You Know You Are a Crazy Plant Lady When…

Not to be confused with a crazy cat lady. I have been accused of being both. I have nine cats, and twenty-nine houseplants. So, you make the call.

You know you are a crazy plant lady when you plan your life around them. We are very seriously thinking of moving house and in the next house, it is on my list of property features to have a wonderful sun room/porch for the all the green lovelies. One that four mischievous kittens and their Siamese big sister could be banned from. One that they could soak up sun in and have some space and no longer be locked behind portable fences or languishing under windows with kittens bouncing out of them, or in dark rooms, since we sadly bought a house that receives little light. If we put them outdoors in the summer, they are consumed by grasshoppers. Dilemmas indeed.

And yet, I still gratefully collect many species of plants. There is the lovely, tall cactus, sharp as a tack, proudly sitting on top of my piano (so that we do not accidentally touch it!). Lots of plants that were given to me as gifts, succulents and orchids. I have my late grandmother’s African violet, a three foot tall bamboo who started in a teensy pot. Ginger, and fabulous aloes. Fig trees and exotic Queen of the Night and Mostera. Ten year old geraniums. Memories and oxygen around every bend. Flowing pothos and philodendron. Jade and Pencil Cactus. They are all so lovely and are great troopers considering the conditions I force them to live in.

Here are some tips on keeping houseplants:

  • Think about the plant’s natural habitat and try to mimic that. Does it love desert? Does it need a humidifier?
  • Partial light is great for most any plant. East or west sun is golden. South sun may burn plants.
  • Water once a week for plants in direct sun. Every ten days for partial sun. Every two weeks for succulents like aloe. The best way to check a plant is to use your finger to test the top inch or so of soil. If it is dry, water until the water comes through the bottom.
  • Replant your plants once a year or so. I use wine corks (I gather them through the year) for drainage at the bottom of the plant.
  • Dust the leaves every month and speak sweetly to them.
  • If you get fruit flies, let the plant dry out more. For other diseases, you can try to help them with organic sprays, but do expect that plants do die. You might lose one a year, and then adopt two more. That’s when you become a crazy plant lady!


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