House + Home: Newbie Plant Lady

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For the first four years of my adult life, post college, the extent of my house plants were a few sad looking succulents. I had other things on my mind and plants just weren't a priority. 

However, once we moved into, renovated, and decorated our new home, I realized how much I love having green around me. So when fall came and I was making my to do lists, "get more plants" was written down amongst other things such as "organize the basement" and "hang art."

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I had put my 3 dying succulents outside for the summer. When I found them at the end of the summer, one had bit the dust and the other two were thriving. I brought those two in and they seem to have a new lease on life. I keep those on my kitchen window sill because I know they need lots of sun, they are dessert plants after all. (what's a dessert plant? lol-ing over here about misspelling "desert" as "dessert," so I'm just going to leave it and hope it gives you a good chuckle too.)

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Anyway, since that's about how systematic my plant regime was and I had added close to ten plants to my home, I realized I was going to need to clean up my act. So far this is what I've started doing and it's been working:

  • Set a day once a week to take care of your plant babies. Set an alarm on your phone. Make sure it's a time that you're usually home and free to do 15 minutes of plant care.
  • When you alarm goes off, water everything the way it needs. Even if a plant doesn't need water that often, at least you know you watered it "2 Tuesday ago" rather than "sometime during the fall."
  • Something that really helped me understand how to treat each plant was learning what their native climate would have been like. A succulent belongs in the desert, a fiddle leaf fig in the jungle, and so on. Obviously my house is neither of those things, but I can try and treat them as closely to that as possible.
  • Know when to buy fake. I have little wall shelves I wanted succulents in, but I knew there just wasn't enough light for them to survive. Faux plants are so lifelike these days, I bet no one can tell. 
  • Make sure someone waters your plants when you leave on vacation. I forgot this one while in Austria and came back to a few sad plant buddies.
  • Finally, remember that a potted plant you bought for $13 has already lasted longer than a cut flower bouquet that costs the same amount of money. Don't feel too guilty if it takes you a while to learn how to keep them alive. It's ok!
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I would give you a list of my plants, but I honestly don't know what most of them are. That's what happens when you buy plants based on how cute they are and don't pay attention to what they're called. 

Happy Growing!