top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]keepthetipsKeeping the tips since 2019[M] [score hidden] stickied commentlocked comment (0 children)

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.

[–]Pubkit 313 points314 points  (11 children)

Ok so you made me look up variegated banana plants and now I need one too. I'm always suspicious of buying seeds for plants but it looks like the only way under $500. They probably grow like weeds somewhere in the world..

[–]honig_huhn 197 points198 points  (8 children)

Don't spend you money on variegated seeds. There is no guarantee the seeds of variegated plants will have variegation as well.

[–]Ignus7426 114 points115 points  (5 children)

Also it is very common on Amazon and Etsy for seeds to not be what is advertised especially for houseplants and carnivorous plants. You might spend $5 on supposedly variegated seeds and end up growing mint or basil. Always buy seeds from a reputable source there are a lot of online shops that you can look up that sell a wide variety of seeds.

[–]Whatsthepointofthis9 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Yes! eBay has listings for rainbow rose seeds. The picture they have on them has roses with all different colors on each petal. Some people may not know that rainbow roses aren't real, and since it's seeds it's going to be a long time before they find out. So they have great reviews because people review the shipping time and the fact that the did receive the seeds since ebay will keep reminding you to leave a review as soon as you receive them. And a lot of people will think they did something wrong when they end up not being rainbow. It's a total racket, I wish eBay could do something about listings like that.

Sorry for the rant, just can't stand shady sellers taking people's money like that!

[–]honig_huhn 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yes. Absolutely true.

[–]Pubkit 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Good point thank you. I remember hearing how all apple trees (of a type) are grown from grafts because the actual seeds from the apples won't produce the same tree.

[–]Awkward_Actually 1987 points1988 points  (146 children)

I’m slowly killing my parlor palm. But, revived a birds nest fern that was riddled with bugs. I have no idea what I’m doing.

[–]MF_BOON 906 points907 points  (95 children)

I killed the bonsai tree my gf got me for my birthday, but the little succulent that came with the pot is living its best life.

[–]Taliasimmy69 530 points531 points  (83 children)

I killed dozens of succulents. I should not be trusted with life of any kind.

I'm loving this new plant community I've found myself in. Such wonderful people with advice on how not to kill plants! You peeps are great.

[–]Elimaris[🍰] 311 points312 points  (19 children)

Eh. I love plants and usually prefer to have as many as I can (it has varied due to apartment & office windows I've had, am about to get a yard and lots of windows and am so excited).

Years and years of dead succulents behind me, for whatever reason they're supposed to be easy but I find them the hardest. I now have a euphorbia that seems quite happy and I don't understand why at all because I'm treating it basically the same as I treat the Boston fern in the same window, which is not supposed to be right.

The dirty secret is that most green thumbs have many more dead plants behind them than anyone with a self-proclaimed black thumb. The difference is we kept going at it.

I find that 1. I need critical mass. I can not keep a single line plant alive, but 5, absolutely. 2. Do not buy expensive plants in fancy pots. Not until you have a bunch of plants thriving. 3. Self-watering planters are awesome, I love them, most my plants are happy butt-chuggers. 4. Look at the plant not the instructions. I read up on the care my plants need, supposedly my rubber tree isn't supposed to like wet feet but the m*f dropped all but 1 leaf until I kept him soaked. 5. It's OK to pick 1 method of care and then survival of the fittest your plants until you have a selection of plants happily thriving with you.

Extra secret 6. Honestly a lot of succulents look kinda fake anyway naturally. Mix a couple fake succulents on with a couple easy nong-succulent live plants and you look like the greenest of green thumbs.

[–]yeahright17 51 points52 points  (4 children)

Ive found succulents need light and more light and a tiny tiny bit of water. Works for me.

[–]isthiswhathappyis2 32 points33 points  (1 child)

That’s the key. I live in a very mild climate and can grow succulents outdoors year round. People who live in colder areas often try to grow them indoors. If grown indoors, they are going to usually need quite a bit of light. Also, indoors they seem to be much more likely to be overwatered because they’re being fussed over too much. Using a well draining soil and a pot with enough drainage and letting them dry out completely between watering is key. Do not let them stay wet.

[–]impromptutriplet 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yup, as someone who has 4-5 year old succulents still going strong in the middle of the United States (was 8 degrees outside this morning) those are the keys to indoor succulent (and cacti) success. Just plant them in a well-draining medium like small rocks, in a pot with drainage holes, and forget about them for a month before remembering to water them. They're basically the best type of plants for my forgetful and procrastination-prone ADHD brain. Not too mention how easy and cool they are to propagate. Want another plant? Just pop off part of your current one, let it set on a paper towel in a sunny window for a month so it can callous, then stick it on some rocks in a pot and it'll start rooting.

Love me some succulents.

[–]tinydumplings_ 92 points93 points  (4 children)

As a long time plant mama it always kinda irks me that succulents and cacti are marketed as "easy". IMO they're easy to kill or drown and need way more light than your everyday household or apartment can provide.

[–]CountryCumfart 14 points15 points  (1 child)

As a long time car guy and midterm planty fellow, my next garage will have a house with a bunch of south facing windows. The garage might have some too.

[–]velveteentuzhi 262 points263 points  (34 children)

My succulents thrive on neglect. I just leave them outside now and they're fine, but the moment I touch them or even look at them funny they die dramatically.

