“I totally have a green thumb” is a statement I’ve said multiple times. Ask my plants – the only one who has ever died on my watch was a jade plant I left in my open window during a snowstorm. And half of my Christmas cactus. And one succulent. And two plants I have in my office. And one budding flower my co-worker forgot to water while I was home sick. And about 7 other plants I never got back after a breakup. Okay, I’ll admit, maybe I’m not the plant owner I want to be, but I have good intentions!
I’d like to introduce my family of plants that have kept me company – especially during the insane year that was 2020. If you are, or have ever been a plant owner, you know they give you certain loving vibes you can’t prove are real – but you feel them. Although my dog, Roger, is more expressive than these plants could ever be, I have a certain emotional attachment to my little family.
There is no shame in asking for help – so I’m asking for yours. If you’re a plant owner of any of these beauties, or have tricks of the trade for them, please let me know. I am not an expert by any means, and am always trying to learn how to better care for them!
Species – “Dwarf umbrella tree” or Schefflera arboricola
Life Story – Purchased from the “corner market” around the block from my old apartment in Capitol Hill (Denver) in February 2020 for $9.99. It has probably tripled in growth since bringing home. Has been re-potted twice, and continues to get taller. Although I turn the plant every few weeks, it has grown at a slight lean since purchase.
Routine – Watered every 3 days. Soil becomes dry immediately after watering. Received “plant food” two weeks ago. Medium sunlight. ‘
Species – “Money Tree” or Guiana Chestnut
Life Story – I was gifted Arnie from a co-worker in 2019. Originally in a tall glass vase, layered between dirt, rocks and decorative rocks, but has only recently been re-potted for space. There was a time in which the leaves were bushy and lush, but in the last 6 months has lost a lot of volume. There is a plastic toy eyeball that was placed in the original vase by a friend, and followed to the new pot.
Routine – Placed in the sunniest spot on my plant shelf. Watered less frequently than others. Received “plant food” about two weeks ago.
Bruce (the spruce)
Species – “Mini pine tree” or Norfolk Pine Tree
Life Story – Received as a gift in December 2019 around Christmas – purchased from the local King Soopers. Originally came in a cheap plastic vase with shiny red foil paper wrapped around it – but was re-potted when he proved himself worthy after lasting through all seasons of the year.
Routine – Placed in a low/medium sunlit spot – after being moved to give room for Bruce to sit on the plant stand. Received “plant food” about two weeks ago. Recent growth. Needs to be trimmed.
Species – Donkey’s Tail/ “Burro’s Tail” – Sedum morganianum
Life Story – Purchased from the “corner market” around the block from my old apartment in March 2020 for $7.99. It originally came in a tiny square plastic container that it was overtaking when I first got it. It has been re-potted twice since, but has slowed in growth since the last transplant. It’s “tails” naturally fall off easily, but when it was sitting in a shorter windowsill, my god started to bite and eat them.
Routine – In medium sunlight. “Spritzed” with water every couple days. Received “plant food” about two weeks ago.
Species – “Mason’s Congo” or Sansevieria masoniana (*identified by the app, PlantSnap*)
Life Story – Another “corner market” purchase for $7.99 in April 2020. When first purchased, Evelyn was a tiny bud, compared to the plant it is now. A few weeks after being placed in my apartment window, it start expanding from all sides. Has been re-potted twice, staying stagnant since the last transfer.
Routine – Spritzed with water when dirt is atmosphere is looking too dry – or every 3 days. Was once infected with white mold (saprophytic fungus) in the soil, but has been eradicated for the most part. Received “plant food” two weeks ago.
Species – “Devil’s Ivy” or Epipremnum aureum (*identified by the app, PlantSnap*)
Life Story – Another “corner market” purchase for $9.99 in June 2020. Has grown significantly since purchasing. Re-potted once, into a pot that I have placed all red stickers I got from a journal purchase. Will need to be transferred soon. Received “plant food” two weeks ago.
Routine – “Spritzed” every 3 days. In medium sunlight – ideal sunlight place in my apartment. Received “plant food” two weeks ago.
Species – “Christmas cactus” – or Schlumbergera
Life Story – Received in the same week as Bruce, from the local King Sooper’s in December 2019. Purchased in full bloom, with bright red/pink flowers. Lost half of it’s volume after being left in an open window during a snowstorm in April 2020. Flowered once in May 2020, almost like a glimmer of hope during the global pandemic. Flowered again in November-December 2020.
Routine – Watered once a week. Received “plant food” two weeks ago. Medium sunlight.
Species – English Ivy – or Hedera Helix
Life Story – Another “corner market” purchase for $12.99 in August 2020. Originally potted in a small plastic square vase, it has probably tripled in length since purchasing. It’s ivy wraps up and around the shelves of the plant stand – and creating new growth at the windowsill. Leaves in the middle section have since fallen and the vine itself has become dry, although the longest part of the vine is thriving.
Routine – Watered every 3 days. Received “plant food” two weeks ago. Medium sunlight.
Species – Unknown! I lost the initial purchase sticker – and the app, PlantSnap is not identifying it properly.
Life Story – Purchased from Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora, Colorado in October 2020. Originally bought as a hanging plant, and transferred into a macrame hanger in November 2020. Slow but steady growth.
Routine – Low/Medium sunlight. Watered every couple days or less. Received “plant food” two weeks ago.
Look out for growth progress in future blogs – and let me know if you have any plant tricks that you swear by! We can all learn from each other as home-gardeners.