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Things to consider before bringing a houseplant home

by Gina C 2 months ago in garden

Houseplants 101 🪴

Things to consider before bringing a houseplant home
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I started my plant journey back in 2017 when I brought home a small potted plant. It was a spontaneous buy and looking back, I could not have been luckier with my purchase—so many things aligned without my intentional doing. For weeks the plant stayed healthy, within months I was seeing new growth, and each year I began re-potting it into larger containers. Fast forward to today, and I have a home full of houseplants which I know is all thanks to the encouragement and success I had with this one I brought home four years ago.

This first plant purchase of mine happened to be an easy-care fast-growing variety. But, unfortunately, not all houseplants have this same easy-going temperament. Because I know how discouraging it may be to bring home a healthy plant only to watch it wither and die, I’ve put together a short list of things I wish I knew, and still highly consider, whenever making a new houseplant purchase.

By Scott Webb on Unsplash

Light and Space

Simply put, plants need light to survive. It’s important to consider which space you’re hoping to place a houseplant before bringing it home, and identify what type of light that space receives throughout the day. This may influence what type of plant you get as some species can tolerate less light than others. Also, consider how much space the plant may have to grow in the spot you pick. Many of the popular leafy houseplants are fast growers and, with the right conditions, your plant may be doubling in size sooner than you think!

Water and Time

Plants also need water to live, and the amount of water to give a houseplant changes based on many factors. My biggest tip is to use a tool (your finger, a toothpick or a chopstick) and sink it into the soil to test how moist it is before watering it again. Most houseplants don’t need water until the top inch or two (or more if it's in a larger pot) of soil is dry. Be sure to note that during warmer months, a plant will need to be watered more often as the soil will dry out quicker, and in darker spots, a plant will need to be watered less often as the soil will stay wet longer. But most importantly, don’t forget to water—your houseplant is relying on you to water it, so make sure you have time for it!

Plant identification

Plants are alive. And like all other living things on earth, they come in many different varieties. After reviewing the light, space and time you can offer a houseplant, the next step is to find one that is suitable to the conditions you can offer it. Plants can be easy-care, high-light or low-light tolerant, and some need more humidity than others. A quick search on the internet will surely point you in the right direction, and this extra step is worth it to ensure the houseplant you’re bringing home will have a greater chance of flourishing in your care!

By Huy Phan on Unsplash

Bringing home a houseplant can be a spontaneous event, but with a little extra thought, you can make it that much easier for your plant to settle in its new home, and thus sooner reap the rewards of watching it push out new growth. Hopefully with this bit of info you can confidently bring home a new houseplant!


Gina C

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