When the pandemic started you may have searched for something new to occupy your mind. Me? I bought plants (and baked banana bread, obviously). Starting March 2020, I anticipated we’d be in for an unknown period of increased alone time and presence at home, along with a general sense of boredom. Most of our usual external coping, activities, and events would come to a halt.
At that time, I was going through a phase of intense growth in my life where I recently moved to a new city for a job away from mostly everything I knew. Comfort was slowly building along with calmness that I could now have the space and time to settle in. What did I want to do with this time? I definitely missed my family pets back home. There is something about taking care of a living thing, whether a plant, veggie garden, pet, human; this is what I found in plants.
I started off with two plants that I knew absolutely nothing about and had never heard of – I just loved the way they looked. Plant care seemed easy…water them regularly, set them in sunlight, and don’t let them die. Simple, right? I got to know them for a few days, read up on what they need (indirect sunlight [OK so like sun, but not really?], water when the first two inches are dry, let the water drain, and humidity). I enjoyed learning about how to best take care of my two new beauties and even ended up naming them Moira and Twyla after one of my favorite shows (IYKYK). I also started my Instagram account knowing I wanted to share my plants and my journey!
All that being said, there are many wonderful reasons to add plants to your home – to clean the air (yes!), add greenery and life into a room or space, to learn something new and pick up a hobby, or to just have something beautiful to take care of. I’ve rounded up a couple easy to care for plants below along with some starter tips for indoor plant care that I’ve learned along the way. By no means am I an expert, however I only learned more after jumping into it and starting with my first two plants! If you’re on the fence or hesitant, I hope the following can help you to get started!
The English Ivy is one of the easiest plants to take care of. Mine has grown so much in 7 months! I just keep her in a well-drained pot (like all my plants to avoid the roots rotting), and water her when the soil is dry every week or so (see tips below for how to check when to water!). I love the leaves on this one, and she really doesn’t need much care or special attention!
Tip #1: Leaf care
Leaves need to breathe and absorb sunlight properly. Dust or dirt on them prevents proper growth. Be sure to check leaves on your plants and wipe with a slightly damp lint-free towel.
Tip #2: Humidity
If one or more of your plants need humidity, mist them every few days! You can also purchase a humidifier and use this to create a humid and tropical environment around your plants. Another easier technique I’ve used is buying small stones and placing them in the tray underneath, and just filling enough water to almost cover the stones.
Tip #3: Sunlight
I actually didn’t look into this until recently, but if you’ve never used the compass app on your phone, now is the time! I checked which direction my windows faced in order to place my plants properly. I would highly recommend checking the directions your windows face and noticing how much light comes through – a quick Google search can help in seeing what each direction looks like during the day. Ours are south and north – north gets the least amount of light, so plants that don’t need much light would be appropriate to place there. South gets the most direct sunlight, so I’ve placed my plants a few feet away from the window as most of my plants need indirect sunlight!
Tip #4: Watering
Once you’ve figured out how often to water a plant, you may forget the last time you watered it. Trust me, after you have 10 plants, this can happen (me right now). I used the chopstick method to check how dry the soil is. Stick a chopstick into the soil and see where the dirt sticks to – if the chopstick comes out clean, your plant is fully dry – water it! Depending on how dry the soil should be before you water again, you can use this as a makeshift water meter! Another easy way is sticking your index finger in the soil to see if it’s dry or still wet.
Tip #5: Yellow, curled up, dry leaves
It’s okay if some leaves don’t make it! Clean these up so your plant is not using any energy to keep those alive and it can allocate resources to t2he leaves that are coming through or currently thriving. It’s the BEST when you see a new leaf come through (proud plant parent!).
I’m happy to say with 12 plants (and currently refraining from buying more but no promises), this wasn’t a short-lived hobby. Plants have brought me so much joy, and I am truly a plant lady. I’ve gone to the plant nursery when feeling down, and I feel so alive! I love helping others with their plants, troubleshooting, and talking to those who are hesitant but want to try. I’ve even gifted some plants from cuttings of my current plants, and it is pretty amazing to even be able to do that!! Happy planting all!
Check out Priya on IG @flourishandglow_ to follow her plant journey, affordable home decor tips and easy recipes.