I have not historically had much of a knack with plants. They usually die, some from sheer neglect, some from tender, caring overwatering when I notice the neglect and feel guilty. Some just die. I have tried all different varieties, some that my friends insist are impossible to kill. I have proven otherwise. Even the cactus my mom once gave me eventually melted into goo and died. Since I grew up in a house so full of plants it sometimes reminded me of a jungle, I always felt my brown thumb to be something of a genetic anomaly.
When we moved into Kindlewick the first thing I noticed was this gorgeous houseplant on the mantle that the previous owner left, thriving in an ecstasy of good health. My heart sank. I had a feeling it would not thrive for long; my track record was dismal. The only plant I have managed to nurture long-term is this spider plant that is so hardy it did not even die when one of my roommate's cats ate it down to the soil. Other than that, I cheerfully invest in silks.
As expected, by midsummer my mantle-dwelling plant (which I cannot seem to remember the name of it though people have told me several times) was wilting and sad with yellow leaves. I knew its days were numbered.
Then God intervened in the persons of E & K who visited our house a month ago. They fancy themselves something of experts on plants so I asked for professional advice. Their helpful suggestion was that the plant was either too dry or too wet. Hmmm, thanks.
But K finally suggested that since the pot drained so fast, it probably wasn't getting enough water when I did remember to water it. She told me to give it a full glass of water every week but to spread it out to a little bit each day. I tried it and it worked! The plant perked back up and became green again.
Now it has looked happy and healthy for a month. Its little friend, the ivy, next to it finally kicked the bucket, but hey, we have to start somewhere. For now I am enjoying my houseplant successes.