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For decades people have been enjoying all the benefits and beauty that houseplants bring to our home but recently there has been a spike in the appreciation of household plant babies. Perhaps it’s the idea of having something “exotic” that not many others have or perhaps it is a new appreciation of how to add life to trendy home décor. Whatever the reason maybe we are finding that more and more people are choosing to fill their homes with Lucious greenery and we are here to give you all the help you may need.
Though your houseplant may look shiny and tempting at the store, it is important to do your research before committing and follow a strict routine for the best overall result of your new plant.
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Here are a few steps to help you decide which plant should come home with you.
Where is your plant going? Do you have a corner away from any window that needs something tall? Or perhaps you have a dining table that sits right in front of a bay window. Either way, there is almost always an option that will work for you.
Snake plants are a great option for those who have that low light conditions. They are popular for their Modern, Vertical leaves ranging in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours. We have over 10 different varieties, anywhere from a 2″ pot size to a 5 Gallon pot size. Snake plant can are great for those who tend to forget to water as they can be watered every 3 months once the soil has completely dried out.
The ZZ plant is another plant that can take both bright indirect light along with low light conditions. It is very forgiving and has many of the same care instructions as the snake plant. ZZ plants like a tight root system and can be repotted every 2-3 years preferably in the spring. Their shiny green leaves are the perfect touch of colour for any space.
6″ Zamioculcus ZZ Plant 19.99 | 6″ terracotta pot 19.99
The Calathea, otherwise known as the prayer plant, is a plant that appreciates bright indirect light. It was given its nickname because at night it folds up its leaves as if it’s praying then as the sun kisses them in the morning they open back up. Making it a sunshine lover. Calathea is another plant that can tolerate dry soil but will make it very visible when it is thirsty.
Every plant requires different watering regimens. Some plants can go months without a single drop of water, other plants like hydrangeas need to be watered daily. If you are a vacationer or someone who frequently forgets it is important to read each care tag for watering instructions before purchasing.
A good way to remind yourself is to set a reminder on your phone or have one day a week that you go around and tend to all your babies. Example: Watering Wednesday!
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Though every plant will have a suggested time frame that you should water, everyone’s scenarios are different. Some plants are placed in more humid areas of the house such as a bathroom, where others could be in a dry room with a fireplace. Either way the best way to ensure your plant is ready to be watered is by physically checking the soil yourself. In the case of most plants, if you dig your fingers 2″ below the top of the soil and the soil feels dry, it most likely could use a drink.
There are many ways plants like to be watered and each plant has different requirements. Personally, I tend to gravitate to planters that are pretty, however do not have drainage holes. Which is technically a big no, no to most plants. Most plants do not like keeping their feet wet and need excess water to escape. What I like to do is keep my plants in their grower’s pot and find a vessel slightly larger than placing it inside without actually transplanting it. Once it needs to be watered I simply remove it from its pretty pot, place it in my shower along with any other plant that needs watering and give them a room temperature shower. This not only hydrates them but gives their leaves a nice wash from all the dust that settles on them preventing them from photosynthesizing.
Transplanting is something that does not need to be done regularly. Many plants like having a tight root system as it allows the water to touch the roots rather than the access soil consuming all the water. Especially plants like orchids can go years without being transplanted. A good way to identify if your plant needs to be transplanted is if the roots are escaping through the drainage holes or if the root system is actually pushing the plant up and out of the soil.
The best time to transplant your plant is during the spring or summer when your plant is in active growth. During the winter your plant becomes dormant and does little to no growth which isn’t ideal for transplanting as you want those roots to shoot off and to get your plant well established.
When transplanting, you mustn’t go much larger than the pot it already is in. A rule of thumb is to go no larger than 2″ bigger than the pot it is currently growing in. Also, if you plan on actually planting your plant in soil, you need to make sure you have a drainage hole so the water can escape. If you have a plant such as a cactus or succulent that needs very little water or misting, you can get away with adding rocks to the bottom of your vessel, that way the rocks absorb the water as oppose to the roots sitting in water. If you have a plant that needs weekly or bi-weekly watering it is highly suggested to purchase a planter with a drainage hole or transplanting your plant into a larger grower’s pot and only setting into a pretty pot with no hole, only to remove it when it needs to be watered.
At Annas, we carry multiple different fertilizers for different purposes. For houseplants, I like to use “Jack’s classic houseplant special”. It is a water-soluble plant food with micronutrients and has a 15-30-15 formula.
Another type of formula we use at Annas is an equal 20-20-20 fertilizer. It has equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This is what we use for all our plants while growing in the nursery as it adds a quick green-up and enhances the foliage.
Have you tried banana water yet? My mom swears by it and all her plants are thriving. Simply add banana peels into a jar of water and let sit for two days. Bananas are filled with potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen which feeds and strengthens your plants and helps them resist diseases and pests.
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Whether you have a green thumb or a black thumb there’s certainly an option for you. With all the health and beauty benefits, houseplants offer us there are so many reasons to fill your home with new plant babies. With a little guidance, love and patients your plants will thrive and keep on giving.