(Nearly) Impossible to Kill Houseplants

My aloe vera plant (featuring John Lennon.)

Until recently, I have managed to kill every houseplant I have ever owned. Houseplants are a joy to have in your home, but you have to choose a plant that is going to thrive in the environment that you have for it. You also have to pick a plant that is not going to be overwhelming in the care it requires if you are just starting to learn about keeping plants. So I have compiled a list of houseplants that are extremely resilient so that you can start having these beauties in your home to give you comfort and enjoyment. I have also separated them based on whether or not they are toxic for pets, however, I do have several of the toxic ones and I just make sure that they are out of reach for my pets.

Houseplants toxic to Cats and Dogs:

1.) Africa Spear Plant –

Plant soiless or in cactus mix.  Water thoroughly, then allow the potting mix to dry out before watering again. Don’t water the center of the rosette because the leaves will easily rot. Water the soil, taking care not to get water on the leaves, which will cause them to rot. If the leaves turn yellow, or get soft and mushy at their base, the plant is overwatered. Propagate Snake Plant by separating the “pups” (offsets) that grow at the base of the parent plant. Dividing them is easy. Turn the pot on its side, then ease out the plant. Use a serrated knife to cut off the offsets and pot them up individually.  Water thoroughly, then allow the potting mix to dry out before watering again. Don’t water the center of the rosette because the leaves will easily rot. Water the soil, taking care not to get water on the leaves, which will cause them to rot. If the leaves turn yellow, or get soft and mushy at their base, the plant is overwatered.

Source: https://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/snake-plant.html

2.) Aloe Vera –

May be placed outdoors in the hot summer months, but must be brought indoors during the winter. Aloe Vera plants are mostly water, so even the slightest hint of frost will freeze the plant and turn it to mush. Wait until the soil is dry at least two inches below the surface, then water slowly and deeply until you see water coming through the drainage holes. Do not water the aloe again until the soil is dry at least two inches below the surface once more. May be placed outdoors in the hot summer months, but must be brought indoors during the winter. Aloe Vera plants are mostly water, so even the slightest hint of frost will freeze the plant and turn it to mush.

Spread pebbles or shells over the exposed dirt. This will help to hold in moisture and replicate the aloe’s natural environment. Choose any type of small pebbles, rocks or shells that you like. Press them lightly into the soil at the base of the plant.

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-Your-Aloe-Vera-Plant (This is a great article to utilize if you are going to adopt an Aloe Vera, pictures included)

3.) Chinese Evergreen –

The level of care needed for this plant is quite moderate. The most important requirement is that they don’t reside in temperatures below 60ºF (15ºC). The good news is they can tolerate low lighting conditions, although I have seen it mentioned that it is only the all-green and not the variegated types that will tolerate low light. Keep moist at all times, water less in the winter. A peat based potting soil mixed with part perlite or sand to improve drainage is ideal or any other well draining potting mix. The level of care needed for this plant is quite moderate. The most important requirement is that they don’t reside in temperatures below 60ºF (15ºC). The good news is they can tolerate low lighting conditions, although I have seen it mentioned that it is only the all-green and not the variegated types that will tolerate low light. Keep moist at all times, water less in the winter.

Source: https://www.houseplantsexpert.com/chinese-evergreen.html

4.) Fiddle leaf Fig –

Put the fiddle leaf fig where it will be in moderately bright light for at least six to eight hours every day. Rotate the fiddle leaf fig plant once every week or two so it will grow straight and won’t lean toward the sun. Don’t put fiddle leaf fig close to windows that get hot, afternoon sunlight. Allow the fiddle leaf fig plant to dry out between waterings. Water only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Fertilize once a month.

Source: https://www.gardenguides.com/92183-care-fiddle-leaf-fig-plant.html

5.) Jade Plant –

One of the most important things when you care for jade plants is to make sure that they are watered properly. Never let a jade plant dry out completely. But also, do not water a jade plant too often, as this can cause root rot. Don’t water your jade plant on a schedule. Rather, water your jade plant when the top of soil is just dry to the touch.

