By Boho Babe
Be a better plant person: How to start your own mini jungle using indoor plants that are easy to care for.
Pro tip: Using greenery within your home creates a sense of peace and warmth.
Alicia Thibault has been selling plants through The Bohemian since becoming interested in them herself only a few years ago. Now, her bright A-Frame home is filled with various forms of greenery, several of which she has grown from cuttings. In the summer months, Alicia says her indoor plants are often ignored in favor of her outdoor flower beds and garden. As she says, one of the most grounding things a person could do is play with dirt.
Read along to learn Alicia's top tips for starting an indoor jungle--and keeping it alive!
What plant should I start with?
Start with a snake plant! Snake plants are super easy to care for, they're trendy, and easy to decorate with. Larger snake plants are great for sticking next to a dresser on the floor, and smaller can easily fit on a desk or tabletop.
Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria, don't require anything special--no fancy fertilizer or specific type of pot. They can do well in in-direct sunlight and low-light settings. They can tolerate dry air and forgetful waterers.
Bonus: If you are looking for a flashy plant to impress your guests, the snake plant comes in a multitude of varieties, with new varieties entering the market yearly.
To care for your snake plant:
plant in a well-draining pot (as a general rule, don't go up more than 2" in diameter from the nursery pot you purchase the plant in)
use well-draining soil
water when the soil feels dry
find it a pretty home within your space!
Snake plants thrive in shade to partial sun, but can boost in growth when given direct sunlight for a couple hours at a time. These plants are drought-resistant, but can be susceptible to overwatering and root rot. If you plant starts to develop brown spots, this could be due to either too much direct sunlight or inconsistent watering. If this happens to you, simply relocate your plant and set reminders to water it on a more consistent basis. For most homes, this looks like watering once every two weeks or so.
In the winter months, be sure to keep your plant in warmer areas, as it needs room temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In these months, a typical snake plant can even go up to two months between waterings.
Snake plants are truly the low effort, hardy indoor plant you want to start with.
If you don't love the sword shape of the snape plant, try a pothos! Pothos can be fun because of their gorgeous trailing vines. Like snake plants, they come in all sorts of colors and variations, so there is sure to be one for you!
Pothos, or Epipremnum aureum, are great to add to bookcases, shelves, and even the tops of china cabinets (as pictured below). Adding a trailing plant to your decor can breathe life into a something that is filled with heavy, angular items. It's a great way to add texture and movement to a space.
To care for your pothos:
plant in a well-draining pot
use well-draining soil (pro tip: add perlite or lava rocks to increase aeration)
place in bright, in-direct sunlight (though pothos can also survive in spots with less light, this is what they prefer)
water every one to two weeks, or when soil feels dry
Pothos are almost as hardy as snake plants. Their trailing vines are often what draw beginner plant owners to them. They can be left to trail as they wish, or aided in growing vertically using a coco coir pole.
Common issues with pothos include overwatering and underwatering. If you've overwatered, the leaves will yellow and stems will blacken. If you underwater, the plant will wilt and the soil will dry out.
Try to keep your pothos out of direct, bright sunlight, as the leaves will burn.
What supplies do I need?
While it might be tempting to run to the store and buy the prettiest planter you can find, not having proper drainage is often what causes plants to die. Find pots with drainage holes in the center of the bottom to mitigate this. It allows the excess water to drain from the pot so the plant doesn't sit in still water and develop root rot.
Tip: If you must have that one planter without a drainage hole, just keep your plant in a plastic nursery pot! These are available at most nurseries and can easily tuck into that beautiful pot you've purchased without harming the plant.
A little Google search can go a long way in choosing the right plants for you and your space! Spend a little time researching plants before you run to the plant store and stock up. It will make your plant journey a lot less frustrating from the get-go.
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
If you are just getting started, or willing to try your hand at plant care yet again, don't forget to research specific care guides for the plants you are buying. There are all sorts of plants out there, all you have to do is find ones that fit your lifestyle! If you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of sunlight, get a fern. If you live in a dry air area, get a spider plant.
Find what works for you and run with it. Happy planting!