Gardening

plants are friends

3 Tips for the New Plant Parent

 
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3 tips for the new plant parent

So you’ve decided to join the #houseplantsclub on Instagram and become a plant parent. Congratulations! This is a big step, and one that means you are ready to assume more responsibility. Should you start off with a bang and get a five-fingered peperomia? Or perhaps the crowd-favourite — a fiddle leaf fig? Or maybe a desktop terrarium with succulents and decorative coloured gravel? The world is your plant nursery, but before you turn your home into an urban jungle, here are 3 tips to help you get started and avoid as many plant deaths as possible.

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  1. start with 1-3 plants

Decision paralysis occurs when you have too many choices. Decision paralysis is what happens when you open Netflix, and also when you walk into a plant nursery. For the uninitiated, it can get overwhelming quickly. Keep it simple for yourself and choose 1 —3 plants to start with. Do your homework before hitting the store and bookmark a few plants you are interested in. If you want to plants that can purify your space, look at NASA’s list of proven air purifiers. If you want to grow your own edibles, start with herbs like basil. If you want to turn your house into a lush urban jungle, go for the hard-to-kill Epipremnum Aureum (Devil’s Ivy) and other beginner-friendly plants. Resist the urge to buy more than 3 plants — would you adopt 3 furry pets all at once? Probably not. You’d adopt one and bring it home, and let it get used to its surroundings before making any other major changes. Same thing with plants. Focus on growing these 3 babies well before adding to your collection.

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2. pick plants that can thrive in your space

All plants need time to acclimatise to a new environment, but you can set yourself up for success if you select plants that can thrive in your particular space. This means if there is very little sunlight in your home, a sun-loving Aloe Vera plant probably isn’t your best bet. If you want to start a balcony garden where direct sunlight hits the hardest, don’t buy a maidenhair fern! Take a look around your space and pick a few areas which could do with a bit of greenery, and note the amount of light it receives daily.

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3. pay attention

Your plant can’t communicate with words or emojis or passive aggressive fridge notes, but it will indicate that it is unhappy in other ways. Are its leaves looking sad and drooping? Needs a bit of water. Is its leaves scorched and yellow and sunburnt from too much direct sunlight? Move it into a shaded area where it can receive indirect light. Pay daily attention to your plant and observe it. Learn how to prune your plant and instead of viewing plant maintenance as one more task on your list, enjoy this quiet time where you can step away from a screen and nurture another living, growing being.

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All the photos above were taken at Far East Flora!