When we are at a plant nursery oohing and aahing over all the lovely plants we want to take home, we often forget to consider whether or not buying the said plant or plants is actually a good idea.
A little bit of googling before and during your plant-shopping could save you from the disappointment of murdering a hapless house plant to poisoning your housemates. So here are five things to keep in mind when welcoming home a new plant.
How Committed You Are
Your level of commitment will determine if your new plant thrives or dies a slow miserable death. If you barely have time to get through your to-do list, it would be more sensible to stick to a plant that is low-maintenance like a money plant or even a snake plant that doesn’t require frequent watering and does well even in low light situations.
Do You Have Any Furry Or Little Humans At Home
Plant lovers and plant newbies can’t be blamed if the sight of all those lovely plants at the nursery makes them forget to consider how their furry and human kids will get along with their new plant sibling.
If you have animals or young kids at home, you need to consider where in your house you plan to place your new plant. For example, it might be best to avoid large, floor-standing plants as these might tempt your toddler to dig through and have a snack of the potting soil.
And then there is the risk of whether or not your new plant is poisonous. Luckily there is an easy way to check if plants are poisonous to dogs or cats. A quick search on the ASPCA site will give you a list of the plants you should avoid.
How Much Sunshine Does Your House Get
Before you start filling up your trolley with all the plants you can fit into your car, stop and think about where in your house you plan to place it.
Let the amount of sunlight in each area of your house guide your plant picks.
The Humidity Level In Your Living Space
Keep the level of humidty of your home in mind when choosing a houseplant. While plants like monstera, enjoy some moisture in the air, succulents are comfortable with dry air.
If you have your heart set on a certain variety that doesn’t match your home’s humidity level, you can mist the plant often or invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Invest In Good Potting Soil
Investing in high-quality potting soil is important for thriving indoor plants, since they won’t be able to absorb nutrients from the ground like outdoor plants can.
Most standard potting mixes are a blend of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite (vermiculite and perlite help aerate the soil and slow down the flow of water). A regular routine of fertilising your houseplants is also important to ensure it receives the food and nourishment necessary to grow.
When repotting your new houseplant (more often than not, the pots they come in are far too small for them), make sure it has adequate drainage. Select a pot with a drainage hole and better yet, layer some pebbles at the bottom of a pot to elevate the roots and prevent root rot.