I can hardly believe I’m putting a post together about this topic, as I’ve barely kept my plants alive. We’ve gone through ups & downs–I’ve had to throw multiple plants and cacti away over the last couple years, which to be honest, is just plain depressing. I have probably 10 empty planters in my backyard to remind me of all the live plants I’ve murdered. Brutal. Since moving into the new house I’ve seen a couple of my plants absolutely thrive, while some others aren’t doing too hot. My point is, I’m no plant expert, but since you guys always ask about them I figured a post is in order. View this more as a post about the type of plants I have, their planters, and the stuff I’ve tried over the years that has somehow kept these last few alive.
In an effort to not kill anymore plants, I’ve resorted to faux plants instead. I truly wish I didn’t have to do this, as I love the look and natural benefits of having live plants, but as I mentioned above, throwing away the plants (& $$ spent) is just not fun. If the desired location of the plant is not conducive for the type of plant, just go fake. It will inevitably die, trust me. I’ve had way too many experiences placing plants in the wrong location and they seem to magically survive until one day you go to water it and it’s….dead. Yeah, just go fake in those cases.
The 2 plants seen above are both a fiddle fig. These both came from the Rosebowl Flea Market. When I first purchased they were very lively, green, & lush looking. My last house apparently didn’t have the best growing conditions for these guys since I was always on the verge of killing them, but since moving into the new house they are doing much better. I think the natural lighting in this house is more intense, which is ideal for the fig.
Below I’m going to outline all of my plants, where I got them (& their planters), & how I take care of them.
- Fiddle Fig. Tricky AF to take care of. They need lots of natural light and water. I typically water mine once per week. When they look like they are on the verge of dying, I will take them outside and do something called “flooding,” where I use the hose to fill the pot with water, let it drain out, and repeat this 3-4 times. Only let them be outside for about 10 minutes otherwise they can burn or the tips of the leaves start drying out. I also use a soft wet rag to wipe off any dusk once or twice per month. They like physical contact / touch. Anytime I walk by these I just rub a few leaves and it honestly seems to help. I also suggest rotating them every now and then so other parts of the plant get direct sunlight as well. For the fiddle figs, I don’t take them out of the plastic pot they come in. I just place the plastic pot into whichever planter I’m using. #1 planter is from West Elm.
- Fiddle Fig. Same care instructions as above. This planter was a Home Goods find, but CB2 sells a similar one here.
- Prickly Pear Cactus. This one is very low maintenance (so far). They sprout flowers in the summertime and hardly need any water. I sometimes like to just spray them instead of full-on watering them. Make sure to keep cacti in a well-lit area. Being next to an AC vent will definitely kill your cacti so be cautious about placement. This planter is from Modernica, but you can find a similar one here.
- Fake Cacti. Here’s a little vignette of my little fake cacti. They are great little decorative objects that require zero care and will last forever. Kind of a dream, no? I’ve linked them here & here.
- Fake Fig. I originally got this one for a shaded part of my living room in the old house, and now it lives in my new TV room. The spot isn’t the worst since it’s by a window, but the angle is a little dark so I’m going to assume if this one was real it would eventually die. Luckily this fake fig (from Pottery Barn) will survive anywhere I place it 🙂 The white planter can be found here.
- Birds of Paradise. I got this one at the Rosebowl Flea Market and had a really good run with it. When I moved I think it went into shock so I put it outside to get some fresh air and it definitely made it worse. It’s not doing too hot right now but I’m hoping to rehab it back to life since at once point it was sprouting new growth every week. Pray for me. For this planter, I used a basket from Home Goods, however, I also have a regular clay planter inside. Similar ones are here & here.