Plants can literally breathe life into your home. They purify the air, add style, boost productivity, and even help to keep a crazed girl calm. In return, we like to think we help them live the good life. Here are a few of our top tips on how to keep your plant happy and healthy.
Tip 1: Be picky.
Plants, like people, have different temperaments. Picking the right plant mate for your lifestyle is key. If you tend to be forgetful when life gets busy, try the ZZ plant. If you’re a frequent out-of-towner, try a succulent like the Jade plant, which stores water in its leaves. Or if your pooch can’t keep his teeth off your pumps much less a bright green friend, be sure to choose a non-toxic variety like the Peperomia.
Tip 2: Put in the work.
Having a houseplant is a relationship. Granted, it doesn’t have to be a high maintenance one. But expect that in the early days, you’ll need to get to know one another. He may have to get used to your neglect during a hectic workweek, and you’ll need to get a feel for his level of thirst. A couple weeks of putting in the work and living together harmoniously will become second nature. Nurture the relationship and you’ll be together a long time.
Tip 3: Don’t be stingy with sunlight.
Plants get their nourishment and energy from the sun, so be sure you’re providing the right amount of sunlight. If you’re lucky, you have south facing windows, which provide the most light, allowing you to situate plants far into the room. If your window is east or west facing, place plants closer to the window. And if your window faces north, your plant will be happiest right on the sill.
Tip 4: Water in moderation.
Beware – overwatering is the easiest way to kill a plant. Most plants should be watered when the first inch of soil has dried out. No need to over-think it, just stick your finger in the potting mix and go with your gut. Always, always use a planter with drainage. Pour water into the planter until the water begins to trickle into the saucer. Let the plant soak up the water for 30 minutes, then empty any remaining water from the saucer.
Tip 5: Foliage should be fun.
The most important thing is to have fun with plants in your environment. Leaves have great textures, colors, and patterns. Use plants as a way to brighten a drab room, as a centerpiece for your next dinner party, or as living art. And don’t settle for the plastic tub your plant came in. Be creative with containers and plant combinations – let it be a reflection of your style.