Recently I bought four new plants for my house: basil, aloe, rosemary, and a Janet Craig Dracaena (seen here. mine looks most like the ‘compacta’ one at the end of the article.)
Picking these out and repotting them reminded me of a time in my childhood when I would answer the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with the answer “gardener” and the question of “what’s your favorite color?” with the answer “yellow, because the sun is yellow.”
(side note: For a while during a similar period of my life my answers instead were “artist” and “white, because you can draw any color on it.” (Yes, my answers always seemed to have some sort of logical reasoning behind them…))
Anyway, back to my new plants…
I have killed many a plant in my life… not including the gardens my dad and I attempted over and over again in elementary school, I have also said farewell to a cactus in high school, a basil plant a few years ago, and a rosemary plant this past fall. My saying has become: I am great with babies, awful with plants. (I mean, babies also make it pretty dang apparent when they are unhappy… Perhaps if my plants cried audibly… Though not looking to grow any Mandrakes anytime soon…) Needless to say, my dreams of becoming a gardener have gone unfulfilled.
However, there is always hope, and that’s why I am trying again. And this time hopefully I will actually pay attention to their individual light, water, and temperature needs.
Here are some helpful references I have discovered along the way:
(Basically what I have learned in reading these is that I have been over-watering every single one. And that is probably part of how I killed my last rosemary plant. Also I have a feeling I replanted the Janet Craig in exactly the WRONG type of potting soil… CRAP. Well, at least I have gained many insights into why I have destroyed so many plants. I assumed they just needed water, soil, and sun… But little did I know, that the levels and types of all of those things matter way more than they ever taught me in elementary school!)
Aloe Vera: DO NOT OVERWATER. Use well-draining soil meant for succulents. Needs pretty high sun exposure.
Rosemary: Needs good air circulation and 6 – 8 hours of full sunlight. (eek! that’s a lot of sun for a plant I currently have indoors!)
Basil: Prune for more leaves and a bushy plant
Janet Craig Dracaena: Low-light plant, but grows best in filtered sunlight. Needs well-draining soil. Stay away from perlite.
General: Make sure to repot when necessary!
Questions for You
Do you have any indoor plants? Or an outdoor garden? Which are your most resilient plants? Or the most delicate? (I have heard that orchids are remarkably difficult to care for!) Do you grow anything that is edible? Have any helpful resources to share? I look forward to reading any comments below. :)