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Time to check the house plants

 Growing house plants in a place with no sun is a very difficult task. Even the ones that are usually considered "easy to grow" and don't require any special conditions refuse to grow in my home. 

Four years ago, my hubby and I decided to renovate the second floor of my family home and make our own flat there. We did everything ourselves. Plumbing, wiring, insulation, tiling, drywall, and floors, everything was done by us and with little money. The only things we bought were materials and appliances. When it came to windows shopping, we decided to buy small windows since it was easier for us to install them, and also it was the only way to avoid custom-made windows. The flat is in the roof space, and if we wanted bigger windows we'd need specially made ones and that wasn't an option. We couldn't afford them, and also we had no time to wait for them. Our plan was to move to the flat in just a couple of months, which we actually managed. We finished our whole floor renovation in 6 months, 4 if we don't count in the outside staircase which took 2 months to build and install. The price for finishing on time were smaller windows.

July 2018-October 2018

July 2018-September 2018

Personally, I don't mind, I don't like bright-spaced rooms, and my windows are more than enough. Also, this isn't a crowded village, so most of the year(except the winter and burning summer days) I keep the front doors wide open, and there's plenty of air and light. Eventually, we'll build in some bigger windows, but for now, that's not something I'm rushing to do.

The only issue with small windows is that there's no room for many plants. I can have only a couple of plants or a bunch of small ones. Of course, this also means there's no room for seedlings, or growing any vegetables or herbs in the house. 

But that doesn't kill my need for plants. I've decided to buy and grow lots of smaller plants and see which ones don't need lots of light. I've started with plants that are known as plants you can't kill. I bought Philodendrons, took some Reed palms, Ferns, Syngoniums and I managed to kill them all. Most of them just started to turn yellow and eventually they died.

Then I thought that, like most things in my garden, house plants also don't like to follow the rules, and I decided to buy the plants that I thought would like my house conditions and not the ones that can't be killed. So I started buying plants that like darker places, lots of morning light, warmer afternoons, and lots of moisture. I went with lots of popular plants like Peace lilies, Violas, Anthuriums and to my surprise, I haven't killed any of them. I started buying smaller and younger plants, rather than big ones. Younger plants that grow up in my house have better chances of surviving than the ones that grew up in perfect nursery conditions.

My hubby also told me he'd start buying every sick and damaged small plant in the supermarket, and he'd bring them home. These plants are small, very very cheap and a real joy if saved. If not we won't be too sad since they were sick anyway, and if not we'll have new house pets. For this reason, my house windows are starting to look like small jungles. 

The kitchen window is home to a bunch of saved plants that my hubby brought home from the stores and most of them are alive. Since he's been buying me plants, the only plants that were killed were one Viola, which was destroyed by the mouse which was terrorizing us 3 years ago, and a Haworthia, which came overwatered and with rotting roots. 

The kitchen window is also home to my new oleanders, which were too small to be left in the basement during the winter, Soleriolia, and my big Spatifilum. Baby tears are a perfect example of how low the light is in my house, one side looks amazing, but the other side is almost non-existent. I turn the plants every couple of days, but they still tilt to the windows.

Peace lily, on the other hand, grows like mad, and even though it is a delicate plant, and I was told it will not survive in my house, it is growing like mad. It has tripled the size since I got it, and it's even flowering. The flowers are much smaller than normal, but I don't mind it, the plant actually looks better with them.

The bathroom window is completely covered with plants, which is actually great since there's no need for blinds. Nobody can see indoors with all the leaves. I keep my Laceleef, Asparagus, and Rhipsalis in the bathroom. Although bathrooms are usually cooler and moist, my bathroom is warm and a quite dry room, so even plants like Rhipsalis grow really nicely here. I water the plants once a month and they are perfectly healthy. The plants were really small when I bought them, and now they are covering the whole window sill. 

The living room doesn't keep many plants right now. The living room is on the north side and this window is the coldest. So during the summer, I move most of the sensitive plants here, but during the winter the only plants here are my Monstera, Maranta, and Sansavieras. I had 3 Sansavieras, but one died without any apparent reason. I got that one from my mum, and hers died a month after mine. The ones that are alive are growing slowly but healthy. Monstera is growing like mad and has also tripled the size since I got it. The monkey leaf Monstera has smaller leaves and fits better in my room, but if it continues to grow like this soon it will be huge.

The bedroom window holds more small plants. Here I have my Violas, Peperomia, new Syngonium, Fittonias, and Kalanhoas. 

Vioals seem to enjoy this place the most. The bigger one has finally started to bloom here and is growing like mad. The smaller one, which I got this spring, is also growing better here than in the kitchen.

Kalanhoas like the bedroom sill even though it is cooler than the kitchen, but it's also much dryer, so I guess they don't like too much moisture. The big one is getting ready to grow new leaves after the last flowering, and the two small ones that my hubby brought home are now healthy and already growing buds. 

Peperomia is also growing nicely here, while Fittonias and Syngonium seem to grow much slower. I'll probably try to move them to some other place.

The bedroom was also home to my spider plant, but last week I decided to take the plant to my mum's kitchen and leave it to grow there. I just can't find a good spot in my house, no matter where I grow it, it seems to struggle and doesn't like the space. So I decided to try something new and gave it to my mum. Better than killing it off.

Right now I'm happy with the amount of surviving plants in my home. I'll have some new plants in the spring when I'll transplant my mum's plants. I already have my eye on some new violas. But knowing myself I'll probably end up buying a whole box of new plants. We can never have too many. 


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