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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The biggest drama queen in my apartment isn’t me, it’s my plants. If you’ve ever walked into a plant nursery, you might have noticed some plants look happy and healthy while others are shriveled and sad. Plants behave based on their environment and how well their needs are being met. Today, I’m going to share with you some of my beginner friendly plant tips that’ll help you to become a successful plant mom!

  1. Start Slowly

The first and most crucial step to becoming a successful plant mom is to not go plant crazy. In other words, don’t buy multiple plants at once — just buy one or two to start off! As you’ll soon discover, buying plants can be very addictive and it’s a hard habit to break. If you’re just starting out and don’t know the fundamentals of planting and taking care of plants, too many at once can become very chaotic. I also recommend going for smaller plants and working up to larger ones.

  1. Research!

The second thing to do is research what your plant’s needs are. If it is a high sun plant, you’ll want to place it in a sunny window. If it’s a low light plant, a shady area with some sunlight would work best. Knowing the amount of sunlight, water intake (aka how much and how often you water), and fertilizer schedules are crucial. If you plan on planting two plants together, also research if they’ll do good in the same pot and if they require/ have the same or similar needs. 

  1. Pruning

The third step is practice pruning. Pruning is the removal of dead or unwanted parts. Most plants in nature will drop their leaves and petals which go back into the Earth and degrade (with the help of other organisms). While this is good in nature, it’s not good in an enclosed pot. When dead plant material is left in a pot, the leaves can grow mold and fungus within the soil which can kill your plant. It’s important to prune your plants regularly and note any changes in shape or color. If you’re unsure if your plant is dying, dried out, or infected, download a plant app that can help identify these problems. I personally use PictureThis!

  1. Patience Is Key

The last and final step is to be patient. Being a plant mom is all about trial and error. Plants will die and new plants will sprout up. Planting is a journey that may seem daunting, but is one of immense joy and calmness. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and reach out to local plant nurseries when you have questions. Also, try to plant different kinds of plants. Oftentimes once people feel comfortable planting, they tend to gravitate towards the same kinds of plants. Try to reach for succulents instead of tropical plants. Grab a bonsai instead of a croton and snatch up a bushy pothos. 

There are many different varieties and species of plants; try to diversify your collection as much as possible. Once you’ve learned what your plants do and don’t like, need, or want, it becomes quite simple and relaxing. Planting is a really fun hobby and can also be a great conversation starter. So, the next time you’re thinking about buying that orchid, do it! You’re right on track to being a great plant mom. 

Ariana Fuentes

App State '23

Optimistic at the moment
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