I remember the day that I learned that plants can actually live inside– yes… it wasn’t that long ago that this “plant touching, talking and loving lady” didn’t know the simple fact that I could bring the lush outdoors, in. Let me tell you what, it changed my life. I am now obsessed and it seriously takes all self control to not bring a new plant home every week. Not only are houseplants a beautiful addition to any space, but they are also super beneficial to your health (hello, i’m talking to you specifically, my asthma/respiratory complication friends).
Some proven benefits of living amongst the plants include:
- Reduced carbon dioxide levels
- Increased indoor humidity
- Reduced levels of certain pollutants
- Reduced airbone dust levels
- Reduced air temperatures
I am going to be the first to admit, I have killed my fair share of plants..and it breaks my heart every single time that I have had to drag one to the curb. You become attached, what can I say. There are some plants that are easier to keep alive, and I would suggest starting with these and then working your way up to the more “complex” ones! They are all beautiful in their own way, and I am willing to guarantee that after your first purchase you will become hooked! Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
I have done my fair share of reading up on specific plants and the care that they require. The good news is that houseplants have become, shall we say “trendy,” over the last few years, so the amount of information available on the internet runs deep. On top of that, I have a girlfriend named Amanda that I attended Purdue with and she has followed her passion for plants and recently opened her first store front in Indianapolis, IN called Grounded Plant & Floral Co. She was always one of those women in college who created the most beautiful “spaces,” from her tiny, shared, room in our sorority to her bedroom in her apartment senior year, she always had a way of making a space magical– and this shop is no exception.
After receiving quite a few questions from you guys about how I keep my plants alive and other tips and tricks, I decided that it made sense to reach out to a plant expert! Amanda and I spent some time chatting, where she shared with me some inside information and fail-proof tips to keeping your houseplants alive! If you are ever in the Indianapolis area, do yourself a favor and stop by her storefront. She is also accessible through Instagram if you have questions! Not only is she the cutest, she is an absolute doll with the purest heart and you will enjoy following along on her journey!
I obviously haven’t been able to make the trip to Indy since posting about my plants last week, so another girlfriend of ours from college, Molly Longest, C0-Founder and Creative Director of The Lala was kind enough to shoot and share some photos of Amanda in her new storefront Grounded Plant & Floral Co. You can follow the LaLa on Instagram, it is such an inspiring platform, specifically for college-aged women! Clearly, Purdue produces some incredible, dream-chasing, go-getter, women (that I am lucky to know!).
Amanda worded the following information as “pretty much the conversation that I would have with someone who came into the shop”– to save yourself a trip to Indianapolis, I am so excited to share her knowledge and expertise with you!
The best way to care for your plants is to understand each of their specific needs. Each plant has different needs so it is important to know those.
The two most important factors are lighting and watering.
For lighting, there are three categories- full sun, part sun and low light. Full sun is most likely achieved near a south or west facing window. Full sun plants like four or more hours of sun a day. Part sun or bright light is most likely achieved near a east and west facing window. Low light is best achieved near a north facing window or no windows at all.
For watering, some plants like to be kept moist, some like to dry out slightly and others like to dry out completely. There are a lot of variables to factor in with watering so there isn’t an exact equation. A good rule of thumb is to place your finger in the soil to see how dry or wet it is. If the top inch of the soil is dry then it should be watered. Some plants like to dry out more completely in between watering. Some plants like to be kept moist– so when the top of the soil is dry, it is time to water the plant. It is best to have a drainage hole at the bottom of a pot so the water can run out. If you don’t have a drainage hole, then it is best to measure the amount of water based on a fourth of the pot size.
Troubleshooting Plant Issues
Signs that your plant is not receiving enough light:
- Leaf color begins to fade.
- Plant stops growing or grows slower than usual.
- The length of the internodes (the space between the leaf sets on a stem) increases and/or new leaf growth is smaller than usual. This is often referred to as “leggy growth.”
- Stems and leaves lean toward the light.
- Plant doesn’t bloom.
Signs that your plant is receiving too much light:
- Leaf edges look burned or dry.
- Leaves appear faded or pale in places.
- The entire plant looks weak and droopy.
- Stems and leaves lean away from the light.
Signs of under watering:
- Leaves droop.
- Leaves are crispy.
- Shriveled leaves fall off their stem or trunk.
- Roots start to grow toward the surface of the soil.
- Aerial roots (roots that are above ground) may form (specifically on succulent plants).
Signs of overwatering:
- Leaves droop.
- Leaves turn brown and wilt. (These appear soft vs. crispy).
- Leaves turn yellow (usually starting with at the base of the plant).
- Leaves become mushy (a sign of root rot).
- Browning occurs on one side of the plant (a sign of root rot).
- Yellow and brown lines appear at the tip of the leaves (often caused my “wet feet” where the roots have been sitting in water).
- New growth turns brown.
- Soil grows algae or mold.
Where To Begin
If you have made the choice to dive in and purchase your first houseplant, the top three easiest to keep alive are Snake Plant, Pothos and ZZ Plant.
Thank you so much to Amanda for taking the time to chat and share her wisdom and to Molly for capturing and sharing these amazing photos!
As always, feel free to comment below, or message me on IG! I absolutely love being able to share my passions and favorite parts of life with you guys, and I will always do my best to provide you with honest, real and raw information regarding those things!
until we can drink iced-coffees & road-trip to Indy together to purchase houseplants, this will have to do. xo, Grace
some of my favorites: