You always knew it was going to be difficult... becoming a plant parent for the first time... but 2018 was borderline traumatic.
In the beginning you were so full of hope and inspiration. Most of your friends had just become plant parents and were oohing and ahhing over their perfect pileas and fantastic fiddle leaf figs. They all looked so happy together and you soon developed a new appreciation for the expression “green with envy”.
You’d return home and begin your nightly scroll through the social media plant world. Beautiful pictures on @urbanjungleblog, @jungalow, and @houseplantclub cascaded through your feed, and the idea of having your very own plant became rooted in your mind.
you whispered to yourself on those lonely, green-less nights.
And then it happened. Your prayers were answered when Sharon from work gifted you a succulent on your birthday. Blessed be dear Sharon! Praise the plant gods for this wonderful blessing. It was time to join the ranks of plant parenthood.
And you loved that little succulent with everything you had to give. You bought a grow lamp, you sculpted you own handmade pot, and you read it bedtime stories each night. You were successfully raising a happy, healthy plant and all seemed right with the world.
Until it wasn’t…
Suddenly the color started to fade and the shriveled leaves fell to the soil. Your plant was dying a slow, agonizing, silent death, and you couldn’t do anything to save it. You tried buying another plant for added support but it too began to wilt and soon your living room became a plant hospice. R.I.P. Plant.
But in 2019 hope springs eternal This is the year. This is the year no plants die under your watch. In fact, this year you’re going BIG. Palms without brown edges? Not a problem. Orchids that never die? Too easy. Soil without any nasty pests? Bring it on fungus gnats.
Now before you go opening a tab at The Sill, let’s make sure we learn from 2018’s failures. Here are my top five plant resolutions for all plant parents in 2019.
1. I will NOT overwater. I will NOT overwater. I will NOT overwater.
Overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants. Just because plants need water doesn’t mean they need it every day, and overwatering often leads to root rot which can be deadly. In fact, most plants only need water once a week, so please take the time to learn the specific watering requirements for each plant. Remember, it is always better to underwater than overwater.
2. I will commit to daily check ins with my plants to catch problems early and often.
It’s easy for our plant problems to get out of hand if we don’t pay attention to our plants’ warning signs. They will let you know when they are unhappy, but you have to take the time to look and pay close attention to the small details. Try implementing daily check ins with each plant to make sure nothing is off. It is easy to solve certain issues if you catch them early, so keep your eyes open.
3. I will only buy plants that will thrive in my environment.
That Fiddle Leaf Fig may look magnificent, but it isn’t going to survive in your basement apartment without any windows. Most plant parents fail because they buy plants that are ill-suited for their environment. Take the time to understand the specific requirements of each plant and be honest about your own plant care dedication. It will save you money and emotional strife.
4. I will learn from my plant parent role models.
The best way to become a great plant parent is to learn from others. Here are some of my favorite plant parents and their instructional content.
Amanda is a plant styling genius, and she is incredibly knowledgeable about plant care. She is the definition of #plantgoals and she basically lives in a greenhouse. Watch her video on plant watering ASAP.
Kevin’s work is truly epic and his YouTube channel is incredible. Whether you are growing houseplants plants or starting a hydroponic garden, Kevin has got you covered. Check out this awesome video on pothos propagation.
Maria is a former plant killer turned crazy plant lady who’s podcast features some of the best plant experts and their helpful tips. This episode specifically talks about natural light which is critical to selecting the right plants for your space.
The team at green.spiration has got you covered when it comes to plant-specific tips. Their plant-of-the-week IG content is can’t miss, and it walks you through exact care guides for every plant imaginable. They also answer DMs so don’t be shy to ask your plant Qs.
5. I will forgive myself when some of my plants inevitably struggle.
Let’s be real. We all have plants that are currently struggling and we’ve all killed a plant or two (or twelve). Give yourself a break and remember that plants require persistence and patience. Just keep an open mind, learn as much as you can, and don’t beat yourself up if your plants look a little unhappy. It happens to the best of us (myself included) so keep at it young plant parent. You got this.