Another important aspect of the care and maintenance of jade plants is how much sun they receive. They need full sun in order to grow properly. If they do not have full sun, they may become stunted and leggy.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Growing Jade Houseplants – Tips For The Care And Maintenance Of Jade Plants https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/jade-plant/jade-plant-care.htm

6.) Lucky Bamboo –

Water sparingly, Keep plant out of direct sunlight. May be planted in soil or in water with pebbles.

This article is perfect for explaining how to care for your Lucky Bamboo, and even shows you (pictures included) the best way to pick your plant at the store and how to replant it.

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Take-Care-of-Lucky-Bamboo

7.) Peace Lily –

  • Keep the soil moist, but do not overwater. Peace lilies can tolerate short periods of dry soil, but their leaves will start to brown if neglected for too long.
  • Peace lilies are sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water, such as fluoride, which may cause brown leaf tips. Use filtered, room-temperature water, if possible.
  • Peace lilies enjoy high humidity. Misting their leaves or placing their pot atop a moistened tray of gravel can help to increase humidity. 
    Peace lilies are not heavy feeders, so fertilize only occasionally. To encourage spring and summer growth, fertilize every 6 weeks or so with a balanced houseplant fertilizer starting in late winter.
    Peace lilies are a tropical plant, so keep them in temperatures above 60°F (16°C) and away from cold, drafty windows. They do best in temperatures upwards of 70°F (21°C).
    Keep these plants out of direct afternoon sunlight, but in a well-lit area. An east-facing window is ideal, as they will be exposed to the warmth of the morning sun but avoid the intensity of mid-day rays.

Source: https://www.almanac.com/plant/peace-lilies

8.) Pathos Vine-

  • Grow pothos in a container that rests on a bookshelf or ledge, or in a hanging container so that it’s superior cascading habit can be appreciated. Can grow to about six to 10 feet over time.
  • Because it helps clean the air of toxins, especially formaldehyde and benzene fumes, which are often found in recently painted or furnished rooms, pothos is perfect for offices and living rooms, and because it also helps remove carbon monoxide from the air, consider putting this plant in your bedroom to ensure enough oxygen while sleeping.
  • Consider repotting your pothos if the roots have consumed the pot. Choose a container one size larger than what you are taking it out of and add fresh potting soil.
  • Propagating pothos is also easy from cuttings. Simply place a cut stem that has a node on it in a glass of water and wait for it to root. Then plant in a small container.
  • Varieties such as ‘Neon’, with chartreuse leaves will brighten a dark corner.

source: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/gardening-101-pothos/

9.) Purple Shamrock –

Purple Shamrock is not overly fussy with its light requirements. The species with purple leaves will take less bright areas than its all green leaf cousins. However for a good looking plant you’re going to want an area which receives bright light, or even some sun for a few hours a day. Don’t overdo the sunshine though, too much sun will damage the leaves.

Ideally soak the soil and then allow the top inch or so to dry out before watering again. Although irregular and random watering is not a problem here, in fact the plant can often go months without adverse effects especially when it’s cooler. Misting once in a while is good for the leaves as well.

Source: https://www.ourhouseplants.com/plants/purple-shamrock

10.) ZZ Plant –

The zamioculcas zamiifolia grows fine with low levels of light, but it’s best to avoid direct sunlight. Watering: Allow the soil to become dry at the top to the touch between watering and do not over water. It’s best to water this plant less than too much because over-watering can cause stem and rhizome rot.

Source: https://www.houseplantsexpert.com › zz-plant

11.) Red Rubber Tree –

The Rubber Tree is a medium to a high light houseplant, but it will burn if it has too much exposure to direct sun. Don’t even try this plant in low light. Keep the water at a happy medium, not too wet and not too dry. Watering every 7 days is a good suggestion but it also depends on its growing conditions. This plant is restricted by the size of its planter so if you desire a bigger tree, plant in a bigger pot. Repotting every season is good for this tree too, it will appreciate the fresh soil.

