I grew up gardening outdoors with my mom, and have recently developed an obsession with indoor house plants. Part of this stems from working in a flower shop, but I think the main reason is because the average temperature here has been about a billion degrees below zero, and I have not spent much time outside (Okay it hasn’t been a billion below, but it has been -27 fahrenheit, with windchill around -40. So basically, a billion.). With all the snow and ice outside, having some living and green things inside not only helps the air quality and staleness but also brings some color and cheer on those grey days.
Lots of people say to me, “I love plants but I have a black thumb!” I am fully convinced that 80% of being successful with indoor plants has to do with actually remembering that they are there. This may sound counter-intuitive, but for me the more plants I have, the more likely I remember that they need to be taken care of. If I have just one little pot in a random corner in my living room, I usually forget about it and it dies within a week. If I have a big table-full like the photo below, they are a little harder to ignore.
The herbs and plants I currently have are:
– Snake plant
– Zee Zee plant, or Zamioculcas
– Two orchids in rehab
Most plants that you buy at Walmart or Home Depot will have care tags that let you know how much light and water it needs, but you do need to make sure that you are actually looking at the plant and soil when you care for it. For instance: if it says water it once a week, but three days later the soil is bone dry, give it a little drink; if the soil is still soaked a week later, hold off a bit. The same thought applies to sunlight. Obey the instructions as best as possible, but if your plants are getting pale in color, they may need more sun; if they start to get brown sun spots or dry edges, pull them back from the window a bit.
Some of my favorite plants currently are succulents and air plants, and they are easy to care for if you know what they like. For air plants, all you have to do is soak them in room temp water for 45 min to an hour once a week. For succulents, the most important thing to know is that they would rather be too dry than too wet; because of that, the type of soil does matter. You should be able to find the sandy succulent soil anywhere that succulents are sold. They also need sunlight, even if labeled “low-light.” Ambient light in a living room or front room should be sufficient, but if it starts to look pale and lose color, or wilt and stop growing, give it a couple days (or a new home) in a bright window.
Good luck and happy growing!