EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PLANT PARENTHOOD


It’s no secret that plant’s are very ~in~

I mean I get it. Harrison and I are proud parents of six babies (all named, but I struggle to truly remember their species name). We have shared joy over a sprouting of a new leaf on Dumbo (our elephant ear plant), we deliberate seriously before bring home new plant babies from our local Flee Off Market and we shared the shock and horror when we realized Ursula (purple passion plant) was harboring some gnat fugitives.

I immediately texted my friend and owner of Instagram @plantucky, Chloe for some help! I mean, what do I do? What did we do wrong? I put my plant on our little apartment balcony because I didn’t want gnats in the apartment, is that ok? NO??!!! Help!!!

Luckily after a few texts back and forth Chloe was able to pretty much diagnose my soil staying too wet, which was creating a breeding ground for flies (hella gross, I know). She followed this text with a solution, now I’m on the hunt for some sticky sticks to put in the soil, rid of my gnat problem and hope to god Ursula doesn’t get mad at me for leaving her on the balcony for an hour.

So I figure, we’re all in this phase together. Trying to keep ourselves and our plant babies alive, and if you’re anything like me you’re struggling to do both. Why not ask the ultimate plant mom some top pro tips for us new plant parents, and hopefully we can prevent any further gnat probs along the way!!!

  1. Where do I start when becoming a new plant parent?
    – Buy a pothos.  I think every 1st time plant parent should start with this plant. It’s a quick intro into taking care of something, and they grow like crazy  so you get the instant gratification that most 1st time plant parents need.
  2. Best place to go buy plants?
    – The Plant Kingdom is my favorite place to buy plants. They carry so many different varieties year round! They also have super smart employees who will gladly help diagnose your plant if things aren’t going well.
  3. How do I pick a plant?
    – know where it’s going in your house.
    – Certain plants need certain light & temperature levels to survive, so make sure you’re choosing a spot in the house that will accommodate that.
    – Ask how fast things grow! Some people want a plant that looks tame & perfect all the time (sansevieria). Others want the gratification of seeing new leaves unfurl, or want the trailing look (pothos, philodendron, monsters)
  4. How often do I water?
    – depends on the plant and the temperature
    – basic watering instructions: use your finger to poke the soil. If the first two inches are wet, don’t water. Sometimes, if it’s been a while between waterings, you see a gap between the soil and the pot along the outer edge. That means the roots have thoroughly sucked up all the water in there.
    – Most Cacti, Succulents, & Sansevieria: in the summer heat, you only need to water them thoroughly once every two weeks. They like to stay dry, dry, dry. In the winter time, you can go months without watering them. I haven’t watered my Sansevieria in close to 3 months now.
    – Leafy green plants: really depends on the species of plant. Most likely in the summer you’ll be watering once a week. In the winter I go on a plant by plant basis as far as water schedules. Depending on the plant, you’ll need to add some humidity into their lives during the winter.
  5. Why are some plants in rocks vs some in soil?
    – if you’re talking about rocks inside the pot itself, then most likely that plant requires high drainage. Rocks are mixed into soil to help break up the soil and let water pass through it quicker. That way the soil doesn’t stay wet and rot out the roots.
    – Rocks under a pot are a solution to creating humidity for a plant. You get a saucer with rocks in it, then pour a little water in there and the rocks evaporate the water and your plant soaked up the humidity from it. This is very helpful in the winter!
    – Rocks on top of the pot are typically an aesthetic thing. Or sometimes functional with top heavy plants! I have an aloe that is spilling off to one side of the pot and kept falling out because it hadn’t properly rooted yet. So I put rocks ontop to hold it down. Now it’s all good!
  6. Should I trust people who sell plants @ the flee off market?
    – sure! They’re probably selling pups or cuttings from their own plants. Always double check your plants to make sure you’re not bringing home any unwanted guests (scale, mites, gnats)
  7. So like; you know my plant got gnats. How do I avoid that?
    – soil gnats typically happen because the soil is consistently staying wet & a little root in there is probably rotting out. Either there’s not enough light to help the roots soak up the water, or you’re overwatering it. Always let your soil dry out on top before watering. You’re will always be happier with less water!
    – But, if you’re too late, go to The Plant Kingdom and pick up some sticky stakes. Stick them in the soil and let your plant dry out a little.
  8. What should I avoid doing to the plants?
    – overwatering! Don’t just water your plants whenever because you think you should. Always look at the soil of each plant to know if it’s time.
    – Repotting. Make sure when you repot your plants that you’re not going too big too fast. If you put your plants into too big of a pot you run the risk of overwatering them. This is because there’s now more soil than roots and the soils going to hang onto that water and rot the roots out. Always go inch by inch when repotting. Plants would rather be tight in a pot!
  9. Do I have to keep my plants near a window?
    – depend on the plant. There are plenty of plants that can survive in little to no light. The less light, the less watering.
  10. Any other crucial tip/advice you want to bless us non seasoned plant parents with?
    – Take your time! In order to have a successful urban jungle you have to learn how to care for each plant properly. Plants are not hard to take care of, but once your collection grows it certainly becomes time consuming.
    – Also, plants die all the time! I’ve killed so many! It’s ok! Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Figure out what went wrong, and then move on to the next one. Don’t be ashamed of a dead plant.

So there you have it, hopefully some questions answered on what to do and where to start when creating your own personal jungle within your homespace. You can follow Chloe and all of her plant babies at @plantucky where she shares photos and little nuggets of info on plants!

Let me know if you have any other plant questions and maybe we can make a part two to this plant series <3