Keeping it Green: General Plant Care Tips

Do Your Research

I promise, research doesn’t have to be as tedious as it sounds. When choosing plants for an indoor space, you’ll want to consider:

  • any pets in the house (certain plants are very toxic to cats and dogs, and these should be avoided. The ASPCA has a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets.)
  • the amount of space you have (what size pots or planting apparatuses can you fit?)
  • air quality (for example, is it humid or dry?)
  • sun or grow light availability (consider what way your windows face and how much light comes into the space each day)
  • your amount of growing experience (some plants are easier for beginners, such as rosemary)
  • how much time and energy you have to spend on plant care

When I started raising plants, I went by my dad’s trusted-and-true advice because I’ve been gardening with him since childhood. He still helps me now – he’s a big part of my planting research! Other fantastic sources for planting information are local nurseries, plant blogs (like this one!), and books (check out the image to the left for some of my recommendations on a few topics). It’s also fun and helpful to collect plant tags when you get a new plant. These have information about that plant’s specific requirements and can help you make sense of what similar plants might need! I’ve collected them since I was little and have a book full of dirt-covered plant markers.

Keep Your Plants Where You Can See Them

This might seem silly, but I’m telling you: having your plants where you just can’t miss them on a daily basis helps you be a better plant parent. You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” It’s true, and it works vice versa too: “In sight, in mind!”

For example, I have three rosemary plants – one in my office, and two next to my bed. I notice their subtle changes every day because they’re right in my eye line while I’m laying in bed or working. (In fact, office rosemary is looking a little droopy…good thing I noticed!) I have cacti that stay in my office, too, right near the window where I always look.

Keep Track of When You Water and Care for Each Plant

Be sure to stay aware of when you are watering and/or feeding your plants. It’s important to know before you start caring for each plant what kind of soil moisture, pH, and nutrients each one likes so that you can do your best job of keeping track. I used to use a bullet journal with a page for each plant, but lately I’ve been trying gardening apps like Greg, Planta, and Tierra. Keep an eye out: some apps require you to have a premium membership to be truly useful. Personally I recommend Greg because it’s free, you sign up with your Apple ID, and it sends you cute notifications.

Your Plants are Your Friends

I’m sure you know people who sing to their plants or kiss their plants or name their plants or have seances with their plants. (I may or may not do two of those things myself.) There are more scientific reasons to sing and talk to your plants, but there’s one simple reason that I really do this: because it helps me develop a relationship with them.

How do you have a relationship with a plant? You let them be special to you. You allow yourself to enjoy them. You make them part of your routine. Let them support you while you support them. You can see why this helps with plant care: the more you’re invested, the better job you’ll want to do, and the more you’ll learn about the quirks of your foliage friends!

Continue Doing Your Research

There is so much to learn about plants, it’s unbelievable. What part is which, what plants are edible, how plants grow and breed; it goes on and on.

Not only is learning everything there is to know about plants entertaining, it’s also useful for taking care of your garden. The more you know the better you’re able to identify bad information in blogs or books, pick good products to use for your leafy buddies, or explain to others the wonders of living with greenies. ✿

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