I have had a lot of people over the years reach out to me and ask several questions on maintaining the lives of plants. While I don't think I was born with a green thumb, I have been able to create routines of taking care that have helped me curate a healthy house garden. I hope to share easy ways to take good care of your plant bb's.
My love for caring for plants really began when I was around 16 years old, I began to have a desire to nurture and to care for something in my life. This is something I feel every so often and until I have babies, I get creative with what this looks like in my life. Plants, my george, several fish through the years, i even count Ryan too, lol. A need to take good care and to watch something flourish, I thrive off of it. Its such a beautiful process.
HOW TO SELECT PLANTS
You can select plants based off what they look like, like a tillandsia (air plant) is an eye catcher. Or if you know that you are not good with plant care right off the bat, maybe start with something very low maintenance like Ivy. Let choosing and taking care of a plant be something that is a process, dont go big or go home with this. I have thrown (probably) hundreds of dollars with of dead plants away because of that mentality. Become good at it before you invest.
COMMON MISTAKES AS A PLANT OWNER
- over watering/under watering
- lack of sun/too much sun
- extreme temperature changes
- not re-potting
- using too strong of a soil
One of the biggest reasons people kill their house plants so easily is under and/or over watering. KNOW your plants! Know which ones need what and then find a practical way of incorporating watering into your weeks schedule. A way that works for me is that I clean my house typically on Monday and Thursdays. Watering my plants is part of this for me. Its one of the things that I incorporate in my list of things to do within "cleaning house", part of the routine. This makes a worlds difference in remembering!
When purchasing a plant it is SO important that you read the tag thats comes with it OR research it on google before you purchase! I know so many people that want plants for their bedroom or bath or kitchen, the biggest thing you need to consider when choosing the type of plant is SUN LIGHT! Does the plant need a lot of a little sun?! Such a minute detail that means everything for a plant! You can have a perfect watering system but if your plant is not getting the photosynthesis it needs, whats the point? It wont make it. Know what kind of light your plant babies need.
Another large factor in the health of a plant is the temperature change. Most plants will tell you what kind of room temperature it thrives in on its tag, but then again you can always google it. Some plants don't do well by drafty windows, and some do fine. My Birds of Paradise plant recently seemed like it was dying and I read how they don't like drafts from windows, they prefer a constant warm environment. I had it in my living room which has windows all around and realized that the window I had it by was giving it too much cool air at night. I gave it a good watering, gave it draining time and then put it by a window in the warmest room of the house, within a week it began to grow again (see inset).
More times then not plants will die because as they grow, if the roots are confined to too small of a pot, they have no where to grow! Its important to keep an eye on your plants and if you notice they aren't doing well and you have been watering and sunning them appropriately, it could be because their roots are overtaking themselves. Its important to break up the dirt around the roots as well to make sure no root rot is happening and that the soil is evenly distributed around the roots.
TOO RICH OF SOIL
You don't always need the most expensive soil to pot your house plants in. Too many fertilizers and additives in soils can sometimes be too harsh for standard house plants. Its important to use a light and fluffy potting soil. Beyond the basics you can research the type of plant you want and see if it requires a certain pH within the soil. Another factor would be soil weight. If your plant needs full sun, a heavier soil is best because it retains more water, etc. There is lots to think about when selecting a soil, but for standard house plants, keep it simple.
Plants warm and purify the environments that you put them in. Don't be scared to be responsible for a plant, just take small steps at a time, creating a routine of maintenance! Don't over think it, choose plants that you can manage and start from there.