My Plant Guide

It’s fine, I’ll admit it, I’m a crazy plant lady. It all began my freshman year when I got my first succulent. I became absolutely obsessed. I think it’s just so entertaining to have something that you can take care of and watch grow but that is also low-maintenance. I have slowly grown my plant collection, both real and fake, over the past three years. Some have survived, some have not, so I’m here to tell you the plants I have and impart what I’ve learned on how to take care of them.

The Snake Plant

My grandma told me that this is also called “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” because you can’t kill it. My grandma had a bunch of these in her house. I complimented them when I was over, and she said the next time that I came by, I could have part of it. They grow like crazy, and they were getting too big for the pot that she had them in. So I took some home and split it into 2 pots. I also bought this unreasonably priced planter from Target. I won't say how much it was because I’m embarrassed that I spent that much for a plant home, but it makes me happy, and I’ll use it for life. So..basically it’s completely justified. I’ve only had these for about a month, so they’re probably just starting to take root. But they’re very sturdy and easy to replant. Just make sure you have sand and/or rocks in the bottom to help control the water levels.

Photo courtesy of Julie Johnson

The Jade Plant

My jade plant I have had for over two years, and it’s still going strong! My sister bought this one for me at a farmer’s market. It came with all of this green moss stuff, but I replanted it separately over Christmas break. These are super hard to kill as well. Also, sometimes the small leaves fall off into the soil and start a new stalk. That’s what happened to mine, which is super cool! Also, I just started trying to propagate (grow new plants from portions of a big plant) my jade in a tiny mason jar, so I’m curious to see how that turns out. You can take the little leaves off purposefully to propagate them. I just wiggled them off from side to side for the cleanest break possible. Then let them dry in the sun for about two to three days. (If you don’t do this they could rot because of the moisture). Then place them in a small pot of soil and water normally. Mine took about 2 months to develop even the smallest roots, so patience is key.

Pothos

This is one of my favorites. It is very drapey and beautiful, especially if you let it set on a table or counter. It will lengthen better this way than when hanging down like mine. These plants I water once a week very heavily, and then just let is absorb throughout the week. I once told my mom “Plants are like babies. They can’t talk, but you just have to watch them and figure out what they need!” So if I notice the leaves look more shriveled than normal or the soil has looked dry for a few days, then I’ll water it more. Another important tip for this plant is to clean the leaves, I usually do this about once a month, but should probably do it more. You just take a damp paper towel and wipe the dust off each leaf. This makes such a big difference in the shine of the leaves. I also just put some pothos leaves in a bottle to propagate. They should begin to develop roots soon. I just change the water in the bottle weekly. And then once the roots have developed, I can plant them! It’s like getting new plants for free!

Photo courtesy of George Zvanelli

Philodendron

Last year I had a plant named “Phil the Philodendron”. He was so beautiful, and his care is similar to the pothos as far as light, water, and leaf dusting. When I left for spring break at college, he died. So that was sad. It’s even sadder because I probably could have revived him knowing what I know now about plants. But this is another great low-maintenance plant that is very fun to watch grow. I got mine at a plant nursery for about $30.00

Cactus

This cactus I have had since last year. I don’t even know if it’s really still living, but it just kinda chills there. I water it about once every two weeks with the smallest amount of water. Probably like a tablespoon or two. I also put this in direct sunlight for optimal exposure. I got this one on clearance at Walmart for about three to five dollars and repotted it.

Photo courtesy of Annie Spratt

I hope this has inspired you to start a plant collection of your own. I absolutely love walking into my room and seeing all of my thriving, lively plants. It is a fun hobby to learn about them, care for them, and figure out what they need.

And, hey, if you don’t think keeping up with plants sounds fun, just buy some fake ones at Target. At least then you don’t need a $70 plant stand for them...