By the kitchen table, looking at my bird feeding station 🙂
In the kitchen behind the sink
I counted my plants recently. I don’t know why. But I have 49. I need a 50th, an orchid, I think.
A lot has changed since I shared pictures last.
One of the pothos that was on the fireplace got too long so it’s upstairs on the landing, you can see it hanging down the wall in the third picture. The neon pothos that was also on the fireplace got too long, and it is upstairs. I’m going to do this with it, climb it up the wall, when I can find the right place for it; I think it’s stunning. And Leo doesn’t like us installing plant hooks in the ceiling (it’s a rental) or I’d do that with all of my pothos and philodendron (I have 4 pothos and 1 philodendron).
My mostera though (that monster in the foreground of the first picture). It is thriving there, but it’s also getting too big for that space, and I’m not sure what to do with it. I have it staked up some, to keep it from falling all over the floor, but it’s least a foot taller and much more filled in than it was in December. I’m most excited about my monstera of almost all my plants – I wanted one for so long but where we were before just didn’t have enough light for one. Frankly it didn’t have enough light for most of my plants. They survived, but never thrived until we moved here. I mean, I only had about a dozen plants in our old place though, I’ve added quite a few here 🙂
My second favorite plants are my ficus elastica. I have two of these, one with very dark leaves (in the brass pot near the sofa) and one with variegated light green, white and pink (on the floor by the fireplace). I also love my fiddle leaf figs (one in my office and one downstairs by the window). And my ficus benjamina . I love them all…I have one very sad schefflera that lost nearly all of its leaves the moment I brought it home to the old place, and now is finally recovered enough to start growing new ones!
I did move the tall ficus tree I had in my office downstairs by the window and it isn’t dropping any leaves anymore and seems to be healing a little bit. It had a little shoot growing off the bottom trunk so I cut it off and replanted it in a small pot and it seems to be doing well also.
I do have quite a few succulents, and find those incredibly fascinating, especially when they bloom, which took me by surprise at first. Again, I have never lived in a place with enough sunlight for succulents, so they are quite new to me.
I don’t have any secrets to keeping my plants alive. Maybe they know how much I love and appreciate them and so they just thrive? I can think so anyway.
I make sure to place them in areas where they can SEE THE SKY instead of just get sunshine. I learned that via Houseplantjournal on Instagram, and I do think it has made a difference. It’s tougher in the summer when all the trees outside have their leaves though – I do move things around.
I go around once a week at least and check moisture levels and water whatever I need to. I add plant food to the water once or twice a month. I aerate the soil (with wooden chopsticks poked in the soil and turned around a bit – to simulate what earthworms would do if the plants were outside) once a month or so. Many plants are in the plastic nursery pots on a saucer inside more “decorative” pots, and many I repotted directly into pots. I do this when plants seem to dry out faster than they should and that has been a good rule of thumb for me.
I don’t know what I’m doing, I just do what feels right. I suppose I could measure pH levels in the soil and be much more methodical about caring for my plants, but they seem to be doing just fine, and I don’t want to complicate the process right now.
Do you have houseplants? What are your favorites? How do you care for them?
I feel like schefflera are always difficult to please. I’m in the same boat with one I recently bought. It’s very little and was in the living room, but I moved it into my study where there’s less AC air running. Hopefully that makes it happier.
I’ve bought a lot of houseplants lately and so far so good (fingers crossed). It’s very difficult to keep plants alive in a house with such drastic temperature changes. I usually do well in the summer, but then winter comes around and they all die due to lack of light, warmth, and humidity. I think I have 10 plants right now and that feels like a lot. I can’t imagine taking care of 49, let alone know where to put them in this house.
Grechen Reiter says
oh my, agree on schefflera, they’re so finicky! and most plants don’t like being too close to vents either. i honestly think that was part of the problem with the tall ficus in my office; the A/C blowing on it…
our house is so large, i really have no shortage of places to put plants, and that is the problem!! i also have “favorite” rooms so i like to collect most of my plants in those places, neglecting others. I am trying to move plants around more rather than add new ones now though…
I definitely want to get more plants, but I think I need to see how well these hold up first. I went plant crazy a few weeks ago and now I’m terrified most of them will die this winter. If I can make them survive one full year then I’ll consider getting more.
The only area we can’t really grow plants is in the basement. There’s a little bit of light there so maybe a snake plant might like it, but knowing me I’d forget it was there.
I really love your floors. My parents have tile floors in their house in Florida and it’s so nice and easy to clean. If I lived in a warmer climate then I’d consider replacing our floors with tile. We’ve got the original wood slat floors in our house now, but Z wants to get estimates soon for replacing it.
These look amazing, Grechen! I’ve had a lot of luck with Elephant Bush (a succulent), probably because it grows in Africa, so it likes the hot climate in central Texas, too. I have it both indoors and out, and I just got four small pots of it this weekend at Lowe’s to hang in the front yard along our fence. It’s so easy to care for and has become one of my favorite plants.
We also have a nice nursery in our neighborhood, and I’ve bought some herbs there recently. They are doing well. One of my favorite parts of the day is watering my outdoor plants each morning before it gets too hot. I find it so calming.
Plants tend to take a step or two back and hold up the cross sign (“Stay away!”) when I walk by. You, on the other hand, have a natural way with them. “Grechen, the plant whisperer.”
Grechen Reiter says
haha. i doubt that. i do NOT do well with outdoor plants though, that’s for sure.
Grechen Reiter says
i have SUCH a hard time keeping plants in pots alive outside. i have two hanging plants under the pecan tree in the back yard that do well because they get enough shade, but otherwise, in the backyard, everything gets HOT afternoon sun and i can’t keep up with watering to keep them alive. my basil has done okay, but i’ve killed quite a few plants i put in pots because of the heat/lack of water.
i also love to go outside in the mornings and take a walk around the yard! see what’s blooming, what needs to be taken care of, feed the birds…(I literally have to refill my feeders twice a day lately). i should take the watering can with me. we don’t have a hose back there, which is annoying…
Living in California, with a garden, I just poke at my outside plants a lot;).
I love your plants, but do you know what I love more? That Blue Dog wall! I would love to see more pictures of that!!!! We discovered Blue Dog and the art of George Rodrigue while in Carmel on our honeymoon 20 years ago. I would just love an original!
Grechen Reiter says
i love the blue dog!! i talked a little about the pictures in this post : http://grechenscloset.com/recovery-mode-home-tour-part-1/ – but basically they are the fronts and backs of The Book catalogs he illustrated for Neiman Marcus from the late 90’s!!
when we were in new orleans recently we visited his gallery and dreamed of owning an original print or painting…someday…