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Nowadays, people are treating their house plants like pets – and for good reason!
After all, plants are living beings that need adequate time, care, and attention.
The difference between house plants and pets, however, is that they can actually be much harder to keep alive!
Unfortunately, not all of us can be blessed with a green thumb. Luckily there are a few simple tips that can turn anyone into a great plant parent.
Whether you’re a first-time plant owner or you’ve had a plethora of house plants that can’t seem to stop turning from green to brown, this article is for you.
Keep reading for 10 easy tips for being a good plant parent.
How to Be a Good Plant Parent
1. Get to Know Your Plant
There are so many different species of house plants, which keep things in your home diversely beautiful and fun! However, this also means that you need to research the proper care practices for every kind of plant you own.
Some plants need more care and attention than others, so figure out what your capabilities are for committing to the care needed. For first-time plant owners, it’s a good idea to opt for plants that only need to be watered once per week or less. A few of the easiest plants to take care of include: snake plants, bromeliads, pothos, and philodendron.
Once you’ve picked out your new plant baby and learned how to best nurture its health, watch how it grows and changes over time.
Are the ends starting to go brown and dry? It might be time to water it a bit more than usual or move it out of the harsh window light.
Get to know your plant and take note of its dynamic features.
2. Don’t Overwater Your Plant
It’s easy for us plant parents to get a little too excited when we bring home our new green friend.
Oftentimes, this means overwatering it to the point of no return. This is one of the most common mistakes for first-time house plant owners.
So again, do your research and pay close attention to the watering and care instructions for your specific plant type.
Tip: For most plants, the best time to water is when the first one to two inches of soil are dry. You can test this by sticking the tip of your pointer finger into the soil to test for the level of dryness.
3. Give It Room to Grow
The pot you choose for any given house plant is the home in which they will flourish and grow.
So you’ll want to make sure that you select the right one that works for your plant’s needs.
When it comes time to transplant your green goddess into a new pot because it’s outgrown the old one, put it in a pot that allows for one to two more inches of width to grow.
3. Download Plant Parent Apps
Guess what? There are a variety of apps out there that can help you properly care for your plant!
Start by downloading Planta, an app that helps you keep track of your plants’ needs. Planta offers a wide range of useful plant parent features like plant identification, care schedules, a light meter, and reminders for when to water your plants.
It truly has everything you need to become a good plant parent right at your fingertips!
4. Choose the Right Spot in Your House
Something that new plant parents often overlook is the importance of where in your house you actually put your plants. Yes, location matters to the health of your plant child!
Some plants may need to be close to a window to receive a sufficient amount of light, while others may not be able to handle the brightness of the hot sun coming through the glass.
Follow the proper care instructions for your plants and test out different spots in your house. If you notice its leaves starting to wilt, changing your plant’s designated location may be the simple remedy it needs.
5. Drainage Holes Are a Must
A lack of proper drainage in your pots may be the culprit behind all your greatest plant problems. Most plants will come already potted in a pot with drainage holes, but if yours does not, you can drill them into the pot yourself.
Of course, you don’t want water leaking all over the floors of your home, so put the drainage pot inside a cachepot (a fancy name for a decorative pot) to keep both your plant and your floors happy.
6. Be Patient With Your Plant
Just like bringing a new puppy or kitten home from a shelter for the first time, plants take some time to adjust and accumulate to their new environment.
It’s important not to panic if you notice a few leaves falling or some areas of your plant looking less than alive in the first few weeks of your purchase.
Continue to follow the proper care instructions for your plant, and it should be back to normal and thriving in no time.
7. Use High-Quality Soil
Soil is food for your plants. So it either helps them grow or it keeps them from flourishing to their fullest potential.
When it comes to being a good plant parent, spending a few extra bucks on high-quality, chemical-free soil is totally worth it!
Reminder: keep track of how wet or dry the soil is to ensure a healthy plant!
8. Talk to Your Plants
We know, this sounds a little out-there. However, it’s shown that actually talking outloud to your plants can benefit them in a couple ways.
First of all, the carbon dioxide from your breath can energize the plant’s gas exchange cycles, making it get to work and grow.
Secondly, sitting close to and talking to your plant will help you determine if the warmth and light in its environment is right for its comfort and growth.
9. Get a Humidifier
The best way to keep your plants feeling right at home is to get them in a state of feeling like they’re in their natural environment (as much as this is possible inside a house).
One way to do this is by controlling the humidity levels in your home with a humidifier!
If you follow the above tips, your plant parent skills are sure to improve.
Overall, being a good plant parent requires attentiveness and care for every plant in your home, whether its a large fern or a small aloe plant!