Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Green up

I have three living, thriving plants in my house now, and it's going surprisingly well! Nobody is more shocked than I am, of course, after a long history of absolutely terrible houseplant-keeping, but here we are, with three living plants in our home. I can hardly believe it, and I'm certainly not going to count my chickens before they hatch, oh no. But I'm really enjoying this! My newest plant is a philodendron (also known as pothos), gracing a corner of the breakfast nook in a lovely macrame hanger and simple white plastic pot.

The hanger is from Mkono, a company selling macrame products on Amazon. My hanger is here. I love the simplicity and neatness of this hanger, which is made from creamy-white cotton. It's very natural-looking, not shiny and cheap like some other hangers I've seen for sale. If you get a chance to browse Mkono's macrame products, you'll see some really cute stuff. (This is not a sponsored post, I just really like the look of their macrame). I tried macrame once, when I was a kid, and ended up with a tangled mess. I think I'd like to try it again, though. I think I could do it now. I was really good at friendship bracelets once upon a time. Macrame is cool; it's kind of retro but I don't think it ever goes out of style, especially when you have such useful items made with it. The pot inside didn't come with the hanger, I ordered it separately from a different Amazon seller. It's just a basic white plastic 8-inch pot, which fits nicely inside this hanger. It doesn't have drainage holes; I just set the nursery pot inside it and take it out to water the plant. I can re-pot it later on, but this pot works fine for now. My pot is sold out at the moment, but the listing is here.

One thing I really appreciate about this hanger is that it isn't very ornate. I remember macrame plant hangers my relatives had when I was a kid and they were so much fancier. In particular, I like that the bottom ends of my hanger just trail down under the pot. My grandma had a nylon hanger whose bottom ends finished in a big, frizzy puff about nine inches wide. My sisters and I would stand underneath it and pretend it was our hair, which was hilarious for a little while. Otherwise, it was just in the way. Someone always bopped it with their shoulder as they walked by. Unobtrusive plant-hangers just seem like the way to go.

My plant is formally called Marble Queen Pothos. The leaves have a distinctive marbling effect, white on green. I had one of these before and the leaves were really gorgeous, so I'm hoping this one will be too. Right now, the plant is very small, but I think it's already grown since I got it two weeks ago. I'm hoping for a big, trailing, verdant pile o' plant in that corner someday.

My ivy plant in the living room is doing great! It gives me hope for the kitchen plant's future. This ivy has grown like gangbusters and I'm really happy about that. 

This is how it looked last January when I first got it. I think it's doing well in the living room window, which has southern exposure most of the day. I have sheer curtains on the window, so the light is not totally direct, more filtered, which we need because the sun will just blast this room without something on the window. I crocheted a little mat for my ivy when I first brought it home, just to protect the little table underneath (the Bear built me the table for Mother's Day a couple of years ago, for the someday-plant I kept talking about getting). This one is still in its original nursery pot too, set inside a little ceramic pot I bought years ago for some other failed plant experiment.

Lately, a few leaves have been taking on a reddish tinge, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the sun, which is very strong through the window at this time of year. Good for crafting in the living room, but maybe not so good for my plant. I might start moving the table to a different part of the room for a little while each day this winter, if I can manage to remember to do it. We'll see. It's getting plenty of water, but maybe it needs a supplement of some kind. It's healthy otherwise, and I'm pretty proud to have kept it alive almost a full year now.

My marigolds are still alive too! I bought them the day after Halloween, for Dia de los Muertos. I wrote about them, and their significance for the holiday, because I was enjoying them so much and because I think the tradition is interesting and attractive. My marigolds have been on the kitchen table ever since. I'm actually surprised they've done so well, though they are beginning to droop just a little bit, I think because the furnace is running regularly now and making the house rather dry. I'll just keep watering them. They still look nice and bright on the table, cheerful as ever, especially with the hanging philodendron/pothos nearby. It's amazing the difference indoor plants can make; the whole kitchen feels much more homey now, and homey is where it's at, as far as I'm concerned.

How are you with houseplants? What are your favorite kinds to grow?


  1. You know that I love a houseplant. In fact I think I have around forty throughout the house. I've had success with Pilea peperomioides but killed two ivy plants. I'll keep trying though! Your ivy looks very healthy indeed. X

  2. I'm not good with houseplants either, Jennifer. I tend to forget to water them! Woops! Having said that, I have a Christmas cactus which I've had for decades. We got a rubber plant from my late MIL's house a year and a half ago and it's still alive so maybe I'm improving?

  3. Your plants are doing beautifully Jennifer. That ivy plant has grown so much. The table is stunning. The Bear did a great job on it and I’m sure it will become an heirloom in your family. I think you chose the perfect macrame hanger for your newest plant too. I remember macrame hangers being “ all the rage” back in the 1970’s when I was a teenager.

  4. I do love houseplants. At one time I must have had 80-90. Since children, hardly any in comparison, but there are a few still dotted about the place. I have a desert rose that I'm worried about at the moment, I'm slowly killing it and I have no idea why. Maybe it needs the desert. I remember making a macrame plant holder when I was little too. I seem to recall it had a big wooden bead on it somewhere. CJ xx

  5. Beautiful...all of it.
    I love plants, and I too cherish the effort in keeping them alive.

  6. My mom used to bring in all kinds of outdoor plants to the indoors and our bathroom (which had a very stylish glass brick wall giving it lots of light) was filled with plants lining the long counter. I actually hated it. I try to bring in some plants, but I just don't have the space in my home for them. I have one Christmas cactus (which I thought was dead, but when I cut it back it grew new limbs!), and some geraniums (fading fast). Your plants look great! I found in the past that fertilizing the plants through the winter was key to their survival. Sadly, I'm not too good with those kind of routines ;)

  7. Though I love gardening, I don't really go in for houseplants. I do think they make a place look homely but I always end up forgetting about them and they languish uncared for. I do have an orchid but it needs little attention, which is good for someone like me.

  8. You are looking pretty green fingered from over here. I would like to make one of those hangers. I might put that on my enormous to do list. Jo x

  9. Oh god I am horrible with plants..
    Love the macrame plant holder.. so pretty

  10. I'm not good with plants, though Christmas Cactus always seem to do ok with me. I have a few Orchids people bought as presents. They are still just about ok, they look droopy leaved every now and then and I take them to the sink for a soak. I don't stand them in (filtered) water, just pour some in slowly and leave to drain, then repeat a few times more before returning to their pots.
    All the best with your plants. Cathy x


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