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flowery things for when you have a black thumb…

Oh Joy's Living Room | Bust Planters

Oh Joy's Living Room | Bust Planters

Do you guys remember these bust planters in my living room? You may have seen them in my home makeover or when we baby-proofed our living room with Emily Henderson. Supposedly, succulents are the easiest plants to keep alive but I cannot seem to make them last. We've gone through at least four sets of plants that have come and sadly…gone. I either water them too much or I water them too little. I added rocks at the bottom, I tried filtered water, and sigh…I finally replaced one of them with a (don't hate me) faux succulent plant. I just couldn't stand the thought of losing another real plant to my black thumb…

Anyway, if you're like me in the plant department, I thought I'd share a few other beautiful floral things for your home that don't require a sophisticated green thumb…

Paper flowers by Blooms in the Air

Paper flowers by Blooms in the Air

…like these gorgeous paper flowers by Blooms in the Air

Vikki Chu Illustration

…the sweetest floral illustration prints by Vikki Chu

Floral Paper Straws

…and these cool floral paper straws from Terrain

{Top photo by Oh Joy}


  1. Love this post! It brings a bit of cheery encouragement to us black thumbs everywhere. We can double down with beautiful floral prints and wallpaper and leave the real plants to the pros.

  2. I am right there with ya Joy! I have killed so many plants that my husband now refuses to buy another. Funny enough, the only one I have kept alive is my fig tree which supposedly is a very fickle plant.

  3. These are such good ideas! I can say amén to your words in the flower department (unfortunately!).
    I’ve trying to find the perfect plants for my newest living room. Loved your ideas!

  4. i don’t exactly have the greenest thumb, but I’ve managed to keep alive a plant since my freshman year of college (nearly 10 years go!)
    have you ever tried getting a philodendron? yes, those ones that are strung around nearly every cheesy Chinese restaurant in America. while they are the same plant, they can look classy, and they are SOO easy to take care of. they could be wilted all the way down to the pot, and with a good watering they will be perked up in just hours. you really can’t kill the plant unless you just let it rot. it LOOKS like it needs water when it really needs water because it begins to wilt.
    plus when you trim the plant, you can make new ones by sticking the “nubs” in water to form roots! i have “gifted” my trimmings to friends and family over the years, and my 1 original plant has turned into 4 plants in my house alone.
    you must try it!

  5. I have had the worst luck with succulents too – which is embarrassing because I work at a flower nursery! I consulted with our succulent grower and he said that succulents need high light and a lot of air circulation – including air circulation in the soil, which can be accomplished by incorporating pumice or other porous rocks throughout the soil. So, I transplanted the succulents into soil with lava rocks, and moved my plants from upstairs where it was stuffy to downstairs by an open window with high light and they are thriving now! Just some tips if you ever want to try your hand at succulents again. Otherwise, those faux ones look pretty awesome.

  6. I started buying houseplants a year ago and I have killed every succulent I brought home. But a bunch of other plants are fine (spider plant, ivy, ferns). I don’t think succulents are that easy, maybe they need perfect conditions to do well. Don’t decide you have a black thumb based on them!

  7. To Joy and the other plant killers out there – you just need a different soil! It’s so easy to re-pot store bought plants. I swear by the miracle grow moisture balance kind. It protects from both over-watering and under-watering, plus has plant food mixed right in! I also water once a week with some of their indoor plant fertilizer. With the right tools you’ll have a green thumb in no time. So don’t give up! 🙂

  8. How do you know when a succulent is dead? I’m horrible at watering my plants… I only remember to do it every month or three, but I have no idea if my plants are still alive! My thumb is so non-green it has almost rotted and fallen of.

  9. Have you tried a sanservia (aka snake plant aka mother in law’s tongue)? They don’t need any water or light, but they can also withstand lots of each. I’m pretty sure they’re impossible to kill.

  10. I’m terrible at keeping things alive. I’m even terrible at keeping track of when the milk is still fresh in my refrigerator.
    However, I am obsessed with those straws–super cute!

  11. I am most definitely not a green thumb and I’ve definitely killed a few succulents in my time, too. So it’s so cool to hear that there are realistic faux succulents and so many cute floral products out there, too! I am especially loving that print + those blooms!

  12. Co cute! I, too, had a black thumb, but this past year my husband graduated me from black to brown thumb and most recently a hazel thumb! Why? Because I put all my plants (mostly succulents) outside where I forgot about them and water them maybe 3 times a month when they seem sad. I was bold recently and bought a fiddle leaf for my office. So far we are copacetic, but there’s a lot of pressure. He’s so handsome I would bummed if I killed him. Why I want to gender plants is beyond me. Does anyone else do that? Now that I have a son – more things are male. Huh. Happy Friday!

  13. I like the baby pink crepe flowers in a watering can. Lovely. I do love succulents though because you don’t have to water them often.

  14. Hey, I have a succulent business and it’s not your fault they died. The succulents and size you picked need a LOT of sun and they will die a sad death indoors, even close to a window. Also a drainage hole is a must or they will rot and die. Donkey ears do well in shade, but they are not as pretty. A smaller succulent could do well there though. If you have any questions, feel free to ask Good luck!

  15. Hello! I am in LOVE with the watercolor / sketch of the woman with the scarf and big earrings. Would you be so kind as to share the artist?
    Also— SO FUN hearing you on NPR this week!!! Very cool.


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