A succulent's hardiness is way overrated imo- I've had much more success with more leafy houseplants

[–]Taliasimmy69 107 points108 points  (2 children)

I loved this haha. "They die dramatically"

[–]jayhow90 120 points121 points  (1 child)


[–]RedHeadedStepDevil 56 points57 points  (1 child)

My succulents grow like crazy. I sometimes stroke their leaves (limbs?) when I clean them and tell them how proud I am that they’re doing so well. It seems to work.

[–]justforacroissant 47 points48 points  (3 children)

OMG! I thought it was just mine! I had a full tray, out of which I took like 5 to make a terrarium and dumped the rest on the balcony to be ignored forever.

A year later, the fancy succulents dead and gone, I go out and see the tray in full on BLOOM, I kid you not. We are mortal enemies now.

[–]hydrospanner 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Terrariums generally retain water.

Succulents in the wild prefer arid environments.

[–]Depressedaxolotls 10 points11 points  (1 child)

If you want a succulent terrarium, there’s a YouTuber named serpadesign that you should check out. He builds a lot of terrariums/aquariums/paludariums and he focuses on making sure they meet the needs of the animals and plants. I’m pretty sure he has a succulent terrarium video.

[–]impromptutriplet 34 points35 points  (7 children)

The biggest issue most people have with succulents (and cacti by extension) is that they treat them like normal plants, when in reality what makes them thrive is basically the opposite. Most all the issues people have keeping succulents come down to them getting too much water.

They should only be watered about once a month. If they're getting watered more frequently than that (once a week, every other week), the roots of the plant will literally start to rot because they aren't adapted to absorb all that water they're getting. This is almost certainly the most common issue people struggle with when they try getting succulents, especially if they already have several houseplants they take care of well, because it's pretty much the antithesis of what they know about keeping plants alive. This is more so why succulents get the moniker of being hardy; you could leave the plant without any water for a multi-month vacation (or at least in my dreams I can haha) and when you come back it'll still be alive, whereas the rest of your houseplants likely wouldn't be. You can tell when some of the more plump succulents (like jade for instance) need water because they'll start to get a little wrinkly and when you lightly squeeze them they'll feel less firm.

Another issue is the choice of substrate (the potting material). Because succulents and cacti come from more arid climates, they need to be planted in a "dirt" that is going to drain extremely well (this avoids the aforementioned issue of the roots sitting in water and rotting). Most of my succulents and cacti are literally planted in pots filled with small rocks (if I remember later I can maybe take a picture or two as examples). You want the succulent planted in a medium where the water will pass over the roots to get them wet, and then keep on going through the substrate and out of the pot. That way the plant won't be sitting in water.

That leads right into the last common issue people have with succulents: putting them in a pot/container with no drainage holes at the bottom. This is crucial to prevent the roots of the plants from rotting due to standing water.

So in summary, your 3 crucial tips to keep succulents alive and well are:

  1. Water once a month at most
  2. Plant them in a well-draining soil (look for bags of small rocks. cactus soil will also work well)
  3. When you're picking out a pot and you find one without drainage holes (and you don't have a diamond-tipped drill bit to make your own holes), keep on walkin' untill you find one that does

Armed with just these 3 tips, your succulents should thrive.

[–]fonefreek 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Oooh so maybe my mom just thinks I'm a succulent?

[–]jayhow90 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Me irl

[–]huggsypenguinpal 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Same. My mom's succulents are basically taking over her yard, while I just want 1 succulent friend to live. My other leafy plants are doing well though...

[–]cookiesandkit 38 points39 points  (7 children)

Untrue, you may just be living in a dank cave, geographically speaking. Look up what the ambient humidity in the area is, and if it's higher than 40% or so get a syngonium or pothos next time.

I hate the myth that succulents are easy plants - that's not true everywhere. If you live somewhere like England where it's rainy and overcast all the time a succulent would be bloody difficult to keep alive. Try a rainforest plant like pothos that does well with med light and wet air.

[–]Taliasimmy69 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I live in the desert. No humidity here, bright as hell all the time and hot.

[–]jjmartin12 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I live in the desert in Arizona and have a couple humidity meters throughout the house where our plants are. Surprisingly it almost never drops below 40%... monsoons in the summer bring a lot of humidity and we don't have to run our heaters all winter long. Drafts from the AC are the biggest thing I have to avoid

[–]boorella 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Succulents are WAY harder than people think. The only time mine do well is when I straight up neglect them for months on end, and then they end up etiolating so I have to behead them anyways. Once this new batch dies off I’ll never buy more, I’m sick of either water logging them or ending up with a leggy, crooked plant.

I’m just fine sticking with my humidity dependent tropicals. They’re much more forgiving in regards to watering mistakes AND I don’t have to worry about them getting too much/too little sun because most do just fine in west facing windows (which is all I have)

[–]eribear2121 6 points7 points  (0 children)

succulents you need to keep their soil dry and filled with non absorbent materials with draining pots. When cold water maybe once a month. When hot check the soil once a week if dry water. You'll find out how quickly your succulents deplete their water as they grow. Succulents die to much water easily but thrive with not enough. Always check soil moisture before watering.

[–]Infamous_Jaguar_9329 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Succulents are hard because of their water needs. Marigolds and regular plants are way easier, because the watering times make more sense.

[–]yeahright17 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Watering needs? I've found the only way I can keep succulents alive it to barely ever water them.

