Welcome to Plant Parenthood! As plant people ourselves, we are so excited you have taken the first step into the houseplant-loving world. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about your new plant baby – or if you are wondering what in the world a plant parent is – we will explain it all!
Whether you already have houseplants or you are starting from scratch, the experts at Homestead Gardens can help find the right plant to fit your lifestyle. Many houseplants are easy to grow and most require minimal maintenance.
Plant Parents – What Are They?
Once considered old fashioned, houseplants are now making a comeback in popularity. Caring for houseplants gives us all a sense of purpose, especially Millennials, who are taking care of these plants as if they were their children. The New York Times says wellness-minded Millennials are filling a void – both decorative and emotional – with houseplants.
Millennial plant parents have taken to social media, creating virtual communities including #thejungalow and #houseplantclub and starting online classes such as Homestead Brooklyn’s Plant One on Me, to help encourage each other to jump into plant care. Plus, the shared information helps keep their plant babies alive and well!
Our houseplant experts are always available to answer all your questions and provide tips and tricks on houseplant care.
Plant Care Basics
For those who are brand new to the houseplant game, here are the basics you need to keep in mind as you care for your first houseplant. Just remember the most important things your plant needs are light, water and food. Let’s dive in!
All plants need light, but the amount varies depending on the plant. Think about the type of plant you’re growing. If they are a desert plant, like a cactus or succulent, they love full sun, while jungle natives such as a monstera or ficus like a bit of filtered light, due to the tree canopies they sit under in nature.
Decide where you want to display your plants and determine whether the lighting is full sun, little to no light or something in between. Now you can select the right plant to buy or where to move an existing houseplant. Plant tags will tell you how much light a plant needs. Check out Leslie Halleck’s book, Gardening Under Lights, to learn more about growing plants indoors.
Like light, all plants need water. And like light, which plants you have determines how much water they need. Overwatering is one of the most common ways plants are killed. Thankfully, in most cases there are warning signs and by watering a little more or less you can save your plant.
The plant tag will show how much water your plant prefers. To keep things simple, water whenever the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Use lukewarm water until it runs out of the drainage holes in the pot and discard the excess water so the plant is not stuck in standing water. Allow the top inch of soil to dry again before re-watering. Some plants may require watering every few days, while others may be able to go a week or two between waterings. Humidity in the home can also change your plants’ watering needs, so keep an eye on them when the weather outside and the indoor air change.
Houseplants require nutrients to thrive. They have different needs based on their types like orchids, succulents, African violets, and so many others. The Espoma line of Indoor! organic liquid fertilizers has made it easy to know which one is right for any type of plant. You just mix it in your watering can according to the package, and water like normal.
And when it’s time to replant your babies into bigger pots, remember to use Espoma Organic Potting Mix to give them the nutrients they need right from the start!
Social Media Craze
Millennials are all about buying, caring for, and sharing their houseplant stories on social media. And why not! There is such a great community of plant parents out there to bond with and online houseplant experts, called influencers, who want everyone to be successful growing plants. These influencers share information via blogs, vlogs, podcasts and courses on how to care for each specific plant. Summer Rayne, from Homestead Brooklyn and bona fide plant parent with over 750 houseplants, wrote a book about taking care of plants.
Social media has given people from all walks of life, all over the world, with the same interests, the opportunity to teach and learn about their plant babies. Some have even taken to joining in on plant swaps or sending each other cuttings of special or unique plants. Lifelong friendships have been created over showcasing houseplants (and gardens) on social media.
Check out Laura with Garden Answer; she has a following of over 2.5 million people, because of her love for and creativity with plants, who treat her like a friend even though they’ve never met her in real life.
The gardening industry, specifically houseplants, was looking at a decline in popularity a few years back; however that has changed. According to GardenResearch.com, 30 percent of all households bought at least one houseplant in 2017. Social media has helped turn this entire industry around.
How to Get Involved
Join the conversation, whether you are a new plant parent or an experienced plant expert. The influx of social media posts has created daily hashtags supporting some of the most popular plants – #MonsteraMonday and #SanseveriaSunday just to name a few. Follow communities of people using #IHaveThisThingWithPlants, #PlantLadyIsTheNewCatLady or our favorite #plantparenthood.