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Do I have green thumbs? We are about to find out…

I never really owned house plants.

I mean, there have always been a few in my parents’ house, but I don’t remember ever taking care of them (maybe water them a little in high school the few times my parents were away for more than a day and I was old enough to stay in the house?)

I remember owning one plant in college. I think it was a parlour palm. And it did survive my college life! It eventually ended up in my parent’s house, and I lost track of it after a while. I don’t think I owned a single plant while living in the US (except in my fish tanks, but that’s different). I owned a plant for a little while when I moved to Japan, but my wife and I ended up killing it. My excuse is that we also got another new living being in the house at the same time (my daughter), and it demanded all of our attention.

Then, with two kids and a pretty busy life, we didn’t own a single plant for many years. Until two weeks ago, that is.

Now that the kids are older and that we just rearranged our house, we decided that maybe it was time to try having a decent-looking interior. A few weeks ago, as we were shopping for plants to put in our garden (we do have a small garden, more about it another day), we also bought a few house plants.

A few days later, as I was at the 100-yen shop, I stumbled upon a plant section (I forgot that quite a few of these shops have such a section), and I bought more plants from the shop. Quite a few actually (in a few shopping trips). My logic was that if I only get a couple of plants, they’ll look out of place in the house and I’ll quickly forget about them. If I have a few all over the house, I’ll be more careful with them. Oh, and I also downloaded an app (called Hedira) that reminds me what to do with them and when to do it.

Also, as they’re cheap, I won’t feel as bad if I kill one or two. And I can have different species, this way I’ll learn a bit more about plant-keeping.

Three weeks later, I can say that so far so good. Most are in good shape. The only one that is worrisome is the ivy. Most of its leaves are turning brown. I’m afraid that its original location was just too humid (the soil stayed damp for many days after I watered it the first time), but I don’t really know what’s wrong with it. I guess this is my main issue right now: if there’s something wrong with a plant, I have no clue what to do and not do (I just changed the location of the ivy, we’ll see what it’ll do).

This is my “plant collection” so far. As you’ll see they’re all (except one) very small. We’ll see which ones grow and which ones don’t, I guess.


Some cactuses (or cacti, whatever you want to call them), because we need to score a few wins in case we really suck at plants and all the other ones die. We can be sure these won’t (or if they do, that’s a sign that we should stay away from plants, maybe forever).

Earth Star

Apparently, this is an earth star, but on every picture of earth stars I’ve seen, they were reddish, so maybe this is something else. It’s doing well so far (except that brown tip in the bottom left corner, but I think it was like this when we got it, and also, isn’t that what bottom leaves do when new ones grow?).


I told you that the ivy is not doing well. The number of leaves getting brown has increased since I took the picture. I’m not really sure how long it’s going to last. The plant was originally in the toilet, but as I previously mentioned, the soil was constantly humid. I moved it to my bedroom’s bookshelf – where I took the picture – but there probably was too much light. I moved it to a third spot (staircase, it has some daylight), we’ll see what happens next.


A pachira. Apparently, they’re actual trees when they grow, so we’ll see where I’ll put it then, especially because it seems to be doing well, some new leaves have already started to appear.

Parlour Plant

A parlour palm. In memory of my first plant. 🙂 Actually, I’m a bit worried about it. One stem (the largest) got damaged, I have no idea how, and I think that this part of the plant at least is dying. Maybe it won’t affect the rest of the plant. Also, I’m not sure if it gets too much light or no. It’s never in direct sunlight, but it’s facing south. I may have to move it somewhere a bit darker? Not sure.

Rubber Plant and Fake Bamboo

This tiny rubber plant and this fake bamboo are so cute. They don’t really have a definite location yet, they’re in the part of my house that is still being rearranged and reorganized. Apparently, the usual name of the “fake bamboo” is lucky bamboo, but know that it’s not actually bamboo, and I’m not totally sure why “lucky.” So far they’re doing well.

Snake Plant

This snake plant is the only “large” plant I have so far. Apparently, they’re super easy to take care of and they’re some of the best possible plants to purify the air inside a house. At first, just seeing pictures, I really didn’t find it interesting, but stumbling upon one in the shop (an actual plant shop this time), I changed my mind, and now I love it. I may even get a second one.

Venus flytrap

Of course, I had to have a venus flytrap! Like many kids, I was obsessed with them in my younger years. It was – in my opinion – the coolest plant of all. Now my own kids can’t wait for it to catch an insect. However, it’s unlikely to happen, but who knows? I’m not going to feed it blood if it starts looking sickly, I promise.

And… I totally fell in love with air plants! Apparently, they’re becoming popular in Japan, and they remind me of Florida (where some species are found in the wild). I may have gone a bit overboard with them (they all come from the 100-yen shop but two):

I love both the way they look and the fact that you can be playful with their location. So far so good with all of them. The one that seems to have just been forgotten on a piece of wood is actually doing well. It must have been damaged while in the shop, and it will probably take a long time before it looks good, but it seems healthy. It’s the first one I bought, maybe I shouldn’t have, but if it ends up looking good eventually, that’ll be something I’ll be able to be proud of.

I’m a bit worried about the last two ones. They’re some of my favorite. They’re very small and very thin, and really cute. However, some of their leaves seem to be drying. I may need to mist and water them more often. From all I’ve read, air plants are easy to take care of (I can imagine, as nobody really tends to them in the 100-yen shop), the danger is that they must not be too wet nor too dry. I’ve trusted my app so far, but these two may need water more often. Actually, let me go mist them a little now that I’m finished with this post.

Stay tuned for updates.

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