Adding life to your space can be done in so many different ways: A good, deep clean, refreshing your decor and/or, my personal favorite, adding plants are sure fire ways to give a room a new look and feel.
Going the plant route might require a little more TLC depending on which plants you gravitate towards. I was gifted a snake plant a few months ago that I’ve been able to (somehow) keep alive. This has been especially shocking for me because I grew up in a fake-plant house; they were beautiful and well-maintained so save your shade (lol). Anyway, if I can keep Roberto Clemente (yes, that’s my snake plant’s name) alive, then you definitely got this!
Here’s what I’ve learned so far from some very wonderful plant experts who helped inspire me to create “The Newby Guide to Plant Parenting”.
Remember, we’re in this together! So here’s to you becoming an official “plarent” in no time!
Step 1: First thing’s first, let’s talk about your capacity to be a “plarent”
You know the saying “some people have it and some people don’t”. I like to believe that everybody “has it” for something. Maybe you can’t maintain something that requires a lot of water, but your space is perfect for something that requires a warm environment or vice versa. Knowing what your schedule and space permits will set you up for success and then you can choose your plant according to these conditions. Don’t get overzealous, now. We’re just starting off and there’s plenty of opportunity – in the future, once you’re comfy – to take on some new plant babies.
Step 2: Lighting is everything, honey – for selfies and for plants
When you’re shifting your body and extending your arm, trying to find the right angle, sometimes it’s just the lighting, sis. Lighting will make a medium photo look fire and a fire photo look off the charts. It’s the same with your plant baby. Do you get good lighting in your room or is it more of a cellar vibe? No shade, here – because there’s a plant for every lighting level. Also, if possible, consider increasing the amount of light in your room even for yourself. You’re basically a plant, anyway. Feed yourself and broaden your options of what you can bring home – plant-wise.
Step 3: Do you have the temperature fi shelter your plant from the storm?
Because if you don’t, you might be looking at a snake plant or a succulent like me. Living on the East Coast made me feel like I’d be throwing my plant baby away within months, but Roberto is thriving (I think). With that being said, my room is pretty chilly naturally AND I like to keep him in the window for his happiness and my privacy.
Some plants are pretty chill that they can thrive pretty much anywhere, and I definitely think my good friend took that into consideration when she sent him to me. (lol) And, I’m grateful. Think about the temp in your room of choice and then go from there!
Step 4: Repotting is the plant version of replotting – because if you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready
The House Plant Shop shared in their guide that repotting has eight steps total. You’ve got the watering to help the soil slide out easier, the removing which requires a gentle touch, cleaning the pot, adding soil, positioning so it’s centered, filling with soil, watering again (‘til it runs out the bottom) and then the final step of trimming the damaged leaves. Sounds like a lot, but it isn’t. And, if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed by the sound of this process, stop by your local plant shop and ask for some help. They can walk you through it or do the repotting – for a fee, of course.
Step 5: Water can be tricky because whether you’re over or under, if you’re not hitting the right spot – then what’re we even talking about?
Listen, as a new plantmama, I’ve definitely overwatered and thankfully both Roberto & Celia (yes, named after the Queen) have stood by my side (lol). A good friend of mine told me that you just need to make sure that the soil is damp all the way through. Not soaking, not a little wet. DAMP, thoroughly.
Now this will take some time to measure properly, but once you feel the dampness on the top of the soil and in the bottom (via the hole in the bottom that helps it drain) you’ll understand. Oh yeah, this requires feeling and getting your hands dirty. Nothin some soap and water can’t fix after so dive in!
Step 6: Pruning, yes – but not like the juice that your Granny likes, but the method that keeps your plant looking fresh.
Okay so maybe a little bit like that juice, then. Pruning and trimming are in the same family. Because I can get scissor happy with almost any project, I like to use my hands and just pull gently the leaves that look dead which I usually determine by their color. Starting off, I thought everything had to be kelly green or it was unhealthy. (A mess, I know). Howeverrrr, I figured out that the lighter green sprouts are babies coming into their own while the deeper green-brownish ones are on their way out. And there’s nothing wrong with that – death and life are a part of the plant process and generally every process at the end of the day.
Step 7: Speaking life into your plants is critical, because they breathe life into you everyday
It’s reciprocity, and the things/people we love deserve that from us as we get it from them. I literally talk to Roberto & Celia every morning when I’m being mindful. Sometimes I see them later in the day and give them a rub. On the days when the gratitude hits first thing in the morning, I thank them for breathing life into me and my space literally and figuratively. They bring me so much joy when I take the time to dote on them and that’s the perk of being a “plarent”. So, it’s time. Which one are you thinking of getting? I’m excited for you!,