Do you love the ever-blossoming green and colorful spring blooms? Do you need help with getting your plants to thrive indoors? Here are some tips if your indoor greenery is looking a little blue.
A match made in heaven.
Putting a plant like Croton, which thrives and becomes even more colorful in bright light in the lonely bathroom with no windows, might not be the proper placement. When you buy plants, look at what the light does in your house and buy accordingly. Remember that your light changes throughout the year, so you may have to do some musical chairs with your plants when the light is low in winter. Putting a low upkeep Snake Plant in the no-light bathroom can be a great touch if you bring them out once a week to bathe in nice light for a day.
To water, or not to water, that is the question.
Some plants are easy to keep alive, and others may die regardless of your actions. Perhaps your issue is overwatering. Although your enthusiasm for ensuring your plants have enough water to feel like they are vacationing at a splash pad is lovely, they can get root rot which takes time to heal and dry out. You can put little notes with your plants to remember when to water, but an easy way to check is to put your finger about an inch or two in the soil. If it’s damp, don’t add water; if it’s crumbly and dry, add a bit. Although we need eight glasses of water daily, your plants do not. If needed, keep a note on your phone to remind you how often to water (ranging from every few days to once a month) your different plants.
Here’s your sign.
If you notice the leaves become soft and mushy or turning yellow, this may be your sign you are overwatering, a sign of fungus, or an imbalanced PH in the soil. Use plant food every second watering during the spring and summer months and every fourth watering during colder seasons.
Is it fake if it’s ‘real-ly’ your plant?
If you have a green thumb outside, but it won’t translate inside, or if the only way you have a green thumb is with nail polish, it’s okay to have faux plants. Going for the Instagram greenhouse vibe in the living room takes upkeep to keep all of them alive. Perhaps you have fake plants interspersed between your live ones, or you have fake ones placed in the darkest room of your house. Those can still bring you joy, and isn’t delight the whole reason to have plants in the first place? Research shows that even fake plants or pictures of plants help boost people’s moods.
Start small, or think big. You have choices.
Starting a plant from seed can be difficult, but watching the circle of life begin can bring a lot of joy. Seedlings need extra precautions, and if you are propagating plants, it can take a while. Finding a baby plant with well-developed roots will help it transfer to its new pot a little easier. Plants may panic for a few days when you change their living space; some plants are more temperamental than others. On the flip side, buying a well-established plant already blooming in a pot you love only requires you to place it in its spot in your home and water it on occasion, which means less room for ‘gardener error.’ Ask the staff at your garden store for easy plants to take care of for recommendations, and although you will pay more, you’ll have a full-sized plant in your home to adore.
Keep in mind that tending to plants is a skill that takes practice. It’s normal for a few to die as you get the hang of it. Head to your local nursery to find someone who can advise you on taking care of your plants, and remember, each plant has its way of thriving. Temperature, water, soil, and light are all things to think about, but if you keep showing up with tender loving care, your plants will eventually thrive. And if they don’t, there are always some fake plants on sale at the store.
Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse in S. Korea with a pup and houseplants galore. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and TheJoyWeaver.com