Have a brown thumb?
Are you struggling to keep plants alive indoors? Dead plants ruining your Boho Chic decor? Here’s a few tips to get your leafy friends to cooperate in your design scheme.
Let there be light
Plants don’t live indoors in nature. Though we want them as part of our stylish look, we have to try and give them something resembling their natural habitat. They may not necessarily thrive on your floating wall shelf or living room coffee table and they definitely won’t survive in your dark bathroom. Group your plants near a window in the brightest room in your home. Use a plant stand to lift them closer to natural light. Move them to decorative locations for a dinner party or gathering of friends, but then let them live most days where they’ll receive the best light exposure.
Don’t love too much
Did you know that most people over water their indoor plants? They do! They water WAAAYYY too often. Plant roots need oxygen as well as water so they need a good drink then some time to breathe.
A myth has been perpetuated that many people seem to believe: water plants once a week. Here’s the thing, plants are specialized living organisms that do not have a default setting or a schedule. Each species, each container, each location and each type of soil you plant in has different qualities which will affect the amount of water the plant needs. Sound complicated? Keep reading.
Water like a boss
If at all possible, take your plants on a little walk to a bathtub, sink or outside where you can soak the heck out of them. (You cannot water too much, just too often). Allow water to run through and drain out the bottom at least 3 times or more. Splash the leaves and get rid of any accumulated dust. Plants LOVE this!
Now WAIT until they really, really need water again. Each plant will have its own timing. If you’re not sure, WAIT another day… or another WEEK in many cases.
Do some self-analysis
Are you a busy butterfly who forgets to tend to your horticultural housemates? Do you get plant guilt from being a tad neglectful? Grow succulents! They enjoy their independence and do better with longer waits between waterings.
Or maybe you’re the opposite: a plant fairy who loves to dote on your leafy babies? Ferns and orchids love to be misted often and watered more frequently, (but still allow them to breathe).
Careful with cute
That adorable container you found at an estate sale – does it have a drainage hole in the bottom? If not proceed with extreme caution! Remember how plants need to breathe? If there is no way for water to drain out, it’s very difficult for the roots to get the oxygen they need.
You got this
If you take the time, you can learn to happily cohabitate with all kinds of plants that will reward you with cool aesthetics and clean air. There is actually no such thing as a green thumb. You basically have to decide to care. Just show them a little interest and soon you will get to know what they prefer.
By Carolyn Hestand Kennedy, Marketing Manager & Occasional Plant Killer