You don’t need to be a farmer or have a ton of space in your home to add a little bit of green into your life. Houseplants have been a hot trend over the last year, and it’s easy to see why. Plants add more than color and beauty to your home. It’s a fun hobby that’s easy to start, and there’s a positive health factor too. Many plants help improve your home’s air quality.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a plant parent but have been unsure about where to start, you’ve found the right place. We have a quick start guide for everything you need to add some greenery to your home — no experience necessary.
Realize the huge benefits of plants
There’s another big reason why plants became so popular during quarantine; they help improve mental health. There have been studies done on the topic, and it turns out there are plenty of reasons why people should have more plants at home.
Here are a few:
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Boosts the indoor air quality
- Lowers anxiety
- Sparks creativity
- Increases productivity
You can get all that from adding a few plants to your home, pretty impressive, right?
Understand your plant parenting style
Obviously, taking care of a plant is in another universe compared to pets, and let’s not even mention kids, but plants do require care and attention.
Before you go on a buying spree, you’ll want to consider a few factors:
- Are you away from home for long periods? Plants need food and water, so if you’re out of the house for weeks, that can limit the type of greenery that will fit your schedule.
- What kind of sunlight do you have? Different plants have specific sunlight needs. If your home tends to be very bright or very dark, you’ll want to pick plants that thrive in that environment.
- What’s your budget? The great thing about plants is you can find one to fit any range. However, there are plenty of accessories, such as pots and soil, where you could break your budget if you splurge.
- Do you have allergies? Some of the most beautiful plants in the world could send you running for Benadryl and a box of tissues. If you have known allergies, research what to avoid.
- Do you have pets? Some plants are not pet-friendly. If you have a curious dog or cat, make sure you check for acceptable plants. Otherwise, your pet could end up sick.
Remember, there’s no rush. A huge part of being a plant parent is learning to embrace patience. So explore your options, look at pictures, even visit a local nursery or garden store and see what the plants on your shortlist look like in person.
Take care of your plants
Once you decide on your perfect plant and get it home, read all of the instructions that come with it thoroughly. The same is true if you got a plant as a gift. These are not suggestions, but the best advice you can get to ensure your plant not only survives but thrives.
Also, watch out for these common plant mistakes:
- Overwatering: Ask many professional plant parents, and they’ll tell you the biggest mistake they see from newbies is overwatering. Only water your plant when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry.
- Picking the wrong spot: You want to put your plant in an area where it will get the right amount of sunlight and humidity it needs.
- Having the wrong container: Many people re-pot their plants once it’s home but don’t pick a pot solely based on the design. The pot needs to be large enough for the plant to continue growing and have drainage too.
Remember when we said patience is the key to growing plants? The first few weeks are where it’s going to come into play. It usually takes at least two to three weeks for your plant to acclimate to its new home.
Consider these beginner-friendly plants
Still, feeling stumped on what type of plants might work for you? Here are a few popular starter plants that can help get the ball rolling.
These plants are very low-maintenance. They need little water but lots of sunlight. Succulents are also very affordable; you can create a mini windowsill garden on the cheap.
A pothos is a great beginner plant because it needs infrequent watering and can thrive in many locations. You can also hang a pothos from a basket in your kitchen or on a porch.
3) Spider plant
Don’t worry, the name means it has a lot of long spindly leaves. A spider plant can thrive in all styles of light and locations and will grow out quickly.
4) Lucky bamboo
Why not add some luck into your life. The lucky bamboo has been the staple desktop plant in offices for decades. So if it works there, it will in your home too.