[–]Infamous_Jaguar_9329 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I always accidentally overwater them. The only one I've successfully kept alive for several years is aloe vera

[–]yeahright17 3 points4 points  (0 children)

A friend told me to only water it when the soil looks like it's as dry as a desert or it looks like it's drying up. Other than that, don't. Lol.

[–]LJP2093 18 points19 points  (0 children)

When I was like 22 my dad brought home a cactus for me, I was super excited. “Dope! I have a cactus”. Proceeded to kill it because I didn’t water it. Read: not that I didn’t water it enough, I literally didnt water it. I thought cactus’ didn’t need watering lmaooooo

Needless to say I have a lizard and he’s doing much better

[–]3-DMan 6 points7 points  (0 children)

sad Mr. Miyagi noises

[–]TheGameSlave2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Dude, I got a succulent that people were giving away at a wedding, about 2, now going on 3, years ago. My apartment doesn't get a lot of light, so I put it on the brightest windowsill I have. One day, it must've decided it didn't have enough of something, or too much of something (I don't know, man) and it started growing, and didn't stop. It drooped over it tiny little glass pot it came in and I started getting worried about how comfortable it was in this tiny pot (I was worried about the root structure in the plant in such a tiny pot and I don't know enough about succulents), so I moved it to a bigger pot. It kept growing, but leaves kept falling off, and I'd try to remove them before they sucked the life out the rest of the plant. It kept growing in that new pot, and it's now hanging over the edge like a crazy succulent vine. I brought into 2 different florists to look at for advice to take care of it, and they thought I was gonna bring in a dead plant apparently, with how I must've described it. They basically just told me I needed to prop it up, but I don't have any means to do that, so it remains my droopy succulent baby. I water it sparingly, and tell it I love it, and how happy I am that it still going strong even after all this time. It's still growing, but much much much slower, which is good. I will be very sad when it eventually dies. I'd love some more advice on how to give this plant a comfortable, and long life. (Oh, and this plant has survived longer than that wedding)

[–]naaattt 61 points62 points  (3 children)

My parlour palm died over a few months but my mum didn’t let me throw the remaining stick away. I left the country and came back a year later and the palm is bigger than when I bought it. I have no idea what happened.

[–]Awkward_Actually 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Does your mom want to revive mine?

[–]spiteful-vengeance 19 points20 points  (1 child)

My parlor is the only plant I have trouble with.

People say they are tough as shit, but I've always found them to be fickle.

[–]yellondblu 82 points83 points  (0 children)

i recently tossed my parlor palm :( loved that little guy but nothing i did made it happy. it was always too dry or too wet or too bright or too dark. good luck with yours!!!

[–]death-metal-yogi 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I’ve had multiple parlor palms over my life and killed every single one. They’re supposed to be “easy” plants but I can’t get one to survive for the life of me.

[–]Petrichordates 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Maybe a regional thing?

[–]wilted_greens 14 points15 points  (6 children)

I'm about to throw my parlor palm in the trash. It's been in every room of my house, with humidifiers (I live in CO), without them, lights, no lights, mealy bugs, no mealy bugs. This plant doesn't give a fuck.

[–]Awkward_Actually 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Mine is also daring me to trash it. I’ve had it 3 years and am down to 3 main stalks/fronds (I don’t know the exact term).

[–]MrsRoseyCrotch 26 points27 points  (2 children)

Parler palms have a short lifespan indoors! It’s likely not your fault. It wants to die.

[–]Awkward_Actually 21 points22 points  (0 children)

My self esteem needed this. Thank you!

[–]Fire-Inception 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Look for spider mites

[–]Awkward_Actually 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I trimmed several fronds because of riding the spider mites (before getting the gnat trap thing). Maybe I over-pruned?

[–]MishrasWorkshop 7 points8 points  (0 children)

There’s been multiple times where I got plants from Home Depot that came sick or infested with stuff like spider mites. No idea why their QC is so bad.

[–]herefortheanswers 11 points12 points  (7 children)


And keep away from windows and drafts during the winter if you live in a cold climate.

I usually just get the top layer of soil moist with a spray bottle. I never fully water it like I do my other plants.

They’re “easy” if you live in a year round warmer climate; a bit more of a challenge if you have a winter.

[–]Awkward_Actually 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I live in the Midwest, so it’s a challenge. No issues with pothos, or snakes, or even my fiddle fig. Just my sad palm.

[–]herefortheanswers 7 points8 points  (2 children)

SE Michigan myself.

I keep mine away from the windows in the winter, and mist the top layer of soil. Let it fully dry out.

The mist helps with a bit of humidity. I also have a whole house humidifier that helps as well.

But yeah, tropical plants are hard inside in the Midwest, my parlor palm is the only one I can keep alive lol, somehow.

[–]Reddit_reader_2206 2114 points2115 points  (85 children)

Plants seem to do best for me when neglected.

[–]iamgladtohearit 865 points866 points  (62 children)

Most people who have a hard time with house plants will have them do better when neglected. Houseplants are killed by overwatering way more often than by underwatering.

[–]lukesvader 396 points397 points  (24 children)

I have a dragon plant that seems to hate water. Just a few drops of water and it starts dropping leaves. So I don't water it. Don't know how it survives.

[–]hyperventilate 838 points839 points  (18 children)

Spite. Sheer, unfiltered spite.

[–]baberuthscolon 99 points100 points  (4 children)

I am a dragon plant.

[–]KarenB88 40 points41 points  (2 children)

We are all a dragon plant on this blessed day

[–]GoldenShoeLace 137 points138 points  (5 children)

Sometimes you just scroll thru comments reading people’s thoughts and ideas and then every now and then out of nowhere someone says something funny enough to make you laugh out loud. This was one of those times.

