House Plants for Beginners
House plants are all the rage right now..hello, #jungalowstyle! And can we blame ourselves? Plants make people happy. Especially me. I get so many questions on which plants to start out with so I figured this was worth writing about! Like i don't have enough plants in my house to look at, Instagram is FULL of plant loving accounts. Some of my favs:
If you don't have a green thumb, fear not, its in your finger somewhere. Is a thumb considered a finger? Well, whatever you get it. With a little patience you can master plant care. Its all about figuring out what your new green baby likes, dislikes, and hope that you don't kill it in the mean time. Trust me, every plant lover has lost plants here and there. Some plants are divas, fussy, bossy, others are like, super chill. You just have to get to know them. And actually pay attention to them for like an hour per week.
The biggest fear that I hear people talk about is over watering. Or "theres not enough light in my house for plants." Or "omg don't spiders live in plants?!"
If you want insight on a few quick and simple pointers as well as a list of chill house plants that I promise you'd have to TRY to kill, keep on reading!
Green Thumb Rule #1
Always pot your plant in the correct vessel. Plants don't like to have wet feet (roots) so to combat that over loving (overwatering) habit, plant your new friend in a pot that has a hole in the bottom for adequate drainage. If its an oddly shaped pot, elongated for example, fill the bottom with rocks, not extra water sucking soil. However, there are some exceptions where certain hanging plants (like string of pearls) like to be watered from the bottom. This means that you should attach a water catch to the bottom of the hanging planter so that the plant can slowly drink from its roots and this contraption also helps keep the soil moist for humidity loving plants. You can find these water catches at most hardware stores and here. My number one mistake when I first started out collecting house plants was overwatering which causes "root rot." Root rot happens when the roots are constantly drenched in wet soil.
2 words, drainage hole.
Green Thumb Rule #2
Figure out what amount of sunlight your new plant prefers. You can torture your plants with a slow and painful death if they're suffering from darkness. Nobody has time for that. Plants almost always come with care cards which tell you full sun, part sun, shade, etc... Ive found that most plants LOVE sunlight and unless they're outside in full sun all day, you can't really harm your plant with too much light (from indoors). You can however seriously injure your plants with legitimate sunburn if you leave them outside in direct sun all day. Don't do that. Indoor direct sun is much gentler than outdoor, the window protects it somewhat, duh. I rotate my plants around to the best windows in my house so they can all get extra light love. Succulents, Cacti, Air Plants, and my sassy fiddle leaf figs love my south facing windows that get the most sunlight throughout the day.
Green Thumb Rule #3
Feed your plants! If you want your plants to grow all year long and continue to sprout new leaves, give em some food! Sure water and light is enough, but if you have extra time on your hands or your obsessed with keeping your plants healthy, give them a boost with plant food. This comes in many different varieties but my favorite are the pellet form that release nutrients to your plants over time. Sprinkle in, gently toss around into the top layer of soil and let them do all the work for you. You can find a ton of different kinds of plant food, but my favorite is Osmocote Plus Smart Release Plant food, I bought mine at my local greenhouse but you can also purchase here. Its around $10 and lasts about 6 months. SCORE!
Green Thumb Rule #4
Prune your plants okay? When I say prune I mean cut off browned, yellowed, dead leaves and stalks and keep them looking good. This makes room for new growth and prevents fungus or pest growth. Doing so is also a great opportunity for you to check for the daunting fungus or pests. If you see something weird growing on your plants, like little white eggs, or tiny, microscopic webs, heads up, you have a problem. Google what to do. I usually freak out and throw the plants in the trash. Just kidding, you can save it!! Usually cleaning your plant of any signs of the problem and sterilizing the soil by microwaving it (not joking) or planting in new soil will take care of the problem. There is also a plethora of pesticide products you can purchase.
Easiest House Plants to Care for:
1. Snake Plant - good for air quality, part to full sun
2. Peace Lilly - lush jungle vibes, part sun
3. Pothos - add height to your space by hanging from ceiling, shade to part sun
4. Chinese Evergreen - cool color variations, shade to part sun
5. Norfolk Island Pine - shade to part sun
6. Air Plants (any species) - literally impossible to overwater because you don't water them. You dunk them in a bath for 15 min. requires no potting.
(pictures are from pinterest, a great source for plant care!)
My favorite plant fam member is Carl the 12 year old, 7 ft tall euphorbia/candelabra cactus! (yeah I name some of my plants) I've come to love cacti and succulents when before I was a little scared of them. They love full sun all day, and if you forget to water them for 2 or 3 weeks, they still love you.
My least favorite plant? Fiddle leaf figs. Yeah all the instagram hipsters and decor junkies want to kill me now but honestly, they are so diva, over sensitive and like, way too hard to keep happy. I'm trying though. I have 2 that are doing fine, as long as I serve their water to them on a silver platter. I love their looks, I hate taking care of them.