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Happy Thursday beautiful people!  Our week so far has been filled with bits of birthday festivities for Eliza and a concerted lack of effort when it comes to cleaning up from her party that was last Sunday.  Sometimes it takes a while to recuperate, what can I say?  So instead putting away party remnants, I figured I would talk about houseplants.  One of my most favorite subjects at the moment.  I have, over the past couple of years, become a crazy plant lady.  There’s just something about adding green to a space, the oxygen, the growth, the liveliness that accompanies it.  When we were still building the house, and had just poured the patio, we were no where near moving back in but I brought over a few plants to hang on the patio.  Having something to water at our own house was a simple way of bringing some life and purpose into the space.  Ever since then, we have been filling the space with more and more life; our babies and plant babies, taking up space and bringing joy.

I was listening to The Little Chapters podcast the other day about hobbies.  If you haven’t listened to it I highly recommend it.  Jessica and Kayte are wonderful.  But during that listen I was feeling a bit concerned about my lack of hobbies and then I thought, “my plant babies are a hobby!” And I didn’t feel so bad anymore! 🙂  They really do bring me joy and also give me something to nurture that isn’t quite as argumentative or prone to tantrums as the girls.  They weren’t always so agreeable though.  And I have had some run-ins with bad plant care and have learned some tricks and tips that will hopefully allow you to avoid the mistakes that I made.  Most houseplants are so simple, anyone should be able to enjoy and care for them!

Houseplant Tips and Tricks

  • Soil: For most houseplants I use a mix of potting soil and a fine mulch.  The mulch just helps with drainage, which you want because over watering is the demise of houseplants.  For succulents, like my aloe, I use a cactus mix or just a more mulch heavy mixture for added drainage.  Succulents, despite their reputation for being so easy to care for, aren’t my favorite and I have basically killed all but a couple, so I may not be the expert on those!
  • Pots: I have tried basically every type of pot out there.  Every size, material, etc.  Don’t do what I did.  Stick to terracotta for a couple of reasons.  First, I love the look of them.  I kept thinking that I wanted funky sort of anthropologie looking pots but each time I planted in them they ended up looking childlike and not congruent.  And the terracotta pots get the most beautiful patina after some use and look great in any decor.  Second, they are the best for the plants.  They absorb water because the are porous, unlike glazed or plastic pots, and this keeps the plants from sitting in water and getting root rot.  You may have to water a bit more frequently but it is so worth it.
  • Watering: Most of my favorite plants that are listed below are pretty hardy and will tolerate less water than more.  They are watered about once per week give or take a day or two and the couple that aren’t in terracotta go even longer between waterings.  I feel the soil and once I can’t find a depth that is still obviously wet, I water.  I give them a good watering and let the water run out of their drainage hole.

 

Without further ado, here are my favorites.

 

Easy Greens

Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant)

chinese money plant

  • Likes indirect sun
  • Let it dry out a bit between waterings (the leaves will start to droop)
  • Make sure to rotate it because it will grow towards the light source
  • I just love the shape of the leaves and the Scandinavian vibes
  • Buy it here!

 

Jade Pothos

jade pothos

  • Great in medium to low light
  • Very easy to grow
  • Fast growing
  • Buy it here!

 

ZZ Plant

zz plant

  • Great in medium to low light
  • Definitely let dry out between waterings
  • Air purifying
  • Slower growing
  • Buy it here!

 

Philodendron

Philodendron

  • Very fast growing
  • Great in most any light, but can handle low light
  • Let dry out a bit between waterings
  • Buy it here!

 

Janet Craig Compacta

Janet Craig Compacta

  • Great in low light
  • Seems to need a bit more water than the others
  • Slow growing
  • Buy it here!

 

Semi-Succulents

Peperomia Caperata

peperomia

  • Silvery green rippled leaves
  • Let dry out almost completely between waterings
  • Has very shallow roots so it doesn’t need a large container
  • Bright indirect light
  • Buy it here!

 

Succulents

Aloe Vera

aloe vera

  • Let dry out completely
  • Great in low light
  • Use for medicinal purposes (sunburns ouch!)
  • The roots grow shallow but wide, hence my pot 🙂
  • Buy it here!

 

String of Pearls

String of Pearls

  • Let dry out completely
  • Roots are very shallow
  • Plant is fairly fragile so be careful!
  • Indirect sunlight is fine
  • Buy it here!

 

Herbs (Don’t try any others, trust me)

Chives

Chives

  • Bright indirect sunlight
  • Let the top inch or two of soil dry out but keep the rest moist
  • Clip and use often because it grows fast
  • The only herb I have been able to get to grow indoors

 

Happy spring potting!  And please fill me in on any other must have houseplants!  I always love adding more plant babies!  MEB

houseplants

You can find a bit more about my plant obsession here.

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