Plant Parenthood: How to Properly Care for Your Green Family

Plant Parenthood: How to Properly Care for Your Green Family

We will begin by saying this is a plant-parenthood judge-free zone. We’re the first to admit that taking care of your plants isn’t always easy, and we are constantly learning how to better care for our green family. Although we are most certainly no experts in taking care of plants, we do have a few tricks up our sleeves that we want to share with you. Remember, every plant is unique so take our advice with a grain of soil (see what we did there?) 😉.

Image via @ceveoh

We will begin by saying this is a plant-parenthood judge-free zone. We’re the first to admit that taking care of your plants isn’t always easy, and we are constantly learning how to better care for our green family. Although we are most certainly no experts in taking care of plants, we do have a few tricks up our sleeves that we want to share with you. Remember, every plant is unique so take our advice with a grain of soil (see what we did there?) 😉.

 

GENERAL TIPS & TRICKS –

  1. Assess the lighting in your space before purchasing your plants, including the direction your windows face. Most indoor houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. South-facing windows give off bright light, north-facing windows give low light, while east/west-facing windows give moderate light. If you find the sun to be too intense, a sheer curtain can do the trick to help diffuse the light. Keep in mind, cacti and some succulents such as aloe can handle brighter, direct sunlight.
  2. Identify a plant that works with your schedule. Some plants can handle more parenting-neglect in comparison to others. If you have a busy work schedule, like to travel, or are often forgetful, low-maintenance plants like succulents, snake plants, or ZZ plants might be your best bet. Just be sure they have enough light to keep them looking their best while you’re away. If you’re looking for a more hands-on plant, consider an attention-loving plant-like ferns, orchids, or air plants. These ones love an extra spritz of filtered water daily between waterings, which help keep humidity levels balanced for these more delicate plants.
  3. Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of plant death is over-watering, leading to root rot. Most times, it is better to underwater your plants than to overwater. Be mindful of only watering your plants when it needs it. Not sure when they need it? Check the soil to ensure it’s dry at least 2 inches below the surface. Dark-colored soil that feels moist, and sticks to your finger, tells you your plant has adequate water.
  4. Be mindful of the seasons. The amount of necessary water your plant needs fluctuates throughout the seasons. For example, plants need less water in the winter when they’re growing slower, and the sunlight is less intense. Signs of a thirsty plant include wilting leaves or soil that looks pulled away from the edges of the planter.
  5. Water your plants using warm water, which is easiest to absorb. Aim for the soil around the base of the plant when watering, as almost all plants (except Epiphytes and air plants) absorb water from their roots.
  6. To help your plants thrive indoors, pay attention to humidity levels to maintain your plants’ natural environment. Tropical plants including ferns and orchids prefer higher humidity environments with bright to moderate, indirect sunlight. It is recommended to mist these plants using filtered water in between waterings. Humidifiers will also help keep a more humid microclimate, plus it’s great for humans as well!
  7. Skip the fertilizer, as it often does more damage than it does good. In comparison to outdoor plants, houseplants tend to not need fertilizer to help stay alive.
  8. Get to know your plant early on. Like any friendship or parent-child relationship, it is important to adjust to co-existing, showing your plants a little extra love starting out. Do your best to learn how often your plant needs or doesn’t need water, and if it’s getting enough sun.

 

PS – Did you know that plants help reduce stress and provide other amazing benefits? In addition to lowering stress levels, plants also help improve air quality. They reduce carbon dioxide levels, increase humidity, eradicate of pollutants, as well as airborne dust levels. 

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