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I got this dracaena as a little tiny baby from IKEA my senior year of college (so 2004-05). I potted it up and kept it in my basement window, then it came home with me. When I got my current job in late 2005 after graduation, it was one of the first plants that came to my cubicle with me. It was happy. Now, 5 years later, it’s grown a ton! I repotted it about 3 years ago from the small IKEA pot into the gorgeous red pot that I just love. Last year at some point I took it home and added more soil to the pot because I noticed water was just rushing out when I watered the plant – it was all roots and no soil. This week I noticed a lot of the bottom leaves starting to yellow and I decided to face the music – I needed to up-pot it.

Dracaena in my cube in its old pot.

As I was taking it home today, someone asked where it was going! The plant is so big and spiky and I have it on a plant stand, so it really stands out in the office. I often have people comment on how pretty it is. I told them no worries, it’d be back! I stopped by a local nursery on my way home that I know has a great selection of pots, since I knew I didn’t have one of the right size at home. They tend to be a bit pricey, but I think I got a decent deal with the one I picked for $14.99. Not too bad. The old pot was about 7 inches across and squatty, and the new one is about 9 or 10 across and taller.

old pot and new pot

It was so rootbound I really had to pry it out of the old pot. Because the old pot closed in a bit at the top, it was really wedged in there. Look at all those roots! I pulled them apart a bit before planting it in its new, more spacious home.

Can we say ROOTBOUND?

I topped off the pot with a bag of rocks from the dollar store (really into using those lately as pot dressing – I like it) and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Since I love that red pot so much, I brought home a lighter green and pink dracaena I had at work and potted it up with an ivy and a pothos I had in smaller pots at home. Somehow a jade also made its way home with my from the nursery (how did THAT happen?!), so I potted that up as well (hopefully for the kitchen as long as the cats don’t find it delicious).

Repotted and happy!

The rocks that are used as top dressing for those pots? Old aquarium rocks we saved from our fish (who we lost over the winter). I always saved them after we changed them, and I finally found something to use them for! Used them on the catnip plant outside as well.

fish rock pot dressing

Good thing I am planning on taking the spiky plants back to work tomorrow…

“What plant? I don’t see any delicious looking plants on top of the microwave. Not sure what you’re referring to…”


Apparently there is a house plant census going on, which is nice because it gives me something else to think about besides the 18 or so inches of snow outside. ugh.

Now I have a small house – while we have almost an acre outside, the inside is less than 1,000 square feet. It’s…cozy. We’ll go with cozy. And I have a lot of plants inside! You never realize how many until you actually go and count.

All of my plants have to be in high places since I have 2 cats. I don’t want them to eat the plants and get sick and I don’t want half-eaten plants all over the place. So I stash plants where I can.

Let’s start in the kitchen, shall we? On top of the fridge I have quite a few plants. An arrowhead plant in one of my fave flower pots (you can’t see it in the back there, but the pot says “flower pot.”). Another small arrowhead plant I am rescuing for my mom, a few philodendron cuttings rooting in water, and a parsley and geranium I saved from the summer (that lamp is on a timer for them) among other things. This area gets some sun and stays warm from the fridge. Current count: 7.

parsley, garanium, arrowhead plant, philodendron, arrowhead plant, pothos, peace lily

Let’s move to the sink area (sorry – bad pic). I have some hanging dried herbs that I will eventually use. I also have variegated pothos and green pothos cuttings each growing nicely. I’ll pot some up every not and then. There’s opal basil, sweet basil, and sage growing in the small container on the windowsill (wish I had bought more of these pots – perfect size for the sills!). I had an orchid I had rescued for $1 sitting on the sink, but that finally croaked (I’m not great with orchids), so I now have an empty pot for another plant. The little terra cotta pots are sometimes used for seedlings in the spring, but now they hold dried herbs and dried jalapenos from the summer. We’ll count the windowsill herbs all as one, so that brings the total to 11.

green pothos, basil and sage, variegated pothos

On top of the microwave I have…more pothos! These both came from the cuttings that were started in the kitchen window. The variegated cuttings originally came from my mom, and the green ones came from a plant grouping I got on sale at walmart and separated. The pothos hanging on the laundry room door (off the kitchen) is also from that same plant, and the philodendron here (some sort of silverleaf kind) is the parent of the cuttings on top of the fridge. Current count: 13.

pothos x2 - That nesting chicken was my Mom-Mom's.

philodendron, pothos

And now on to the living room. On the TV stand is a christmas cactus my mom gave me after the holidays, another arrowhead plant (this one is called Berry Allusion and has pink in the leaves – very pretty), and a peace lily. I also have a lucky bamboo rooting. So…17
arrowhead, peace lily, christmas cactus

Then there’s the entertainment center. I won’t count the lucky bamboo hanging from the curtain rod. I wanted to root it (bought a long piece and cut it), but clearly something went wrong and the yellow is slowly moving up. But on the entertainment center is, starting from the bottom, a dracena and a pothos (same cuttings)…19
dracenea, pothos...

