'Simple' Houseplants that I can't stop killing

SkyMac

I got into keeping houseplants shortly before the pandemic. Brought home my first spider plant, remembering the huge one that hung over our kitchen sink when I was growing up. Think I saw a dead lead on it once. Managed to kill it in a couple weeks by overwatering- caught onto the rootrot after looking online at what could be wrong, and advise on how to save it. Separated all the dirt from it, trimmed off roots that were too far gone, dipped the remainder in a load of cinnamon, trimmed dead leaves and stems, and repotted in a new soil mixture after sterilizing the pot to remove any remaining fungus.

Watched it die anyways. Tried another one, this time with a strict dunk every other week on the same day, but varying the time of day I dunked. Watched it shrivel and die. Found out it was growing season and I wasn't feeding it any fert. Bought a third one- set task reminders on my phone on when to water, how to water, rotating the plant, and feeding it. Didn't last two months.

Am I missing something? Bright, indirect light, watering before the soil dries to the point that it pulls away from the edges (unlike my Hoya, which LOVES the abuse apparently), fetilizer once a month in the spring and summer.

The saga with English Ivy is about the same- I've tried keeping it in my kitchen (first failure since mine had no natural light and I didn't have an indoor grow light), in the bathroom (indirect light but the humidity was forever low because people kept blasting the heater to dry out the room), and in my office (decent indirect light, supplemented with a grow light and with a humidifier)
 

GlennO

Spider plant is pretty tough and you seem to be doing the right things. Is it really growing season I thought it was still winter over there? A couple of queries, what's the temp in the room where it is kept and what sort of potting mix is used?
 

Shrumple

Yeah, I'm in the UK and I'm probably watering my spider plants maybe once every couple of weeks at the moment - the light levels are low so they are pretty dormant in terms of growing. A useful trick for watering is to water from below - stand the pot in a saucer or tray of a modest amount of water and let it absorb from below for maybe 30-60 mins (depending how big the pot is). You're aiming for the compost to just take up enough to be damp through up to the surface but no more - not soaking or dripping. If you go back and there's still water in the dish after that much time, tip the excess away. They don't like having soggy feet!
And re ivy, I suspect your house may be too warm - ivy is an outdoor, undergrowth, forest plant. It thrives in shady cool spots that are always moist. That's ideally what you want to replicate to get it happy - I've never tried keeping it indoors, but I imagine most homes are just far too warm and dry for it to thrive.
 

DoubleDutch

My ex was even capable to let artificial plants get brown leafs woohahahaha.
 

Thunder_o_b

Ok I am going to wander into left field here. But what I am going to say has been lab tested and there seems to be scientific support.

What music are the plants exposed to? Heavy loud music is harmful and it seems can even be fatal to plants.

Do you talk to them? Speaking kind words of encouragement appears helpful whereas fighting and arguing near them is harmful.

There is an abundance of pages on this out there.

Interesting topic.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Sounds like humidity and light issues. But sometimes it’s the individual plants, like luck of the draw. Despite general neglect especially during the winter Alpha spider is five plus years old, Beta spider and Delta younger and tiny little Epsilon floats in a foam ring in water and might eventually get planted. Alpha has been prolific in her progeny, any time of year there are sprays of keiki unless I cut them back. My mother’s spider plant has only now after five plus years sent out flowers/runners. They were bought at the same time/location.
I only water about once a week and natural indirect light. House is prone to high humidity and has a lot of natural light so despite my neglect they thrive.

If you lived closer I would just give you this year’s culling.

That said reading this it made me think of Good Omens, and Crowley threatening his plants to grow or face the consequences. Plants shivering. Lol.
 

SkyMac

Spider plant is pretty tough and you seem to be doing the right things. Is it really growing season I thought it was still winter over there? A couple of queries, what's the temp in the room where it is kept and what sort of potting mix is used?
Its still winter for a couple months yet. I keep the house at a comfy 72°F. I use black gold indoor potting mix with pumice at a ratio of 3-1.
Yeah, I'm in the UK and I'm probably watering my spider plants maybe once every couple of weeks at the moment - the light levels are low so they are pretty dormant in terms of growing. A useful trick for watering is to water from below - stand the pot in a saucer or tray of a modest amount of water and let it absorb from below for maybe 30-60 mins (depending how big the pot is). You're aiming for the compost to just take up enough to be damp through up to the surface but no more - not soaking or dripping. If you go back and there's still water in the dish after that much time, tip the excess away. They don't like having soggy feet!
And re ivy, I suspect your house may be too warm - ivy is an outdoor, undergrowth, forest plant. It thrives in shady cool spots that are always moist. That's ideally what you want to replicate to get it happy - I've never tried keeping it indoors, but I imagine most homes are just far too warm and dry for it to thrive.
most of my home is warm, but the bathroom is pretty cool- maybe 60°F. My office also tends to be cooler, and that's the room with the humidifier is.
Ok I am going to wander into left field here. But what I am going to say has been lab tested and there seems to be scientific support.

What music are the plants exposed to? Heavy loud music is harmful and it seems can even be fatal to plants.

Do you talk to them? Speaking kind words of encouragement appears helpful whereas fighting and arguing near them is harmful.

There is an abundance of pages on this out there.

Interesting topic.
Oh yeah, I've known about music and sounds with Plants for years. Music wise, they get lofi jazz. Most of my Plants love it. And I talk to them like I do to my dog and cat. My kids argue nonstop though- tpwo seven y.o.'s a month a part.
Might give it another go when it warms up a bit more here.
 

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