Hello everyone and happy Friday! This one goes out to all of my black thumbs out there. May we know them, and pray for their fifth pothos plant that somehow dies upon entering their home. Today’s blog post is for you. So green thumbs everywhere, do your friends a favor and send this to your friends!
Here’s the back story on my plant obsession…
When quarantine hit, I had one plant, my beautiful snake plant. She was the first plant that I told my husband, “If I kill this, I promise I won’t buy anymore plants.” I made sure to research how to care for her, the best pots, soil mixture, when to fertilize her, and how often to water. Turns out, this was the best plant ever because if you leave a snake plant alone in a corner they THRIVE! So, after 2 months of not killing the snake plant (but I did give her an accidental killer sunburn 😖) I added a Little Sunshine to the collection from True Leaf Studio and the rest is history! Now the collection has grown to various plants from the first snake plant all the way to the gifted string of bananas that has grown almost 2 ft since I got her! Since caring for all of these plants, I have definitely learned what to do and what NOT to do!
A beautiful plant is like having a friend around the houseBeth Ditto
Easy Plant Care Tips
If there’s one thing I have learned as a plant mom, there are some essentials you need first. In order to ensure your plants are happy and healthy, here’s what you need to always have in your house for happy plants!
Got gnats? Neem Oil. Got mold? Spray neem oil on your soil. Creepy crawlies on your soil? Kill them with neem oil. Basically if there’s anything I’ve learned about being a plant mom is neem oil is the magical stain remover that your grandma uses. You can find this online, in your local nursery, or usually wherever plants are sold!
I use liquid fertilizer and do two pumps per watering container once a month. There are a few different types of fertilizers out there. Planterina on YouTube uses fish emultions (Fish 💩) in a watering can to get a quality mix of nitrates and vital nutrients into her plants. Having a fertilizer on hand will make for healthy happy plants year round!
PRO TIP: Research the best time of year to fertilize your plants. Each plant may have a different growing season which means different times of the year to fertilize!
Repeat after me, “I will not use my kitchen scissors as plant shears.” GOOD! Now head to Home Depot and snag yourself a good pair of plant shears that is exclusively for plants. When you water, you may notice dying bits of plants, sad leaves, or maybe something on the plant that you think, “That’s not right.”. I usually give the plant 24 hours after watering to perk back up. But if that weird looking bit hasn’t perked up, off with it! Trimming your plants will actually help them grow faster and stronger in the long run!
A Watering Canister
This may just be me, but having a cute watering can just makes me WANT to water on a schedule. I feel like a cute little plant mom checking on her babes each week! I snagged my little liter water container from Ikea, and it’s been perfect!
When neem oil can’t save your plant, and it’s got a funny smell, it might just be root rot. This means that you have to ditch the current soil, cut off the dead roots with snippers, and repot your baby in fresh soil. I like a mixture of nutrient rich soil and cactus soil. The cactus soil will help with drainage to prevent root rot, while the nutrient rich soil will replenish nutrients!
How I care for my plants in my collection
Right now, I have roughly 20 different plants that I care for. All of them have various needs, watering schedules, fertilizing windows, and overall keep me busy. With this many plants though, I do have my favorites that get a wee bit more attention than others…there I said it. Caring for my plants though has come down to an easy and simple weekly routine. This makes it easy for me to check on soil, check for bugs, check for bad leaves, and overall just check on the plants! Here’s how watering days go-
- Water the weekly water plants. This is my pothos, English ivy, ZZ Plant, and any tropical plants that haven’t died under my watch yet.
- Do the “Finger Test” with my bi weekly waters.
The Finger Test is where you stick your finger knuckle deep into soil to check if it’s dry or wet. Wet means skip the water, dry means water!
- Every first Thursday of the month is fertilizer day. Plants that are in a growing season get liquid fertilizer. I do two pumps before adding water into the watering can.
- Snip any dead bits off for optimal plant health!
Other Tips include trimming large plants back to help them grow bigger and longer. I like to propagate these into new plants and gift them to friends! Or wait till True Leaf Studio is having a prop swap and trade!
I know they say moms can’t have favorites, but this plant mom definitely does play favorites. Here are some of my favorites in my current collection!
Lemon Lime Calathea, aka The Prayer Plant
If plants had a personality, the prayer plant would be that sassiest, moodiest, and most opinionated girl in the pact. Next to the spotted begonia of course. This prayer plant was a middle plant purchase that I couldn’t say no to! By day, her leaves are spread out, showing off her lemon lime veins. But by night, she is folded up and almost appears to be praying for sunshine! She is a weekly water that I water from the bottom up. She also has been a fabulous producer for propagation! I have managed to cut and grow 4 new plants off of her! Here she is!
Little Sunshine, aka the baby Fiddle Fig
It’s true what they say, when you find the perfect spot for your fiddle fig, DO. NOT. MOVE. IT. Like ever. This little guy lives in the try-on corner, where he gets plenty of bright indirect sunlight from throughout the day. To prevent bugs in this little guys soil, I bottom water! So far, he’s lost a few leaves, but has also grown 4 or 5 lives while I have had him!
String of Bananas
This string of bananas was gifted to me by a friend and since it reminds me of hair, into a head pot she went! Normally, I keep her strings up like a bun on top of the plant. However, I’ve noticed some strings “balding”, so she’s undergoing growth treatment right now. This gal get’s water when her soil is dry from the finger test, so usually 7-10 days because she lives in the window sill!
The ZZ Plant
Did you know you can propagate ZZ plant leave cuttings? It will take 6 months, BUT HEY, free plants! I’m serious, I thought I killed the ZZ plant cuttings but one day I checked, and poof, little roots and sprouts! The ZZ plant hav gotten HUGE and honestly, I don’t know if she will be able to get out of her current pot. But, she has a wicked look that I adore and there’s just something so fun about her!
This is a long post, and if you made it to the end, congratulations! All of my plant knowledge has been learned from Taylor over at True Leaf Studio, and from binge watching Planterina during quarantine. Honestly, she’s my background music now! I don’t claim to be an expert, but making sure you have the Tools to be a semi successful green thumb is right up my alley! Looking for more insightful plant tips? Planterina has a lovely blog that anyone can read and follow for more tips on how to plant! Check them out!