I consider myself, by all accounts, a nurturer. Do you need something to drink? A little nosh? You look peckish. Please, I have homemade snacks prepared, and at worst a pack of almonds in my bag to get you through, so please allow me to feed you. Chilly? I have an extra sweater for that. And if your head starts to ache, there’s a full bottle of Aleve rolling around in my Mary Poppins purse.

In anything I consider to be my environment— home, office, open house, gym—hell, even a restaurant I frequent in which I consider you to be my personal guest—I want to make sure that you’re completely taken care of. I come from a background of very nurturing people when it comes to humans, so I’m really good at taking care of adults. I’m ok at taking care of children (I don’t have any of my own, not to worry.) I’m phenomenal with dogs. Not too shabby with cats. But with plants, I am a serial murderer.

I killed a bamboo. That may have been the one that broke my boyfriend.

The last nursery I went to reassured me that a whole lot of people kill succulents, so no one was surprised when I butchered one after another. It’s unclear to me whether the succulent trend has more to do with acknowledging our drought or with millennials’ excitement to get into gardening with as little knowledge as possible. Either way, every florist and nursery employee I’ve spoken to has a well-rehearsed speech about how and why you’re mistreating your succulents. I listened to that speech, and I heeded it, and they still all died.

I’ve driven a fiddle leaf fig to the precipice of its being, and helped it barely hang on, and that is the nearest I’ve come to a plant victory. Perhaps this is because it was not my plant to kill, and thus the pressure was more intense.

In some delusional moment of confidence, I purchased a Boston fern. Again, zero research aside from Google Image and deciding, “Well, that looks nice!” I asked for care instructions, I followed them as best as my little anti-Midas Touch hands could, and it lived about 6 healthy days. Then the sickness set in, and eventually I had to do the humane, responsible thing and drag it out of my office creating a trail of dead leaves behind me before I shamefully and defeatedly shoved it into the garbage in front of our building.

My killing streak hasn’t all been for naught, because for each species I’ve failed, I’ve found a good-looking, artificial replacement. There are more options out there for us black thumbs than I realized- we’re not living in a world of your grandma’s limited selection of imitation silk flowers. I’ve accrued a collection of “plant life” made from silk, acrylic, ceramic, glass, and even wax. And the best thing about my new plants is that they are IMMORTAL.

So if you, like me, love the appearance of greenery, but you (like me) are ready to own up to your shortcomings and stop killing vegetation (and wasting money…) check out these durable and reliable options.


Boston Fern:

Available here: https://www.amazon.com/Leaves-Realistic-Artificial-Hanging-Bushes/dp/B0013TKJM6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478028099&sr=8-2&keywords=realistic+boston+fern

Buy it here


Hanging Philodendron:


Buy it here

Ceramic Succulents:



Available here


Felt Succulents (whatever floats your boat):


Available here


Artichoke Candles from Maude Woods on Holly St. in Pasadena:


Or buy them right here


By Steve Clark - Clarkliving | November 1st, 2016 | Uncategorized