May 4, 2013

i love me some houseplants

i talk about flowers all the time because i love them so much. but, i also think our home would not be complete without a healthy dose of greenery. after accidentally killing our houseplants by giving them sugar water (Death by Mold), the place was feeling a bit barren. this, combined with the fact that spring is here and there are all sorts of plant-icular temptations begging to come home with me, means i've been snapping up leafy gems left and right. plants really do add so much life to a home, cheesy as it sounds.

just how plant-crazy have i gone??

read on...

first up: this pretty zz plant sitting on our entry table.
i believe he was labeled a "plant of steel" -- i didn't read much past that on the label, rather just assumed he's hard to kill. ...also, feel free to admire the dip-dye ceramic pot that i found on clearance at home depot. it was marked down from $17-ish to a dollar and change. i snapped up five of them -- score!

that's not all in the entry...i've also got two orchids (one faux, one real-but-currently-not-blooming) and a trio of air plants on the built-in.

...aaand on the other built-in is a rusty birdcage used for succulent display. however...i'm not really feeling it. i'm still deciding if i should scrap the birdcage all together (and simply display the succulents by themselves) or first try painting it...

i think i'm leaning towards just having the three potted succulents and my lucky thrifted elephant out in the open. the birdcage seems too fancy...too forced...for us. 

if a plant i impulse-buy requires a lot of sunlight, it inevitably ends up by the giant west-facing picture window in our front room.

...a jungle is slowly forming:

i have no idea what the plant on the far left is. he's a philodendron! i like him -- he's very floppy and casual. some of his leaves are full and kind of chalky-looking, others have notches in them and a waxier texture. hopefully, he's not suffering from some kind of plant disease. 

the tall tree...again, i have no idea. he's an umbrella tree. i found him at home depot and i remember he had a big, bright yellow "FANCY" sticker on him -- the checkout man teased me about it. he is pretty fancy though...

the two shorter plants are the cutest, most adorable fiddle leaf fig tree you ever did see...and a perky dracaena.

behind the dracaena are some white faux gerbera daisies (found at home goods last year) and an in-need-of-serious-help gardenia. maybe he's getting too much sun?

also in the front room, a couple more air plants on the coffee table:

sigh. these sad saps are in the dining room: a ficus and a sanseveria.
...plant triage corner...

i ordered them online and they were already not doing so well when they arrived. it could have something to do with the fact that they sat on our front porch for an hour or so in the snow. poor guys...

when i first got them, i placed both by the picture window. they didn't seem to be recovering after a few weeks...and it was getting a bit crowded with all the other greenery. so, i moved them into this corner of the dining room where they still get plenty of western light, but it's not as direct. i'm encouraged by their new growth in this spot. there's a huge difference between the old and new leaves on the ficus:

in the kitchen, i have a bit of color behind the sink. my climbing jasmine from february is still doing well -- hooray! i also added a potted rose plant with gorgeous vibrant fuchsia blooms:
the smaller spray roses are from a supermarket bouquet.

meanwhile, these perky faux succulents sit atop the toilet in our powder room:

i didn't think i was a big putting-things-on-toilets person, but i likes these here. i think they suit the space. the "tray" is just the lid to a metal ikea bin - i spraypainted it gold, scattered in some pea gravel, and called it a day!

up the stairs, to the full bathroom...a (real) sanseveria on the toilet this time.

there's also an authentic lucky bamboo in here:

we traveled to chinatown to get it when we moved to chicago a few years ago. an elderly woman nearly-scolded us to take care of it, then promptly wrapped it up...no pot, bare roots and all...in a plastic bag. i'm pretty sure fish thinks we will be cursed if we let it die -- he has religiously taken care of that bamboo since the day we got it.

onto my work-slash-craft-slash-happy-space: my desk is cheered by beautiful waxy-leafed jade (another "plant of steel"...in another $2 clearance pot!) and some faux succulents in thrifted diamond-pattern basket:
curious about my washi tape storage?

in the master bedroom, there's yet another sanseveria. i didn't realize i had so many in the house...oops! this one sits next to my beloved thrifted henredon campaign chest.

i prefer to keep fresh flowers on my side of the bed, but i added this crazy cool hedgehog aloe plant to fish's nightstand. he's a little too big to actually sit on the table...but he's so cool -- so we made him work on the floor.

i think that's it!

do you guys have a lot of houseplants in your homes?
any unusual ones?

any easy-care ones you'd recommend to a black thumb like myself?

* mari


  1. I LOVE all your plants! I may need to stop by Lowe's and see if they have some of those pots! Totally cute. I wonder if painting the bird cage a dark color would help. To me, the plants get lost inside the lightness of it. You might be able to see them better beyond a darker cage...

    1. thank you! i found it over a month ago at mine, on a bottom shelf.

      i ended up taking them out of the birdcage, ha! i lived with it for a week so i gave it a chance to grow on me.

  2. I love the white pots you used and the birdcage. I think I'll go shopping this week. Thanks for all the great inspiration!

    1. thank you! i'm a sucker for white plant pots, love 'em!

  3. I just found your blog via pinterest as I am pom pom garland making. It's not going well but looking at your pics helped a lot. (for some reason I want it to be a rainbow or pattern but I will try random)

    I love this post because I am looking for some house plants and have none. Husband says lets start with 3 and see how alive they are in a couple months. :D I agree 3's a good start for us. And I would paint the birdcage pretty much for fun.


    1. hi paige, good luck on your pom pom garland! i'm sure it will turn out great!

      my husband was the same way - he didn't want us wasting money on houseplants if i was just going to kill them. but, i made my case that i love them and he relented...so now they HAVE to live, haha!

  4. Ummm....I can't believe you scored those dip dye planters for sooooooo cheap!I need to check my Home Depot asap.I actually just made some small dip dye pots this weekend from the Dollar Store but they don't look nearly as cool as those!! Wow, I love all your plants! We have one right now because I am a serial plant killer. ....and now that i think about it I can't rememeber when I watered it last????

    1. i know! but yours are even better -- $1!! i've got a few planter pots i want to try your method on. now, just deciding on colors........

      you need a few of those "plants of steel!" i loooove my jade plant....i always forget to water him for some reason, but he's still doing great!


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