I don’t think I’m gonna surprise you when I say that plants are like drama queens in disguise. You know how they always demand attention and unconditional care, giving little, if anything, in return? French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry did, in fact, write about one such vain rose who played on the Little Prince’s nerves way too much.
And now the people on Twitter are sharing their own drama-prone plants, because apparently it’s a thing! Olivia Crowley, who tweeted her flower throwing a tantrum, got a whopping 487K likes plus a genuine support group that’s been there too many times.
It turns out, in the world of house plants, two hours can make a difference between life and death, and too little or too much water will make you regret it big time. ‘Cause this show is not about you. It’s about your polka-dot plant livin’ on the verge of a breakdown.
Hands up if you've killed up a plant or two in your life. It happens so often, and for seemingly no good reason, that the chances are you are hesitant to try again. The problem with plants is how unpredictable they are; one day they thriving and the next, the leaves start falling out of nowhere.
Bored Panda spoke to Marc Hachadourian, the director of Glasshouse Horticulture and Senior Curator of Orchids at the New York Botanical Garden, in a bid to find out what it takes to get a houseplant to thrive in your home.
According to Marc, a lack of basic understanding of what plants require is one of the most common issues. “Plants are living organisms that require sunlight, water, and humidity to grow and thrive,” he explained. But the environments designed for human comforts are often less than ideal for our plants.
Marc warns that “plants will not grow in dark spaces with little or no available sunlight and irregular or improper watering.” Plus, “constant low humidity can really be damaging to many house plants such as ferns, ivy, and many leafy tropical plants.”
And sometimes it’s us who cause stress for our plants when, for example, we constantly forget to water them. “If you forgot to feed your goldfish or allowed the water to disappear from the bowl, the fish would have problems too.”
Marc suggests “start thinking about your plants as living things—by changing your perspective on how you perceive plants, it will help you relate to and grow them well.”
Another common problem is starting out with the wrong plant for your home environment. “Select a house plant that will like you rather than the ones you like.” Marc says you should ask yourself these questions: “Do you have sun or shade? Are you someone who is dedicated or absent-minded when it comes to watering? Is your living space cold or hot and dry?” They will help you to navigate towards the right choice of plant.
In the end, Marc comforts us with golden words: “Don’t be afraid to fail.” He explained that “Growing and perfecting your indoor horticulture techniques will take time, experience, and most importantly observation.” All too often, we want things instantly, but in reality, it’s never the case.
Marc believes the best way to start off is with some durable and forgiving plants like spider plants (Chlorophytum), snake plants (Sansevieria), pothos, or a peace lily (Spathiphyllum) before trying more challenging houseplants like calathea, ferns, or even a fiddle-leaf fig tree. “People often give up too early after failing to grow a plant that was not properly matched to their conditions and think that they cannot grow houseplants.” Thanks, Marc, this was literally all I needed.