I love plants. They are peaceful. They are relaxing. They are alive. I have several plants that I have had for a few years now. Not all of the plants that I have owned have survived. Some died horrible deaths like my red moon cactus that didn't get enough sunlight and ended up rotting and simply falling down. I still feel bad about that one. Other plants just weren't doing that well inside and had to be planted outside. But I am proud of my plants that have survived indoors. They are mostly plants that are easy to take care of but I am still happy that I have been able to keep them alive and in good health. Some of these plants even have little stories attached to them. Let me tell you a bit about them.
I bought my twisted bamboo at IKEA for $5 several years ago. The next time we went to IKEA, I bought the straight bamboo for $1 because I loved my first bamboo so much. The straight bamboo used to be taller but I once had it in an area where it didn't get enough sunlight and some of the top dried up and had to be cut off. Both of them look much cleaner and more bare now because I recently did some major trimming, especially on the twisted one. Bamboo is really easy to take care of since all they need is a little bit of sunlight (just make sure that it is definitely getting some sunlight) and water in the vase. I usually put enough water to last it a while and I just refill it when needed. It is such a relaxing plant to look at and it is quite beautiful too. Shoots have grown from these plants and I have trimmed them off to try and grow more bamboo but they never thicken.
Golden Ball Cactus & Blue Candle Cactus:
I bought these two little guys on sale for $2 each at Canadian Tire a few years ago and they are doing pretty good. I especially love the breed names. It makes them seem less scary (because any cactus with thorns is obviously scary, right?). I will admit that I actually did get pricked by one of these little things. Can you guess which one? You'd think that it would the Blue Candle cactus, the one with the longer thorns, the one that you wouldn't want to mess with... but it was actually the Golden Ball cactus. Yes, the one covered in tiny little thorns. Those thorns may look tiny, but they really hurt if they get stuck in your wrist when you are trying to pull down the handle to lock up your window and your wrist comes down on the cactus that is sitting on the window sill. I tried to take the thorns out with tweezers but that hurt so I ended up just brushing them off and that got all of them out painlessly. Lesson learned. They are pretty easy to take care of. You just have to make sure that they get enough sunlight otherwise they will rot like my poor red moon cactus. They don't need a whole lot of watering (they originally come from hot locations, after all) so I just water them once in a while, usually when I water my other plants since I don't water them a whole lot either.
I also bought this beauty on sale (can't remember the price) at Canadian Tire at the same time that I bought the cacti. It actually used to be much smaller but it has grown quite a bit since I got it. As it grew, I kept transferring it to a larger pot (I think it's on its 3rd pot now) and it kept growing. Right now, it's leaning to one side because I assume it was reaching for the sunlight so I am currently trying to get it to lean to the other side to straighten it out a bit by leaning it against a cup to hold it up and also by leaving it leaning away from the sun so that it will hopefully try to grow in the other direction to face the sun. It really likes water and yet I still don't water it as much as I should. I want it to grow really big so that I will have a lot of aloe vera gel since the gel is really handy. Also, aloe vera plants are just beautiful and interesting to look at.
This Christmas cactus is very special. The branches actually fell off of the larger Christmas cactus that belonged to my great-grandmother. This main Christmas cactus is somewhere around 30 years old now and resides in my family's house since my great-grandmother passed away in the late 90's. I put the branches in water until they grew their own roots and then planted them in this pot of soil. The branches continue to grow and they flower a few times a year. The Christmas cactus is actually supposed to flower around Christmas and Easter but that doesn't always happen. It depends on how you care for it. You actually have to "neglect" it for a while by keeping it in a shady spot and letting the soil dry out and then water it to get it to flower. So, you could do that a while before Christmas and then again a while before Easter to get it to flower around those times. You just have to time it right, I guess. You can see a photo of it with flowers at the top of this post. These plants are pretty tough. Our main cactus has been knocked over so many times (since the pot is in a tall metal rod stand) and has lost a lot of branches but it is still living.