Source: https://www.joyusgarden.com/rubber-plant-growing-tips/

12.) Snake Plant –

  1. Let the soil dry between waterings.
  2. During the winter, water only about once a month.
  3. Wipe leaves with a damp cloth as needed to remove dust.
  4. Snake plants are rapid growers and may need to be divided annually.
  5. Divide and repot in the spring. …
  6. If the plant is pot bound, it will flower occasionally.

Source: https://www.almanac.com › plant › snake-plants

Pet safe Houseplants:

1.) Air Plant (tellandsia verographica) –

In order to thrive, air plants need bright, indirect light. Rooms with southern or eastern facing windows make good candidates, because these spaces will be brightly illuminated with sun for most of the day. 

Watering an air plant is the trickiest piece of the air plant care puzzle. Some people swear by misting, others by soaking, and still others use a combination of both misting and soaking in their air plant care regimen.

Listed below is the source, which is actually a very informative article that goes into great detail about how to care for your new air plant.

Source: https://shop.pistilsnursery.com/blogs/the-care-blog/18673779-air-plant-care-how-to-care-for-air-plants-aeriums-and-tillandsia-mounts

2.) Cast Iron Plant –

  • Light: Semi-shade to bright, but will not tolerate direct sun.
  • Water: Keep soil continuously moist throughout spring and summer, and reduce watering in the winter.
  • Temperature: Thrives at temperatures from 60 F to 80 F. Does not like extreme cold.
  • Soil: A well-drained potting mix.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize regularly during growing season with liquid fertilizer, or use controlled-release twice during growing season.

Source: https://www.thespruce.com/grow-cast-iron-plants-aspidistra-1902740

3.) Parlor Palm –

Mulch the soil regularly to help it preserve the moisture and let it be evenly moist. The parlor palm plants care don’t like bright sun much and hence, avoid it from noon sunlight and keep it under shade in summer. This plant is also very sensitive to hard water build up.

Source: https://www.arenaflowers.co.in › blog › guide-to-parlor-palm-plant-care

4.) Staghorn Fern –

This plant is picky, grow mounted or in a basket because this plant will typically grow as a tree, low to medium light and moderate moisture.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Staghorn Fern Information And Care: How To Grow A Staghorn Fern https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/staghorn-fern/staghorn-fern-information.htm

5.) Areca Palm –

One of the easiest palm trees to grow indoors. Water them often enough to keep the soil lightly moist in spring and summer, and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings in fall and winter. Fertilize areca palm plants with a time-release fertilizer in spring. This gives the plant most of the nutrients it needs for the entire season. 5.) Areca Palm – One of the easiest palm trees to grow indoors.

Read More at Gardening Know How: Growing Areca Palm indoors https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/areca-palm/growing-areca-palm-indoors.htm

6.) Boston Ferns –

Boston ferns need a cool place with high humidity and indirect light. Dry soil is the number one reason Boston Ferns die, so be sure to keep moist soil for it or even mist the leaves to help with humidity levels.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Information On Care For Boston Fern – Care Tips For A Boston Fern https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/boston-fern/boston-fern-care.htm

7.) Echeveria –

The most important part of good Echeveria care is watering. The biggest issue with the succulents is overwatering. Provide moderate amounts of water in the hot, dry season. Let the soil dry out completely before you irrigate again.

Source: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/echeveria/caring-for-echeveria-plants.htm

8.) Spider plant –

Provide them with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and they will flourish. Water them well but do not allow the plants to become too soggy, which can lead to root rot. In fact, spider plants prefer to dry out some between waterings.

Source: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/spider-plant/spider-plant-care-gardening-tips-for-spider-plants.htm

CLICK HERE FOR A GREAT FACEBOOK VIDEO BY BLOSSOM ON HOUSEPLANT HACKS

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#WitchyWishlist

This post is devoted to books I want to purchase in the future related to witchy things. As I acquire them, I may also review them for myself. But for now, the summaries are from their Amazon listings. What is your favorite witchy book or author? I love anything by Alice Hoffman, so I am particulary excited for the Rules of Magic and actually just purchased it on Kindle.

THE RULES OF MAGIC by ALICE HOFFMAN

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique.

Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

A WITCH ALONE by MARIAN GREEN

This book carries on the tradition of the solo village witch emphasizing white rather than black magic. It is a practical manual of instruction for those who choose the solo path of study and particularly stresses the importance of being in tune with nature. As there are approximately 13 moons each year – the book is divided into 13 parts. Each section is aimed at lasting from the new moon to the dark to make the student fully aware of the changing power in the tides of the sea and the tides of the self. The moon-long sections deal with a variety of taditional arts, skills and mental exercises which enables the aspiring witch to discover the inner world of magic inside him/herself.

A Witch Alone by Marian Green

Backwoods Witchcraft: Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia by JAKE RICHARDS

In Backwoods Witchcraft, Jake Richards offers up a folksy stew of family stories, lore, omens, rituals, and conjure crafts that he learned from his great-grandmother, his grandmother, and his grandfather, a Baptist minister who Jake remembers could “rid someone of a fever with an egg or stop up the blood in a wound.” The witchcraft practiced in Appalachia is very much a folk magic of place, a tradition that honors the seen and unseen beings that inhabit the land as well as the soil, roots, and plant life.

The materials and tools used in Appalachia witchcraft are readily available from the land. This “grounded approach” will be of keen interest to witches and conjure folk regardless of where they live. Readers will be guided in how to build relationships with the spirits and other beings that dwell around them and how to use the materials and tools that are readily available on the land where one lives.

This book also provides instructions on how to create a working space and altar and make conjure oils and powders. A wide array of tried-and-true formulas are also offered for creating wealth, protecting one from gossip, spiritual cleansing, and more.

Backwoods Witchcraft by Jake Richards

MOONOLOGY by YASMIN BOLAND

In Moonology, world-renowned astrologist Yasmin Boland unveils:   • why connecting with the moon can change your life for the better 
   • powerful rituals and ceremonies for each moon phase 
   • how the moon connects us to nature and the cosmos 
   • how to work out where the moon is in each cycle 
   • international New Moon and Full Moon dates for the next 10 years 

You will also learn affirmations, visualizations, and chants to use during each phase of the moon, and will discover the role of Angels, Goddesses, and Ascended Masters during the New and Full Moons. This is a book for all those wishing to deepen their connection with nature and take their spiritual practice to a new level.

Moonology by Yasmin Boland

STICKS STONES ROOTS AND BONES by STEPHANIE ROSE BIRD

Hoodoo is an eclectic blend of African traditions, Native American herbalism, Judeo-Christian ritual, and magical healing. Tracing Hoodoo’s magical roots back to West Africa, Stephanie Rose Bird provides a fascinating history of this nature-based healing tradition and gives practical advice for applying Hoodoo magic to everyday life. Learn how sticks, stones, roots, and bones―the basic ingredients in a Hoodoo mojo bag―can be used to bless the home, find a mate, invoke wealth, offer protection, and improve your health and happiness.

Sticks Stones Roots and Bones by Stephanie Rose Bird

The Winter Sisters: A Novel by Tim Westover

Dr. Waycross knows bleeding and blistering, the best scientific medicine of 1822. He arrives in the Georgia mountains to bring his modern methods to the superstitious masses. But the local healers, the Winter sisters, claim to treat yellow fever, consumption, and the hell-roarin’ trots just as well as he can. Some folks call the sisters herb women; some call them witches. Waycross calls them quacks. But when the threat of rabies—incurable and fatal—comes to town, Dr. Waycross and the Winter sisters must combine their science and superstition in a desperate search for a remedy. Can they find a miracle cure, or has the age of miracles passed?

The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover

THE MAGUS by FRANCIS BARRETT

The Magus, or Celestial Intelligencer; being a Complete System of Occult Philosophy is a handbook of the occult and ceremonial magic compiled by Francis Barrett and published in 1801. This book facilitated the modern revival of magic by making information from otherwise rare books readily available. It may have influenced novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton and occultist Eliphas Levi. More controversially, it has been identified as an influence on Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, in Reed C. Durham, Jr.’s speech “Is There No Help for the Widow’s Son? ” Reproduction of 1801 Edition.

