6 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GROW HOUSEPLANTS: How to grow like a pro
It’s no secret winter isn’t our favorite season. And yet, we’ve had to rethink a lot of things this year, haven’t we? So, like most people, we are trying to put a positive spin on whatever we can. We’ve cozied up to the fire, binged Netflix, Apple TV and Prime series, cleaned, organized, and cleaned, again. We’re cooking more (and/or ordering out more), working and working out from home. And yet, we still get the winter blahs.
Plants have always come to the rescue for us.
So, we want to share some of the things we’ve learned over the years to keep them happy…and keep you happy.
1) Your plant does best in a certain type of light.
Start by checking your plant tag, which normally gives you a clue about how much light your plant likes. We also list basic light requirements on our website. Generally speaking, most houseplants do best in bright, but indirect light, rather than the hottest afternoon rays.
If you’re unsure, please ask someone in the shop.
2) Your plant loves water, but not too much.
In our experience, most people over water their plants. Most of us mean well, but we’re often not sure about water needs and forget when we did it last.
First, check your plant tag for water requirements and hop onto the Houseplants section of our site to check for basic water requirements. Always talk to an expert in the shop if you have questions.
Most plants do best with a good watering (some with an occasional soak), but do not like to sit in water. Drainage is key, so buy pots with a saucer or add one when you have a drainage hole. If not, add pebbles or stone to the bottom of your pot to create a reservoir for water as it travels through the soil.
Once you find the sweet spot for watering, set a reminder on your phone to check your plant and water on a schedule.
3) Plants like to eat, too.
It’s funny, because most people were never taught to fertilize their plants. They know they are alive and that they require water to live (just like us), but forget they need food.
Once again, check your plant tag and our online Houseplant section for specific fertilizing recommendations, or ask someone in the shop. A good all-purpose fertilizer we use here and at home for houseplants and porch pots is Jack’s Classic All Purpose Plant Food.
4) Adding plants is like adding an air purifier.
You probably already know this, but plants clean the air we breathe and add moisture. The money tree for example, removes chemicals and pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde from the air. So does the snake plant. Orchids and bromeliads are known for their nighttime oxygen production, along with the removal of toxic chemicals.
I personally love knowing this when our house is sealed like a Ziploc bag for months on end.
5) Plants make us happier.
This is not warm and fuzzy wishful thinking. Studies show that having potted plants and/or visible signs of nature at work, school and hospitals is shown to improve well-being, reduce anxiety, even lower blood pressure.
Ok, and this is new to me, but plants have a microbe in their soil called M. vaccae (nicknamed ‘outdoorphins,’ get it?!) that works like a natural antidepressant and stimulates serotonin production.
6) You can buy them online and pick them up curbside.
We just started this a year or two ago because we wanted to make it even more convenient to pick up your plants. Especially when you’re on your way home from work or you have sleeping kids in the car. And of course, Covid made this a really valuable option.
Order online in the middle of the night, in your PJs, then give us a ring when you’re pulling in to the parking lot, and we’ll run your plants to your car.
Of course you can always come in and we’d love you to, because there is still so much more to experience in store than online, including friendly experts who are here when you need them.