About Gardening: Foolproof Indoor Plants

by Mira Dessy

Dear Mira:
I don't know the first thing about gardening. I'm 26 years old, married and we just bought our first home. I love plants and have tried, on several occassions, to keep indoor house plants alive but with no success. Everyone I know has beautiful, luscious green plants in their home so I can't understand why I have such a difficult time. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you could give me as to what type of indoor plants are easiest (fool proof) to care for and any advice you might lend me for knowing exactly how to care for a particular plant. The little directions that come with the plant don't seem to do it for me......it says direct light, I put it in front of the window, it still dies.
Clueless in Colorado

Dear Cathy,
One of the hardest things to get right is indoor plants. I sometimes spend months moving them around until they appear to be doing well. If you put them in front of a window that does not necessarily mean that they are getting enough light. I have an area that is in front of an east facing window. So the plants there only get light for a couple of hours a day. Also, if you are "loving" your plants too much you could be hurting them. Maybe they don't need as much water as you are giving them. I have some plants that only n need to be watered once a month! The other thing is that you may be over feeding them. The best way to feed your plants is either with a time release plant spike or one of those put 10 drops in a gallon of water types. This way the plants get continual but small amounts of fertilizer.

As to what is foolproof? Well, probably nothing but here are couple that are pretty easy to grow or at least they have been for me:

  • Spider plants

  • Diffenbachia

  • Phildendron

  • Aloe

  • African Violets (they need to be watered from the bottom though - put in a tray and water the tray)

  • christmas cactus


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