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Indoor Gardener’s Guide – For New Plant Parents

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Indoor Gardener's Guide - for New Plant Parents

I’ve always dreamed of having a dream home with lush green plants growing everywhere. That’s how I envisioned my dream home, with a vibrant aesthetic, something that lifts my spirits every time I step inside!

As soon as I moved out of my parents’ house and rented a small apartment, I started buying new plants. And I was so busy filling the space with plants that I didn’t even think about whether this plant was meant to be indoors or if I cared enough.

After filling the entire room with plants of all kinds for a few weeks, I noticed some changes. Some of them were doing well (or so I thought), and the others did not look happy. The leaves were starting to wilt and dry out, oh no! This was not a good sign.

As a new plant-obsessed parent, I wanted to know more about my babies and how to care for them. And most importantly, to know if they could be used indoors. After doing some research and talking to friends who are also great plant parents, I discovered that I was doing most things wrong – hehe, this is what happens when you don’t do your research before going to the plant store!

I figured there must be a lot of other people out there looking for plant tips for the home and garden, and my knowledge might be helpful to some of you. I’ll cover the most important care tips for your houseplants and the most common plants for the home d├ęcor. So let’s get started!

1. Water Your Plants on Schedule

Overwatering is the most common reason for houseplant death. Doesn’t that seem strange to you? After all, they need water to survive, right? Yes, but they also need fresh air. If you give too much water or if the soil is constantly wet, the amount of air surrounding the roots decreases and the roots become overworked. As a conclusion, they are prone to rot.

Each plant has different watering needs, which I will explain later, but a basic rule of thumb is soil testing. Stick your finger in the soil about an inch deep, and if it’s dry, your plant may need water. The amount of water needed also depends on the amount of light your plant receives. Plants growing in bright light need more water than those growing in dim light.

2. Study the Light Conditions in Your Home

When you buy a houseplant, the label probably states whether it prefers bright light, medium light or low light. It is very essential to keep this in mind. If the light in your home is low, you should not buy a plant labeled “bright light.”

Choose plants that match the conditions in your home. You may have a specific location in mind for your plant, but in reality, your plant will choose its own location based on its needs, which will require a bit of experimentation and reorganization on your part.

What are bright light, medium light and low light?

Direct sunlight is called bright light. Place your plant in a sunny room with a south or west facing window that gets the most sun during the day. If you place your plant right next to a window (on a windowsill), be sure to shade the light, as sunlight coming through the glass can cause sunburn. Consider the shadows in the room as a test of lighting. A well-lit room casts a strong, well-defined shadow on the wall.

Medium lighting is indirect, partial or filtered. A room with a window to the south, southeast, east or even west is excellent for a plant with these light needs. A plant with medium light needs does not need sun all day like a plant with high light needs, and it can be placed further away from the window.

Low light does not mean no light is needed. A rule of thumb I often hear is that a room that is dark for reading a book is too dark to put a plant in. Rooms with north-facing windows are ideal for plants with these requirements. Rooms with south, west or east facing windows can still work if there are trees, buildings, etc. that shade the windows.

3. Make Your Plant Comfortable First

When you bring a new plant into your home, you may want to cover it with affection (water) and repot it in a new pot, but wait. It takes about a week for the plant to get used to its new environment. The best thing to do is to put your plant in the place where you want to keep it and relax.

While it’s nice to repot the plant in a nicer pot than the one it came in from the nursery, just like you put nice clothes on your child, it takes a second for the plant to get used to its surroundings. Put the plant in the nice pot instead (still in the nursery pot). I leave my plants like this until they have outgrown the pot. Most important point: when repotting your plant from the growing pot, always choose a pot with good drainage holes.

That’s it. These steps are pretty simple, I think. Now let’s talk about the most common and simple houseplants that are easy to manage and require little effort.

My Top Recommendations for Houseplants

Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Indoor Gardener's Guide

In my opinion, this is definitely one of the easiest plants to care for. There are many types of pothos including Marble Queen, Jade Pothos (pictured), Neon Pothos, Golden Pothos, etc. This plant is not difficult and can thrive in low light.

This plant is not difficult and can thrive in low light. I have a Jade Pothos that I put in bright indirect light and it has grown incredibly fast. They are a lot of fun to grow. When the Jade Pothos is healthy, it grows quickly, and you can give away cuttings or propagate them in water to get a whole new Jade Pothos plant. This plant needs bright indirect light or low light. Also, you can water it before it dries out completely, which means you don’t have to water it often.

Heart-Shaped Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)

Indoor Gardener's Guide for New Plant Parents

I have the most beautiful Philodendron Brasil in my workplace, the darkest room in my house. The best thing about Philodendron is its ability to adapt to light conditions.

In low light this plant grows slowly, but in medium light it forms many more leaves and grows quickly. This plant is very easy to care for because it tells you exactly what it needs. When it’s time to water, the leaves start to fall, and as soon as you water them, they grow again.

This plant is in my workplace, which has three north-facing windows, but is shaded by a large tree. It grows slowly! When the soil in the center of the pot is dry, water thoroughly.

Friendship Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)

Indoor Gardener's Guide - for New Plant Parents

This plant is called a friendship plant for a reason. The mother plant produces “pups” that grow next to it in the pot. When the little ones are big enough, they can be repotted into their own pot or given to a mate! Although many people do not consider this a beginner plant, I recommend you give it a chance. If you are familiar with succulents, you will have no problems with this plant.

This plant needs a bright location. Allow it to dry out completely between waterings. The plant is prone to root rot, so it is important to water it as needed and use a cactus type soil with good drainage.

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