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So, You Want to Be A Plant Mom: Beginner’s Guide to Picking Your First Plant
They’re all over your Instagram. #MonsteraMonday, #PlantMom, #PlantsOfInstagram. When no one was looking, green foliage took over our timelines, showering us with aesthetics that sparked joy and a desire to get our own green friends.
But where do you begin? Sure, some plants look like they were plucked directly out of the Amazon, but are they high maintenance? Are they safe for little ones in your home (the furry ones and the not-so-furry ones)? How do you even decide where to start? Here are four easy tips to help you take the first step on your path to plant parenthood.
1.) Do a Quick Home (& Self) Assessment
You want to get a good understanding of the layout of your crib, like how light filters into your space and whether the air in your home is dry or humid. Certain plants need lots of bright light and humid temperatures, while others can thrive in little to no light. The best plant for you will depend on your home and where you plan to have your new green friend settle in.
You also need to do an honest self-assessment about how much you’re willing to put into plant care, taking into consideration things like a busy travel schedule (which is likely not a huge deal for a lot of us right now).
2.) Start With Something Easy
Once you know what you and your home are capable of, it’s time to pick a plant that fits your personality. This is why it’s important to know how much time and energy you’re willing to invest in your new babies.
When first starting out, it’s best to wade into your plant parenthood journey with something easy and low maintenance. Whether you buy in person or online, most places will be able to direct you towards the best plants for aspiring green thumbs so you can pick one out with confidence. Below are a few of our favorite houseplants that are great for beginners.
If you live in a space that doesn’t get great light or if you’re looking for an easy office plant, the ZZ is perfect for you. This plant is almost indestructible and capable of living for months without water. The only way to actually kill it is with too much water.
Start with a ZZ if you’re convinced you have anything but a green thumb.
Pothos are easy, versatile plants that love bright, filtered light but can also thrive in low light spaces. Its sprawling leaves can tolerate some missed waterings but aim to water it when the top layer of soil is getting dry.
The pothos is great for establishing routine since it will forgive you if you miss a few scheduled waterings here and there.
The snake plant is another popular one for your first foray into more greenery. The snake plant thrives in indirect light, but they can survive in dim light situations. It’s also famously known to be an air purifier, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen at night. Like the ZZ, snake plants should not be overwatered and are actually quite resistant to drought conditions.
This plant is great for you if you’re looking for a natural air purifier that adds beauty to your space.
3.) Get Some Simple Tools
Whether you go with one of the plants listed above or choose something else, your next step will be to invest in some simple tools to help you in your new journey.
First, you’ll need planters to transfer your new babes once you get home. This is an opportunity to really let your personality shine. Planters can be anything from beautifully woven baskets to hand-carved drawings on ceramic. You may need a saucer so you can drain any excess from waterings. You’ll also need a simple watering can, a spray bottle to mist and create humidity as needed, a pair of shears for snipping dead leaves, and soil.
As you grow in your plant parent journey, you may acquire more tools, but the ones listed above should be enough to get you started!
4.) Follow Some Experts!
You’re joining a huge, growing family of plant people, so there’s no reason to do this alone. From Hilton Carter to HotPlantMom, you’re bound to find a blog or someone on Instagram answering all your questions about what those yellow leaves mean or how to know if your plant has fallen prey to root rot. Some of our other favorite plant parents to follow for advice include Black Girls with Gardens, eargardn, and D.C-based Black-owned plant shop groun.ded. Follow them and get ready to win #BestPlantParent award!
Is this your first foray into foliage or are you a long-time plant lover? Tag @melaninmoi in your plant pics and show us your green thumb!