If you want to bring a little life into your space, a houseplant may - actually! - become your best friend. Keeping plants in the home help with a slew of health benefits, like helping you sleep better, and cleaning the air in your house.
However, there are some big differences in caring for garden plants and houseplants. Whether you've got a green thumb or a brown thumb, the eight hacks below are great to keep in your Plant Baby Tool Belt so you can have a bounty of luscious plants around you at all times.
1. MIST THEM
Some plants loooove a gentle misting to their leaves to replicate their natural tropical habitat. On your watering schedule, bring a bottle of water with a fine mister with your watering can, and evenly mist your leafy plants.
Note: Don't mist plants in the cactus family, since they like things hot and dry.
2. AERATE THEM
When plants are potted they can become root bound or develop compacted soil. You can tell if this has happened when you pour water in the plant and it either spills over the sides or quickly pours out of the bottom - a sign the plant hasn't absorbed any water.
To encourage your plant to absorb water, poke a few holes in the top/surface of the soil using something like a fork or straw (I use a little poker that is for holding the olive in a martini glass) and then water. You can regularly aerate your plants to make sure the soil isn't compacted.
3. ROTATE THEM
Plants will grow toward the light, and you may even see some reaching toward your windows where the sun comes in! If you want to create even, healthy growth - especially with your cacti - regularly rotate your plants to ensure all sides are receiving a good dose of light.
4. CLEAN THEIR LEAVES
When a plant's leaves become dusty, it can have a hard time photosynthesizing and thriving. The dust on the leaves can "clog" the plant, creating a layer of "shade" on the plant's surface. It also increases the temperature on the plant, and can cause sunburn if the plant is in direct light.
If you notice a layer of dust on your plants, gently wipe it away with a damp cloth, careful not to break the plant's foliage. You can shine your plants afterward (mayonnaise or coconut oil) to help prevent dust from accumulating as quickly.
5. GROOM THEM
Some plants can grow awry. Leaves can become dull or yellow, stems can twist and mess with each other, or the root system can creep up around the pot. Aside from the obvious removing and repotting fixes, grooming your plant can help keep it healthy. Ensure all the stems are clear from each other by untwisting them and even fastening them away from each other or to posts, remove any wilting, crispy, or brown or yellow leaves, and trim overgrowth.
Regular trimming also encourages new, healthy growth.
6. TALK TO THEM
Studies show that plants respond to conversation! In areas where there are more sounds, plants tend to grow better. There are also some studies that explore talking to plants directly, and how the release of CO2 helps them photosynthesize and convert C02 to oxygen at a better rate.
7. BRING THEM INTO THE BATHROOM
Based on the same theory that some plants enjoy being misted to replicate their environment, bringing your plants into the bathroom during a steamy shower helps replicate the humidity in their natural environment. This works best for tropical plants who are used to high levels of moisture in the air.
8. BUT... DON'T MOVE THEM AROUND TOO MUCH
Plants acclimate themselves to their environment. If you move your plants around your home too much, they may not get a chance to adjust and consequently may not grow to their full potential. A plant needs time to become accustomed to the space it is in - this is why sometimes your plant may suffer slightly when you first bring it home from the greenhouse.