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seeing green houseplants for black thumbs
by Yee-Fan Sun
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My mom has always had a way with plants. In spring and summer, her flowerbeds are the prettiest on the block; her veggie garden looks as neat and beautiful as it is productive. She can't go to Home Depot without rescuing the saddest, scraggliest looking orchids from near-certain doom; in her care, back home, the poor neglected things inevitably grow lush and burst into bloom. Though I've been lucky to inherit many of my mother's traits, sadly, the green thumb doesn't happen to be one of them.

I love plants, I really do. But I have to admit: I love them best when other folks are doing the hard work of keeping them alive. I don't like to fuss with repotting; I can't be bothered to water all that often; I never remember that plants need fertilizing.

Still, I can't resist bringing a lil' something of the outdoors into my living space. Plants are a quick, attractive fix for filling empty corners and camouflaging ugly spots on those rental apartment walls. And there's something undeniably calming about having a little bit of nature in your home. Unfortunately, this last is contingent upon your plants actually being alive. The good news for lazy plant caretakers like me? There are plenty of plants out there that survive just fine without a whole lot of maintenance. Armed with a little bit of basic plant care know-how, even black thumbs can keep a few green things growing in their abodes…

let there be light! (and water too)
The biggest potential problem for indoor plants is the issue of light. The artificial light you get from incandescent bulbs might serve you, a human being, just fine, but it's not going to do a whole lot for your little green friends. Even low-light plants need some amount of sunlight, or a full-spectrum "grow" light that simulates the real thing. If you live in a windowless cave of an abode, and you're trying to grow plants that require a decent amount of light to survive, invest in some full-spectrum lights. You can get full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs at any hardware store or Home Depot type place to replace the regular bulbs in any of your already existing light sockets.

mosey along this way partner


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