How to start your houseplant collection
Indoor plant enthusiast
“How to Pot Indoor Houseplants”
This YouTube video from Homebase, a home improvement retailer in the United Kingdom, reviews different pot types, how to repot your plant and the best time to do it. This is a great video for beginners, especially if you are nervous to handle and spread the roots of your plant.
“Seven Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants for Beginners”
This article from Plants.com lists some easy-to-care-for houseplants with varying light requirements. These plants are a good starting point for a houseplant collection. In other words, they’re hard to kill. I would personally recommend you start with one of the plants that performs well in low light, as they’re the simplest to care for. While they may need more water than others, that's easier to provide than more light.
“How to Water Indoor Plants”
Now that you have your plants, learn how to best water them with this blog post by Flora Grubb Gardens, a San Francisco shop whose mission is to “create a city full of green thumbs.” I like that one of the first things mentioned in the piece is to get to know your plant. Certain indoor plants are drama queens, and you can tell immediately what they need by how they look. I water some of my plants regularly, but for most I just wait until they “ask” for water by becoming droopy or starting to curl up their leaves a little.
“Light and Houseplants”
OurHousePlants.com has a great guide covering the various temperatures and types of light you can expect from all directions. This blog post describes what plants have the highest success rates in different locations and also includes a helpful graphic about the different light levels you’ll find at home.
“How-To: Pick a Planter for Your Plant”
Different pots require different levels of care. Pots with drainage holes and trays are always the easiest because you can tell that your soil has been evenly soaked when the excess water drains out. However, many decorative pots don’t have drainage holes, which means they require more attention and more precise watering. Whichever you decide, this article from The Sill, an online houseplant retailer, will guide you through the size, material and type of pot your plant needs.
“Propagating a Pothos in Water”
This video, from the YouTube channel Erica by Design, takes you through all the steps of propagation for a pothos—a climbing plant known for its leathery or waxy heart-shaped leaves—from the initial cutting to repotting. Many of these rules apply to other types of plants, so this is a useful guide for getting started more generally. If you give it a try, keep in mind that not all plants will propagate, and sometimes it takes a few attempts.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your houseplant collection, the Potawatomi Conservatories in South Bend are a great place to visit. Home to everything from tropical to desert plants, they provide a tranquil and relaxing space. The Conservatories also host a variety of botanical education classes, as well as yoga and Afro percussion classes.