hi!! today I'm writing another article about plants, and how to care for them! years ago I would get a plant, and then try really hard to keep it alive but they always died. Now, I have lots of plants and they're all doing well, so I thought I'd write an article about the stuff I've learned!

succulent, cactus, and plants image green, interior, and minimalist image

this article will be divided into the following sections:

  • picking your plant

this section will tell you how to choose plants specific to the place you want to keep them and how to choose a healthy plant.

  • basic care

this section will tell you, well, basic plant care.

  • re-potting

this section has info on putting your plants into new pots

  • plant identification

how to identify plants!

  • plant problems

this section covers common plant problems you might run into.

  • how to get plants for cheap!!

where to find cheap plants, and how to get free plants.

picking your plant

okay, so you've been wanting a house plant, the very first thing to do is decide, what kind of plants do you like? Is there a specific kind you want? Do you love succulents? Take a look online and see which plants you like and don't like! succulents, tropical, and air plants are common Do a bit of research on the ones you like, figure out which plants are easiest to care for and which ones will do well in areas around your house. take into consideration how big the plants will grow (some plants will stay very small and grow slow and some can grow extremely fast and become over 10ft tall) make sure you have the space for them!! Even more importantly you need to consider light. south and western facing windows get more bright afternoon light and more north and east facing windows have a bit of soft morning light.

costa farms has this super handy plant finder! There are tons of plants here and you can choose what kind of plant you're looking for! If you google plant finder more websites similar to this one will come up that you could use as well!

http://www.costafarms.com/plant-finder#!/

try not to get too set on one specific plant, when you go to buy one you may not find just what you're looking for, and that's okay! Once you are at the store look for plants that seem healthy. try to avoid ones that have a lot of brown and dead leaves, if the leaf tips are brown on some of the older leaves but it looks like its growing more new leaves, then it should be perfectly healthy and grow just fine as long as the new leaves are healthy and not wilting or brown! If there are brown spots (brown or black spots place other than the tips of the leaves.) on a plant, its probably best to pick another plant, it could have a fungus which can be difficult to get rid of.

basic care

note: look into your specific plants, these are only general tips and are for most plants, but every plant is different!

alright, you just got home with your new plant! I like to name all my plants when I get them, but you don't have to if you think that's weird. If you haven't already checked what kind of light and water your plant needs, now is the time to do it. Place it in a spot that suits its light needs, right up against a window usually isn't a good idea as it may get too hot or cold for them. You may notice after a little while your plant starts to look worse, don't worry, some plants have a harder time adjusting to new environments, it should start feeling better in a little while. Speaking of which, choose a spot for your plant that it can stay in for as long as possible, moving them around your house can stress them out a lot!

make a watering schedule! It doesn't have to be a strict schedule ( you don't need to water them every Tuesday at 11:43 pm exactly, they won't notice.) generally I wait at least a week, but less than two weeks, to water all my plants (give them a thorough water until water comes out of the bottom.) basically letting the soil mostly dry out. I only water my succulents every second or third watering. (once a week is way too much for a succulent.) some plants may have more specific watering needs (make sure you know each plants specific needs!) , but generally most plants do not like to be misted and if you're worried about watering, less is better, over watering does a lot more damage to your plant than forgetting! Another thing is, try to water them as early as possible! you can make a good routine of checking and watering your plants first thing whenever you wake up. Just try not to water them at night, especially with succulents and plants that don't like to sit in damp soil.

remember to fertilize in the spring and early summer!! It's not 100 percent necessary but it certainly helps and is important if your plant seems to not be growing as fast or is recovering from fungus/pests etc. don't fertilize during the fall and winter though(or whenever their dormant season is! some plants are different!), the plant isn't really growing as much during this time and it could even stress your plant out!

spend time around your plants! walking around them lots helps with air flow in the area that they are, which helps keep them healthy! Also the more time you spend around your plants, the less likely you are to forget about them.

don't let them have too much sun! a lot of plants can burn their leaves from too much sun or heat. you can avoid this by not letting them be right up against the glass. Make sure any plants that are kept on the window sill are not in those thin plastic nursery pots they come in!! the soil inside can heat up easily and burn the roots.

keep learning about plants! learn about the specific plants you have as well as just general plant care! don't just read this and a few other articles on plant care and think you're done learning! I'm still learning too!

re-potting

putting young plants into new pots is important so that they have room to grow! It's important to choose a pot or planter that has good drainage, it needs a hole in the bottom for water to come out, otherwise water will pool in the bottom of the pot, which can cause things like root rot. I like to get basic terracotta pots from the garden store near me, because they're cheap and come in many different sizes. you can choose whatever planter or pot you want though! there are lots of cute decorative ones you can buy, as long as it has a place for water to drain!

choose a soil that suits your plants needs. succulents, for example, need special soil that drains quickly, usually sold as succulent or cactus soil.

be sure to loosen the roots as well as you can, and check to make sure the roots are healthy!

plant identification

do you have a plant that you don't quite know what kind it is? there are a few ways to find out! first thing is: google it. type in different things like plants with waxy leaves or plants with tiny blue flowers, or whatever your plant looks like. Scroll through google images and once you find one that looks like yours, check the name of it and look it up to make sure they are the same. there are also plant identification apps you could try.
If you have tried those, you can try posting it on a garden forum website or bringing it to a garden store or nursery and someone might know it.

plant problems

some things you should watch out for:

over watering signs: the plant is wilting even though you have been watering it regularly, yellowing leaves, browning leaves.

solution: don't water your plant as much, allow the soil to fully dry out before watering.

under watering signs: wilting, very dry soil, slow growth.

solution: make sure you are watering them enough, and each time you water the water starts dripping out of the bottom to make sure it is thoroughly watered. If you are forgetful set a reminder on your phone to water it.

root rot symptoms:

wilting, stunted growth, yellowing brown leaves.

solution: If you suspect root rot is causing the issue, pull out the plant and inspect the roots, they should be firm and white. more info on root rot and how to treat it here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/root-rot-in-garden-plants.htm

fungus: fungus can cause things like root rot and can also cause other parts of your plant to rot, going to your local garden store for help is the best idea. usually controlled with a fungicide, using a natural neem oil fungicide is better as most other fungicides are very harsh and toxic.

how to get plants for cheap

I usually get my plants from department stores or home improvement stores. they are generally cheaper but often a little less healthy than from an actual garden store. getting younger plants is best as it is a lot cheaper than full grown ones. you can also order cuttings of different plants online and and propagate them (succulents are easy to propagate and commonly sold online! you can also propagate from a plant you already own!) propagating is when you grow a new plant from the leaf of another, it varies slightly with different plants, i usually just look up "how to propagate (plant you want to propagate)" on YouTube! I've only propagated jade and pothos, but for me pothos is a lot easier.

people also often don't want plants anymore for lots of different reasons! check listings online for people selling/giving away their plants locally! people may also sell them in garage sales etc.

plants, cactus, and green image plants image plants, green, and grunge image plants, green, and leaves image

another quick tip!! watch lots of plant youtube videos if you want! I started getting a lot better at caring for my plants when I started watching plant videos on youtube

thanks for reading!