My Windowsill (The story of a student new to houseplants)
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
I started the term with three small cacti that I had bought from Ikea on 09/01/19, at this point they were doing okay, unlike the aloe plant I had drowned a few months previously. I belive them to be a golden-barrel cactus, Mexican giant cactus (MGC) and a peanut cactus. Having realised I will soon be writing my dissertation on houseplants, I figured I would require a few more plants to accompany my cacti. When I bought them I also purchased 3 little white pots to repot them in.
I bought a Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum) online for £4.99 and a few 6 inch cuttings of a string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) for £3.95 and the seller gifted me a small Epiphyllum cactus (Epiphyllum sp.) with it, – it’s basically a tiny cactus. For the time being I don’t have pots or compost so these plants are in the pots they came in, and I’ve got the cactus shacking up with my string of pearls, this will all need sorting out. I watched a video on YouTube to see how I should plant my pearls, thank you internet.
We hosted a Botany Symposium in the university which I attended, there were a lot of interesting plants and by the end I managed to get my hands on 4 babies falling off a Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana). As mentioned before I still had no compost or pots so I made do with cutting open a coke can and putting in some dirt from outside, I left this in my living-room as I didn’t want the insects from the garden in my bedroom. Truthfully, I had forgotten about these for a short period and when I finally remembered I could not locate the can and believed my housemates thought it was mould and threw it out. Luckily a few days later I saw it had just fallen behind a table, and the four tiny plants had grown roots and leaves, very cute.
Decided the time had come to try buy some soil, I looked up cactus soil on Amazon and bought what was probably the first one I saw. It was a 2L repotting mix and 100ml nutrient feed for only £5.49, seemed a bargain. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit in my letterbox and was taken to the Royal Mail centre. (Now the next part is my own stupidity but…) Having never occurred this problem I did not realise I had to use the small piece of paper and re-order my package to be delivered (within 14 days), this I did not do and my package was sent back to the seller. I was eventually refunded, however, remained soilless.
Our first #MyGreenStudy Plant Swap! A very fruitful day that ended with myself taking home a substantial bounty of plants. I added these to my personal collection and counted my now 11 pots lined up on my ever-so-crowded windowsill. Many of the plants are outgrowing their pots but I have not managed to get any. Some of the plants are not the biggest fans of direct sunlight so I may need to relocate them to a shadier corner of my room.
I went to town to find some plant pots (finally!!), after walking around most of the main streets (Broad Street/Friar Street/Broad Street Mall) and finding nothing I was recommended to try The Range. There I finally found some pots and bought 3 large and 3 medium pots (£5.99 and £2.49 each respectively). I couldn’t buy the compost I needed because it was too big and heavy to carry home. I went back about a week later with a friend (and her car) and managed to get the compost, I know cacti/succulents like their own type of compost etc. but I’m working on a student budget here, I paid £8.99 for that.
Having come back from the Christmas holidays, I was pleased to see my plants hadn’t all died. My MGC (bottom left) appears to be even browner so I don’t have much faith for its longevity and my fern is growing horizontally, but other than that appears to be okay. My pothos is thriving, growing big and steady, as is my spider plant. A small shoot is growing off my spider plant, so I am hoping some spiderettes will grow from here and I can begin the chain (making babies and passing them on). My aloe plant began with brown/red tips (which is a sign of environmental stress) has greened up quite nicely, I’m taking this as a sign that it is doing okay. The mother-of-thousands are quite cute, they’re about an inch tall now, and hopefully they will carry on growing well. Naturally, being on the floor of a University students house, there have been a few knocks to my plants, so I have decided to start slowly moving them back up to my bedroom.
My current list (in order of acquiring);
· Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)
· Mexican giant cactus (Pachycereus pringlei)
· Peanut cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus)
· Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum)
· String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
· Epiphyllum cactus (Epiphyllum sp.)
· Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)
· Gollum plant (Crassula ovata)
· Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
· Asparagus (Asparagus falcactus)
· Aloe vera
· Cape primrose (Streptocarpus)