I've never had much of a way with houseplants. I either panic and over-water them--literally loving them to death--or I completely forget I have them and they die of severe dehydration. It baffles me, because my mother's garden is incredible and she coaxes incredible beauty out of even the most stubborn houseplant. Even her cats don't dare touch them.
Meanwhile, I managed to kill three succulents just in the last six months. And they survive droughts.
Either I'm guilty of abusing plants or I'm hopelessly optimistic, because a couple months ago, I brought home two small houseplants, figuring if I could keep a couple of $3 plants alive, then I'd graduate to something fancier. So far, things are looking...shaky.
I think I simply misjudged the type of light they need--when the instructions say "indirect sunlight," they don't mean, "kind of in the light, but there's a semi-transparent curtain in the way. My little charges started to droop and get brown around the edges. I stuck my finger in the soil and determined I wasn't over- or under-watering them. So they've gone out to my balcony for now, to get some sunshine. Fortunately, the balcony gets light, but not a direct hit.
And because I'm hopelessly optimistic (or I just like hurting defenseless plant life), I impulse-bought one of those little metal buckets with a dehydrated soil pellet and forget-me-not seeds in the bargain bins at Target. I happily added water and fluffed the soil with a fork, and dropped the tiny seeds in. A week or so later, we had a few days of pouring rain, and I suddenly realized the bucket doesn't drain. Emergency water-removal was performed...and whaddaya know, a few days later, a tiny sprout stuck it's little head out. It was followed by two more, and I'm crossing my fingers that they'll continue growing and thriving and not getting murdered.
It's not that I want to commit planticide, they're just so much less communicative about their needs than my cats are.
Today, I took it one step further. I found a pot of miniature daffodils--my favorite flower--at Trader Joe's, and happily carted them home, riding shotgun and listening to Keane with me. I know they'll die soon-ish, and that they'll lie dormant in the soil for several months. There's not a lot that even I can do to kill off daffodils. They're hardy little flowers.
I've got three empty pots at Mom and Dad's house. Mom has promised me some cuttings from her gardens. Apparently geraniums are also hard to kill (challenge accepted, Mom), so we'll see how things go. I have visions of a grand little balcony garden, and high hopes that I can keep it all alive without minimal experience and a measuring cup full of water.
The good news is, if things start looking woebegone, it's off to Dr. Sue's Garden of Wonder for a permanent relocation and all the tender loving care she can provide.