House plants are the perfect way to add some life into your home. Not only do they make your home look more inviting, but they also have some great health benefits.
In this guide, we will teach you everything any beginner needs to know before buying indoor plants. We'll also give you some tips on how to take care of them so that they stay healthy and happy for years to come!
When it comes to indoor plants, there are a few things you should keep in mind before making your purchase. First, consider the amount of light that your space receives. This will help you narrow down the type of plant that will work best in your home.
If you have a spot that gets direct sunlight, you'll want to choose a plant that thrives in those conditions. If your space is more on the shady side, there are plenty of plants that will do well in low-light environments.
There are three commonly used types of light which are, bright light, medium light, and low light. Most plants are able to thrive in bright indirect light, which is often near doors and windows where there is light all day long but no necessary direct rays of sunlight. Medium direct light often refers to indirect light that's a bit farther away from the window or light source. Finally there are plants that tolerate low light, where there isn’t much natural light nearby and mostly is exposed to artificial light.
It is also important to consider that being "low light tolerant" doesn't mean it will thrive in low light, but it will survive. All plants would do best in at least medium-bright indirect light!
No matter what the kind of room, Plantsome has great options for each type of lighting.
For Low Light / indirect light Areas - Sheri, our Birds Nest Fern
For Medium Light / No Direct light Areas - Isabella, our Calathea Orbifolia
For High Light / Bright Areas - Eileen, our Fiddle Leaf Fig plant
Another key lighting factor to consider is the positioning of your windows. If they are south facing it means they will most likely have direct light for most of the day. If they are east or west facing they will have direct light for a few hours and if they are north facing, they will have indirect light. Depending on the plant you can decide where to place it in regards to the type of window.
For example, plants needing full sun should go in front of a south facing window, and plants needing bright indirect light should go either a few feet back from a south facing window or close to an east/west facing window. Lastly plants needing medium-low, indirect light can go a few feet from an east/west facing window, or in front of a north facing window.
Once you've taken light into consideration, it's time to think about watering. Again, this will vary depending on the type of plant you choose. Some plants like to be kept moist, while others do better when allowed to dry out between watering.
A good majority of plants prefer to have the top 2 inches of soil dry out between watering, but there are some exceptions (i.e. ferns, alocasias, calatheas and snake plants, zz plants, dracaenas, etc. like to dry out halfway or completely).
There are also a variety of different watering methods to consider! There is the standard watering over the top of the soil, however there is also bottom watering as well.
Bottom watering is when you fill up a basin of water (like a sink or tub) and plop the nursery pot in. It will suck in water through the drainage holes and you can leave it for 15-45 minutes depending on the size of the plant. This is especially good to do if it's a succulent type plant so it only takes the amount of water it needs.
It also means you have to consider the plant's sensitivity to the chemicals that may be in the water, such as chlorine and minerals that are found in tap water. For example calatheas prefer filtered water for this reason, and can develop brown tips in a response to unfiltered water
Once you've selected a plant, be sure to either research how often it needs to be watered or use Plantsome's website where it shows the care needed for each plant. To take it another step further, Plantsome even has the Plantsome App where you can input your plant, give it a name, and it will notify you when it needs to be watered.
Although you may see this as common sense, we also have to recognize that the frequency of watering also depends on the size of the nursery pot - small plants will dry out faster (XS plants especially), whereas larger plants are slower to dry out generally (since there's more soil to retain moisture). Remember; the general rule of thumb to follow when watering is to keep your soil moist but not soaking.
It is also important to consider if you can care for a high maintenance plant. Depending on your experience with plants and how much work you are willing to put in, choose the plant with the sweet spot amount of maintenance you will be able to handle. Once again, the Plantsome app is especially perfect for getting the hang of it as a beginner plant parent.
Air plants are another great option where they only need to be watered once a week. Not to mention they don't even require a proper watering, just a mist will do. For example a distinguished favourite between customers are terrariums where often air plants are found to thrive. Check out Billy the Terrarium, where all the supplies are given for a fun do-it-yourself project
If you don’t mind a challenge and want to see high rewards, we recommend the coolest plant amigo on the block Carl the Boston Fern
Don't forget to consider whether the plant is toxic or non toxic - this is very important if you have small children or pets. So make sure to shop pet-friendly if you do have to be conscious of that.
Fertilization varies from plant to plant so be sure to check out the care instructions to know how often to fertilize. There are a lot of options on how to fertilize from chemical to organic. We recommend a soil enhancer which is a great eco friendly option that uses plankton instead. Since most houseplants are not actively growing in the winter, fertilization is often not necessary during those months and only occurs in the summer.
The ideal temperature range to keep indoor plants healthy and happy is 15-24°C. These include common houseplants such as spider plants, peace lilies, and philodendrons. However, certain plant species (especially those native to the tropics and sub-tropics) need higher humidity levels, while others such as cacti and succulents respond well to dry conditions.
For example one of the most frequent reasons that palms die is because of lack of humidity. They require high humidity and therefore when placing your plants near air conditioners, heaters or vents, it will dry out the air much faster and is not recommended. So if you're looking for a low-maintenance plant for your home, be sure to choose one that will thrive in your local climate.
If you're thinking about repotting your plant into a new pot, you might want to hold off on that until you make sure it has drainage holes. Drainage holes are important because they allow for excess water to seep out of pots after watering, which helps to prevent root rot and protects the roots from bacteria and fungus.
So, if you're dead set on potting your plant directly in a decorative pot, make sure it has drainage holes first. No worries if it doesn’t, our nursery pots don't have drainage holes either, so we suggest keeping your plants in the nursery pots until they need to be repotted. Simply place the nursery pot right inside the decorative pot and you've got yourself a new MTV crib for your green amigo.
There are so many different types of indoor plants to choose from, so take your time and find one that you think will fit into your home perfectly. And remember, if you have any questions, the Plantsome staff is always there to help.
We hope this guide has been helpful in getting you started with indoor plants! They really are a great way to add some green into your life.