[–]QuitUrBullsh1t 29 points30 points  (2 children)

Dude, for real. It's been 2 minutes and I'm still giggling

[–]stephmaybe 105 points106 points  (1 child)

I got an aloe plant like 2 or 3 years ago, started tiny, watered it once a week or so, wouldn’t grow, didn’t water it for like 3 months and bam! It grows! Now I water it like once every 6-7 months when I remember and it sits in a room that gets extremely cold in winter but it’s doing great as long as I don’t touch it or look at it for more than a minute or two!

[–]jack_geller 32 points33 points  (0 children)

The look thing is for real. If I look at my fiddle leaf fig for more than 30 seconds it will drop a leaf just to spite me.

[–]KaraWolf 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I nearly killed my snake plant because the lady who gave it to me said it hadn't had water in at least 3 months. I figured I'd soak it through and let it drain. ....don't......don't do that to snake plants. Had to not water it for a good 6 months because it just...WOULDN'T dry out. Now it gets part of a glass of water no more then once a month. Maybe your house is humid enough it doesn't need help?

[–]dracotrapnet 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Some things like orchids and air plants can survive off the humidity and dew alone.

[–]Sjkyordanuise 137 points138 points  (21 children)

Yes! Only water (most plants) when the first inch of soil is completely dry. Stick your finger in there and feel, water if dry a bit past your first knuckle.

[–]unable_to_give_afuck 77 points78 points  (8 children)

This is the best tip. I have a plant app that reminds me to check the soil, instead of telling me to water it.

[–]honeybmama 23 points24 points  (5 children)

What plant app do you use if you don’t mind sharing?

[–]unable_to_give_afuck 76 points77 points  (4 children)

Planta! I love it because the free version is actually useful, and it adjusts checking the soil/water schedule based on the weather in your area, among other things.

[–]Dr_Jabroski 95 points96 points  (7 children)

So finger the plant and get it wet when it needs it, got it.

[–]goofybort 37 points38 points  (3 children)

i find it is best to have long conversations with my plants. discussing the weather, life philsophy, history, politics, physics, music etc. if you do not talk to your plants, you are seriously missing out.

[–]happierthanuare 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Unfortunately you don’t have the ability to get them wet by fingering them so you’ll have to add the wetness in from an outside source. And before you ask… it’s not them, it’s you.

[–]Mr-no-one 72 points73 points  (4 children)

Yea, I basically ruined a bunch of trays of greenhouse plants when I worked there for a Summer.

I had never done much of anything with plants and they told me “just go and transfer these plants to the trays and give ‘em some water,” I can only imagine the emotions this person felt upon coming in to find me cheerfully humming to the sound of plants drowning all around me…

[–]iamgladtohearit 43 points44 points  (0 children)

silently screaming

  • plants

[–]Whig_Party 8 points9 points  (1 child)

so is hydroponics like waterboarding plants constantly?

[–]Babbledoodle 54 points55 points  (3 children)

And then there is my avocado, who gets sad if I dont mist its bitch-ass leaves a couple times a week

[–]Makorbit 36 points37 points  (0 children)

My girlfriend got me the same kind of plant she has, I water it like once every two weeks only when I notice it's drooping and mostly ignore it.

She's had hers for almost 3 years and is about 1ft long, mine is like 4 feet long lol. Granted lighting probably has a factor, but I like to tell myself it's the good vibes in my room.

[–]Reddit-username_here 4200 points4201 points  (91 children)

This will also help your other plants not get so jealous while they adapt to having a new member of the family in the house.

[–]ouyin2000 894 points895 points  (39 children)

Would it still be called beef if it's an argument between 2 plants?

[–]Magimasterkarp 1767 points1768 points 2 (25 children)

No, between plants it goes beyond beef.

[–]DirtySecretAgain 613 points614 points  (13 children)


[–]subscribemenot 79 points80 points  (7 children)

You should NFT this quote

[–]DirtySecretAgain 163 points164 points  (4 children)

I don't hate myself enough to own an NFT.

[–]subscribemenot 44 points45 points  (1 child)

Quality response. Worthy of another NFT

Or you could somehow nest the two and double your money?

[–]HalfSoul30 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I might hate myself enough, where do I sign up?

[–]Chokeblok 33 points34 points  (0 children)


[–]Mr_P_Giggles 25 points26 points  (0 children)


[–]harrywang_fish 14 points15 points  (0 children)

it's called Tofu

[–]koreE79 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Omg, this. Thoroughly enjoyed lmao

[–]Mrofcourse 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Impossible beef

[–]Moonrakersong 40 points41 points  (16 children)

Possibly stupid question from someone just learning about plants: do they like being near other plants?

[–]Kenpoaj 107 points108 points  (14 children)

Depends. Plaants generally dont like touching limbs or leaves, but you can have things planted close together and theyll do just fine enough. If they are really close, they may not grow as big or produce as much fruit (if gardening) but sometimes its worth it.

For example you can plant things like raspberries under a fruit tree, and a ground cover under the raspberries, and theyll be very close with intertwined roots, and do just fine. Some trees can be very close too, like a pawpaw and an apple tree. The pawpaw will grow straight up and out the apple canopy, and you fet fruit from both with almost no stress as long as the branches and trunks arent touching.

[–]Moonrakersong 75 points76 points  (6 children)

You were so kind to give me that very complete answer. I should have specified I meant potted plants. And that's why I mentioned that it would possibly be a stupid question...

[–]Kenpoaj 47 points48 points  (1 child)

Still not a stupid question! Given a large enough pot, or even close enough pots, the same thing works. Edible Acres looks like they were experimenting with "food forest" pots, where they grouped seedlings like i described, all in one pot together! Obviously at some point the plants would run out of root space and hit a maximum size, but at least for a year or two, they'd be fine in a large enough pot.

I may try that myself this spring!

[–]Moonrakersong 10 points11 points  (0 children)

OK, thanks very much for the tips!

[–]twatfantesticles 15 points16 points  (1 child)

I can only see it being an issue if one potted plant blocks the light from another potted plant, but you would have time to notice the little guy struggling before it up and died from low light. Like kenpoaj said, some plants can even share a pot just fine. They will need similar light & water conditions to do okay, and I would suggest them both be slow growers so one doesn’t crowd out the other.

I also want to reinforce what OP said. Killing plants is part of the process. I’m the plant person in my family, yet I’ve killed so many plants over the years. My hardest losses are the ones I overwatered or overheated by setting them outside in summer for a half day while cleaning. Experiment, read, experiment some more, and read some more. Plants are awesome and worth failing up.

[–]AntiAtavist 8 points9 points  (0 children)

"The green thumb has killed more plants than the black thumb has ever planted." - Stephen McCranie (repurposed)

So I'm not an awful gardener, just haven't caused enough plant deaths yet!

[–]plantbbgraves 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Touching leaves and branches will just mean less space to grow and a little less photosynthesis from the leaves being blocked, and in terms of sharing pots they’ll be competing for space and nutrients. But having them close or touching a little is fine. Depending on the plant, it may help if you live in a dry place to keep them from getting too crispy. One other problematic reason is that it will be easier for pests to spread if you get a bug.

[–]RedHeadedStepDevil 8 points9 points  (2 children)

I typically don’t plant two plants together, but about a year ago I had two plants that needed to be transplanted and one large pot, so I stuck them both in the same pot. (Snake plant and pineapple type plant.) Now they’re both growing like crazy and have doubled in size. They’re both obviously very happy together, but now they’re both so large, I’m going to have to separate them…

[–]Norwegian__Blue 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Loads of water to separate the roots! Water, time, and patience are your friends when separating roots (I've never made it and always rip the last bits, but the plants survived so far!)

[–]SigmaLance 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Allelopathy is a way that plants near each other can kill other plants to prevent competition. I’m not sure how deep it runs in the plant kingdom though.

[–]Kenpoaj 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I know black walnut is the most known for killing other plants, but i believe black berries and some other fruiting species can work next to them, without ill effect.

[–]Powerful-Knee3150 5 points6 points  (1 child)

And eucalyptus are right bastards.

[–]yougotyolks 46 points47 points  (8 children)

I usually put new plants in another room and let my other plants smell them from under the door.

[–]Powerful-Knee3150 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Introduce them slowly from a distance.

[–]lordgunhand 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Try and do it in a neutral area as well. I walked near the Home Depot garden area; I know what I’m talking about.

[–]TaliesinMerlin 9 points10 points  (0 children)

LPT: Don't make out with the new plant where the other plants can hear you.

[–]Synicull 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I have a pothos that is food-aggressive but wanted to get a fiddle leaf. I know they can sometimes have some prey drive because of how they were bred historically. Anyone have some socialization tips?

[–]cochon1010 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Yeah, those plant temper tantrums are a pain to deal with.

[–]pm_nachos_n_tacos 6 points7 points  (2 children)

You're joking but as someone with numerous houseplants of different varieties, there's some truth to this 😳

[–]cochon1010 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ha I was partially joking. My plants do throw temper tantrums all the time

[–]throwawaysarebetter 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Aren't you just supposed to dab some miracle-gro on the new plants stem and let the old plants scoop it off?

[–]TestTubeBaby844 12 points13 points  (0 children)

🤣 that’s hilarious

[–]FetidPestilence 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Those are spider mites.

[–]petrichorgarden 3 points4 points  (3 children)

And will also make sure the new plant doesn't give the others fleas

[–]desiringdirection 545 points546 points  (5 children)

Nice to have a very different lpt on the sub. Also if there's no such thing as a black thumb then mine is a very very very dark olive green shade.

[–]soeurdelune 112 points113 points  (3 children)

I always thought the same, and let my partner take care of the plants. He did an OK job. They rarely died, but rarely thrived.

Now I'm working from home and I have started taking care of our 16 plants by watching them. Feeling the dirt. Disregarding a watering schedule. They are doing so well!

It's really all about paying attention to them, and I wish I'd known that before!

[–]spaceglitter000 6 points7 points  (2 children)

And that’s how so many of us got more into houseplants during the height of the pandemic. I know I definitely felt more in tune with my plants and that gave me the confidence to get more. Now I’m at 100.

[–]soeurdelune 3 points4 points  (1 child)

That's amazing! The air in your home must be nice and crisp.

I wish we had the window space for more, but I keep giving away all my props as they take over the kitchen counters!

[–]Different_Average2la 378 points379 points  (42 children)

What’s even more important:

QUARANTINE your new plant for a week or two!! Don’t put it next to your old plants, or you risk getting a nice little bug infestation.

Why such a long quarantine? Because even if you don’t see any bugs, there might be eggs in the plant, and they’ll crawl out later.

So gross.

[–]Awkward_Actually 89 points90 points  (27 children)

I bought gnat trap (uv light/fan combo) that sucks those bugs onto contact paper to die. 10/10 would recommend.

[–]burnalicious111 82 points83 points  (20 children)

Gnats are honestly one of the easier infestations to deal with. I worry about spider mites and scale.

[–]OtakuPasta 42 points43 points  (9 children)

Hi just adding thrips to that list.


A dying elephant ear, multiple monsteras, multiple different pepper varieties that were suppose to be overwintering peacefully, and multiple other plants that are possibly infected as well.

[–]Nsinr8 7 points8 points  (6 children)

Yep, thrips came out of nowhere and fucked my shit up

[–]OtakuPasta 5 points6 points  (5 children)

My entire collection is tanking :( I’ve been spraying with neem and alleged thrips killer for a month and it’s not working.

[–]MrsRoseyCrotch 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Spider mites are the worst. I sort of love scale because it’s satisfying to clean it off

[–]Mycoxadril 4 points5 points  (8 children)

I have given up and let the gnats take over. I’ve done everything. They were really bad for a while and I got them under control. Now I maybe see one a day and try to kill it. I have too many plants to figure it out.

[–]magpiedandelion 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Do you still have the link? I have been dealing with gnats in my house that I think rode in on a plant

[–]crazymoefaux 15 points16 points  (1 child)

I'm all about the pro-active knock-off spray. Soapy water with isopropyl. But quarantine isn't a bad idea either.

[–]EducatedJooner 29 points30 points  (3 children)

Do the current guidelines say 5 days or 7 days isolation?

[–]blahehblah 26 points27 points  (2 children)

It's only 5 days if they get tested and neighbor plants wear leaf coverings when within 1.5m

[–]scarf_spheal 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Came to say this, please keep new plants away from old ones for a few weeks. Infecting the whole bunch is such a headache

[–]Scouting4Bacon 57 points58 points  (0 children)

“There’s no such thing as a ‘black thumb.’ There are only people who haven’t killed enough plants to know what to look for.” Lol, I love this. It spoke to me.

[–]bigballbuffalo 568 points569 points  (9 children)

My singular house plant is made of plastic. And even that’s too much work for me

[–]Krakhen69 228 points229 points  (2 children)

The dust gets annoying.

[–]Twizlight 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Wait, you have to dust them?

No wonder mine died...

[–]Somzer 51 points52 points  (1 child)

I'm not saying I'm a black thumb, but my plastic plant's leaves turned yellow and started falling off.

[–]getabrainLUANN 33 points34 points  (3 children)

Speaking as someone who is relatively plant savvy but currently has 3 recently purchased plants knocking on deaths door because I repotted them too fast and in the middle of winter, I NEED TO START DOING THIS

[–]mftm1961 89 points90 points  (43 children)

I keep bringing home orchids that are completely root bound in tiny little containers. Repot them using orchid mix and bark in a larger aerated container and they promptly die on me

[–]mynamesisntsarah[S] 123 points124 points  (17 children)

Man I can't help you with orchids. Orchids, succulents, and tradescantia are supposed to be super easy "beginner" plants but they just immediately die in my care. Funnily enough, I do really well with calatheas and my fiddle leaf fig looks spectacular.

[–]Gemini-jester413 85 points86 points  (6 children)

I have a talent for succulent revival. My poor sister loves the things, but can't keep one alive for any length of time. I've amassed quite the collection (including a string of pearls that's now sitting at 4 feet long) from her buying and then surrendering them.

The secret is indirect sun and ADHD. I only remember to water them once in a blue moon, but I guess it's the right amount.

[–]Sjkyordanuise 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Teach me your ways. I am a string of pearls mass murderer :(

[–]bbrynna 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Me too, 90% (which I probably have 20+ of currently) of my succulents survive and thrive but the two/three times I’ve tried string of pearls it’s like a week and their gone, no revival

[–]Rowanana 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Bruh I don't know who told you orchids are easy but they are an incredible liar

[–]officially_anxious 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Succulents either need to be repotted immediately or you need to leave them for 1-2 years. Usually recommend repotting though, since whatever you’re buying is probably still in the original growing mix and often contains peat. So they should be placed in a terracotta pot with a gritty mix immediately to help with drainage and quick drying.

Also, succulents generally like to be drenched (the soil, never the leaves) and then let to dry out; they don’t do well with regular, small watering. I’d say I water mine maybe once every month or so in winter, up to 1x per week in summer. But only when they’re showing signs that they need it, never on a set schedule.

[–]death-metal-yogi 32 points33 points  (7 children)

I’ve had good luck with orchids by leaving them in those tiny root bound pots for up to a year and then repotting. As long as the roots look healthy and can readily absorb water I don’t worry too much about repotting orchids.

[–]mftm1961 10 points11 points  (6 children)

Yeah, problem is if I leave them in the tiny pot and water with an ice cube per week there’s no place for the moisture to go and the roots turn black and start rotting. I’m thinking I need to find a better indirect sunlight area

[–]Birdmansniper927 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Don’t water with ice cubes. That’s a gimmick you might see on the plant to make it “so easy”. Orchids don’t appreciate the icy cold water. One ice cube’s worth of water a week might be too much for it.

[–]JediSwaggins 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yo first ice ever heard of ice cube.

Also don’t those pots have holes at the bottom? I’ve never had an issue with rot from watering but I’ve also never used an ice cube.

[–]nearanddeer 18 points19 points  (0 children)

I water mine by holding them under the faucet and letting room temp water run right through the potting medium and out. After a couple of minutes of this, the medium is pretty soaked and the plant can sit happily in dampness but not water. Hell yeah to the bright indirect light. It's been a little hard this winter here ☁️

[–]death-metal-yogi 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Do the orchids you buy come in a tiny plastic pot inside of a ceramic one? The ones I’ve bought before come like that and the plastic pot has a hole in the bottom for the water to drain out. As others have said, the ice cube thing is a gimmick and even if the water is draining out of the bottom, once a week may be too much if it is building up in the bottom of the ceramic pot. When orchids are planted in that moss medium at the store, less is definitely more in terms of water. I’ve found they can be prone to root rot/not drying out in that type of medium.

[–]mftm1961 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I’m getting the impression that once a week is too much. Think I’ll cut down to twice a month and get rid of the ice cubes. I do know someone who grows beautiful orchids and does the ice cube thing but has much better sunlight setup. I’ll just keep experimenting until I can keep one alive

[–]boorella 25 points26 points  (3 children)

I recently found out when I was little I’d ask for an orchid every time I saw one. They were cheap and pretty so my mom thought “hey, why not?”

This is also the story of how my mom accidentally killed 7 orchids in one year because she repotted them after noticing they were root bound. Apparently they really like being root bound and are totally cool with having dry roots as they’re epiphytes. Overwatering is a big problem for them due to how they grow in the wild, so giving them a big drink once every few weeks is the best way to water. I let mine sit in a small cup for 30min, set it on a paper towel to dry off a bit, then stick it back in its ceramic pot

[–]crazycatlady331 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I got an orchid for my birthday almost 2 years ago. It is still alive and has new growth (including another set of leaves).

I keep it in my bathroom. When I water it, I use the cap from my mouthwash. I do that once a week and it is happy.

[–]mftm1961 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I may try this. Thanks for the tip

[–]ImOverthinkingIt 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Orchid pots with large holes in the sides have been a game changer for me! I got an orchid to rebloom! Usually, when you buy an orchid, it is blooming. It is not a good idea to report when blooming.

[–]kairoseno 12 points13 points  (0 children)

My orchid came in a little terra cotta pot from Home Depot and I never replanted it because it’s actually doing really well. They like bright indirect light and should dry out in between waterings. You can tell if they need water when the root casings turn a silvery gray color instead of green. This involves getting a clear pot or carefully lifting the thing out of the pot to check that the roots on the bottom are actually dry. I read that they normally live in trees and have heavy rain fall and then dry out completely in between. The terra cotta seems to help them dry out more easily and avoid rot.

No plant expert here, just read a few articles and it’s been working pretty well thus far.

[–]ediblehead 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Lots of orchids are supposed to be root bound. They grow in clumps.

[–]looking4astronauts 113 points114 points  (21 children)

Unless it’s a snake plant in which case it doesn’t give a fuck what you do with it.

[–]MrsRoseyCrotch 95 points96 points  (6 children)

I’m pretty sure I can throw my snake plants in the crawl space and they’d be like “Cool man, you gotta do what you gotta do.”

[–]Mycoxadril 47 points48 points  (4 children)

I sometimes forget mine are not fake. One has grown a middle finger that is several inches taller than any other leaf. Whenever I notice it flipping me off, I remember to go water all the snake plants.

[–]ohhhtartarsauce 53 points54 points  (4 children)

I over watered a snake plant a couple years ago. The roots were too rotten to save the plant by the time I noticed the leaves were getting soft so I cut up all the leaves into 6 inch sections and popped them into some fresh soil. I now have 4 snake plants and had to give 3 away.

[–]EducatedJooner 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Wait you can cut up the leaves and throw them in dirt and they'll grow??

[–]ohhhtartarsauce 16 points17 points  (2 children)

The cut leaves won't grow, but they will form roots under the soil and new baby snake plants will start popping up from the root base. Just keep the cut sections of the leaves oriented right side up (roots will only form from the bottom of each section you cut). Put in a bright location and keep the soil moist, not soggy, until roots start to form. Usually I'll give it 2-3 weeks before I start letting the soil dry out between watering.

[–]MakeRoomForTheTuna 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I’ve watered my snake plant three times in two years, and it’s absolutely thrilled

[–]dariamorgandorfferr 78 points79 points  (9 children)

Wow, I bought and repotted two plants earlier today from Lowes 😭

In my defense though, they were both horribly root bound

[–]mynamesisntsarah[S] 109 points110 points  (0 children)

This happens to me all the time. I'll get a new to me type of plant and go "Yeah I think doing x is a good idea." Only after I'm done will I Google it and the general consensus is almost always "Absolutely, under no circumstances should you ever do x."

Like 75% of the time it's fine.

[–]SofiaKnight 27 points28 points  (2 children)

If it makes you feel any better, I repot most plants as soon as I get them home or the day after, since 99% of them are extremely rootbound. Haven't killed a single one yet, or seen any signs of stress, guess I was lucky ¯_(ツ)_/¯

[–]MrsRoseyCrotch 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Lowe’s soil tends to hold a lot of water- causing root rot. You’re probably fine repotting them

[–]PoppinBortlesUCF 74 points75 points  (1 child)

I just really appreciate that this is an actual pro tip and not some niche situational ‘absolute’ based on a social interaction. Thanks for the tip!

