By Meg Crane
You’re about to read an article about keeping indoor plants written by someone with a plant graveyard.
If your home is already full of living green, maybe just move along. Everyone else, you might have something to learn from me; I’m the queen of killing plants, yet I have more than living animals in my home right now.
There have been plenty of studies about the impact of having indoor plants. Increased productivity and ability to focus; decreased anxiety; better ability to fight illness; increased health in general; and the list goes on.
If you’re interested, head to Google Scholar and see. Or you can just get your hands dirty and see if green life in your home does any good for you. All I know for sure is, when I’m having a bad day and I’m really stressed, nothing chills me out like fiddling with my plants.
But it’s tough keeping them around. Especially with cats who like to eat leafy greens they can later vomit in my bed.
If you have a similar problem, here are a few that have been thriving in my home environment full of human neglect, science experiments and cat abuse.
If you have animals, this is your non-poisonous distraction plant. It’s lovely and looks delicate, but it can put up with cats gnawing on it. If you don’t have cats, it will have babies like crazy, so you can fill your home with spider plants!!! Or green-up your buddies’ homes.
This guy is poisonous to animals, but my fellas never touch it. It’s a cactus, so it doesn’t need much water. If you split open the thick leaves, it’s full of a gel great for soothing burns and getting rid of hickeys! Sometimes they have babies. Sometimes I get too excited and steal all the babies to make new plants. Sometimes (always) the main plant dies in the end, so probably don’t steal too many babies too often.
Another cactus, dragonfruit are pretty cool. I bought it because I was excited about fresh fruit. Turns out, you have to make it breed. Since I’m not familiar with the act of breeding non-animals, I’ve just let it hang out. And it’s doing a pretty darn good job of that. At least, it was. Then I put it outside one 30 degree day and forgot to bring it in the next day before it dropped below zero. Sorry buddy…
A rubber tree lived in my dad’s office for years. He overwatered it every few days, sometimes. Other times, he kind of forgot it existed for weeks. It was crooked and sad, but still alive and really fun! He gave it to me and I got this fantastic idea that I’d trim it so it wasn’t crooked and make babies out of it’s branches. It died. But until I started fucking around, I had a tree IN MY HOME for a couple years. It was fun to decorate.
From that experience, I’ve been afraid to harvest any ginger from my ginger lant. It’s pretty cool though and adds a lot of green to my home. Every time I bring ginger home from the grocery store, I feel mighty silly, though, so it’s probably time to get better acquainted with it.
Lots of folks keep herbs in their homes. Mine all died, but maybe you’ll have better luck! It’s been seven years of buying plants and watching them die before I got a steady collection huddled by the window.
If you’ve got any ideas for greenless-thumb-proof plants, let me know!
Meg Crane is the founder of Cockroach. Follow her on Twitter.