To be honest, I’m not even quite sure how I became a plant lady. I’ve always been a nature-loving, tree-hugging, flower child. Spent a decent amount of my childhood climbing my maple tree and playing “Wilderness Family” in the backyard. My mom also had a fair amount of plants in out house growing up. I guess this green thumb may just come naturally to me. I do, however, remember buying my first plant! It was 6 years ago, in June of 2012 and I put it on the window sill of our new Chicago condo. Since, I have acquired many more, with a current 55 plants and 1 succulent bowl in the Henesy House. MANY friends, family and followers have asked me for help, advice and plant lady lessons so they too can enjoy indoor flora. So I’m writing this post to hopefully help turn some of those thumbs from black to green!
⇒ Beginner plants
Start with an easy plant that does not require a lot of light or attention. I would suggest a snake plant or a pothos. These are hardy and require little indirect light. Buy yourself a nice pot, WITH a drainage hole in the bottom, that’s a little larger than the plastic plant container your pot comes in, and a bag of organic soil.
When repotting, make sure there’s a good base of fresh soil at the bottom to give the roots room to grow. Add in plant, hold in place, fill around with fresh soil. Press soil into place gently with fingers. Water in sink, SLOWLY. (I’ve made the mistake of watering too fast, many times, and it just makes a mess getting the soil all down the pot).
*Make sure snake plant is in a pot with drainage. Water when soil is completely dry to the touch, about every 7-10 days, in sink, until it water seeps out of bottom.
*Pothos plants can live in pots without holes if watered carefully. When soil is dry slowly water in increments until all soil is wet and water starts absorbing slower and slower. Too much water at the bottom can rot the soil and roots.
Succulents are a serious plant lady staple. Succulents can be your friend… if you forget about them. Seriously! Most of my succulents that didn’t make it was due to too much sun and too much water. When we think about cacti, we think dry, hot blazing sun in the desert. But only some succulents and cacti like that much sun. Mostly what succulents need is dry soil. Which means they HAVE to be in a pot with drainage. Water until it runs through and place indirect light. Set it and forget it! Not exactly, but kinda. Soil needs to dry out completely and stay dry for a bit. Water about every 10-14 days.
*Put rocks at the bottom of your pot before you put the soil in when potting. This helps the soil dry out for a healthy succulent. Special “succulent potting mix” is also available.
*Certain succulents do like full sun. Like a Fang or Panda plant. Always read the labels or research your plant.
What direction does the front of your home face? North, south, east or west? If you don’t know, pull out Google maps and you’ll have your answer in moments. Proper lighting and sun exposure is extremely important for plant lady life. You need to understand how strong and for how long the sun shines into the windows you place the plants by. South facing will get the strongest sun, and length of exposure will depend on your individual situation. Maybe you have a high rise next to your apartment, or a giant maple tree in front of your house, or maybe you have all day south sun exposure. Pay attention to the way the light shines in to different windows in your house for different placement options.
*The sun light changes with the seasons. So should your plant placement accordingly.
⇒ Love & Patience
These are probably the two most important qualities a plant lady must possess. So much love for her house plants and indoor flora that she’s regularly checking on them, moving them and admiring them. Place them somewhere in your space where you spend a lot of time and will see the plants on a regular basis. This way you can truly enjoy their beauty and easily pay attention to their well being. Any plant lady, green thumb or gardener will tell you how important patience with your growing plants is. Patience for your trial and error and patience with the successful plants to see them flourish and flower.
*Plants are living things with their own vibrational frequency. Talk nicely to them, think positive thoughts about them, send them love and good vibes when your watering them!
Bringing plant life into my home and incorporating into my interior decor definitely makes me love living in my house and in my life. Hope these few, but important, plant lady lessons help you grow your own indoor garden and green thumb status!