May 03, 2015
With Earth Day still fresh on our minds, we thought this would be a perfect time to round up some of our favorite past tips and tricks about houseplants, succulents, and herbal remedies. We’re ready to welcome in spring with a bang (no matter how long it takes to finally arrive), and plan to have a boatload of plants to look at in the meantime. Now if only the sun would come out!
If you’re just starting out with plants, you probably don’t want to dive into anything too complicated, like outdoor plants. If you’re absolutely horrified at the prospect of caring for plants, start small. Succulents are virtually impossible to kill and available almost anywhere these days. Air plants are also an option if you’d like some greenery with minimal work; they can survive without dirt, making taking care of them nearly foolproof. If you’d like some true houseplants, there are a ton of leafy greens that are hard to murder. Anything along the lines of aloe, ivy, and ficus plants are all easy to care for.
Sometimes it can be hard to find a plant that will last, but plants with big, waxy leaves are hardier than others, and they’ll do well in the corner of a room, as long as there’s a little bit of light. (Here’s a very complete list of the best kinds of plants to buy.) Lugging home a plant like this is an instant apartment-brightener, and will cheer up any room with super minimal effort. Like instant spring!
If you already have some houseplants in your life, make their day by giving them some extra special fertilizer. There are plenty of ways to make your own special concoction (Google is your friend here), but for houseplants, one we’ve used ourselves is the epsom salt fertilizer. It’s super easy to make at home and encourages a faster growth-rate for indoor plants.
If you have leafy indoor plants, make sure they’re properly watered and get rid of any brown tips on them to keep them looking (and feeling) their freshest. All you need to do to trim dead ends is get a pair of sharp scissors and cut the dead part off close to the edge. Pretty self-explanatory, but make sure to leave a little bit of brown, because otherwise the healthy leaf will be freshly cut and will most likely go brown again. Once you’ve removed any dead leaves, see if you can adjust where your plant sits or how often it’s watered, since something is obviously making the plant unhappy – adjusting something simple like this will ensure that the plant won’t go brown again (or die) anytime soon.
If there’s a corner of your house with great light, setting up a bookcase and filling it with plants is a relatively easy way to fill up the space and make your home feel extra cozy. For the bookcase itself, industrial shelving is generally inexpensive and the contrast between the metal shelves and the green leaves always looks fantastic. (Or, if you want a weekend project, you can even make your own shelves.) Mix up the kinds of plants that you put on the shelves and work in some knick-knacks as well – the end result has a homey, pleasantly cluttered feel.
If you’re still completely afraid to go out and buy a gigantic plant, afraid it will die in six days, a simple way to get some green into your home is by buying a few bundles of eucalyptus and keeping it in a cute vase or pitcher (with some water, of course). Eucalyptus is inexpensive, easy to replace once it dies, and as a bonus: it smells amazing.
If having indoor plants just makes you want to learn more about them, search your city for a gardening club. (Toronto even has its very own Rock and Hardy Plant Society!) You’ll learn everything you need to know to care for your indoor houseplants, and then once spring fully hits, you might even feel inspired to start spreading your gardening wings in the great outdoors.
If all of this is making you rethink your decision to keep houseplants, make yourself a teeny, tiny terrarium instead. Everything will live forever and if you do manage to kill it (hey, it happens), you can buy yourself new plant supplies for less than a new nail polish. Or just make fake plants that will never die.
Please let Rebena know of additional tips, suggestions and tricks you’d like to see on the blog. We hope this post made you a better-informed plant person. You’re welcome.