Plant Parenting

Houseplants for Beginners

Houseplants! The adultiest thing to own (before a cat, dog, and child, in that order). Houseplants are finicky, and it’s easy to kill them and love them so much that you kill them (R.I.P. to my 3rd and 6th plants). Here’s a guide to raising houseplants for the earliest of beginners!

What are the easiest houseplants to care for?

  • Cacti, or any form of succulent! They rarely need anything except sunshine
  • Snake Plants
  • ZZ Plants
  • Spider Plants
  • Peace Lilies
  • Pothos or Philodendrons

Which ones should I avoid getting as my first plant?

Basically, the pretty ones. Anything with lots of pink and colorful patterns on the leaves, which is probably the one you’re attracted to at the store. PUT IT DOWN. You’re not qualified for that yet. Patience until you’ve grown other ones successfully. Calatheas are the prettiest and simultaneously the most difficult.

What do the different types of light mean?

Bright indirect? Low Light? Bright? There’s no such thing as a plant that actually needs low light. If it says that, it means you can put it further from the window, but it should still get some sun. Think of them like you, you vitamin-D deficient blog-reader.

If a plant says it needs bright light, it probably means it. You can trick it with a grow light if you don’t have a bright window to place it near! Be careful about placing plants on the windowsill itself if you live in a winter climate, since that’s often a lot colder than houseplants like. Houseplants should always live above 65 degrees. On mild days during the summer, I take mine on “walks” and put them on my apartment’s balcony so they get some sun and heat like nature intended.

What soil should I use?

  • If it’s a cactus, buy cactus soil, and put your plant in that. If you want, mix it with some sand!
  • Generally, you can buy all-purpose potting soil. I recommend buying some peat moss and perlite separately and mixing them in with the soil. If you only use the soil without either of the other two, the soil packs down as you water it, and there isn’t enough space in the soil for the roots to grow into.

Which pot should I get?

One with a hole in the bottom. Seriously. Picture a glass of water, now picture pouring water in to it. Is it draining well? No? Now you know why the hole in the bottom of your pot is important. Your plant is not a fish.

When do I water it?

They’re not as thirsty as humans, which it took me a long time to learn. Succulents should only be watered a little every couple of weeks, if it’s not a spiky one you can squish the leaves. If they’re squishy, they need a little more water! Leafy plants tend to droop or look wilted when they’re over or under-watered. You can stick your finger in the soil about an inch deep, if no soil sticks to your finger, you probably need to water it!

Feel free to comment on instagram (@LowWasteLottie) with your plant-parent questions, and good luck at your local greenhouse!

Keep the Discussion Going!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.