Mini Bookshelf Garden Tour: Profiles on My Indoor Plants

Hello, Readers! In previous seasons I have enjoyed writing and gotten a lot of engagement on posts talking about my gardening endeavors, so I thought you might be interested in an update on my indoor plants. I have a few new ones since my last Garden Chronicles post, and since it is the beginning of the year, I am going to take this opportunity to introduce each of the plants I keep inside. I’m also going to share a book that each of these plants reminds me of, just for the fun of it (and so that this post isn’t totally un-bookish!). If you have any interest in houseplants or are looking for a random book recommendation, stick around!

Note: for the purpose of this post, “age” will refer to how long I have owned the plant. Since I did not plant any of these myself, I cannot know the exact ages.

Scientific Name: Dracaena trifasciata (I think this is the exact variety. More research could prove otherwise, though)

Common Name: Snake Plant

Source: Received as apartment-warming gift

Age: 7 months

Random Fact About Me: I live in the darkest room, but occasionally I go on field trips to the window for a boost of sunlight. Also, Jana can’t tell whether I am a single plant, or multiple plants in one pot! There could be several of me with the roots intertwined, or I could just be a single, complex plant. I expect to be repotted next year, and I suspect we will discover the truth then.

Book Pairing: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – This series is fun on the surface, and like the Snake Plant, is easy to take care of and read quickly. However, when you take the time to think more deeply about it, there is a lot going on beneath the surface. The roots of this plant could tell a different story from the leaves, just as a deeper analysis of the series reveals a larger plan for the story – although there are a lot of theories about the specifics!

Scientific Name: unknown

Common Name: Generic Cactus

Where I Got It: Lowe’s

Age: about 5.5 years

Random Fact(s) About Me: I started out as triplets, but after a few years one third turned brown and died despite Jana’s efforts to research, repot, and resuscitate. I was the first indoor plant Jana bought, and went with her to college when she wished she could have a pet. I’ve grown about three four inches since then, and have gone through three re-pottings!

Book Pairing: My first thought was The World According to Humphrey by Betty C. Birney because it is such a fun and easy-to-read book, and one that I have loved for a long time, much as this cactus is the plant I have had the longest. However, Humphrey is a soft and cuddly hamster with a penchant for escaping from his cage (he always comes back, though); with those qualities in mind, I cannot bear to align him with a prickly, stationary cactus! Instead, I’m going with Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Like my slow-growing cactus, this book doesn’t really go anywhere; most of the action takes place in a single setting. It’s a deep book which makes you think; it isn’t flowery or showy, just simple and reliable, and once in a while it gives your mind a sharp jab to make you think more thoroughly about something meaningful.

Scientific Name: Schlumbergera bridgesii

Common Name: White Christmas Cactus

Where I Got It: Grandma

Age: about 2 months

Random Fact About Me: Jana is still learning about me! She’s grown up around Christmas cacti, but never been in charge of one before. I hang out in a special planter from a hook on the kitchen counter, directly across from the window so that I can get as much sunlight as possible. Of course, there really is never enough sun to satisfy me here, but it’s warm and safe and I think I am going to like it!

Book Pairing: The Carols of Christmas by Andrew Gant – First, I had to choose a Christmas book to match this plant. This specific book is perfect because it is one that I have read through before, but there is still a lot within it that I could learn. Finally, the cover is decorated with white, like this plant will be when it blooms.

Scientific Name: Various

Where I Got It: Birthday gift

Age: about 1 month

Random Fact About Me: There are so many of us in here clambering for attention that it can be difficult for any one to get the attention and nutrients we need. We’re struggling a bit at the moment, so Jana is considering repotting each of us in our own container. Our box is beautiful, but it doesn’t have proper drainage, and we are suspicious of the quality of the dirt. Plus, Jana accidentally overwatered us within a few weeks of bringing us home, which then made some of our leaves fall off. She says we’re a handful but that she is looking forward to learning about each of us and figuring out the best way to take care of us.

Book Pairing: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott – This book catches up with Jo quite a bit later in her life than we left her in Little Women. She and Professor Bhaer have a school for orphaned boys, and we get to meet a lot of them and follow along as they learn and grow. There are a lot of characters in this book, just as there are a lot of succulents in this bunch. They all have unique quirks and needs, as I am sure I will find that these plants do. It’s a fun book, although I don’t remember all of the specific details these days. I’m optimistic that learning to take care of these plants will be a similarly enjoyable experience.

*Update: Since drafting this post a few days ago, I have separated the succulents into seven containers in an effort to stop the spread of mold and potential other issues in the shared container. The picture above is from when I first got them. I am still working on figuring out what they all are, and in the future should be able to provide a book pairing for each, but at the moment I’m going to stick with this community suggestion even though I didn’t get a picture it. Several of the plants are a little stressed from being transplanted in winter (not the best time for such a task), so I’m going to hold off on taking their pictures until they are a bit more established and hopefully recovered. I am optimistic that they will perk back up and be much happier in their smaller pots. I’ll share an update and individual pictures in the spring, if things work out.

I doubt I will grow any outdoor vegetables this year, so I am glad to have these indoor plants to keep me company. My apartment simply is not set up well for plants, so anything that lives for a while must be fairly hardy. We will see how this batch does.

Do you like this kind of post? Would you like to see updates about how my plants are doing as they progress? And, do you have any plants keeping you company indoors this winter? Let me know in the comments!

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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