Friday, March 4, 2011

Links To Houseplant Sites

I learned many years ago that growing houseplants successfully requires a combination of things, including experience, patience, knowledge and above all, flexibility. And more often than not, all of these things are needed to acquire a green thumb, or to at least stop killing all the houseplants that you introduce into your home.

Experience is very important, but on its own, it’s not always effective. For example, you can grow houseplants for years but never quite learn how to properly take care of them. I know individuals who have been killing houseplants for the past two decades, so while they have the experience, without any of the other components, they still fail.

Plants don’t always do what we want them to do, or grow the way we’d like; they seem to have a mind of their own – figuratively speaking, of course. Flowering plants may not bloom as anticipated, foliage plants may not produce new leaves as regularly as you’d like, and what was once the most trouble free plant may suddenly become more challenging. Dealing with the needs of each individual plant in order to keep it healthy and thriving can be quite trying at times, not to mention frustrating. Patience is an extremely important trait for growing houseplants successfully.

In order to be more successful with your houseplants, it’s important to learn a little about them first. This is where knowledge comes into play. Don’t rely on that ambiguous tag attached to your plant at the greenhouse to point you in the right direction. Pick up one or two good houseplant books as a reference and spend a little time researching information about houseplant care on the internet. Learning the basics about watering, humidity, light, feeding and the specific needs of individual plants will get you one step closer to a green thumb.

Remember to always be flexible. After reading a few books or surfing a few sites, you’ll discover contradicting information about houseplants and their care. Certain sources of information will tell you to provide your ‘ABC’ plant with four hours of sun a day, others will insist that you give it indirect sunlight (never direct) and a few will recommend light shade (whatever that means). So which one do you listen to? None of them. You listen to your plant. If your plant is thriving where it is growing, that’s the best place for it. Learn from the information found in books, magazines and websites, but don’t follow these sources like a bible.

And now that all of the above has been said, I’d like to introduce you all to a few websites (or rather blogs) that I visit regularly. They all belong to very green-thumbed, houseplant-adept individuals passionate about their plants and happy to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of us. Obviously, there are many more of these types of websites and blogs scattered throughout the internet, but the ones below are some of my favourites. If you have some time to spare, visit the links below; each one has something valuable to contribute. And each one is interesting in its own way.


1) Life Among The Leaves

A seasoned houseplant grower, the woman that writes for this site grows more plants at one time than some people will grow in their entire lives. And not only does she care for a lot of plants, she cares for them successfully.

http://lifeamongtheleaves.blogspot.com/


2) Plants are the Strangest People

Mr. Subjunctive’s ‘Plants Are The Strangest People’ is a longtime favourite houseplant blog. If you haven’t discovered it already, get over there as soon as you get a chance. You’ll be rewarded with an entertaining blog that also offers a wealth of information.

http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/


3) Nature Assassin

Don’t let the name fool you; one look at the photos on this site and you know that there’s a plant guru running this show. In addition to it being interesting and sometimes educational, this site is highly amusing. This blogger has a bright green thumb and a wonderful sense of humour.

http://natureassassin.blogspot.com/


4) Houseplant Hydroculture

When I began taking a real interest in a soilless growing style for my houseplants, I was very pleased to discover another indoor plant lover who was just as passionate about the hydroculture system as I was. Visit this cool site for additional information on hydroculture and for instructions on how to build your own water level indicator.

http://www.hydro-culture.net/


5) Good To Grow

Packed with valuable information about houseplants, this is another highly-entertaining blog that you should take a moment to visit. The author of this blog, Liza, runs her own business taking care of plants at offices and homes around Albuquerque. She grows plants successfully and writes just as wonderfully.

http://goodtogrow.wordpress.com/


So there you have it folks, five places to visit if you are passionate about houseplants. It’s always fun to discover new places to visit, especially places that deal with indoor gardening. I’ve always believed that the best way to gain a green thumb is to learn from the people with a hands-on approach and years of experience.

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