It's official: our generation has a widespread obsession with all things leafy, cascading, and Instagrammable. Yes, I'm talking about plants. They're in our boho-chic dorms and apartments, our feeds and saved Pinterest folders.
So if you're here, you've probably copped to the craze.
I'm guilty myself. However, it was a long road of buying, them dying, and re-buying. On the way, I learned these 5 insider tips that would have made life as a new plant parent much, much easier.
1. Figure out what kind of plant-parent you are.Giphy
Are you a future soccer mom? The type that will pack brown-bagged lunches and have a huge calendar? If so, you might be able to worry a little about your plants.
But if you're not, then you should find that out too. Knowing the level of involvement you wish to have with your plants is essential before getting started. That way, you can ask Google whether the plants you're interested in require low/high maintenance.
2. Like any good selfie, lighting is key.Giphy
Without light, your plant will die. And by light, I mean sunlight, not from a bulb. Most plants need at least 6 hours of medium ambient light to live okay, and 8 hours to thrive.
3. Location, location, location.Giphy
It's like real estate, but instead of Bel Air, the prime but oft-unused plant spot is on a sunny windowsill. However, which direction this window is facing plays a huge factor in how your plant will grow.
Take out your phone, and open up the Compass app.
Measure which direction—N, S, W, E—your window is facing. A rule of thumb is that Southwest-facing windows receive bright sunlight, perfect for succulents. Northeastern-facing windows receive less, which makes them suitable for low-light plants.
4. Overwatering kills more than under-watering.Giphy
I used to worry constantly that my plants would dry up behind my back.
As a result, I'd water way more often then needed. I thought this was okay, but it is actually more toxic than forgetting once in a while.
Soil can only absorb so much water, and any excess sits at the bottom of the pot, pooling the roots. This frequently causes root rot, which is the fastest and most deadly killer of your beloved houseplant.
Rule of thumb: water when you remember. If you don't, set a reminder.
5. Don't pay for plants—propagate.Giphy
Propagation is a neat tactic for getting in on the plant craze without losing a penny.
Chances are you've got a friend who's got a plant. Ask them if you can borrow a cutting of their plant, and put it in water by a sunny windowsill. In no time at all, your cutting will root, and develop a whole new plant.
If you do this right, you'll never have to pay for plants again!