Did you know that seven in ten Millennials consider themselves “plant parents”? That fact is according to new research quoted by the New York Post. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many went into self-isolation. The extended period at home caused some to really take in their surroundings. Some Millennials found that their homes were not as cozy as they wanted to be. So, they’ve taken to becoming plant parents.
Adding plants to your home or office is great for incorporating color, texture, and life. Seeing your plants thrive brings a sense of pride that can have a positive effect on your mental and physical health. Here’s what you need to know about getting started on your plant parent journey.
Why Have a Plant Instead of a Pet or a Baby
Many might be apprehensive about owning a plant because they’ve accidentally killed one in the past. However, there are many reasons to keep cultivating your husbandry skills. Here are ten reasons why plants are better than pets or babies.
- Plants are accepted in all rental properties.
- Plant care takes less time and money than pet care.
- Plants are housebroken. They won’t wet your floors. Unless you overwater them or don’t have a proper base.
- Plant death hurts less than a baby or a pet.
- Plants don’t need to be walked.
- Plants in your garden increase the value of your home.
- Plants don’t poop or pee and as such don’t need to be potty trained.
- Plants don’t bite, bark, or stomp. Your neighbors will thank you for keeping the peace.
- Many plants can live comfortably in small spaces.
- Unlike your friends’ rude kids, plants will listen to your problems without responding with a sassy quip.
Plant Care 101
Now that you’ve made the right decision to become a plant parent, here are the basics you need to know.
Choosing your Plant
There are many varieties of plants. From tropical to cacti to ferns—there’s a plant for every lifestyle. Each thrives in different environments, so take some time to review your situation before making a purchase.
The most challenging part is knowing the proper amount of sunlight, water, and environment (i.e. indoors or outdoors). If you have pets, you want to make sure the plant you choose isn’t toxic to them.
Preparing your Home
While plants can thrive in small spaces, there’s still some home prep you’ll have to do. For example, if you have a plant that needs sunlight, you’ll want to make space near a window. Alternatively, if you have young kids, you might want to place smaller plants up high.
You should wait until your plant has acclimated to your home before repotting.
Once that happens, or if your plant outgrows its original planter, you’ll want to choose a new home that keeps the roots dry and your plant happy. Whichever type of pot you choose (e.g., plastic or clay), you’ll want to make sure it has drainage holes.
Most plants will indicate that they are under or over watered by changing in color. According to The New York Times, “To easily see if your plant needs water, stick a finger an inch or two into the soil to feel whether it’s dry or very moist. Most houseplants prefer to be dry between waterings, so wait until the soil is on the dry side then water accordingly.”
Finally, remember to prune your plants. This is the simple act of removing dead leaves and trimming your plant to keep its shape.
While plant parenting might seem easier than caring for pets or children, we have to remember that plants are living things and as such, they respond to care and even neglect.