Do you want to try on a new role — become a father or mother? Don’t get worried, we are talking just about pretty greenery. Where to start? We have created a short guide to help you take the first steps in taking care of houseplants.
Why caring for a plant?
Plants are suitable for any person of any age, mindset, and lifestyle. They perform various roles in the home, so first of all, you need to understand why you need it. For some people, planting helps to “ground” — to feel connected with nature and observe a piece of nature on their window sill. Others choose plants in order to fill the space with positive energy. Many people follow the purpose of purifying the air in their apartment.
Understanding your motivation will help you choose the suitable plant. Perhaps, you will need an aloe to make yourself face masks, or choose bamboo to provide some positive vibes. We are pretty sure there is always a reason to have a new plant (or two), so what to do next?
Evaluate your space
Before having a plant, it is essential to inspect the space where it will be placed. Look at the area through the eyes of a plant. What is the lighting in your house? What will be the humidity in the room? Are you planning to put a plant on the windowsill, or do you want to decorate a bathroom where there is no direct sunlight?
Importantly! Suppose you live with animals or children. In that case, it is better to choose plants that do not have toxic substances in their sap or on the surface of the leaves so that there is no danger of poisoning.
Choose plants and get acquainted
Now that you know everything about your space, you can choose the perfect plant. Pay attention to your conditions first, for example, do not choose sun-loving plants if you have north-facing windows. You can start with easy-care plants, such as the ZZ plant or calla, or begin collecting a collection of succulents. When you choose a plant, read how to take care of it, and provide a little research for some pieces of care advice.
There is a list of essentials needed for every planting pro. Take notes:
Small containers, such as plastic containers, paper cups, or small clay pots, are suitable for growing seedlings. When the plants grow a bit, they can be repotted to their permanent pot. Always replant the greenery from the pots they are sold in.
Some plants like not too big containers, while others prefer to have more space for their roots. It is crucial to know that you can not plant plants in pots without a drainage hole: it causes root rot as excess water is stored in the soil.
There is a wide variety of different pots made of multiple materials. Choose one of the correct size. We recommend plastic pots for pet owners and families with children as they will not break in case of an emergency.
Soil for growing plants should combine different components: sand, peat, coconut chips, sand, clay, and others. Different plants require a specific ratio of these components. Read what kind of soil your green friend needs. You can look for a ready-made mixture, depending on the type of plant, or combine substances in the needed proportions by yourself.
Temperature and light
For most plants, a room temperature of 20-22 °C is suitable. Some do not like drafts or need additional lighting from unique lamps. You can buy them for the cold season. All plants have their life cycles, so do not worry if the pot does not grow or bloom. It may have a rest season during fall and winter. It is vital to adapt watering and fertilizers to the season — in summer and spring, the plants are more active, and in winter and autumn, most of them need less water and no fertilizers at all.
The quality of water affects the well-being of your green friends. Spring or rainwater are considered the best options - they contain all the needed nutrients and have less dangerous chemicals. Most plants respond to distilled water well; consider it as an alternative.
As for tap water, it can also be used. However, always let it sit for at least a day before using. It might contain chlorine and other dangerous substances, which are neutralized by just waiting.
Leave the fear of not being able to cope behind
Even if a plant dies (which most likely won't happen if you follow our guide), it's not the end of the world — it's an experience. We advise you to treat this process with simplicity, do not be upset if something does not germinate or dries out. You can always sow a new one or order another plant in your favorite store. Plant what you want, even if it may seem that it will not work. Many people decide not to get plans as they are worried they won’t be able to care for them properly. However, the main thing is to grow them with love, then each new leaf or flower will make you happy.