Let’s be honest, we’ve all killed a houseplant or two in our lifetimes. It just happens. One day you think your plant is thriving on life, and then in what feels like the blink of an eye, it’s dead. Along with your spirit. That is, unless you’re me. In which case, this hasn’t happened to you once or twice, but rather to every single houseplant you have ever owned in your adult life. It’s sad, but it’s true. However, there is hope! About a year ago I decided that phase of my life was over, and I was going to have not only houseplants in my home, but flourishing ones to say the least! During this year I feel like I’ve grown (see what I did there) from brown thumbs to green thumbs, and now I’m confident to share my tips with you!
ONE. Picking out your plants is really the most important part, for many reasons. If you’re a beginner, avoid plants that require lots of maintenance or care. Plants marked with a “Plant of Steel” tag are going to be your best friend. That tag basically means, give it some light, maybe some water here and there, and it will survive. My very first, and still my favorite “Plant of Steel” is my ZZ Plant. This bad boy has grown so much I’ve had to repot it three times! Those other tags you see in the plants pot, the ones I used to only look at to read its name, yeah those are super helpful too! The back of that tag is basically the plants life manual. It literally lists out how much light, water, and the temperature range the plant will do best with! Hallelujah! Secret tip: I like to keep those tags hidden from sight but still in my plant for when I forget exactly what I’m supposed to do to keep that thing alive.
TWO. You’re going to want an idea of where this plant will go during your picking-out-process. Obviously a plant marked as “low light” is not going to do well on your cute little kitchen windowsill getting direct sunlight for 6+ hours a day. However, that plant sitting in the corner of your cute little kitchen will be perfect! My top “low light” plant is the Chinese Evergreen. It sits pretty behind my couch where it does not receive any direct light. With your location in mind, pick the houseplant that has the appropriate light description listed.
THREE. Next up, soil! My fail-proof soil is the Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix. It advertises as protecting from over AND underwatering! A win-win in my book. Plus, it does all the other stuff Miracle-Gro is known for, like feeding and fertilizing or whateva! (Bonus, the back of the bag tells you exactly how to repot your plant. I mean, how was I SO bad at this before?!)
FOUR. Lastly, and most important for aesthetic purposes, is the pot or planter you choose! Pick something that goes well with your house decor; I personally love ceramic neutrals! I also make sure I stick with ones that have 1. A drain hole in the bottom, and 2. An attached plate. The drain hole helps to let the plant absorb as much or as little water as it wants, and the attached plate catches my water run off. You know, for when I accidentally over water my “keep soil on the dry side” plant. Eye roll.
Once home with your plant, soil, and pretty little pot, it’s time to create and grow!
Out of the plants I have tried over the last year, my top 3 recommendations for the beginners would be: (drum roll please) the ZZ Plant, the Chinese Evergreen, and the Snake Plant! Feel free to try these, and others during your houseplant endeavors!