I’ve always liked plants; when I was younger I would help my mom water the garden, and then as I got older I would slowly purchase ones that I thought looked cool. Usually, it was some type of cactus or succulent that I always managed to kill. During the pandemic, I decided that I wanted to add to the few sad-looking plants I had, in efforts to try and spruce up my residence room. So, I headed off to the only nursery within the area that showed up on my phone and I bought a stunning snake plant and a small croton. After purchasing those plants and doing as much research as possible, I decided that I was ready for even more plants. I joined a few Facebook groups where people sold plants and asked for advice about them. Within one week my collection grew from four plants to eight. People posted that they were giving away plants, and of course, as a plant newbie, I was ready to get my hands dirty (literally).
I made sure I had soil and that all my plants had drainage holes, as I like to water them super thoroughly, and then not water them again until I’m sure the soil is completely dry. For the plants that I already had, I learned how to better take care of them, such as things like knowing when they needed a new pot. I was inheriting free plants left and right and buying super cheap baby plants for a great cost.
Then, one fateful day in April after my exams, I was transporting a beautiful bear pot with a succulent inside that my friend had gotten me when I dropped it, smashing the spot and the plant’s buds everywhere. I remembered reading about propagation and that when the pups fall off you can actually propagate them in water or soil to grow new plants — so I did just that, thus starting my propagation journey. I went home for the spring term and struggled to find a place for all of my new plants around the house. I went to the local nurseries, always promising myself I wouldn’t spend any money, and then giving in every time.
At this point, I probably had around forty plants and who knows how many propagations. Most of my plants I actually received from others, which was a relief for my bank account.
Some of my favourite plants that I have are my monsteras, philodendron, watermelon plant, hanging pothos, bird of paradise, and snake plant — but of course, I love all my plants. Something I love about my plants is looking at them and watching a new leaf grow and begin to unfurl, or the way they turn toward the sun.
A few of my personal preferences for tips and tricks that I’ve learned are as follows: I have an app on my phone with every single plant on it and I have a rough estimate of when they should be watered. This is usually every 1-2 weeks, and when I get the reminder to water them, I check to see if they’re dry enough, and I go from there — either waiting or watering. I also look up everything about a plant when I buy it, so I can make sure to avoid certain things, such as putting them in direct sun or overwatering.
One thing that I personally love is making sure all of my pots have drainage holes, for several reasons. I’ve recently started bottom watering, because there are tons of benefits. Unfortunately, I’m also trying to get rid of a fungus gnat infestation. This has been tricky, but with hydrogen peroxide and sticky traps, I think I’m almost there!
I also make sure to rotate my plants to make sure that they aren’t only growing in one direction along with the sun. Along with this is just paying attention to my plants and noting when they need a new pot or a break from watering.
Something else I love to do is propagate my plants so that they can stay healthy, whilst also growing new plants. I typically only propagate with water as I love watching the roots grow.
I think it’s obvious that I have a bit of an obsession with plants. Hopefully, you can use this to geek out with me about plants, or apply these tips and tricks! Happy planting!