So, now there’s a device that can be inserted into the soil of your plants, and it will send a tweet when it’s time for watering. The leaf-shaped gadget is available for $100. If you need a $100 gadget to tell you when to water, maybe you should re-think your plants. Here are some easy-care – if you kill these – just give up, suggestions;
This will survive just about anything. Likes to be ignored. Shove it in a dark corner, or a sunny window, and it’s happy. Throw a little water on it, when you think of it. It’s slow growing, so re-potting isn’t a worry. It can be easily divided into smaller plants, or stretched out into a window box for a more modern display.
A popular plant for hanging baskets, but is nicer when kept compact, and can be purchased as a small plant and set on a desk or table. There are several varieties, but the nicest, hippest one is limelight, a bright shade of lime green. They tolerate sun and shade, and put up with a willy-nilly watering approach, and are great air cleaners. Don’t be tempted to train it to go across the ceiling or window frames. Please. Don’t.
Yes, orchids. Phalaenopsis, or the butterfly orchid is the most prevalent and is the easiest to care for. And by care for, I mean ignore. Place in a bright spot, out of direct sun, and ignore. Sure, look at it and admire it’s elegant blooms, and marvel that they’ve lasted for 2 or 3 months, but please don’t over water it. Orchids typically grow out of tree trunks, or anchor themselves to the side of a cliff, and take moisture from the air, rather than their roots.
If you feel inclined to give lots of TLC, misting is best and this can be done daily. Orchids are usually double-potted, meaning they are planted in plastic grower pot, and then set into a more decorative one. Hold the plant in the grower insert over the sink, and let the water run through, no more than once a week. Usually, I don’t bother with that, and just dribble small amounts of water on top of the roots. Never let it sit in water, and always make sure that the moss or mulch it’s planted in is a little dry between watering. Be sure to purchase orchids from plant professionals who know how to take care of them. Grocery stores and other mass retailers carry them at cheap prices, but the care they receive , length of time on the shelf, or how they are packed when you take them home can mean a dead orchid a week later. Invest in the best and you’ll love your blooms for months.
There’s a pattern in the care tips of the plant suggestions; don’t kill them with kindness. Frankly, most plants die from over-watering, which causes the roots to rot, rather than from under watering. Improper lighting is also a factor. Few plants can tolerate full, direct sun, so make sure they’re not getting a sunburn.
Plants to avoid
This is my hit list of problem plants.
Any ivy. They are spider-mite magnets. Without constant attention, and misting and watering, and removal of dead leaves, they quickly become a haven for the tiny web builders that suck the life out of plants, leaf by leaf.
See ivy plants.
A favourite for business gifts. They usually contain ivy AND deifenbachia. If you manage to find a planter that doesn’t contain these, chances are that the plants are still incompatible, and will slowly die, one by one. If they manage to live for a few months, they will need to be separated and re-potted, as one of them will start to take over, and it will start look unruly and messy. Send an orchid.
And now, if you’ll excuse, me, the pothos is winding it’s way toward the ceiling fixture, and needs to be stopped.