Written by: Selena Asberry-Goss
Growing up my mother had a deep love for her house plants. They were and still are incredibly beautiful and vibrant around my childhood home. The atmosphere in the house is set by the deep love she has for maintaining that life firm, patient, and nurturing. I love my mother’s home because of her care for nature and her loving nature. It is sad to say I did not inherit her green thumb; I have honestly killed every house plant given to me including the impossible to kill cactus which is a bummer.
Before the pandemic, I was usually on the go and rarely spent much time at home which if my house plants were alive, they could attest to this fact. During the fall/winter of 2020 quarantine, I had a lot of extra time in my home to reflect and just enjoy being in my home. Part of my stress relief and mental health wellness was actively taking care of my plants. I currently have several plants and some herbs basil and rosemary.
Part of my journey to developing my green thumb was research I am a huge research and take notes type of person. So, with all the free time I acquired last year I had time to sit down and develop this new interest. I had a very surface level understanding of taking care of plants. I realize that I was a little too passive in taking care of my plant friends. So here are four helpful tips for a beginner.
My first tip: Is to look at and take note of where you plan to house the plant, light source is an incredibly vital part of taking care of all plant life. If you are in the planning stages of being a plant owner and your home has very little natural light it may be a good idea to research what types of plants do better in low/no natural sunlight. If your home gets some natural lighting throughout the day that means you can get plants that thrive well during medium or indirect light, and finally, your home set up may give you great access to what is called bright or full direct sunlight which means you have the most options. Also, be mindful of where you plan to place the plant they grow and need space.
Second Tip: Research what are the actual needs of your plant baby. Low light/low water plants usually require less time and energy for their care and vice versa for plants that need high amounts of direct sunlight and overall care. I suggest starting with low light/low water needing plants it’s great to build confidence just remember they still need to be properly watered. Do your research, while some plants are beautiful to look at online sometimes, they can be incredibly finicky and harder to take care of. If you plan to be a more passive plant parent, it may be a good idea to avoid plants that require more constant care and attention.
Third Tip: Create a watering schedule or make a habit of watering your plants at specific dates and times to create a long-term habit. It may be helpful to create a spreadsheet. Make sure you remember that all plants require varying amounts of water. Too much water can be just as damaging as too little water. So, making a spreadsheet can be incredibly helpful down the line as you get more plants the goal is to become a plant parent you don’t want to kill your plant babies.
Fourth Tip: Patience is Key!! It may take some time for your house plant to get acclimated to its new home but if you give it proper love and maintain its basic needs you will be pleasantly surprised by the ending results. Taking care of plants has been proven to improve the quality of your indoor air, reduce stress levels, been therapeutic for mental health, and may boost your daily productivity.