There is no house plant that I can’t kill.

Orchids? Rotting. Fern? On its way out. Prayer plant? Composted. I’m utterly hopeless.
The worst thing is that we have an orangery – the perfect indoor growing space!

I’m being a little melodramatic. I don’t kill EVERYTHING. There are some survivors.

We have a very healthy peace lily, and countless spider plants. There is a very healthy hoya, too, and some small succulents. One or two of the orchids are okay, I suppose.

Some of the lucky ones…

That’s about it, though – everything else struggles. Or, rather, I struggle – it’s not the plants’ fault.

My latest victim is a boston fern.

I’ve tried it in three spots, with various watering regimes, and it continues to shed its leaves at a rate of knots. It looks appalling, the poor thing. I’ll try repotting it at the weekend – not sure what else I can do.

My latest victim

“No more plants until you learn how to look after them,” my wife said, after throwing out a lifeless oxalis, which I’ve taken as a mandate to buy more gardening books instead.

She’s right, of course - nearly always is. I need to stop treating house plants like second rate citizens - they’re no less worthy of care than their outdoor counterparts.

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