HOUSE PLANT BASICS

Tropical Leaves 6

Plants are one of the greatest additions to any home! Many of the most popular houseplants are native to tropical environments, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach if you want to seriously cultivate a variety of these beauties. Keep these things in mind to keep your plant babies happy (: 

 

Plants aren't only a great way to dress up a room, they are little green babies that you can watch grow! There are hundreds of varieties and more are becoming popular house plants every day. Many of these plants are air purifiers, (although, keep in mind a few plants in your home won't counteract the impacts of the consumer goods we all have that emit toxins). So while you shouldn't buy plants for the sole purpose of cleaning your air, you should buy them to green up your space and watch them grow! 

Here are some things you need to keep in mind if you want to become a plant parent: 

  • It's a living thing. When you buy a plant, you'll have to care for it! like a dog or a baby (haha!) But really, buying a plant that you don't want to care for, especially a rare or exotic plant is irresponsible and can, (in some extreme cases) contribute to the endangered level of certain plants. Here are some resources that provide examples of why it is so important to be a responsible plant parent! 

  • All plants are going to be a little different and therefore have different needs. You need to understand that you will have to get to know all of your plants and their needs before coming up with things like a "watering schedule" smh 

  • Watering your plants is an art form and a science. You need to get to know your plant and how much light it likes (and will get) before knowing how much water it will need. You can't just plan to water your plants every Saturday. You have to get to know the plant, the soil, and its environment. Do research, and feel the soil or get a moisture meter. Understand that there are many different types of houseplants, and most of them want to dry out or begin to dry out before they need water again. The amount of water a plant will need is directly impacted by the amount of light it receives. Overwatering is the number one reason people kill their houseplants in my experience, so be sure to monitor the soil, and not just water blindly or on a set schedule. 

  • Many popular houseplants are native to tropical rainforest climates, they are warm, wet, and generally have filtered light because they live near the ground below the trees and foliage above that provide filtered light- it is important to consider your plant's native climate as this will help understand what the plant variety is used to! 

  • NO PLANT CAN LIVE WITHOUT LIGHT. This is how they make their food, low light does not mean no light. If you think a plant looks pretty somewhere, make sure it is also happy there! Or it won't be pretty for long!

  • Having the right pot and soil for your plant is also important. Most houseplants need well-draining soil and a pot with drainage. If you find a decorative pot you have to have, but it doesn't have drainage, consider using a plastic nursery pot within the decorative pot so the soil can drain and keep from getting waterlogged.

  • Soil aeration is important, especially for plants that like to completely dry out between watering (like snake plants, ZZ plants, cacti and succulents)