SOME OF THE BEST & WORST PLANT ADVICE*
*Disclaimer: Before I get into it, I will say that I am not a trained botanist, a doctor or anyone that should be giving advice that you live and die by! With that said, I do have a lot of experience and trial and error tips that can help you save time, effort and your precious plants from dying.
#1 piece of advice:
Do your research!! I can’t stress this enough. When you are at the plant shop and think, oh my gawd, look at that beautiful __________ plant!!! I obviously need it right now. I have the money for it, I have the perfect spot to put it, It totally matches my mustard coloured velvet couch, my partner will be so happy with it..
Ok, you get the picture. Just stop for a beat, breathe and think about it realistically. Do you know anything about this plant? Where is it from? What conditions does it require? Will it outgrow that perfect spot? Is it dangerous for my pet or partner? These are some of the things you should be thinking about when you are contemplating adding a new plant into your world. A world with far different conditions than the plant’s natural growing habitat. If you want that plant, you should want to keep it alive and help it flourish. Go online, do a search of the scientific name of the plant. Look for a few basic things.
Light requirements – Does it need full sun for 8 hours a day? Do you live in place that receives this much sun? If the answer is no, you might want to think twice about bringing this into your life. To keep it happy you are either going to have to move or get a grow light just to keep it alive.
Humidity – Is this cactus going to survive in my damp basement? Heck no! Again, think about where this beauty of a plant lived when it was outside. Arizona and Minnesota are not the same thing so nor is your uber dank basement vs the dry conditions you’d find in the dusty conditions in Arizona.
Space – This baby monstera plant is so cute. We should totally buy it and keep it on the dining table… Famous last words. This plant is going to take over your whole dining table.. Keep space in mind.
Toxicity – A freakishly large amount of houseplants and plants in general are not so great for our furry friends. Cats and dogs can have major issues by ingesting what you think is a harmless plant. We don’t have pets so I’m free to buy what works for our family’s allergies but please, for the love of your pet, do some research to see what is right for you (and them).
Watering – Hun, let’s buy this beautiful bonsai. Ummm, are you prepared to be home and watering this thing every two days? Some plants require the same needs as your furry friend. Feeding almost daily. Some plants need once a week and some even less. You should consider this as a crucial part of picking the right plant for you.
If you are second guessing a decision to buy that perfect plant, save yourself and the plant a world of pain and leave it at the shop.
P.s. That person working at the plant shop is another incredible resource. Plus they LOVE plants just as much as you do. Just ask! You won’t look silly, promise. They have experience with these plants and are there to help you keep this dang thing alive..
#1 Worst piece of advice:
You guessed it.. Not doing your research and having issues with keeping the plant alive, it out growing your space, having your little wee pet get sick (sad and costly in some cases). Having to find a plant sitter.. Come on, no one feels great dropping off a plant with a friend while you go to Vegas to see Karen get her drink on before getting hitched to Todd.
Ok enough from me.. Here are the real experts and their advice.
Books on Plants. There is an abundant amount of knowledge out there for plants and THE BEST is of course my friend Darryl from Houseplant Journal’s book The New Plant Parent. I have a few plants from my collection featured in it so I’m always happy to showcase it. That aside it is by far the most detailed book in the market for how to truly understand plant care.
New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family Buy Here>
A few other great reads.
Summer Rayne Oakes’ – How to Make a Plant Love You. Buy Here>
Hilton Carter’s – Wild at Home: How to style and care for beautiful plants. Buy Here>
Urban Jungle Bloggers’ – Urban Jungle. Buy Here>