How Many Plants
April 22, 2021 9:12 AM   Subscribe

 
This is nicely done and since I just got a Money Tree and Rubber Plant, very timely. Thanks for posting!
posted by jeremias at 10:06 AM on April 22


Thanks for this post! I've been hunting for a couple okay-with-neglect plants to spruce (ha) up my bedroom and this guide makes it really easy. :)
posted by introp at 10:09 AM on April 22


Needs more googly eyes.
posted by flabdablet at 10:49 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


Thanks, OP! This is great, and I dig the artwork. Site Q & A with illustrator & ceramist Evie May Adams, the artist behind the illustrations of How Many Plants. (Artist's site has ceramic work, too.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:53 AM on April 22


Don’t forget to play their favorite music for them.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:59 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


... which is, secretly, this.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:08 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


And this.

Edit: dammit
posted by saladin at 11:17 AM on April 22 [4 favorites]


My wife is naturally gifted with houseplants and we enjoy a houseful stuffed with all shapes and sizes until May when we take many of them outdoors to the porch, deck or patios until October. But one that stays put is her prize - a Christmas cactus she inherited from her mother who died suddenly in '85 and which, despite its now impressive 2 1/2' diameter, still sits in the same 8" pot and the same soil her mother placed it in years before her passing. So now 40+ years old, it nests inside and springs forth from a large art glass bowl that supports its many meaty, inch-thick branches in front of a south facing window and we just turned it this morning to bring its most recent round of buds and blooms to the room-facing side - as this year, just like the last 10-15 years, it has been blooming continually since November.

Naturally, it seems a mystic connection to her Mom that defies every notion of standard plant care so reluctant to repot it, we've just always said we'd do it if it ever showed signs of distress .... but it never has, so we never did.
posted by thecincinnatikid at 11:25 AM on April 22 [19 favorites]


Sadly, there don't seem to be many plants that a) I won't kill and b) won't kill my cats.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:03 PM on April 22


GenjiandProust, maybe Parlor Palm, or Cast Iron Plant? Nontoxic, stalwarts of the Victorian heavy-drapes craze, and the latter has the Orwell tie-in.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:22 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Sadly, the overwatering remedies came too late for my big jade. But good advice never expires.

Really like the design and artwork, too.
posted by scratch at 12:30 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


This is really cute! It also answered my question about why the leaves on my anthurium verapazense have been browning at the tips, so that's convenient :)
posted by wesleyac at 1:17 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I LOVE this and it's going to be a perfect complement to my currently growing-out-of-control houseplant collection! I had never had any luck with houseplants...until we moved to our new house this past November. I started with two philodendrons just to fill in some empty shelf space in the kitchen and...they thrived?!?! Now I have my lil green friends all over this house and they are all doing beautifully! I can't wait to browse through the linked site more closely!
posted by deep thought sunstar at 3:22 PM on April 22


I used to think I had a black thumb and now I’m one of the most prolific houseplant-havers and gardeners I know. My trick? Get a shitload of plants and see what happens and even if most of them die, some of them will inevitably live. Whichever ones those are, get more of them. If you happen to have one that isn’t thriving that you really like, google it and see if you can fix it.I have killed many plants in my day but currently I have more than I can count, at least 60 in my living room alone, if you count the young tomatoes and peppers I’m preparing to put out.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:52 PM on April 22 [9 favorites]


showbiz_liz, ha ha focusing on the survivors is my strategy too - I call it Darwinistic gardening!
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:08 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]


showbiz_liz, that’s my secret too! My neighbors tell me I have the prettiest plants in the neighborhood. I tell them that’s because I hide all my failures. :)

Nowadays, failing isn’t as expensive as it used to be, since I mostly plant from seed these days. And the few annuals I buy are those I’ve had success with in the past.
posted by darkstar at 8:09 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]


LOL “Darwinistic gardening” exactly.
posted by darkstar at 8:10 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


One thing that never seems to get mentioned in houseplant discussions is the quality of water you use on them. Unless you live in an area with very soft water, rainwater is ideal, especially for the sort of plants that live on other plants in the wild (orchids, tillandsia, some ferns and flowering cacti). otherwise Darwinian gardening will come into play and there will be some things you just can't grow.

I managed to kill off about a dozen maidenhair ferns this way before I realised what was happening, because of course I really wanted a maidenhair fern..

Another point - Ikea and similar big stores are very good sources of succulent cuttings, bearing in mind that you can grow a whole plant from a single leaf and probably no-one will notice you taking it. Ahem...
posted by Fuchsoid at 11:59 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]


Fuchsoid: you just made me realize why I could never keep maidenhair ferns, which were filed in my head as “easy,” alive in my home- which has since had a no-salt water softening system installed!!! I’m gonna buy the next one I see.

Generally nth-ing everyone on Darwinian gardening- everyone has strengths and weaknesses in their gardening habits, you just have to try every plant and see which ones survive yours.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 6:50 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


(omg, my terrarium of death— should I try again with my soft water? Methinks I shall)
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 6:51 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


I used to think I had a black thumb and now I’m one of the most prolific houseplant-havers and gardeners I know. My trick? Get a shitload of plants and see what happens and even if most of them die, some of them will inevitably live. Whichever ones those are, get more of them. If you happen to have one that isn’t thriving that you really like, google it and see if you can fix it.I have killed many plants in my day but currently I have more than I can count, at least 60 in my living room alone, if you count the young tomatoes and peppers I’m preparing to put out.

@ showbiz_liz This is the approach me and my neighbours take, and we call it "Darwin's Balcony".
posted by robot-hugs at 10:10 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


From the houseplant 101 link

If you want to really give your plants the true mother nature experience, why not try turning the lights on and off ("lightning") and play some thunder sounds. We think they appreciate that almost as much as they do when we sing to them. Wait… That's not just us, right?
posted by sammyo at 12:59 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Nice, yes, but houseplants are a rather small specialized subset of "all your many plants" so the header is a bit misleading.
posted by yinchiao at 7:17 PM on April 23


that's a triumph of web design. looks amazing, and very friendly in android & chrome desktop. a+
posted by j_curiouser at 11:54 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


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