Over the last few months I have slowly been plodding through a quarter life crisis. As thirty approaches existential dread started to seep in and I found myself desiring a new direction in life. Some impulses demanded to restart existence by moving to Korea; others wanted a whole new career path to find fulfillment. Most options seemed exhausting, so I settled on cultivating house plants because they’re much less time and attention consuming than dogs or children. Like most things in life I find the path of least resistance the most comfortable and determined to find the lowest maintenance flora possible. After some time experimenting these are the plants I would recommend to any budding botanist.
Probably the most relaxed plant in the world. If a cactus was a human being it would be the most stable stoner to exist. They’re so low maintenance that mine have survived being dropped from a second floor window and a semi accidental watering of day old coffee. If you can treated a cat in the ways I’ve raised these plants you’d be quickly arrested.
The stability of succulents and cacti, alongside their plethora of shapes, sizes and colours make them fantastic first plants. I’d recommend to any novice or person working through commitment issues because no matter how hard you try to kill them these plants are for life.
A relative of the cactus, (and technically a succulent) Aloe Vera is more temperamental to care for than their spikier cousins. Everyone I’ve spoken to has had a horror story about them falling apart or exploding their antibacterial bodies at inappropriate moments. Fortunately, mine has been nothing but a success. Since purchase it has grown twice the original size and seems to show no signs of slowing. It’s developing at such a ridiculous pace that I will soon need to register it as a room mate.
Keeping them comfortable is a breeze. They thrive on a fortnightly watering, light dusting and a thick atmosphere of depression. The watering itself relatively simple. Most house plants prefer to be stood in a tray of water, plant feed and a medium glass of Merlot over night, rather than dampening the leaves directly. By morning you’ll find their roots have guzzled the cocktail, moistening the soil and given the foliage a handsome purple hue.
After the success of rearing ready grown plants I decided it was time to create life from scratch. Lacking a laboratory and ready supply of lightning I turned towards seeds. Firstly I tried sunflowers but their soil quickly became mouldy so I threw them into the compost. Next I tried tomatoes but their vines immediately withered in my north facing room. Lastly, I trialed a £1 basil growing kit containing just the compost and seeds.
My growing technique is fantastically easy. Just stick the container in a bin bag, on its side next to a radiator. Take the plant out after a week and place it near the window. Surprisingly in a month it’s managed to sprout, grow several inches and has visible leaves. Naturally, I wouldn’t endorse this for other living beings but if you want your own pesto and the glory of creating life without changing nappies then it’s worth a shot.