There truly is nothing like bringing your first baby home – you carefully bring them into your living room or kitchen, gently open their cardboard box, and carefully remove them from their wrappings. And then…what?!
Don’t panic, first of all! One of the worst things a new plant parents can do is PANIC. Plants have individual needs and requirements, but there are a few things you should avoid doing when you just get started!
Over-or under!-water. I know, I know, that’s like saying “Don’t breathe” or “Stop buying plants after the 20th” However, overwatering can lead to pests and root rot, and underwatering can lead to shriveled, dead plants. How to avoid? Do your research. Check the water requirements of your plants before you start your weekly #WaterYourPlantsWednesday.
Being a helicopter plant parent. Don’t obsess over everything. Is that a yellow leaf?! A brown spot?! DID IT JUST DROP A LEAF???????! Don’t press the panic button. Plants change all the time, just like people. A yellow or dead leaf isn’t always a sign of the apocalypse, it can just be the plant growing and leaving the parts behind that it no longer needs. Clip it off and go about your day.
Picking the wrong type of soil. Don’t put a succulent in regular indoor potting soil, or a tropical plant in cactus soil. You can’t go wrong with a general indoor potting soil, but if you are dealing with tropical or persnickety plants you will want to do a little research into their soil preferences (and maybe even try your hand at making your own!).
Buying a plant that is not suited to your home. What exactly does this mean? For starters, it means don’t buy a bunch of bright light-only plants when your home gets medium or low light – this is a waste of your time and money! Observe the light in your home throughout the day, and evaluate what sort of light each room gets before purchasing your plants.
- Picking too large a pot for your plant. As a general rule, when it is time to upgrade your plant’s pot, you want to pick something only 1-2” larger than its current container. Why? Too much soil will leave roots unable to get the water from the large amount of soil, which can lead to soggy soil and eventually root rot. Less soil = more oxygen to roots because it dries out faster.