Through my business, and my personal life, I get asked a lot of questions about plants. The number one question is “How do I take care of my plant?”, followed closely by “How much do I need to water it?”. The soon-to-be new plant owner seems to easily dive down the rabbit hole of plant care and quickly gets overwhelmed with all the specific needs of each of their house plants. The reality of the situation is that the majority of house plants require similar care, and it’s not terribly overwhelming.
It’s my hope that through this blog post I will help ease some minds and give some easy tips for how to care for your average house plant.
Although it’s true that each plant has its own set of needs and requirements, the basics are the same. They all need the right:
- Growing medium
When you buy a plant from a shop (or from a local supplier like Terra Velta ;), the growing medium is already taken care of for you! The type of soil that each plant needs is one of the more complicated aspects of plant care, so not having to worry about it right off-the-bat is nice. A good example would be to compare succulent and cacti soil and tropical foliage soil. Succulent and cacti like sandy soils with little organic matter to hold in moisture. In comparison most tropical foliage plants like pothos, rubber trees, and ferns prefer to have nutrient rich soils that will maintain moisture.
The next plant requirement is light! Most plants like indirect, bright light. There are ones such as succulents and cacti that need as much direct intense light as you can give them, but for the most part as long as your house plants can ‘see the sky’ they will get enough light to be happy. The reason why most of your house plants don’t want to be in direct sunlight is because they come from tropical area’s and have evolved as underbrush. Tropical foliage get diffused light which is filtered by the large canopy trees.
The last plant requirement is water. The second most common question I get is how much and how often should you water your plants. The answer is never simple, because how much water your plant needs is completely dependent on how much light it gets. Your plant will use up the water in its soil as it photosynthesizes, so if you have it in a very bright area it will use up that water fast. Alternatively, if you have it in a lower light area your plant will not need as much water since it’s not photosynthesizing rapidly. This also means that as the seasons change, so do their water requirements.
This is why I tell people to really look at your plant, once a week. By that I mean look at its leaves, are they wilty? Feel the soils, is it dry? Moist? Soggy? If you really look at your plant once a week then you will start to learn how much water it uses and therefore how much water it needs!
So that’s it! The basics! If you like learning about plants, would like some friendly reminders about plant care, and want to see the kinds of plants I have in my collection and for sale, follow me on instagram @terravelta.
If you have any questions, or comments, please don’t hesitate to send me a message!