Gardening Question: What Did I Do Wrong?

So y’all know I have a criminal past right? I am not proud to say, but I have committed murder….well of plants. I have been known to kill plants on a regular basis. I go through plants like Madonna goes through young Latin boyfriends, which means by the truckload! In particular, every plant I bring into my master bedroom dies a slow and painful death. Case in point:

See the frond to the right. Deader than a door nail. Deader than Charlie Sheen’s acting career. Dead. So my question is…do you think that my lamp may have killed that frond? Or has my black thumb struck again? Second, do you all have any suggestions for large plants that may tolerate my abuse? I have tried various fig trees, ficus, orchids and ferns — all of which bit the dust. I even “killed” a fake tree — long story but it involves trying to string lights, fire hazard and almost burning down the house. In hindsight, I think the last was a mercy killing since I am not fond of faux greenery.

In any case, any and all tips and feedback is appreciated!

Note: Don’t forget to enter the April Give Away for your chance to win my Easter tablescape!


13 thoughts on “Gardening Question: What Did I Do Wrong?

  1. Hi Courtney, I’m new to your blog. I think your fern is actually just fine! We have a few of those in our house and they do lose fronds every so often but grow new ones. Your fern looks pretty healthy and the rest of it looks quite green. You may see some new fronds starting at the base of the plant. Also, fertilizing regularly does wonders. I water mine once a week and try to stick to a regular watering schedule. You don’t want to over water and you don’t want them to dry out completely. It looks like you have a skylight right there so I think you get good light there. Unless your lamp is on all the time I don’t think that did it. I think your fern is fine! On another note…Ficus are really tempermental plants. I’ve lost a few of those myself. Hopes this helps a little!

    • Thanks Allison! That makes me feel better…I was starting to think that I was Thyhoid Mary when it came to plant life. The ficus tree was a joke — beautiful — but it literally started losing leaves the first day and then it all went downhill.

  2. I’m no horticulturalist, but I think I may know what’s happening. All the plants you mentioned killing in the past need a lot of humidity. Most bedrooms have very little. If you really really want those sorts of plants in your bedroom, you might want to consider running a humidifier at night and giving them a little misting of water from a spray bottle every now and then.

    Sorry about your plants!

  3. Hi Courtney
    I had the greenest thumb in my Brooklyn apartment…unfortunately, I didn’t bring it w/me when I moved down South, and my plants died too. A LOT of them. Sad story! I even killed an avocado plant that I grew. I finally found something that is happy to be with me – it’s a rubber plant that is thriving! Have you tried one of those?

  4. I’m part of your killer clan unfortunately. Two plants I have yet to kill:
    Mother-in-law’s tongue on the smaller side (I killed a few but have had success with more) and Fiddle Ficas on the large. The Ficas looks like a sea grape and you can train it to have a trunk resembling a tree instead of a shrub.
    Good luck!

  5. Hi Courtney,
    I’m new to your blog (found your from MGH). Just cut that dead branch off and don’t give up. I agree with the person who told you that you’re picking the harder plants to keep alive–ferns are tough and messy. The palm is one of the easier ones so hang in there. You should also try a mona loa/peace lilly. They are very EASY.


  6. Hello there.. Im new here… You’ve got a lovely blog.. and some gorgeous images.. Loved all the inspiration I see here.. and will surely be back for more!! Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

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