I hope I don't kill it | How About Orange

March 17, 2014

I hope I don't kill it


I brought home a biggish $16 palm from Home Depot this weekend and put it in the parlor. I had hoped to find something tall that was not a palm for a good price, but all the other plants they had were much too small. IKEA and Lowes didn't have anything better, and the greenhouse I tried was closed until spring (whenever that is). This guy kind of makes a big difference in the coziness factor, doesn't it? See corner before. Alex was impressed, too.

The Home Depot lady said that after 20 years of killing plants, she has finally learned not to water them from the top, but to let the plant suck up the moisture from the bottom. Her formula is: keep the plant in the cheap plastic container it came in. Put that inside a clear plastic liner tray from the garden center or cheap disposable party bowl from the dollar store, and set both of those inside the pretty decorative outer pot. Every week or so, put water in the clear liner tray for the plant to absorb. Give it Miracle Grow once or twice a month.

We'll see. I'm starting with this guy, and then I'll branch out (har har) into some of the other plants you guys recommended in the excellent comments on this post.

Also note the cute curly fig on the table, too. Best wishes for a long life, little fella.

Update: as requested, here's the pot I put the palm in. It's from Kroger.


21 comments:

asdfjkl; said...

I have 2 tips that have made growing palms relatively easy. When the weather is warm and moist, give it a weekend outside. Not midday sun, but a sunny spot all morning or afternoon. Especially if it is expected to rain some. The second tip is during the winter (I'm in NC) if you notice it is looking dry or dusty, put it in a lukewarm shower for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the shower and leave it in there a few hours to drain. It will come out looking clean and perky. My last palm lasted 7 years until it grew too large and I sold it. Our ceilings are 23 ft. in the living room and a 23 ft. palm has a huge "wingspan." ;)

Effie said...

Your new plant looks great in that corner! For years I had the same problem as you, meaning I was a serial plant killer, until I discovered succulents and snake plants. I've had my plants for 2 years now and they're still alive.

kansasgirl1 said...

Both of your plants look really nice. Good luck!

jintyoo7 said...

Well done, looks beautiful! I am terrible with "live" plants too, that's why I have so much "faux" foliage (much to my sister's dismay). I may try your HD lady's tips!

Grandma G said...

I was just gonna text you and ask if you'd gotten your palm, but then I thought I'd come look here first, and there it is! Nice! Interesting watering technique. We can discuss that later. ;) The shower idea above is a good one, although it doesn't have to be that long. :)

Mum

Sara Tall said...

Looks lovely! I could see you getting into making a tall, custom topiary when you've got more time.

Marie said...

so pretty! love that settee color~

Marie @
In Our Happy Place

www said...

cool !

Estela said...

I water a peace lilly i've had for over 10 years from the bottom and give it the sticks of miracle grow plant food every couple of months. Sometimes I move where it get sunlight the plant will tell you when it starts to go in one direction either rotate or open a window...hehe! good luck with it, it looks great in your parlor!

Cathie Carroll said...

If you want more show, you could always raise it up on a plant stand.

I love all of the pattern and color you're bringing in.

pypmannetjies said...

You could also use a plastic tube or maybe an old water bottle inserted into the soil to get the water to the bottom of the pot. They do that at my work where we have a couple of these plants, presumably to cheer us up :P

Amy in PA said...

Unrelated to this post, but thought of you when I came across this article. Your house is looking great!

http://www.bhg.com/blogs/better-homes-and-gardens-style-blog/2014/02/26/paint-colors-for-rooms-trimmed-with-wood/

The Needle Shop said...

The pot! I need to see the pot!

Anonymous said...

Keep your receipt, HD does or used to have a great return policy on plants.

Jessica Jones said...

Even if I kill it despite my best efforts? Interesting!

Amy, thanks! I'll check it out.

TNS, the pot is from Kroger. As in, the grocery store. So don't go getting all excited. :) I'll add a picture later.

Michelle Clark said...

Long time houseplant nut here. Not only is your palm adding beauty to the parlor, its also cleaning the air a bit. I like the showering advice above...it makes a huge difference when plants are dusty. Leaves are their lungs, so a nice shower literally breathes new life to your plants. Other advice...err on the side of underwatering if in doubt. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Aww... I wish I could have house plants. But between my childhood horrors of all the giant spiders that came in when my mom brought plants in for the winter and my husbands two cats that would probaly turn it into a roadside rest stop in the livingroom.. I don't dare. But your fern is gorgeous. Live long and prosper.

pi.pa.po. said...

We have got the same plant for more than three years now and it feels like it has doubled in size since. I water it once a week genorously and that's almost it. Just be careful that the soil doesn't get too dry for too long to avoid that the tips turn brown. It really is easy to care for... so good luck with your new green house mate ;-)

Megumi said...

I've never seen plants in your place except tomatoes, so very interesting. Have you talked to them?

Anonymous said...

The "leave outdoors" and showering advice are good for another reason too...it'll kill most house bugs like scales or spider mites. Home Depot plants are almost always infested with something. If leaves start to yellow, look for evidence of bugs before assuming its your watering schedule/style. If you see any, throw it in the shower whenever it need watering or let it spend a week outside.

Jessica Jones said...

Thanks for the tips, folks!

Megumi, I have not yet. :)

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