So, you want to be a first-time plant mom and start your own plant fam? Keeping houseplants is a simple way to make your home a bit more cozy-- especially now that we’re cooped up in our homes a little more due to COVID-19. Granted, the end of the pandemic is closing in, but that still doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a new hobby!
Having plants is an excellent way to bring in greenery when access to open spaces isn’t exactly easy. Plus, they just might also help to boost your mood, reduce tension, and create a more calming atmosphere. Sounds pretty perfect, right? We think so, too! That’s why we’ve put together this article to help those just starting out or looking for tips to be the best plant mom ever.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
In our culture, it’s sort of expected that you have a pet. If you live alone, people recommend a kitty. If you have little monsters, er, we meankids, running around, they suggest you get a dog. If you’re allergic to Fido, a goldfish is probably the way to go. But the truth is that pets aren’t for everyone. Sometimes, a plant is a better fit for a person’s personality, lifestyle, and home.
That being said, just as a dog owner is often referred to as a “dog mom,” aplant owner is often referred to as a “plant mom.”
Now, before you go and hoard all the plants you can possibly get your hands on -- here are a few things you should consider first:
Keep in mind when you bring home a new plant child, it’s not just about you anymore. Obviously, plants don’t require the same amount of attention as your human children or fur babies do -- you don’t need to take them for walks or feed them three times a day. But what you do need is to learn to be mindful of their specific needs and carve some time out of your week to devote to their care.
Making plant care a part of your weekly routine is the best way to make sure it happens consistently. It might only take a few minutes on Sunday mornings, but you still need to do itevery single Sunday. If you don’t, you won’t have a plant for very long.
Before you even think about which baby plants you want to adopt, it’s really important to decide where you want to put them first. Will your new family member stay indoors at all times, or will it stay out on the patio? Maybe in the bathroom or on your desk?
Different locations in your home will mean different conditions for the plant. Sunlight, temperature, and humidity are a few things to watch out for -- so be sure to keep these factors in mind and which conditions suit your new plant.
We love fur babies. The snuggles, the kisses, the nose boops -- we love it all. And if you’re sharing your home with one, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not all plant varieties are pet-friendly. In fact, some can be really toxic and even lethal to dogs and cats, so be sure to do your research, people. The last thing you want is your new plant child to make your other babies sick.
Here are some of the top plants to watch out for:
Like we mentioned a little earlier, some plants -- especially the tropical ones -- thrive in humid environments. Grouping plants together is one way to amp up the humidity in your home. Humidifiers/diffusers are also really convenient ways to improve your new plant’s condition -- apart from misting them! Additionally, the bathroom is also a great humid place for your leafy green babies.
Now, this is what gets most first-time plant mamas a little anxious and overly excited at the same time -- watering their plant family. Some people may have heard that it’s useful to stick to a watering schedule, but this might not be best because this often leads to overwatering. Actually, despite what many people may think,underwatering is better thanoverwatering.
The best way to check if your houseplants need a drink of good ol’ H2O is to stick your finger into the soil. If it's dry, then go ahead and water it. If the top layer feels a bit moist, skip that day and check again tomorrow.
Due to the growing demand for plant parenting, shops have been struggling to keep up. When purchasing your new plant babies, make sure your supplier sources them responsibly and ethically. There have been many reports of forests and mountains being stripped of their natural vegetation for these houseplants. Sure, it may look super cute on your bedside table or desk, but it simply isn’t worth the damage to the environment! Do your due diligence beforehand about where and how the nursery sources its plants.
Being in a pandemic, we’re sure many people have done more online shopping than what they’re used to. We’re also sure that we’re not the only ones who would admit to miscalculating sizes when it comes to purchasing plant pots (or planters) for their plant children.
This is a common mistake. Even though you may have bought an adorable four-inch plant, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should purchase a four-inch planter. Plants -- like other living things -- need their room to grow (especially plants that grow quickly).
That said, it's always better to bring home a planter that’s about an inch or two larger than the houseplant itself so that you can give it the space it needs to grow.
Lastly, keep in mind that plants -- just like humans -- are living things that go through their own ups and downs. When your new plant starts showing brown or yellow leaves, don’t get yourself in a tizzy and panic. This is perfectly normal, especially in the first few weeks as your new plants are adjusting to your home.
If you do see a few brown or yellow leaves, don’t snip them off right away. Some plants actually feed off of the nutrients from the dying leaves, so leave them on till they are nice and crispy. You might also want to keep an eye out for any bugs or signs of sickness on the leaves to help keep your plant baby healthy and happy.
Here’s an interestingstudy-- back in 2009, the Royal Horticultural Society ran a few trials on some tomato plants and found that the ones that were spoken to grew a little bit taller than the ones who were given the silent treatment. It was also women, in particular, who had the strongest effect on the plants, and that their soothing voices made them grow faster than men’s voices.
Why female voices? Well, the researchers aren’t exactly sure, but they think it could be related to women’s greater range of pitch or tone that affects the sound waves that hit the plant, and that sound has an effect on plant growth.
More research is definitely needed, but why not show your new plant some love by talking to it? Sure, your neighbors might think you’re a crazy plant mom, but who cares as long as your new family member is thriving.
Not sure what to say? Here are some nice conversation starters:
You can also tell the world about your new family member with a super cozy sweatshirt that says “Plant Mom” across the front --like this one from Famous In Real Life.
Alright, soon-to-be plant moms -- let’s dive into some of the best houseplants to add to yourbudding family:
Being a plant mom is exciting and undeniably rewarding as you watch your little bud blossom.
Don’t forget to arm yourself with a few awesome ‘plant’ t-shirts and apparel fromFamous In Real Life. Whether you want to tell the world that you “Wet Your Plants” or that you’re “Plant Based,” we have everything you need to be the coolest plant mom around.