Three Steps to Successful Plant Care

Happy Earth Day! In honor of this wonderful holiday, I have written a lot of posts about indoor plants.

Plants should be incorporated into your décor not only for their aesthetics but, as discussed previously, their ability to purify the air and how they contribute wood element into your spaces. The wood element creates kindness, flexibility and healing in your life.

Of course, having plants means you’ve got to care for them. Even low maintenance plants, like rubber trees, require some level of care. Here are 3 tips for keeping those greens... well, green.

Know thy plants

The first and most important step to successful houseplant care is to know what each plant requires. Every plant needs sunlight, water and food to thrive. They don’t, however, all require the same amounts. Take time to understand the needs for each plant you’re purchasing.

Know thy home & thyself

Let’s step back for a moment. Before making your plant selection, decide where they’re going to live in your home. Perhaps you want to place that nocturnal snake plant in your bedroom. It thrives in low light, so don’t place it on the dresser next to the window that gets strong midday sun.

Similarly, some of us have greener thumbs than others. If plant care isn’t really high on your list of daily tasks, look for low maintenance plants. If you’re willing to invest more time, of course, be open to plants that might require a bit more TLC like an African violet or orchid.

Know thy tools

You can turn almost anything into a planter. However, make sure you’re providing good drainage before you place your plant in it. That cute teacup may look fabulous with a small plant, but without one or more holes in the bottom, you risk root rot caused by poor drainage. Have several different-sized containers, as well. As your plant grows, you’ll want to transplant it into something larger to accommodate its expanding root system. 

When you purchase your plants or transplant them, pick up a new bag of potting soil. You want fresh, loose, sterile soil – don’t recycle old soil or use soil from your yard. Some plants, like cacti, require a soil mix formulated specifically for their needs. Again, research your plants’ needs and buy accordingly.

After you’ve researched your plant’s specific preferences, make sure you’re providing the proper amount of water, light and fertilizer. You’ll also want to inspect your plants for pests and disease and treat them accordingly if needed.

by Anjie Cho