a month without water and seem to thrive. Grin

adrianmolesmole · 23/02/2021 18:32

I have 18 plants. The first few I got were succulents and cacti and I read that you should water them thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out completely - at least a week or two (the longer the better actually, but not more than a month) - before giving them a thorough water again.

I usually just water the soil till the water just stops 'sinking in' if YKWIM. Don't want to drown it. Then I leave it to dry. Succs like a lo-o-t of light too so if you put them on windowsills they just sit there happily. They are unhappy if you put them in the middle of a room that's further away from a window.

Other plants have different rules but in my experience I actually treat them the same way I do the succs - water and then leave! Usually once a week or so - but if the soil still appears damp don't add any more water, leave it till it looks dry and then water. Seems to work for most plants (IME).

With non-succs you have to mist them every day because they like humidity. I have to do that with my Dragon tree, my braided money tree and my Devil's Ivy.

And read up in where you place them - succulents/cacti thrive in a sunny south-facing window. Other plants like less sun, like north or east facing.

If a plant isn't thriving move it to another area of the house. But don't move plants all the time, they're like cats, they don't like being moved! They get stressed. I guess plants in the wild never walk about, so that's probably why! Give them a few weeks after moving to see if they perk up or not.

I've had quite a lot of plants die on me, eg my chinese money plant which I overwatered because I didn't realise it was a succulent!

Another thing I do is whenever I notice a brown or dead leaf or stem I pick it off. I don't let them stay on the plant as they may spread to the rest of the plant. I prune every now and then but not too often.

I would start again with just one or two succulents/cacti in a sunny window and see how it goes, before adding other plants.

IME it's really about the water, just don't overwater most plants and they're usually fine. I have a schedule in my journal of when I last watered each plant (I know, I'm sad).

SallyAnn32 · 23/02/2021 18:56


Agree it's a peace lily you need.

They go all floppy and droopy when you need to water them. Some say its an early warning sign of pending death, I reckon they just do it to guilt me into watering them. Seems to work as they haven't died yet.

Agree!! I've got a peace Lily I've kept alive for almost a year. A record for me! I don't do anything to it. Water when it's droopy and that's it.
Purplerayhan · 23/02/2021 20:27

Managed to kill spider plants, aspidistar, and even a peace Lily. Didn't feel very ducking peaceflu watching it's be starting leaves drop one by one. not feeling bitter at all

OP posts:
Purplerayhan · 23/02/2021 20:28

Ducking? Fucking!
Peace flu? Peaceful!

OP posts:
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