How to start as a plant parent for the first time.
We have all started somewhere, right? There might have been times where you felt like you were interested in plants but not ready enough to grow them by yourself. Or, you have tried but have never been successful in keeping them alive. If you are completely new to the world of plants and somehow are interested, then we have some tips for you! Being a plant parent for the first time might be tricky but with the right guidance, your road to Plant Parenthood will be awesome! Here we discuss five things to remember when starting out as a plant parent for the first time:
1. Don't be scared of the commitment:
You might be stressed about the commitment or gain a sense of responsibility towards your plants once you become a plant parent. Don’t worry about the commitment because this comes naturally once you decide to grow a plant. Also, planting/gardening is not as tiring or hectic as you might think. Many people find planting/gardening to be a therapeutic experience. You might be the busiest person in the world but imagine coming home to a lively and beautiful plant. When you are into plants, you’ll eventually take out time for them. So relax and don't worry!
2. Start with low maintenance plants:
Start out with a low-maintenance plant. Opt for plants that are easiest to care for and are very adaptable to water and sunlight conditions. Plants like snake plants, spider plants, ZZ, and pothos can fall into this category. Since these plants require less care, you don't have to worry about your plants dying easily. Also, if you have busy days, these plants will still survive and not complain. However, this doesn't mean you neglect them completely. Do check on them occasionally. As a new plant parent myself, I am growing neon pothos (very easy to care for).
3. Don’t overwater your plant:
This is the last thing to do, just because you are bored! Even if the world is ending, please don’t overwater your plants! Many new plant parents think watering their plants literally all the time will help them grow. No! This is the most common mistake new plant parents make. The best rule of thumb is to water only when the top 1-2 inches of the soil is dry. You can find this out by using your fingers to test the soil. Always make sure to allow the soil to dry out partially between the next waterings. Also, when watering, keep the soil moist but not soggy because sogginess can rot the roots. If you have overwatered, make sure the pot has a proper drainage facility so that you can dump the excess water.
4. Understand your plant and their needs:
Firstly understand your plants, what type of plants are they? Do they need frequent waterings, or are they drought tolerant? Do they need enough bright light or can they easily survive in full shade? Different plants have different ways of growing. For example, we assume that if the leaves are drooping, it probably means they are dying. For some plants, drooping leaves may mean that watering and sunlight conditions have not been met. But for plants like Calathea have the tendency to droop during the day and point upwards at night to maximize light absorption. In fact, this is a sign that they are healthy. Remember, your plant will communicate when they want something. Look for the signs they portray and you shall understand. For instance, if the leaves are turning brownish or yellowish, then you might be either underwatering or overwatering. Or, you might have failed to help them meet their sunlight requirements.
5. Don’t doubt your gardening skills:
No one is born a perfect gardener right. It’s all trial and error that makes us better at what we do! Same with planting/gardening, as a first-time plant parent, don't doubt your skills. You might panic believing you have zero gardening skills so you will eventually kill a plant. Just understand the basics like sunlight, water, soil, fertilizer, and humidity needs and your plant will thrive well. You might be even taking good care of your plant but it may not be growing? Well, just be patient with it. Some plants take time to adjust to their new environment and new plant parents. Even if you fail the first time, you’ll always have room to improve your gardening skills.
I hope this blog helps all the new plant parents out there! You can always reach out to us on our social media pages for any plant-related queries. We are happy to build a strong community of plant enthusiasts. Happy Gardening!
About the writer:
Chadani Satyal is a Digital Marketing Executive at I Am The Gardener. She loves to sing and has recently started learning to play Ukulele. She’s probably the most entertaining person you’ll come across!