Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend and Monday so far. Today’s article is a bit different, but my absolute love for foliage needs its rightful attention. Back when I was a plant rookie, I always got so sad and upset whenever a plant of mine died. Most people think you’re just born with a green thumb, but experience has taught me that anyone can keep their foliage happy & healthy.
Are you chronologically killing your indoor plants? I know it might feel like a terrible failure, as my early records are far from perfect too. But after having plants for a few years, I have realized that all it takes are good habits and some TLC to grow your indoor jungle. Here’s a breakdown of what has helped (and still helps) my leafy friends to grow and bloom:
- Watering: This is by far the trickiest part of having plants. A little bit too much water will kill your plants and not enough water will kill them as well. Great! So, what should we do? Most people I know water their plants when they remember. I hate to say it, but this won’t work. The best thing to do is to check what plant you have and look up its care instructions online. Some plants need lots of water, others hardly any. Now you know how often to water it, you can make an easy schedule in your diary, for instance (or use an app like Waterbug). The general rule of thumb is to water sparingly: once a week, with drainage holes in the pot – water until the water flows out. In case of doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of giving not enough water than too much. Over-watering will cause root rot as the plant won’t be able to breathe. A quick moisture check by sticking your finger in the soil will help you – is it damp? No water needed.
- The environment: Growing cactuses in Southern California compared to Sweden seems like a piece of cake. Of course, it’s possible to grow succulents in darker, colder places but you will need to make extra effort. Also, the indoor environment is just as important. Different plants like different kinds of light and thus you need to know where you want to place your plants. Some plants prefer bright spaces with lots of lights, others like to stand in the shadow. The little tags on a plant in-store usually tell you how much light it needs.
- Humidity: The most popular indoor plants are tropical plants, so you will need to replicate their natural environment. Water that goes through the soil only strengthens the roots and stems. Some plants (e.g. , ferns) like their leaves to be misted with water frequently. A good tip I have seen is to leave your plant in the bathroom to soak up shower steam.
- Know your plant’s needs: If you know what your plant needs, nothing can (or should) go wrong. This refers back to point 1, as you need to look up online what kind of plant you own. In case you can’t find your plant online, try a plant forum such as Gardenweb on which there’s a specific ”identify this plant” thread.
- Remove dead leaves: A few dead leaves are normal to any plant. However, you might want to pluck them off with your hand or cut them off instead. Only two rules apply here: don’t tear into the healthy flesh of the plant and don’t take of all the dead leaves – wait until new leaves grow before removal.
- Go for easy-care plants: You may want to start off with easy-care plants. Visit your local store to ask the staff for plants that are hard to kill. I personally find ivy and aloe vera easy to grow.
- Feed your plants: Some plants require plant food and this will really help them to thrive. Once again, staff at plant shops can usually help you out. Don’t use too much plant food or it may affect your plant’s health aversely.
- Temperature: Be careful if you place your plants near any windows. A cold night may lead to the death of a plant.
- Stop relocating: Just like yourself, your plants want a permanent home as well. It might not seem like a huge shock to move your plant from one room to another, but it actually can be traumatizing for your leafy friend. A difference in light, temperature and humidity can all affect the plant’s health.
- Watch the signs: Your plants will tell when something’s wrong. Brown leaves, discolouration and saggy leaves are all signals to warn you. Pay attention to your plants as neglected signals may lead to even worse problems!
Plants are beautiful additions to any home and give a fresh vibe inside. In case you’re not convinced yet, take a look on Pinterest for ideas. In case I have a specific problem with a plant, I always turn to Gardenweb, as the people on there are experts and always try to help you. Always remember to forgive yourself when you fail – it’s not the end of the world. You can just empty the pot and start over!
Do you have a green thumb or are you a notorious plant killer?