So, you’ve caved in and decided to join the wonderful world of plant parenthood... or you already have and you are now just realising you don’t know the first thing when it comes to plants. Don’t worry, we have all been there, and as they always say, it does eventually come naturally. However, on the off chance you need a few prompts, here are our stress free, simple steps to being the best plant parent possible... and before you know it, you will be a plant grandparent.
1. Finding The Right Spot
Finding the perfect place for your new houseplant isn't as simple as finding the nearest vacant spot. Think about the area, is it bright enough, warm enough or even humid enough. Some plants can be picky.
Is There Enough Light?
Your plant will need plenty of light, but harsh sunlight can often be harmful. Too little light and it will go dormant, fail to grow, or lose its colouring. Too bright (such as in direct sun) and it will burn, just like us!
Is It Warm Enough?
A lot of houseplants are imported after having been raised in warmer tropical climates, and would not survive in the wild here due to our lower temperatures. Does your spot have a draft or have frequent traffic? Or is it too hot and drying e.g. Near a radiator or a fire?
Is It Humid Enough?
Some houseplants like lots of moisture in the air. Too dry and the leaves might crisp up. Too steamy and they might go mouldy. Bathrooms and kitchens are perfect for plants who need a little more moisture in the air.
2. Find The Right Plant
Start off steady with one of our easy to care for plants. Look for one that you are interested in too. If you get bored, you might "accidentally" neglect it. You will learn a lot on your journey but here’s our word of warning — generally, the more flamboyantly exotic, the more of a diva.
Happy in most light conditions and droop when they are thirsty.
3. Get To Know Your Houseplant
Houseplants vary in all shapes and sizes, and as a result they all need different levels of care. Plants with big broad leaves might need dusting, and trailing plants that grow long may need pruning. Research the plant you are interested in to see if it will thrive in that spot you have had in mind.
P.S. All of our online plants have care instructions, hints and tips to help get you started.
4. Do You Have The Right Tools?
Have you got all the correct tools needed at home to make life easy and help you provide your new houseplants with the best start in their new home? Our home growers toolkit is the perfect prep for plants.
Moisture Meter — Indicates how wet the soil is below the surface level
Always look for the best option available from the most reputable sellers. There can be several issues a beginner might not notice when making their first purchase, and choosing the healthiest houseplants will give you the best start to plant parenthood.
Good, Glossy Growth
Look at the plant's leaves. Are they green and healthy looking, free from damage — or yellowing, curling, wilting, showing signs of distorted growth or developing crispy edges? Early issues with the plant appear in the leaves. A healthy plant will look healthy.
Look Out For Pests
Not all pests are easy to spot and even the most clued-up plant parent can miss some of the signs. Inspect the soil, leaves and stems. If you have noticed webbing, holes, spotting or speckling of leaves, mushy or sticky patches, then the plant might have pest problems.
Size And Shape
Are the plants in good shape? Is there new growth forming? No missing leaves, dried up stems, long stretched out branches or straggly limbs? Plants that are stressed or not having their needs met will show these signs, so keep an eye out.
6. To Repot Or Not?
Buying your first houseplant is thrilling and you can easily get caught up in the excitement of picking out pots and planters in all sizes, eager to get home to mix things up. However, a plant parent's biggest mistake can happen at this early stage before you’ve even started to look after it. Consider the following:
Let your plant adjust to its new surroundings — Houseplants don’t normally need repotting until the following spring.
Never pot too big — If your plant pot is more than 2 inches bigger than the previous, the plant can actually suffer, spending energy growing roots rather than new leaves.
Sympathetic colour palette — Sticking to a simple colour range that will compliment multiple spaces will save you re-potting too frequently and stressing the plant out.
7. Identify And Rectify
Houseplant parenthood is very much a ‘learn on the job’ undertaking, with the biggest steps being taken as you make mistakes. Search engines, blogs and our Horty Hints are going to be your best friends here.
As a new plant parent, checking in on your plant on a regular basis is best practice; keeping your eyes peeled for any changes. Some plants can develop symptoms quickly, and if not caught in time, precious leaves can be lost. Don’t be afraid to research what you don’t know; it can be the difference between life or leafless.
At Hortology we provide essential quick hints for optimum care on each plant, helping you to build your plant parenthood knowledge with easy to understand advice.
If it's been several weeks and you are finding things are going surprisingly easy... it's probably time you got another! After all, every room needs a plant. All that is left to say is welcome to the club! Now go and watch them grow!