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What to Know Before Becoming a Plant Mom

I am not the perfect plant mom — but I love plants.

As a plant owner, I find that it is really fun to learn about the many different varieties of plants. Throughout my plant-owning journey, I have learned that plants require different kinds of care. This ranges from the amount of light each one can tolerate to the type of soil that will provide the most nutrients. I am no plant expert, and I have definitely killed my fair share of them (rest in peace), but as someone who loves plants and loves learning the science behind them, I want to spread my interest with others. Here is a list of easy plants to take care of, per my experience, that anyone from a new plant parent to an avid plant collector will love.

 

Pothos

Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum

Pothos have always been part of my life and are one of my favorite varieties of plants! My grandparents had them (and still do) when I was growing up, and my mom even has a few at my home. Pothos are amazing vining plants, meaning they can trail downwards from a hanging pot or climb up the walls. These plants are also super easy to propagate, so once you buy one variety, you won’t have to buy it again — just grow more!

 

Snake plants

Scientific name: Dracaena trifasciata

Snake plants can tolerate low light and lots of neglect (trust me — I know from experience). They can survive low light conditions and little to no watering; however, they will produce more growth in medium to bright indirect light. These plants prefer to have their soil dry out completely before watering again. I have let my snake plant go for a month without watering! (It is still alive, but that is not recommended.)

 

ZZ plant

Scientific name: Zamioculcas

I have never owned a ZZ plant, but it is definitely next on my list to purchase! I love the herringbone-like pattern it grows in, and their waxy dark green leaves make the plant seem fake (it is definitely not fake, please water your plant). They prefer bright, indirect light, but can survive in low light conditions. Like with most plants on this list, it is important to let ZZ plants’ soil dry out between waterings.

 

Succulents

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of succulents. I’ve definitely killed my fair share, so that’s probably why. However, they are really easy plants to take care of (maybe I should try again?). They come in lots of different colors, varieties and shapes! Succulents thrive in bright sunlight (definitely where I went wrong) and prefer to dry out between waterings. It is important to water the soil directly and make sure the pot has lots of drainage holes.

Dumb Cane

Scientific name: Dieffenbachia

*Drum roll* Finally, my favorite plant! The Dumb Cane gets its name from its leaves, which can cause swelling of the tongue and throat if eaten (dramatic much?), so keep out of reach of children and pets! Other than its poisionus leaves, the Dumb Cane has beautiful leaf variegation in its different varieties. According to Merrium-Webster, variegation is defined as a diversity of colors in different zones of leaves — kind of like spots, or stripes. This plant grows best in filtered, indirect light, and be sure that it is potted in well-draining soil.

 

In general, most plants need indirect sunlight and like to dry out between waterings. Pay close attention to whether or not the foliage looks droopy or wrinkly or if it turns yellow or brown. These can be signs of over or under watering. Your plant will tell you what it needs, and with a little trial and error you will become more confident on your plant journey! I am not perfect when it comes to plants, but I believe the beauty in being a plant lover is experimenting and learning more about the science of plants, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Happy growing!

Kyah Stewart is a junior at Western Kentucky University studying Strategic Marketing and is the Marketing and Publicity Director for the HerCampus WKU chapter. She is actively involved on WKU's campus, and when she is not showing her Hilltopper spirit she is learning about new plants, watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and watercoloring. She loves to motivate change and spread positivity, and as a marketing major she hopes to one day use marketing to help create brand awareness for non-profit organizations.
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