HOW TO GET STARTED WITH HOUSE PLANTS

 

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH HOUSE PLANTS
Did you see that Washington Post article about how millennials are filling their houses (and “the voids in their hearts,” apparently…) with plants these days? Well, be hollow-hearted no more: You can create your own green oasis indoors with a few tips from Lesley Williams, one-half of Botanica Boutique. By Grace Jennings-Edquist

I want to get started with house plants. What varieties of plant are easiest for beginners?

I believe all plants are easy to care for when they are in a spot that they love – so firstly, I would look at where you hope to put them and the conditions of that space.

Most of my favourite plants enjoy natural light but out of the direct sun – exactly what my lounge room provides! Macho ferns, devils ivy, monstera deliciosa, rhaphidophora tetrasperma and giant bird of paradise are my favs and do well in my home with a little splash every week. A sunny window sill would call for say succulents instead.

Succulents are generally very hardy and even if growing conditions aren’t exactly right initially they seem to adapt well. (And then there are terrariums… don’t get me started 🙂

What are the basics I need to get going: just water, feed, a pot and/or a plant stand?

Those sound like a great start!

I tend to keep my plants in their original plastic pot for a fair while, dropping them into a decorative cache pot as good drainage is essential. Cache and self watering pots are excellent. We have some options at our online store; Decor also have a good range of colourful self watering pots too.

As plants get bigger and change they may need repotting and some fertiliser. If you do a quick Google search on your chosen plant, there is so much advice out there on the best times to do this.

I display most of my plants off the ground in hanging pots to save floor space, and I love the look of cascading plants. Test the space too, try different parts of the room. The right spot will definitely take the stress out of trying to keep it alive.

I have barely any light in my apartment. Any varieties of plant you can recommend for darker environments?

This may sound weird, but fungi would love your apartment! How about a terrarium?

All plants needs some form of light to survive but my favourites that work in medium to low light are Devils Ivy, Peace Lilly and the pretty hardy Mother In-Laws Tongue.

What kind of upkeep should I plan for? Do I need to actually tend to my plants every day/week month? 

I basically do a check when I wake up every Sunday morning; it’s my ritual. I water my plants once a week or only when the soil is dry. I mist the leaves too, which my ferns love. The leaves will also tell you a lot so keep an eye on changes.

What’s in style when it comes to pots, plant stands and other accessories?

It’s up to you and your style! There are some incredible options in ceramics at the moment for small desktops and windowsills. Glazed, earthy tones are cool. I’m a sucker for terracotta and concrete too. Its also a great material for the soil being porous and breathable if you are planting directly into it. Marble is beautiful to make a statement. As I love full and cascading plants though my pots are often covered up very quickly!

Botanica is product design duo Lesley Williams and Simon Zappia. Based in South Australia and inspired by nature, they specialise in homeware design for plant lovers worldwide. Find Botanica’s website here or Instagram page here.

Image: I want to get started with house plants. What varieties of plant are easiest for beginners?

I believe all plants are easy to care for when they are in a spot that they love – so firstly, I would look at where you hope to put them and the conditions of that space.

Most of my favourite plants enjoy natural light but out of the direct sun – exactly what my lounge room provides! Macho ferns, devils ivy, monstera deliciosa, rhaphidophora tetrasperma and giant bird of paradise are my favs and do well in my home with a little splash every week. A sunny window sill would call for say succulents instead.

Succulents are generally very hardy and even if growing conditions aren’t exactly right initially they seem to adapt well. (And then there are terrariums… don’t get me started 🙂

What are the basics I need to get going: just water, feed, a pot and/or a plant stand?

Those sound like a great start!

I tend to keep my plants in their original plastic pot for a fair while, dropping them into a decorative cache pot as good drainage is essential. Cache and self watering pots are excellent. We have some options at our online store; Decor also have a good range of colourful self watering pots too.

As plants get bigger and change they may need repotting and some fertiliser. If you do a quick Google search on your chosen plant, there is so much advice out there on the best times to do this.

I display most of my plants off the ground in hanging pots to save floor space, and I love the look of cascading plants. Test the space too, try different parts of the room. The right spot will definitely take the stress out of trying to keep it alive.

I have barely any light in my apartment. Any varieties of plant you can recommend for darker environments?

This may sound weird, but fungi would love your apartment! How about a terrarium?

All plants needs some form of light to survive but my favourites that work in medium to low light are Devils Ivy, Peace Lilly and the pretty hardy Mother In-Laws Tongue.

What kind of upkeep should I plan for? Do I need to actually tend to my plants every day/week month? 

I basically do a check when I wake up every Sunday morning; it’s my ritual. I water my plants once a week or only when the soil is dry. I mist the leaves too, which my ferns love. The leaves will also tell you a lot so keep an eye on changes.

What’s in style when it comes to pots, plant stands and other accessories?

It’s up to you and your style! There are some incredible options in ceramics at the moment for small desktops and windowsills. Glazed, earthy tones are cool. I’m a sucker for terracotta and concrete too. Its also a great material for the soil being porous and breathable if you are planting directly into it. Marble is beautiful to make a statement. As I love full and cascading plants though my pots are often covered up very quickly!

Botanica is product design duo Lesley Williams and Simon Zappia. Based in South Australia and inspired by nature, they specialise in homeware design for plant lovers worldwide. Find Botanica’s website here or Instagram page here.


More from Issue 17:

Caiti Baker Wakes Up

‘We’re Still Mansplained to, and We’re Still Called “Girls” By Male Politicians’: Senator Janet Rice

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