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Thread: I fail at plants...

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    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    I fail at plants...

    So I have tried my hand at planting a few things in the past, and my husband is getting annoyed that I keep buying plants just to invariably kill them... Is there some easy to grow herb that is good for cooking? I have a tiny apartment and will have to keep plants in a planter in my only window in my miniscule kitchen, and if tyhere are any suggestions how do I erm... not kill them?

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    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    Basil is a good starter one. It's fairly easy to care for, but it does like things just-right as far as water and light go, so if you can get that right, you'll be able to manage anything else. It also goes well with lots of different food! Make sure you water it enough so that it's not totally dry, but let it dry out enough so that the top layer of soil gets dry (this kills off pests and fungus!) Pinch off any flowers it gets, and use the leaves often...I used to think that if I picked my herbs too much, that they wouldn't do well, but actually the opposite is true...harvest away!

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    Member Asrais's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    My favorite for the kitchen is Thyme. It's easy to grow, likes lots of sunlight, so let it live on a good sunny window sill. It doesn't mind if you let it dry out a little - watering once a week will be enough unless it's very hot. Most mediteranian herbs will grow well in similar positions - sage, orgegano, marjorem. Rosemary is fairly kill proof too - but keep it in a pot by itself as it can get big.

    Prune/ harvest regularly to keep nice bushy growth and if they are on a window sill, rotate them once a week so that they get sunlight on all sides.

    Good luck!

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    I also struggle with window herbs. I currently have basil, curly-leaf parsly, thyme and dill. The dill looks dead and began drooping within days of getting it. It is also sun-bleeched. The parsly and basil are both okay but were larger plants than the other two so maybe hardier. They all need a ridiculous amount of water. If I miss just one day, entire sections of the plants are dead by the time I realise and water them. They'll be drooping, as though thirsty, even when there is bloody MOULD growing on the surface of the soil.

    Oh and the thyme. I LOVE the smell of this herb so I really hope it survives, but this gets very leggy and tangles into the leaves of the other plants. If I take it away from the others, as I need to do to cut off the dead, sunbleeched or ridiculously long bits, it just droops and flops, limp, over the sides of the pot. It basically needs the other plants to boost it up.

    I don't think I'm really doing anything wrong. I think these are just not as happy on windowsills as we're led to believe. Or maybe only do well on south facing windows? I bought them all as kitchen herbs from the fruit and veg section of the supermarket. They're a pain in my ass, but I like the smell and taste when they're added to cooking, and will sometimes pinch their leaves just to freshen the air in the kitchen. I guess the effort is worth it.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Member Asrais's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    Jembru - I wonder if maybe your plants are missing something other than water? Have you tried giving them a seaweed solution or some epsom salts (1 tablespoon : 1 litre of water)
    Most herbs like to have at least 5 hours direct sun every day. Some can do well in shade, mint for instance.

    With most herbs, you can cut them right back and they will regrow, so you can do this with your leggy thyme. There are also species you can get that are less leggy, creeping time is one that I have found to be more compact, if trimmed regularly.

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    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    ok I'm gonna try 3 (really tiny window) and will see how they work out!

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    Member SCoyote's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    Consider getting a plant light fixture for you herbs, they generally like full sun and that is diluted through a window. Still, most herbs won't do well inside despite being touted as being easy indoors. A good way to grow basil is to get some cuttings from the grocery, stick them in a mason jar with water, they will root, same as with mint and rosemarry. they like well drained but moist soil, let dry between waterings and keep them on a tray of pebbels for humidity as indoor air is usually too dry.

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    Eldritch Priestess Willow's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    I have this... thing.... growing in my dining room. My sister (who is studying Botany at uni) gave it to me because I could never keep any kind of plant alive. I'm not sure what it's called, but it's extremely resilient. If I forget to water it, it's fine for days without any care. I've had it for about 2 months and it's still going strong. If you're interested, it might be a good starter plant to get your confidence and practice built up a bit. I'll have to bother my sister for its name, but it's not a cooking herb.

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    Member Asrais's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    Not a herb, but if you are looking for a plant that can survive anything, you can try a pot-bellied fig. I have one as a bonsai (not a true bonsai as I don't do anything to it) I water it when it starts to look a bit droopy, maybe once a month and thats it.

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    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: I fail at plants...

    I hade sage and thyme in the window... apparently my cat enjoys thyme, because she ate it... all. She just ate it, she can't actually jump onto the counter so I don't know how she even managed to get it off! Can't make her eat catnip, but holy cow the thyme! maybe I need something bigger, is a pot bellied fig (mmm pork) very large? and does it need a whole heap of sunlight?
    http://catcrowsnow.blogspot.com/

    But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness.... Which could obviously only be redeemed by passing through the fiery inferno of my digestive tract.
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