Like many of us over the course of the pandemic, I bought plants to help me cope. At the beginning of the pandemic I had 57 plants, now I have 17. But then I realized that plants have taught me not to overcomplicate things and pay attention.
Once I started paying attention to what the plants actually needed and not what I wanted them to need, my relationship with them changed. I started to pay more attention to what they needed and not what I thought they needed. And some of them…a lot of them…didn’t need to be in my house.
Choosing a plant can be intimidating if you’ve never bought one before. Obviously, plants don’t need the same amount of attention as pets or human children. You don’t need to take them for walks, and you can leave them for more days than you can a pet or human child. But they do need some attention in order to thrive and flourish.
Here are my 4 tips to new plant parents to help you make mindful decisions about the plants you buy and ensure they flourish in your home.
Before you start buying all the pretty plants you see on social media; I want you to do some research first. Be mindful of the plants that you invite into your home. Ask experts at the greenhouse, use Google or even an app to see if the plant you want can fit into your home, lifestyle, and level of commitment.
How much sunlight does your home get? Is your home full of hot afternoon sun? Or is it dim and drafty?
#3 Other living beings in your home
Do you have partners, kids, and pets? Some plants are not pet-friendly. You also need to consider plant size and how big they could potentially get. Do you have the space to accommodate a 6ft rubber tree?
#4 Parenting Style
Are you a helicopter plant papa? Or a ‘bought it and forgot it’ plant mama?
You need to be mindful of the plant’s needs and carve out some time in your schedule to take care of them. Some plants take 5 minutes on a Sunday morning. While other plants require fancy bottled water kissed by the sun gods.
See what I mean? There is so much to consider besides having a pretty-looking plant. If you’re not ready to be a plant parent, be a plant aunt or uncle and stick to flowers!
If you have done your research and considered sunlight, living beings in your home, and parenting style, here are some easy plants for beginners that have been thriving in my home.
- Aglaonema aka Chinese Evergreen: this plant is very popular at the mall and comes in a wonderful variety of colours.
- Pothos: fun fact, this plant doesn’t have to be planted in the soil! They do well in a container with water too. Just be aware that if you do decide to go from water to soil, it may not be too happy. Plus there are so easy to propagate!
- ZZ plants: this is my ‘bought it and forgot it’ plant. I water it once a month and it just flourishes.
- Some of my other favourites are multipurpose plants like Aloe Vera for skincare or Basil for cooking.
I have two final hot tips for after you have become a plant parent:
Hot tip #1
Name the plant after you. So, when you talk to it when you feed it love, water, and light, you will also be telling yourself the things you need.
Hot tip #2
I use leftover water from when I was my rice or let my banana peels marinate in a jar of water and use that as fertilizer. It’s organic and sustainable!
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