February’s been an eventful month full of celebrations. Valentine’s day, Danny’s birthday, our one year anniversary at the apartment, and one year being a plant mother. This is legitimately a milestone to be celebrated. Come on, you have to celebrate things that make you happy, things you’re proud of, little steps that you’re accomplishing. And this green thumb thing hasn’t exactly been the easiest thing I’ve taken up on. Growing up, my mom always had plants, and I always knew I’d take up on that someday. What I didn’t know was the amount of work necessary to properly take care of them. I also didn’t know how rewarding and incredible the entire experience would be in return.
I don’t know what it is, but plants make me happy in a way that other things don’t. I put so much value in the entire process, from buying the plant to learning about its care needs, to picking out a pot for it, and even finding the right location for it based on its light requirements. The entire thing is an adventure. And the best part of it all is seeing the plants bind each room together. It creates a sense of peace and tranquility in our home that I never thought achievable with anything else. Plants are hand down my favorite form of décor. You can put them just about anywhere, a store/boutique, coffee shop, heck even an office, and it will instantly liven up the place.
I still remember the first plant I bought and how excited I was. It was a money tree and we named it Jay Rock, (you get cool points if you can figure that one out) lol. I got it at Aldi’s, which I later realized was a bad move, because he died. He put up a fight though, and I did everything I could to help him, but some plants just aren’t meant to be. So, personal tip based on my experience, don’t buy plants at super markets. Chances are they’re not being properly taken care of and when you take them home you’ll have to fight to keep them alive. Money trees are for the most part easy to take care of, so losing this baby made me feel like a complete failure.
But that’s the thing with being a plant parent, that’s the thing most people don’t tell you. We’re all going to kill plants, that’s a given. This green thumb thing is trial and error, and you’ll never be perfect at it. The weather, our life’s, and the plants themselves are constantly going through change, and all you can do is adapt to the best of your abilities and keep on trying. So yeah, you’ve maybe killed a dozen plants like me, that’s okay. Don’t give up! You’re gonna find the right plants, figure it out and when you do, you’ll be glad you kept on going!
I’ve gone ahead and listed some tips that I’ve found to be helpful. These tips are for indoor plants as I don’t own any outdoor ones. But listen, not all of these are guaranteed to work for you. Your plants will behave according to the conditions in your home. The humidity levels, the location you’re placing them in and how much light they receive, how often and adequately you’re watering them. All of these things and more come into play. But, as long as you do some research and try your best you’ll be fine. And remember, we’re in this together. If you ever need any help please don’t hesitate to reach out, I’d love to help you and your babies!
1. ESTABLISH A WATER ROUTINE.
Pick a day of the week where you’re off or have some time at home. I usually pick my first day off to do this, but if I don’t get to it then I try to do it the following day right when I wake up before I go on with my day. Google search what your plants watering requirements are and write them down in a planner or notebook so you can check back in case you forget. This helped me out so much. You can easily figure out which ones to water based on how dry the soil is, but each plant is different so make sure to research first. You’ll have to make subtle adjustments to the routine for plants in different parts of your home or during the changing seasons. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. WHERE TO WATER
If your sink is big enough, you can water small to medium sized plants in it. I prefer this method so the excess water can easily drain out. I give bigger plants ranging anywhere from 9” or more a shower since they’re too big for the sink. For potted plants with trays you can just water them where they are using a watering can. I haven’t gotten one yet so I’m using a teapot for now. Work with what you got! A cup, a bottle, anything will get the job done.
3. HOW MUCH WATER?
First, research your plants water requirements. Once you’ve done that and planned out a watering schedule, you can figure out exactly how much water your plants need based on how dry their soil is. Do the finger test by sticking an inch or two of your finger into the potting mix. You can also use a chopstick! If it’s dark and has water marks your soil is moist. If it’s dry with no color change, it’s time to water that baby!
4. USE LUKEWARM WATER
This is essential! Plant roots are super sensitive to temperature extremes. Water that’s too hot or cold can put your plant under stress and cause a lot of damage. Just don’t do it boo. I’ve lost so many plants because I didn’t realize how important this was.
5. LET IT DRAIN
As soon as you see the excess water draining out the plant pot or filling the vase tray stop watering. Let it drain so the plant can have time to absorb and retain some of that excess water and discard what’s left over after about half an hour.
6. WATER IN THE A.M
This one sounds odd, but it’s especially important during the Summer days. This is because it will ensure that your plants roots will have enough soil to withstand the heat of a hot summer day.
7. DON’T USE A POT WITHOUT DRAINAGE HOLES
I’ve done it, we’ve all done it. We think that we’re invincible and can make anything work, but using a pot with no drainage hole will not work honey! Your plants roots will sit in water and potentially rot. If a plant you bought came with no drainage hole, just repot into a more appropriate planter.
8. WATER LESS DURING WINTER
This one is probably common knowledge. Because during the winter months’ plants receive less sun light, it slows down the process of photosynthesis and in turn the plants enter a resting phase in which they need less water. As I mentioned earlier, just adjust your watering routine according to the season.
And that’s it my friends! There’s probably a lot more tips I could have given but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Let’s learn to walk before we run. If you’re just starting out, my recommendation is to start out with easy to care for plants like the Chinese money plant a.k.a Pilea, Snake plant, or Pothos! Hope this was somewhat helpful to any of you starting on this beautiful yet rewarding journey. Stay tuned for a post on Easy to Care for Plants! And thank you for stopping by. Happy Saturday!