I was convinced for years that I had a black thumb and worried for the safety of any plant that got near me. Turns out if you know a little something about what you are doing it does get easier. Who would have thought?! Here are some tips on plant care from a former plant killer.
What is the benefit of owning indoor plants?
Plants can create a calm environment while making your personal space look beautiful. There is something psychological about plants that can add a peaceful space for you and those around you. They also can help with your physical health. Reducing carbon dioxide (helping you breathe better!), reduce airborne dust levels and can create humidity. So ditch those awful fake flowers and get going with the real thing!
Research before Purchasing
Learn about the different types of plants that thrive locally and how they need to be cared for if they aren’t local. Factors to consider: temperature, lighting and moisture (in the air and watering). If you are like me, I recommend going with simple, difficult to kill plants at least to start if you are just starting out.
Personally, I love YouTube for this. You can see first hand how someone is caring for a plant and the actions they are taking to make sure you do it right.
Important Terms to Understand
- Direct Lighting – You can see the sunlight touching the foliage of the plant either in a window or sitting outdoors.
- Indirect Lighting – the lighting doesn’t touch the foliage, but it is getting bright light from the room around it. Note how the sun is hitting the room at different times of day, if your plant is facing a particular direction of a window it could be getting direct light during certain times of the day or times of the year.
A great resource is this gardening glossary if you have questions about any of the terms used in the directions for care: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/dictionary.html
Potting and Soil
Is your plant in the correct pot? The right soil? The pot your plant came in might not be ideal for it to thrive. Something like my orchid does better in a special pot that allows more air to reach the soil so the roots don’t rot and allows ventilation. If it doesn’t seem to be doing well, maybe it has the wrong soil. The correct soil will be one that allows it to grow the way it would in the natural world, so it is important this is tailored to that kind of plant. Again, I suggest doing a Google search or YouTube to see what is recommended for your plant.
Sadly this was why I was killing most of my plants, I OVER watered them. Being in the desert I thought they needed more and the sadder they looked I thought they needed more water. Each plant is different but most don’t need as much water as you might think. Also, I found it interesting to find out out that temperature of the the water can help. A lot of experts recommend to water with ice cubes to not over water but for somet this is a shock to the plant so warmer water is recommended. Research or discuss with a Nursery expert how best to care for your plant.
Just like humans, some plants need food to grow. So learn if they could benefit from plant food. This would be a liquid or mix you would add to it’s watering schedule.