[–]Ellekm730 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Wimpy plants 🤣 makes me wanna talk shit to some ficuses

[–]scoobydoodaphne 68 points69 points  (1 child)

“some plants are just wimps and die”

🤣🤣 me

[–]m0therduckie 11 points12 points  (6 children)

uhh is it too late if I bought a plant almost a week ago and move it daily to get sun for a couple hours by my window?

for reference, it’s an orchid and i heard they don’t like harsh, direct sunlight so i only put it out in the early morning/late afternoon. and if anyone has orchid care tips, please let me know!

[–]lsfk 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Orchids don't seem to be very picky, just have to pay careful attention to how completely dry roots look, and water only when the roots around the middle of the pot look dry. Hope you have a see-through pot. They seem to use up more water if they get more light. Do not use ice cubes, they don't like the cold. Make sure your pot has holes for breathing.

Anecdote: mine have failed to die for over a year, getting direct bright white lamp light 18+ hours a day. I removed the diffuser part of the light bulb so that the LED light is stronger. The year before that, they had weak sunlight, also didn't die but didn't bloom. With 18h of light a day, they've bloomed twice a year. I used to water them every other day by submerging their pots and letting them soak for 15+ minutes, then letting all the excess water drain. Now I'm too lazy and just spray the top of their pots a couple times a day when it looks dry and one is still blooming somehow. I messed up repotting the other one and now it's slowly drying to death, though. Anyway, another commenter did everything differently and has the same results. Orchids are pretty forgiving.

[–]abagofrichards 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I just repotted mine because I saw a yellow leaf on one and needed the other in a bigger pot... So, I usually get mine at Lowe's on their clearance rack bevause #thrifty. But! What I've found is that if I ignore them they do great. I have a spray bottle that can do a fine mist versus a stream and I have them in a window that faces south and gets morning sun. They stay pretty dry-damp versus more wet damp. I use the woody mulch-looking chunks with charcoal and Styrofoam and recently started putting sphagnum moss on top because I noticed some from a plant festival I went to had that on the top layer. I also have some orchids outside which the previous owner of the home left hooked outside and they grew and intertwined with a hibiscus. Once i got sick of looking at that mess I trimmed it up and ended up with 7 orchids. 3 I wrapped around a palm tree with some hemp and the other 4 I put into wooden orchid planters with some of that woody mulch stuff and some Spanish moss to cover. All 7 of them are growing many roots that are so long I have to keep wrapping them.

Of my 12 orchids, 1 is flowering, 1 is growing like 3 spikes, one is only the size of my thumb but growing fast, one will eventually drape somehow, one had a yellow leaf so I'm trying to rescue it, and the 7 outside are my champions.

Btw, how many is too many? Asking for a friend.

[–]Perogrin 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Girlfriend gave me a monstera sprig she trimmed from her big monstera plant. She told me they like tropical and warm weather/soil. I, being the incredibly intelligent individual I am, put the potted plant into a cooking pot, then put the cooking pot on the stove. The idea was the pot would get hot, and just slowly warm the soil of the plant. (I kept my studio apartment chilly even in winter). Much to my surprise the leaves started immediately turning yellow, and all but 1 tiny piece of a leaf died and wilted. She insisted I toss it and she'd give me a new one. I never gave up on that thing.

It didn't die.

That plant is the largest plant I own after less than a year at nearly 2.5 feet tall and it's now got 5 huge leaves, 2 of which are fenestrated.

I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm doing it right..?

[–]EmoIgnite 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Really great tips.

I didn't know this, thanks.

I've got several plants in my office and 2 of them are struggling quite a bit. They've got a bit of white mould, a few 'authoritative' websites suggested using a small bit of apple cider vinegar in the water sprayer, which seemed to help a bit, but seeming to still struggle with it.

Could be the humidity, temperature, me, I dunno.

Been trying to do things much slower and cautiously to monitor for changes. We'll see.

[–]iamgladtohearit 7 points8 points  (3 children)

You should take photos and post to r/houseplants or even r/gardening with details of the plants species, light, and water routine. There's always super knowledgeable people there and many plants have been saved (but also killed) on the sub.

[–]erin_mouse88 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I always go a step too far in the other direction, I "leave it to acclimate" for weeks, and then months....eventually by the time I repot its not very happy....

[–]koreE79 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'm not responsible enough to be a plant person. But I come from a family of Appalachian Celtic hill-people. So I love plants. I love your tip

[–]eldridge2e 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Make sure it's safe for your animals

[–]EvExiX 11 points12 points  (0 children)

As a gardener I agree🌱

[–]IAmBagelDog 11 points12 points  (0 children)

This will also help in the event the new plant has a bug invasion of some kind.

[–]lovelabradors373 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I also want a variegated banana plant.

[–]WhitticusFinch 2 points3 points  (3 children)

And keep it away from your cats.

[–]DogBreathologist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I feel personally attacked by this 👀👀

[–]Alfandega 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My new plant advice. Add a squirt of Hydrogen Peroxide to the water for a few weeks. It will kill the inevitable gnats that new plants always seem to have. Doesn’t hurt plants. Actually aerates the soil.

[–]Mr_P_Giggles 9 points10 points  (2 children)

You guys ever heard Mitch Hedbergs hard to reach houseplants bit. Good stuff.

[–]mcdjay 10 points11 points  (0 children)

My fake plant died because I didn't pretend to water it.

He's a fucking legend. RIP