Plant pals: Top gardening tips

Top gardening tips

I love plants. I’m awful with plants.

It seems every plant I’ve ever owned slowly curls up into itself, or gradually loses leaves until it’s barren. As I write this, one of my air plants is dead and buried in the compost, while the other one seems increasingly sickly as each day passes. Gertrude is hanging in there, although I think the buzzing fruit flies, attracted to our compost bin, might have weakened her a bit. Either that or everything I touch turns to mulch, in some bizarre twist on the Midas touch.

I wrote a post a while ago on misadventures in gardening, and got a lot of helpful tips in response. Unfortunately, I think I still have some learning to do. Apparently my air plant, which I thought was looking dry, might actually be drowning in water, according to some cursory reading: “Unfortunately, if your air plant has been over-watered, it’s often too late to save it. If the base of the plant turns brown or black, and leaves are falling out or off from the center, your plant has likely succumbed to rot” (via Pistils Nursery). These are hardy, foolproof plants, and somehow this fool keeps proving those descriptions wrong!

Here are some of the gardening tips I got when I wrote my first post on my misadventures:

“I suffer from the same deal–it’s tough watching your plant babies slowly die off. I’ve found that buying them from a good, reliable nursery helps…all the ones I’ve ever bought from IKEA and Home Depot, etc. have never lasted.”

“Plants can seem surprisingly finicky! Some need specific nutrients that you might have to add, some need more water than others, and changing their environment drastically (i.e. from indoor semi-sun to direct sun outside) can hurt them too! Also, I’ve heard cilantro can be quite difficult to grow, maybe because of our climate? They’re like people, each plant is different with different needs. Don’t give up on cilantro! Maybe it needs to be in a mini greenhouse so it gets more heat and humidity?”

“I was amazed with how well the nursery plants I got did. Most of them are alive a year later!”

Air plant bb is still alive! // I wrote about my gardening misadventures on the Minimalist. Read it now, link in bio!

A post shared by Natalie Serafini (@natalieseraf) on

I’m also thinking about trying the Vancouver-based app, My Green Space: the app gives you a step-by-step guide to building your own garden, whether you have a spacious backyard or nothing more than a windowsill. While a lot of their tips are for growing veggies, fruit, and herbs (and less for growing cacti, for example, as I’ve been struggling to do), maybe I can manage to cultivate some herbs, with the help of an app.

gardening tips

Proving that I simply #Can’tStopWon’tStop, I bought more plant pals. Good idea? Bad idea? It remains to be seen. All I know is, I’m never gonna give ’em up.

My latest acquisitions include a nerve plant (fittonia), more air plants, a crassula sarcocaulis, and a kalanchoe millottii. They are all currently snug as bugs in their little pots, strewn about my apartment. My fingers are crossed that these lil’ guys will survive my love. If not though, at least I’ve taken some photos for prosperity!


Do you have any gardening tips? Have you tried the My Green Space app? Let me know in the comments below! 

Header image by Daria Nepriakhina, via StockSnap

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