Go Green: How To Care For Indoor PlantsJune 26, 2017
As lovely as they can be, houseplants are one of the more intimidating parts of home décor. After all, when was the last time your sofa wilted? Or your coffee table began to yellow? Or your floral wallpaper refused to blossom?
That said, it’s worth getting your hands dirty. Not only is a little greenery good for ambiance, but indoor plants help to clean the air and have been shown to calm the mind. And according to Summer Rayne Oakes—founder of Homestead Brooklyn and roommate to more than 700 plants—maintaining an indoor garden is easier than you think.
Ready to go green? Follow her tips below—and above all, relax already. “To be a good gardener, you need to make a few mistakes along the way,” she says. “And that may mean killing a few plants.”
Know Your Light
“All plants need light. It’s one of the most defining factors for plants, so it’s important to know what type of light your house receives before selecting your varieties. Windows with a southern exposure get hot, bright light, perfect for cacti, succulents and some blooming varieties. Western exposure also typically brings hotter light for 6-8 hours, and can be good for some sun-loving varieties. Northern-facing windows generally receive even light throughout the day, so they’re perfect for plants that are sensitive to scorching rays, like prayer plants or begonias. Eastern exposure gets great light in the early morning into the early afternoon, but is shielded from hot afternoon sun—an ideal environment for a variety of indoor plants.”
“One of the most common mistakes a gardener can make is over-watering or under-watering a plant. Do your research and understand what your particular plant needs. If you’re an inconsistent waterer, get plants that tolerate a little benign neglect. ZZ plants, snake plants, cacti, succulents, pothos, peperomia and philodendron are generally forgiving.”
Make It Personal
“Naming your plants is a reminder that there are other living creatures with you in the room. If ‘Pete the Peperomia’ is looking ill, then you may very well pay a little more attention to him!”
For more gardening tips, check out Summer’s ‘Plant One On Me’ Q&As.