DIY, Home, Living, Misc

Plants for the Plant-Challenged

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Alright people, here we go. This admittedly plant-challenged gal is finally giving it a go into the world of owning and (hopefully!) keeping alive a few house plants! After asking my buddies on Instagram, researching online and checking with my local nursery, here are a few of the plants I’m bringing home. Of course, at this point I know very little about said plants, so be sure to leave a helpful comment below if you are a plant whisperer yourself!

So far, here are my notes on plants for the plant-challenged. I know I have a LOT to learn, and this is barely skimming the surface of plant-y knowledge…but I gotta start somewhere, right?!

In the past, I’ve tried keeping succulents alive, but I’ve now learned my problem was over-watering and not putting them in the correct container with a way to keep roots from staying too wet. This time, I chatted with some helpful folks at the plant store (plant shop? Like I don’t even know the terms, you guys. 😂), and they helped me choose a shallow vessel with charcoal rocks to go in the bottom and a special cactus soil to plant with. No idea about any of the plant-y things, so I was very grateful for their wisdom!

When I was in college, my mom sent me off to school with a clipping from a plant that she had from her late father, and SOMEHOW this non-farmer was able to keep it alive for quite a few years…with little to no skill or attention. After researching for this Plant-Challenged post, I figured out that it was a pothos vine, and the reason it stayed alive had nothing to do with my gardening prowess (obviously…) and everything to do with the fact that this pretty little vine is for those of us possessing the opposite of a green thumb.

I learned about air plants, spider plants and rubber plants at the plant shop as well, and I’m happy to report that my IG plant ladies and the experts at the shop all agree I should start with an assortment of these easy to care for green pretties. I left with a few small succulents (not sure on their exact names, but I’ll check), a couple of air plants, two small spider plants and a pothos vine. No rubber plants in stock, but, if I can keep these other plant babies alive for a hot minute, maybe I’ll expand my house plant collection even further someday…😉

Thus continues my springtime theme of “make room to grow,” and I’m excited to learn and see where this plant-challenged gal will be in a few months! Any extra helpful tips or tricks, plant people? Leave ’em in the comments, and be sure to follow along with this little experiment on Instagram, too!

PS – Will definitely be aware of my fur babies when I place these plants around the house. Did some research ahead of time, and it kinda sounds like a whole host of plants and flowers can possibly make pets ill. So many sites had conflicting info, so I’ll just be extra aware in my home! Our cats and dog don’t seem to care about the flowers we keep around the house, but I will for sure be careful with the plants, too!

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  1. Nina says:

    Yessss! So excited to see how you style your new plants, Farmer Erin! Love that pretty guide you made! 🌿

  2. Whitney says:

    One of my co-workers, who I refer to as the “plant lady”, recently got me into plants – I went from none to around 10 plants. She told me that the most common reason for killing plants is over watering. I water most of mine every 2 weeks. I just water them until water comes out the bottom and I don’t water again until the soil is dried out. This has worked so far for me and I am really enjoying them. I too have a lot of pothos, snake plants, and arrowhead plants and all are very easy to care for! 🙂

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Okay, this sounds like something I could do…water LESS. That’s how my last plant died, I’m thinking. Too much water!

  3. Marms says:

    I’ll start you some more of the “PaPa Plant” – I still have it growing, or at least the offspring of the original, 22 years later! (Although, about the only thing I can grow!)

  4. Lori says:

    Pathos Vine! I never knew what it was called but that’s the only one I’ve kept alive too!

  5. I am excited for you to try to grow these guys! It’s exciting when things actually work. My first gardening attempt resulted in a dead rosemary bush which everyone said would be impossible to kill. Well… whoops! Now I have had success with succulents and have a magnolia bush that smells wonderful when it blooms! Good luck!

  6. Elaine says:

    Don’t feel bad, I have killed an air plant, overwateri ng/soaking. I’m now trying succulents, fiddle leaf fig and orchids (which have rebloomed for me). Good luck and have fun.

  7. Lynsey says:

    I managed to kill succulents…recently my green thumb has been able to really take off but it was a real struggle at first lol. I found out recently that I should have replanted the succulent and not loved it as much(over watered). *sigh

    I am looking forward to seeing what you all grow and seeing your garden take off.

  8. Tirzah says:

    Another easy to grow plant that you may like for it’s foliage variety with what you already have is a ZZ plant. Mine keeps putting up with my abuse quite well.

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