Monday, August 16, 2010

Cereal Killer

I have a confession. I am a serial plant killer. This is the third or fourth plant that I've put in this planter. Three months ago, it was three times fuller than it is now. And the limbs weren't drooping. It seems that every time I walk into the bathroom, another piece of the plant has fallen off.
Before the plant above, I killed this plant, which is called Lucky Bamboo. Only, it wasn't so lucky. It died.
When we bought the house, this sad old fake plant was in the bathroom planter. I don't like fake plants. A real plant would look so much better. Perhaps the previous owner's luck with houseplants was as bad as mine. 
A friend suggested that I might have better luck with Ivy. "It's nearly impossible to kill," she said.
The built-in planters are one of my favorite features of our house. They were so popular in the 1950s. Our house has four of them, located in the foyer, kitchen, and this bathroom. This kitchen planter is filled with very old plastic plants. The are probably original to the house, although I'm not certain. They have to be at least 40 years old. They don't make plastic plants like these anymore. I love them because they are so ridiculous. Because I love these fake plants, I am not tempted to replace them with new plants that I would certainly kill. 
The foyer also has a built-in planter, which was filled with these fake plants when we bought the house. I made the mistake of replacing the fake plants with real ones. 
The foyer planter has gone through the same series of dead plants that the bathroom planter has seen. This is one of them. It has since died and has been replaced with another plant that is also on its way out. Somehow, I will have to reconcile my love of built-in planters and dislike of fake plants with my inability to keep my houseplants alive. It looks like we'll be going back to the fake plants. 

11 comments:

Retro-luxe said...

Have you tried peace lily plants? They are hard to kill. At a vintage store I frequent, they have these outrageous orange plastic plants in their display. Unfortunately, they're marked "NFS."

Uncle Atom said...

Wow, that's some killer lighting you have! The planters are a great feature, I can imagine how frustrating it would be to try and get things to survive. I guess you have to figure out how much light they get, how deep the soil is, what kind of soil it is, etc. I leave that to my spouse!

Kitty said...

Maybe they are the wrong kind of plants for the given conditions? i.e. light/heat, etc.

Straight Talking Mama! said...

I feel really bad for people who kill plants like this, I do so little to all my plants yet they all survive, weird huh?

I was going to suggest ivy for the bathroom too but I see your friend beat me to it!

Rachelle said...

I have what my husband refers to as, "the black thumb of death." Every plant I have tried to grow in my house, died, until someone asked if I had a water softener, which I do! I was feeding my plants softened water which has way too much salt in it. If you have a water softener, this might be the problem, otherwise it's probably the temperature. If you have air conditioning, make sure the plant is not too close, also make sure the sunlight is right for the plant. Bamboo needs sunlight.

Retro Keith said...

you may also want to try Christmas Cactus. I hardly ever water it and it thrives just fine in a darkish room.

Melzaelf said...

Your house is GORGEOUS! Even the bathroom with it's nifty little planter I also like that little decorative circle thing going on.
(I hope you know what I am talking about, I have no clue what to call it.) *lol*

Jamie said...

The only plants I can keep alive are golden pothos and snake plants. I have been trying to keep houseplants for years and those are the two that take my destruction. I have found that anything with tiny stems such as ivy is hard to keep alive. If you get some Miracle Grow and add just a little to the water. Misting also helps. Don't over water. Wait until the soil is dry on top. I think your main problem is light. Plants need light. Love, your Mumsy.

adriane said...

Your house is amazing! I love these built-ins. If I were you, I would maybe try and find some period appropriate fake plants (like the amazing ones in the kitchen) or something similarly fake-but-embracing-the-fakeness. I kill all my plants, too. Even the herb garden on my deck. Sigh.

Look at this fancy pants tree:
http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-Fake-TROPICAL-TREE-Bush-HOUSE-Plant-RETRO-/200375655896?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0#ht_500wt_1154

Jennie@Wedgwood Tulsa said...

Wow, that fake plant on Ebay is really something! Getting more fake plants like the one in the kitchen is a good idea. I don't know why I never thought of looking on Ebay for them.

allison, a flea circus said...

have you ever tried air plants? i have now kept 5 plants alive for more than 4 months...a record for me. you can try http://airplantsupply.com they are super nice! i have no affiliation, i just got my little plants there. no dirt, little sun, only misting/soaking twice a week. good luck!

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