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10 Things No One Tells You About Growing Houseplants

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10 Things No One Tells You About Growing Houseplants

1. You will kill some plants

We all do it and we all did it. Don’t bother with ‘Plants that are impossible to kill’ lists, they all include Sansevieria and Pilea, they are killed all the time. I’ve even seen some that include Calatheas – good luck with them if you’re a newbie! There’s a learning curve to growing plants and it will take plenty of trial and error to get good at it. Also, no one is born with ‘green fingers’, some people just don’t share their failures.

2. But you can also save plants

Many garden centers and shops have discount sections. If they’re not sold, their next stop is the garbage bin. There’s a good chance you’ll find some orchids there. When they’re no longer in bloom, no one wants them. If you don’t see any pest infestation, give them a good home and you’ll get to see them bloom next year (or maybe sooner?). This could also be a good place to find some otherwise expensive plants that have some damage to their leaves.

3. You will over-water and under-water your plants

The easiest fix for this is to try to figure out what type of plant parent are you – the one who loves to water plants all the time or the one who tends to forget them. Then look for the plants that like to be kept moist or dry. Never follow watering instructions that suggest “watering once a week” or “watering twice a week”. Watering on a schedule like that rarely works. A plant grown in one place has different growing conditions (light, temperature, humidity) than a plant grown in some other place, therefore needs watering more or less often. Pots with many drainage holes and soil mix that drains well are also a good start for the majority of houseplants.

4. There will be bugs

Some people make a big deal out of this, but it’s unavoidable. You’re bringing nature in your home and, well, you’re bringing all of it in. It can be frustrating and some pests are hard to get rid of but there are always ways to deal with them. Watch your plants closely, if you discover pests early, it’s easier to deal with them.

5. Growing plants is not as easy as it looks

I think you get it by now. Creating and admiring your little urban jungle seems like the most relaxing and fuss-free hobby in the world. It’s not! It can feel like that at times but it’s a lot of work. Just buying and decorating with plants won’t keep them happy.

6. But it can be rewarding

There’s nothing quite like watching that little Hoya cutting, that you bought a few years ago, grow into a big plant and finally see it bloom in the middle of cold winter. Or seeing new Monstera leaf unfurling. Or seeing that citrus seed you planted turn into a tree. I can go on and on, you get what I’m saying…

7. Some of your plants won’t be pretty

We all see picture-perfect plants and beautiful plant collections on Instagram. The truth is, everyone has at least a few plants that just don’t look happy. Maybe your Ficus decided to drop a bunch of leaves because you decided to move it, or your succulent is getting leggy because there just isn’t enough light during winter.

8. But they all have personalities

Or that’s what we like to think. There’s a lot of debate on this subject. They all react differently to their growing conditions. They all have different needs.

9. Your plants will need a babysitter to

You want to enjoy your 2 or 3 weeks holiday? I know this isn’t much of an issue in this Covid-19-virus-era, but back in the days when we used to go on holidays and enjoyed a few weeks away from everything, we needed plant sitters. That special someone who will take care of our plants and who we will pretend not to judge when they drown some of our plants. Write instructions! You have too many plants to do that? Write a book! Don’t do it and you’ll regret it. Or just grow cacti, ZZ plants, and Sansevierias, they can survive few weeks without you.

10. It’s a very social hobby

Or it can be as much as you like it to be. Instagram, Facebook groups, Youtube, Reddit, local plant swaps, plant fairs, markets, and shops. Look around, share your experience and thoughts and you’ll soon meet many new people that like the same things that you do.

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