The Magus: A Complete System of Occult Philosophy by Francis Barrett

I will be adding more to this post periodically, as I find books that are worthy of being included. Please feel free to send me your suggestions, I would love to hear what my readers have read or enjoyed.

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Egg Shell Powder

I am crushing eggshells this morning for eggshell powder. I don’t have a mortar right now, so it’s gonna have to be the old fashioned way. 🥚Egg shell powder has so many amazing uses besides composting, so consider saving your eggshells for any of the uses listed in this post. 🌞But first, always make sure you have cleaned them by rinsing them thoroughly of any bacteria or membrane then bake them on a cookie sheet at 150 degrees for 10 minutes. 🌞

1.) Face masks: Mix eggshell powder with one egg white and allow it to dry on your face for a great skin tightening mask. Rinse thoroughly after it has dried.

2.) Skin irritation: Drop an eggshell in some apple cider vinegar and allow it to rest for a few days. Dab on irritated skin for relief of itchy skin.

3.) Powerful Cleaner: mix with soapy water and the shells work as an abrasive cleaner to remove buildup.

4.) Garden helper: Egg shells are rich in calcium. Sprinkle egg shell powder in seed holes before planting. Also sprinkle plants with egg shell powder every two weeks to enhance growth.

5.) Seedling starter: put empty shells in egg carton, poke a hole in the bottom of the shell for drainage, fill with soil and then sew seed. When seedlings are big enough to be planted, remove from carton, crack shell and plant shell and all in the ground.

6.) Houseplant booster: keep a jar of water with egg shell powder in it to water your plants with.

7.) Make your own calcium supplement: bake shells at 350 for 8 minutes. Let them cool and grind them to a powder. Add teaspoon to your smoothie or favorite drink or put in capsule. You can also give your dog a calcium supplement this way. 1/2 teaspoon per pound of dogfood. I also read that this can be used for cats, but I read the measurement for their food should be 1 teaspoon per 1 pound of food, and also that cats benefit nutritionally from leaving the membrane in the shell when it is crushed.

8.) Laundry whitener: Toss shells in a mesh bag with your laundry to remove grayness from white clothes.

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World Wide Witches

Money Bowl Spell from The Witch of Wonderlust’s YouTube channel.

I wonder what our great grandmothers/grandfathers would think about the accessibility these days of information relating to witchcraft. While there is still a fair amount of stigma floating around for witches, gone are the days of relying only on pieces of information found in old library books or forgotten diaries. Today we have access to all platforms of social media that allow us to connect with others like us, share advice for successful practices and help others by sharing our knowledge as well. That is the main reason that I started this blog to go with my Instagram page. (@witch.on.the.mountain)

Because I can! I have been in a family of practicioners and I still feel that the bulk of my knowledge has been acquired through articles and pages made my fellow Instagram or YouTube practicioners. You can even order pre-made spell kits now with blessing candles and all the accessories for you to perform your ritual!

The amount of information that you can collect is staggering, and it is easier than ever to access information about the practice historically and from a modern perspective, as well as having a heightened accessibility to tools and herbs which can all be delivered to your door in a day or two from Amazon or your favorite witchy shop.

Although I think the idea of being loud and proud about our practice would have made our elders nervous and concerned for safety reasons, I also think they would have appreciated what a tool this can be to preserve these methods and traditions for generations to come. I will still be keeping my classic book of shadows, but I would have a considerably smaller one if not for all the amazing practitioners in our online community who have shared their wisdom and experience with me.

If you are looking for some informative witch content, here is a list of some of my latest and greatest favorites:

YOUTUBE:

Witch of Wonderlust – she also does an Instagram and offers printable Grimoire pages for some of her spell work.

Harmony Nice – Enchanted Endeavors videos – Harmony will educate you on how to build an altar, crystal significance and Wiccan practices.

Behati Life – Jessica Alexandria does regular tarot readings for her viewers and educates on magickal workings.

Who is your favorite witchy instagrammer or YouTuber? Leave me a comment and I will give them a shout out on this post so that maybe their wisdom will reach another person trying to learn. Have a magickal day guys!