Alright, so I have always loved owning plants and taking care of them. When I was younger I received a cactus as a goodie bag present in 3rd grade and I held onto that plant until senior year of high school when my mom overwatered it... rip my beloved cactus. I have been accumulating plants a bit since, but specifically,
So as I have all my plants doing well right now, I feel like I have some great beginner tips for those new to owning plants but wanting them to thrive. If this sounds like you, then keep reading.
Get To Know Your Plants
First off, do research on your plant. Figure the amount of water needed, how much sunlight it needs, and what kind of soil it needs (cactus soil or a more nutritious potting soil). If you want to be extra, figure out the PH of the soil as well. All of these will help to determine what kind of soil your plant should be in, where to place your plant in a room and perhaps in which room will better suit it, and how often to water. The easiest in my opinion is buying indoor potting soil which you can find for fairly cheap, and if you are growing herbs, you can find soil for organic plants.
Monitor Your Plants
It can be really hard to properly monitor your plants. My friend and I realized that we were both really underwatering our plants at the start and that's why our plants we're growing at a proper speed or starting to droop a little on certain plants. The best thing I did was buy a moisture, PH, and light meter. Basically, you stick the rod in the soil at the level of its roots and it determines how dry the soil is, along with its PH and light. Most will give you a chart as well with many common plants so you know their levels, but most commonly, you want your succulents to stay in between dry or with a little moisture and periodically when it's completely dried out, thoroughly wet the soil again. For other types of plants, you'll want the soil to be more on the wet side, making sure that in 2-3 days it doesn't fall right back to dry, otherwise you're not watering it enough.
There are two main ways to water your plants. Either you pour in the water right at the roots, you don't want to pour it directly on the plant itself if you can avoid it, or you let the plant soak up the water. So method A, you just pour the water in and when water starts coming out of the drainage hole, it should be good. Method B is you place your plant with the drainage hole in a saucer with water and let the plant absorb the water. You're done watering when the top of the soil starts becoming moist. If you do have a tropical plant, these often like to be lightly misted with water as well on their leaves to keep them moist like the rainforest humid weather.
Pot Choice, Repotting, and Fertilizer
When choosing a pot, the main thing to remember is that it should have a drainage hole at the bottom, it makes it so much easier. If your pot doesn't at least place a plastic pot in it that fits perfectly in your chosen pot that way it can drain out of the plastic pot into your chosen final pot. If you really can't do this, you can place small pebbles or marbles at the bottom and then your potting soil on top, but this isn't the desired way to go if you can avoid it. The next thing is to make sure to choose a pot that isn't too big for your plant. You should only go up in pots in small increments allowing the plant to get fully rooted and have space to grow, and then repotting once it looks like it has no more room to grow. A good way to notice this is if your plant leaves start to droop a bit and/or it hasn't grown in a while. Make sure not to pack the soil too tightly as well, a good trick is to grab a from and use it to fluff up the soil after you've planted your plant. Another trick is if you have leaves turning yellow, gently take them off of your plant, its stealing nutrients from the rest of your plants as they won't turn back to its healthy green color, so feel free to remove them to let the rest of your plant grow.
The last thing is that your plant does need new soil occasionally. When the soil starts becoming a little crusty, doesn't seem clean or fresh, it's probably time for new soil. There are two ways to do this. Completely swap out the soil, or you can fertilize your new soil and properly take care of it to be able to reuse the same soil. You can easily find ways to do this online. Either way, you should use fertilizer as it acts like plant food and helps your plants stay healthy and grow. Slow-release plant fertilizers may be my favorite as they require little attention and will keep fertilizing your plants for a few months at a time.
Easy Starter Plants
These are my personal favorites or easy ones my friends love too. Do your own research as well, but these are different ones I'd recommend.
• Philodendron (My fav hanging plant)
• Snake Plant
• Devil's Ivy
• Spider Plant
• Aloe Vera
• Red Pagoda
• Basil (the easiest herb imo)
Those are all the tricks and tips I have for you! If you have any other tips, comment them below for others to see it, or feel free to ask any questions and I'll make a whole new blog post on it!