Taking Care of Your Houseplants

houseplantI am probably not the right person to write a post about houseplants – I mentioned in a previous post that even though I love flowering  houseplants, I just don’t have much luckbegonia with them.   A few months ago, a co-worker presented me with a beautiful begonia plant for my new home.  I was thrilled, but apprehensive, and asked my co-worker not to get upset should the plant not survive.  Much to my amazement, the plant flourished and grew so many new, big, luscious leaves, it needed to be repotted into a bigger pot.

“Ok”, I said to myself, “I can do this.”

I bought a beautiful new pot and some potting soil, spread out some newspaper on my kitchen counter, tipped the plant over to gently remove it from its pot and…..nothing!  It wouldn’t budge.  I ended up taking a dinner knife and gently running it around the inside of the pot and was able to loosen the soil enough to pull the plant out.  (Later I found out using a knife in this manner is quite common).  I put the plant into its new pot, added soil and water, stepped back to look at it only to see what was once a proud, erect plant, was now drooping, its leaves touching the counter.

I consulted my co-worker, who told me the drooping was expected and the plant should perk up on its own.  And she was right!  The plant eventually began standing up tall and waterwas producing many new leaves.  Success!  Or so I thought.  Not having much experience, I did one of the worst things you can do to a houseplant – I over watered it.  Old stems started to rot and the new growth was very puny.

Once again, I consulted with my co-worker who patiently explained the best way to water my plant and suggested a wonderful book that the library had on houseplants.  After reading this book and several others I checked out, I realized I should have handled the repotting and watering differently.

Here is the moral of this story – if you’re not experienced in a particular area, it’s a really good idea to read up on the subject before you plow ahead!  The library is a great place to gather the information you need on almost any subject.  When I looked at our library’s  selection of books on houseplants, I was able to check out some wonderful books that helped me learn how to care for my plant.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to revive my plant, but in case it doesn’t bounce back, I got some great ideas on what types of houseplants would work best for my home and experience.  By taking advantage of the library’s resources, I’ve gained some confidence in my endeavor to have houseplants in my new home.

Now that winter is approaching, would  you like to  have some houseplants to brighten up your indoor living space?  Here’s a sampling of books the library has to offer.

The Indestructible Houseplant

Growing Healthy Houseplants

Complete Houseplants

The Complete Household Plant Survival Manual

Indoor Plant Decor

The Unexpected Houseplant

 

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