…and then on top is another dracenea (both of these from from that walmart bunching), a bromeliad I recently rescued and need to repot, a jade that started as one leaf with a root on it from my aunt, a dracenea magenta (or similar) that also came from the walmart arrangement, and 2 pots of pothos – the greener from the walmart bunch and the smaller variegated from the kitchen cuttings. This is the sunniest area in the house that is still cat-safe. Southeast facing, I think. So um….25?

dracenea, bromeliad, jade, dracenea magenta, pothos, pothos

This little guy is in the bathroom. Came from a friend’s going away party (she moved to Hawaii – the nerve!). I bought the lucky bamboo that I killed because I wanted 3 stems in here (one was dying when I got it). We’ll see how that works out. No windows in this room, so I move it to the TV stand in the living room for a couple days each week. It’s looking kind of “lighter green” on the stem, so hopefully it lives because I’d like to have a plant in here and I think it looks cute. And yes, I do have pictures of plants in my potty. And that makes 26.
lucky bamboo

Let’s go to the office, shall we? In here I have a smaller peace lily that I separated from the one on top of the fridge. On the other shelf is an ivy that I got back in college from IKEA. It grew like a champ when I had it at work and now it’s alive but doesn’t really grow. Might eventually take it back to work. Also you can see my overwintering hibiscus and the orchid that hubby got me a few years ago for Valentine’s day that I just can’t get to bloom again. This room gets nice morning sun, but not a lot later on. That brings us to…30.

peace lily, hibiscus, ivy, orchid

30 plants! For a house this tiny, that really is a lot. The only rooms that don’t have plants in them are the bedroom and the spare bedroom/cat room. I used to have a small bit of pothos rooting in a wall hanging (actually a candle holder, but I used it as a vase), but that room gets no sun plus the room-darkening shades are almost always closed because of hubby’s work schedule, so eventually it yellowed and died. And obviously no plants in the cat room other than the occasional cat grass over the summer.

I also have (let’s see, peace lily, dracenea, dracenea, dracenea magenta, pothos) 5 plants in my cube at work. Do I have a problem???

Herb AlmanacFEBRUARY 6: St. Dorothea‘s Day – the patron saint of florists

Since it still shows up in my searches a lot, let me give you an update on my majesty palm. I’ll post a pic later if I remember, but imagine it just like it looks in the last pic’s post, but with half of each individual leaf cut off because it turned brown.

It got to looking like hell when it was inside. I watered it often and gave it as much sun as I could (admittedly not a lot), but it started to turn brown. Once it finally got warm enough, outside it went. It’s in a largeish terra cotta pot. Basically, it’s living, but not terribly attractive. I had to cut all the fronds way back to get rid of the brown. There is one set of leaves that is now (verrrrry slowly) opening (these leaves were there when I bought the plant, but have been closed up since then) – you can sort of see it right up the middle of the old pic), so that’ll be my only real full set of leaves on it.

In sort, I will now know to only buy it for the summer and treat it as an annual. You may have better luck if you have a nice warm sun room, and I do think it will continue to be fine outside over the summer, but it looks pretty sad from its sojourn inside (which was a month or so).

Again, don’t forget that my contest ends tomorrow at 9PM Eastern!! Enter to win a cute tee if you haven’t yet!

Oh! And also, does anyone know anything about the BlogNet awards or how/by whom I may have been nominated? It showed up in my Google Alerts. I mean all the accolades the review showers on me are totally true of course (!), but I’m curious, confused, and flattered. Also uhhh I guess vote for me?

Today is the first day of March. It’s the first day the Bruster’s, a delicious ice cream place, is open for summer hours. And between this afternoon and tomorrow, Southern Maryland is expected to have up to 1 foot of snow. I will point out that on Friday, 2 days ago, it was 65 degrees.

Now it still hasn’t started snowing here yet (just rain and sleet), but who knows. My husband, who is a cop, has to work tomorrow AM, so he’s less than happy. I have to remember to call in to work to see if they’re open. I’m also supposed to participate in Read Across America tomorrow, so I’ll have to keep an eye on the school closings situation.

Now I know a lot of people are probably thinking “ok, 1 foot of snow, alright.” Well 1 foot of snow in Southern Maryland means CHAOS. I don’t really get it, because we DO get some amount of snow here every year. But any amount of snow basically equals EVERYBODY PANIC. Schools are routinely closed for any amount of ice or snow. If it snows while students are in class, expect an early dismissal. It’s kind of crazy.

So we’ll see what happens. We’ve taken preventative measures and already salted the driveway and parked all the cars in the driveway up the hill in an attempt to help my husband get to work in the AM. (If there’s any ice on the hill, you’re not going anywhere. We have a driveway up a hill and then a large flat “parking lot.”)

very sad cyclamenIn cyclamen news, it looks like crap (also excuse the crappy macbook cam pic). As I read more about the plant, it prefers to be in temps around 50 degrees and will get sad if it goes about 70. How is this a houseplant? Hopefully it’ll hang on until it gets warm enough (but not too warm!) and I can take it outside and plant it for the spring. After some reading, I moved it to a room with more light (our UMD/Terps-themed office! Where I am currently typing!) and am watering it less per suggestions, but I dunno…Any other ideas? Regardless of the state of the cyclamen, look forward to some snow pics soon (hopefully). Also have some adorable ‘cats clicking at birds’ videos I might have to post. I’ve been spoiling the birds lately (note to self – need to get more bird food and look for a container the mice can’t eat through) and the cats are, of course, loving it!


@jennahw on twitter!


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