New place? New plant! But how to choose the right greenery for your lifestyle, where your room faces and your decor preferences, the right container and the optimal size of plant for your space are all things to consider. These choices can benefit from some thought and guidance and we have some tips to get you started.
Take comfort in the fact that it doesn’t take much of a green thumb to successfully grow most houseplants. Just rely on a little bit of research to discover which plant is right for you!
TIP: As pretty and comforting as they are, did you know plants also purify your air and can help with mental health? More great reasons to go green at home.
Ok, green thumbs, let’s cover some of the first bases.
In their element and yours: Some plants are known to be picky when it comes to soil types, amount and type of light, watering schedules and more. That’s why we recommend first choosing whether you want a long-living plant like a dramatic tropical that you can tend to over time or a seasonal plant — like a dish of spring bulbs or a mini-evergreen. One way to narrow choices is to peruse Save-On-Foods website for potted plants they sell!
Once you have chosen the plants that talk to you, go online or talk with the florist or garden shop about its preferences. And monitor your plant. Yes, they will talk to you and tell them what’s right. A little too much water and they sag from drowning. Not enough or infrequent water and your green addition becomes a yellow mess.
Light right! The same rule applies to light … so essential to plant health. That’s right not all plants respond well to the same light! The general rule of thumb is that low- and medium-light plants, like Pothos or Ficus plants, also need less water than their more particular counterparts. The best way to tell is by checking the soil. Bury a finger in the planter soil and when it’s dried all the way through, it’s time to water. Popular cacti and succulent families are the outliers here! Some of these spiky plants only need watering every few weeks, even in direct sunlight.
What about no light plants? You may have a closed-off corner you want to spruce up and aren’t looking to move a plant there every day or so. In that case, check out the snake plant (a member of the succulent family, so you know it’s hardy) or even the tropical Bromeliad plant. It can survive and thrive on fluorescent light alone!
There’s nothing wrong with high-maintenance plants. In fact, many people find Zen in the practice of caring for plants. If that’s you, check out the elephant ear. It has strict humidity requirements, and enjoys daily misting and dusting. Tune into Netflix and chill while snipping away at a bonsai!
TIP: Looking for more advice on what plants will work for your space? Check out NW Calgary’s own Floraworx, an independently owned and operated “boutique” garden and indoor plant shop located in the heart of NW Calgary.
More important than anything, we need to consider any furry friends living in our homes (or if we are hatching plans to introduce a pet) before making plant decisions. Many common household plants are poisonous to dogs and cats and can cause anything from mild illness to death – which is why doing your research is so important!
Peace lilies, for example, are one of the most toxic plants to both animals and humans – despite being a common choice for houses. On the other end of the scale, African violets and orchids are safe to have around pets!Even if you have safe plants, your little buddy may like to get into them, making a mess and potentially damaging the plant. If this is the case, keep them way out of reach.
Plants spruce up your space, but the container you put them in does a lot of work too! In recent years, planters have elevated from your basic white or terracotta pots to include interesting shapes, materials and even reproductions of classic art. You can also take those classic basics and paint them yourself, making them exactly what you want.
Whether it’s hanging boho holders or a graphic printed pot for a large floor plant, these pieces are just as important as pillows when it comes to accent pieces! Keep your plant’s needs in mind while picking out your perfect pot – you don’t want to overcrowd the roots in a too-small space. Most of all: be creative! Almost anything can become a container with the right considerations. That favourite teacup might be a unique home for an airplant! Think outside the norm and you could surprise yourself and compliment your decor.
MORE TIPS: Help is around the corner! Need a little more help caring for your plants? Floraworx also offers plant repotting and transplanting services, one-on-one workshops and coaching. You can repurpose household items or upcycle pieces you’re done with to pot your plants! Check out this guide from The Home Edit!
The best thing about plants? There is one for every kind of home and every kind of person! Put on your research cap and get to finding the perfect green addition to your home. When you find the right plant for your home, post and tag us on social media!
Houseplants are a fun and inexpensive way to punctuate your space with life and colour. Well-placed planters with pretty plants — orchids to ferns, cacti to jade plants — can change the look of your home for the better in no time. Let us share our plant-love on social media – follow along at University District on Facebook, @udistrictyyc_ on Instagram and Twitter, too!
The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.