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Plants as a Hobby

red Million Bells, outdoors 2011

Plants surviving here indoors? No way! Or : How my plants taught me how to spoil them correctly

Crown-of-Thorns as a baby-plant in 2008

I have always loved plants, but for a long while I've been convinced that they would not like living with me. Especially after killing a couple of Bonsai in my youth.*g* I am still very sad about this, but know now that there was nothing I could have done to avoid it, as keeping a Bonsai indoors is always a compromise that costs mostly the plant.
Very reluctantly I have then started to have some living plants around me. Beginning with a young Crown-of-Thorns (Euphorbia milii), a very hardy offshot of a Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium) and a Jade Plant/Money Plant (Crassula ovata).

Against all low expectations, these did not only survive but also thrive and grow considerably. Was there hope?
Crown-of-Thorns in bloom in 2011 Following purchases of Ficus Benjamini and Kalanchoe led me to think otherwise, since those died very quickly. Same for shorter lived specimens as primula and likewise plants. So, probably I just had survival wonders in my first three plants. *g*

Inbetween a Chlorophytum comosum (privately also known as "Sprinkleplant"*g*)joined the band and thrived. So, maybe there are plants that simply do not like this place? Great success with outdoor specimens led to the impression, that maybe it would be wise to read up about the demands of a plant before simply buying it and let it cope with what it finds. Quite obviously, not all were able to do that.

There was a longer pause of new arrivals, then a second Arrowhead, which I recently lost to rotting roots (despite it being practially on same terms as the older resident one), was added.
In winter, I saved two Zamies from the supermarket, but they both did not survive my attempt at cultivating them in big glasses. Despite watering them sparsely, they managed to catch both rot and mildew and I had to give them up.

Since there is probably never enough green around my eye until I get to live in a big garden, there was a consideration where there Calathea folded up is still room for maybe something bigger and greener... I found room and a young Monstera at the flowershop. That one is not only growing happily, it also creates an awesome room climate around itself, no more coughing because of dry air.
Wanting a little more colour, I picked up a neglected looking little Croton in a flowershop that stood in a lower corner and was apparently generally overlooked. Its new place at my window was rewarded by lots of colour in the leaves.
More or less by accident (I was bored and wandered into a flowershop) a Calathea was the last green plant to join the band. I really was appealed to it because of the beautifully patterned leaves. Only later I learned about its interesting "sleeping habits".*g*

Now I spend a happy hour every Saturday giving them all the care they need and some friendly attention. I call it my "gardening hour".All of them are alive and happy and so am I.
So, is this the end of the story? Of course not. Now that it was obvious that I would not kill everything with leaves, there was the wish for some occasional blooming. And so I went on a round through the flowershops. To defend myself I have to say, that I *had* a list of possible candidates which was all reasonable. What I found was not on the list. But I do believe in love on first sight.
white Mini-Phaleanopsis And what did I find at that flowershop? I fell in love with orchids.

I had not considered them ever before because of their reputation about being complicated. Studying their hangtangs, I came to the conclusion that they might even be easier than the plants I had so far, as their demands for cultivation were not complicated at all. I liked two of them best, could not decide and bought them both. Little did I know what I had done, but I got suspicious when I went squee about all the wealth of info that was to be found everywhere. The beginnings of a new obsession?

On the following pages, you can have a look at green my indoor and outdoor comrades.