The start of this journey involves a little bit of prep work, with the locations you choose for your plants being incredibly important to their survival.
The Light: Plants don’t get all of their nutrients from food and water alone. Instead, a process called photosynthesis is used to create their own resources. Light is required for this to work, but each plant will have its own requirements when it comes to this area. Figure out where in your home you have the best direct sunlight, and plan for plants that thrive in direct sun going in those spots. Do the same with indirect and shade.
The Heat: Along with needing specific levels of light, a lot of plants are far more sensitive to temperature than humans or animal. Like light levels, you can find plants which are happy across a range of temperatures. This is less important than light, but will still impact the health of your plants.
The Moisture: There are a surprising number of plants which don’t rely on the soil they sit in to get water. Instead, they collect it from the air, using an outer membrane located across the body of the plant. The sort of plants which operate this way are usually from warmer climates, as these sorts of areas will rarely experience rainfall, forcing the plantlife to adopt different ways of collecting the water they need.
Looking after any living thing comes with responsibility, and this will often be a surprise to folks who haven't cared for plants before. Here are a few examples of some difficulties many new plant owners experience, which you should consider before choosing your own plants.
The Kids/Pets: There are many houseplants that are dangerous if ingested, and therefore shouldn't be in a home with small children or curious pets. While they may look, feel, and smell tempting, eating a houseplant can often result in serious illness. Check out the infographic below to get an idea of what plants you should avoid having in your home if you have small children and most especially, pets.
The Pruning/Tidying: In order to grow and thrive, houseplants require some maintenance, such as pruning. It doesn't take much to prune a houseplant, though; you're basically looking to remove dead leaves and damaged stems, and shaping the plant so that it is balanced and attractive. Pruning will also help to stimulate new growth.
The Watering: Like all living things on Earth, plants require a good amount of water to be able to survive and grow healthily. There are loads of tools on the market which are designed to help with giving your houseplants adequate water, with options ranging from reminder apps to self-watering pots which can do all of the work for you.
Finally, once you have an idea of the space your plants will be occupying and all of the work which will go into becoming a plant mom, you’ll be ready to start making some decisions. Choosing plants is exciting, but there are a couple of considerations which you need to make during this process,
Ease Of Growth: If you're browsing the web for houseplants, you might be tempted to pick out plants based on color and style; in other words, what you find attractive. But it's just as important to consider how easy they will be to grow and maintain in your home. A company like Succulent Depot, for example, specializes in affordable plants that are not only attractive but easy to look after, too. By choosing easy-to-care-for, affordable options when you’re first getting started, you're able to enjoy the horticultural experience without having to worry about losing big bucks on failed foliage.
Where To Buy: These days, you can purchase houseplants from all sorts of stores: from specialized nurseries to online websites to big box home improvement stores. Where you purchase them from is less important than how they are cared for. Do the plants look healthy? Is the soil damp? Is the foliage lush, are the stems firm? This is what to look for before you purchase, and ultimately bring home, the plants.
Infographic by petMD.com
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