If Like Me, You Don’t Have Green Thumbs, Then This Post Is For You

Whether we are forced to stay home or if we run a home-based business, indoors has become the new outdoors for many people. This can bring to mind quick ways to make our homes as pleasant and relaxing as possible, without breaking the bank. Houseplants can be THE solution or at least part of it. Not only do they have decorative qualities, but they also help to boost mood and purify the air.

But how many of us are faced with the sometimes difficult task of keeping them alive? Personally, I have found that scenario quite frustratingly disappointing. Plus, the fact that horticulture is not one of my strong suits, doesn’t make this process any easier.

Clearly, I needed a practical, hassle-free strategy adapted to my limited knowledge and passion for gardening. 

Let’s start by looking at the mistakes I made when choosing houseplants. 

Cartoon By The New Yorker

Driven by my relentless pursuit of bringing greenery in, I often bought healthy looking plants from the local garden center, strategically placed them around the house, only to see them fade away before my eyes. I was back to square one every single time. Over the years, this had become a very costly exercise:

  • I impulsively bought plants.
  • I picked plants meant for outdoor use.
  • I am naturally attracted to color so I selected plants with cute pink flowers thinking they would miraculously last a long time. They never did.
  • I chose plants for their colourful decorative pots without verifying if they were okay to use indoors.
  • I never asked the staff at the garden center for advice or direction.
  • I over-watered or under-watered plants and never managed to get the right balance.
  • Soil or fertilizer was a foreign concept to me.
  • Photosynthesis rules flew out of my head.

Obviously, I needed some guidance here. With help from my husband Nick, a major fan of greenery, I have selected eight houseplants that require minimum, uncomplicated care and that would last a long time. Before going through the list, here is some general advice:

When choosing plants from the garden center or supermarket, it is important to look at the health of the plant. That means looking at the plant carefully. A healthy plant means that it has been looked after in terms of watering and general maintenance. The soil should not be too wet or so dry that there is a gap between the soil and the pot. Look for a healthy root ball too. When you get the plant home, make sure that you adhere to the guidelines that come with it. Most houseplants without flowers only need watering once every two weeks. The soil after watering should be moist but not wet. Be careful not to put some plants in direct sunlight. With flowering plants, make sure the soil is always moist and remove dead flowers as they die off. A process called deadheading.

I am using general terms to name these plants as, frankly, I can never remember their specific names. As long as the plants you choose within this category are meant for indoor use, they should be ok.

Spider Plant – Photo Credit: crocus.co.uk
Ficus Bonsai – Photo Credit: crocus.co.uk
Yucca Plant – Photo Credit: indoorplantshop.co.uk
Peace Lily – Photo Credit: crocus.co.uk
Aloe Vera – Photo Credit: crocus.co.uk
Indoor Fern – Photo Credit: crocus.co.uk
ficus Plant – Photo Credit: crocus.co.uk

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions about how to care for any indoor plant, send me a message, I will be happy to help!

Inass M. Jenner

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