Earn Your Green Thumb With These Plant Care Tips
Do you keep plants in your home or maintain a garden on your property? Having a few houseplants in your main living area or a beautifully landscaped yard can make your home a happier place. That said, many of us are not born “plant moms” (or dads). If you’ve been limited to the same plastic ficus since your college years, it’s time to get a little more adventurous in the plant care department. Check out these simple plant care tips for beginners and earn your green thumb in no time flat! Adding just a few small green friends can greatly enhance your space. Don’t worry — I’ll help you find ones that are easy to care for.
The Benefits of Plants: Indoors and Out
Living quarters feeling a little gloomy lately? There’s an easy fix: Plants help to beautify your home, both inside and out. You don’t need to go crazy, either — you can brighten up just about any room with one or two small potted plants. Keep them by the window in your kitchen, on your mantle or end tables, in your bathroom, or next to your bed. Unlike freshly cut flowers, they won’t die within days. In fact, if you take good care of your houseplants, you can enjoy them for years to come.
Maintaining your landscaping is another way to enjoy the beauty of plants at home, and it increases the curb appeal of your property. You don’t even need to be a master landscaper to get started. Try installing window boxes where you can display flowering plants in your favorite colors, or buy seasonal potted plants (like petunias in the summer or chrysanthemums in the fall) for your front steps.
Improving the appearance of your living space is reason enough to dive into the world of houseplants and gardening. But the benefits of keeping plants in and around your home go way beyond their aesthetic value — they’re excellent sources of environmental health, too. Indoor plants can remove pollutants and add moisture to the air in your house. They can enhance your mood, help lower your risk of stress and depression, and maybe even improve your memory. And outdoor activities like gardening, weeding, and mowing your lawn are good ways to exercise.
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Low-Maintenance Houseplants You’ll Love
If you’re just beginning to build a green home, it’s good to start with low-maintenance plants. These varieties are also excellent choices if you’re gone for weeks at a time or tend to forget to water your plants. When you visit your local nursery or garden, ask the sales associate to point you in the direction of these indoor plants:
While you’re shopping, ask the salesperson if they have any basic plant care advice to share with you. You’ll find that most people who work in garden centers are passionate about planting and more than happy to share their knowledge. You can also check out some of the great resources available online, like the indoor plant care series on MasterClass. And if you have a friend or relative with a tried-and-true green thumb, be sure to ask them for all their best tips.
While you’re getting into the habit of caring for your new indoor plants, you may want to set a watering reminder on your phone or computer. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the hydration needs of each plant you purchase and set an appropriate watering schedule. Additionally, if you’re going to be away from your home for days or weeks at a time, you’ll need to enlist some help to keep your greenery healthy. Ask a friend or neighbor, or you can even hire someone to act as a house-sitter and plant-waterer.
Outdoor Plant Care Tips
Now it’s time to move outdoors! As a brand-new gardener, one of your best resources is (again!) your local nursery and its staff. Be sure to ask for recommendations for the best gardening tools, like gloves, trowels, and watering cans. As you choose plants, ask how much sunlight, shade, and water each one needs to thrive. If you’re not home often enough to water your plants regularly (or are afraid you’ll forget!), ask if the nursery stocks self-watering planters. Be sure to add soil and/or fertilizer to your shopping cart if you think you’ll need it.
So what should you plant in your garden or yard? Check out this list of 20 Can’t-Kill Flowers for Beginners, with everyday favorites like marigolds, pansies, and daffodils. Other hardy plants include hostas, rhododendron, and pachysandra. Think of perennials (which are plants that bloom every year as long as they’re healthy) as long-term investments in the beauty of your yard. If you plant them properly in a place where they can thrive, they’ll pop up every year without much effort on your part.
Gardening can be one of the most rewarding hobbies to do at home, and you’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment when you see how pretty everything looks. That said, if you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of planting an entire garden by yourself, don’t be ashamed to ask for help! You might buddy up with a friend who shares your interest in gardening and trade questions and tips. Or you might ask a professional landscaper for their expert advice. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little guidance from a green genius!
Making time to care for indoor and outdoor plants can help improve your mood and make your home a more inviting place. It’s a great way to focus on environmental wellness in your personal space. And it can be an excellent distraction from everyday stressors like work, commute, and chores. So don’t be too anxious about having a brown thumb — it’s time to go green! You’ve got this.
What are some of your favorite low-maintenance plants to have at home? Leave me a note in the comments section to let me know. Happy planting!
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