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A Beginner’s Guide to Raising Your New Plant Baby

Photo by Danielle Jaquez

By Danielle Jaquez 

Dogs and cats are great, but adopting a pet isn’t always practical for college students. Instead, join a massive community of greenery enthusiasts and adopt a houseplant.

Adopting a houseplant comes with an array of benefits including cleaner air, brighter rooms, and increased moods. Plus, they are incredibly photogenic.

If you find yourself suffering from cabin fever or feeling the urge to spruce up your living space, a plant baby may be just the thing to boost your spirits and Instagram aesthetic.

So, ready to start your journey as a proud plant parent? To help you get started, Orange County plant enthusiast and nursery reviewer Veronica broke down the basics of how to pick the perfect plant, where to shop for it, and most importantly how to keep it alive. 

Where to Adopt Your New Baby

Support local small businesses by shopping at local plant shops or nurseries.

The Green Place @thegreenplaceoc

Address: 109 E Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832

Hours: Tues – Sun: 12 pm to 6 pm

This Downtown Fullerton shop has a great selection of affordable houseplants, but what really stands out is their eye-catching decor and picturesque displays.

Houseplant Nation @houseplant.nation

Address: 17045 Newland St, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Hours: Thurs – Mon 11 am to 5:30 pm

If you’re looking for more unique and exotic houseplants, you can’t go wrong at Houseplant Nation. The display of unique greenery creates a perfect shopping aesthetic for new planters looking to adopt a new plant baby. 

Raising Plants OC @raisingplantsoc

Address: 28715 Los Alisos Blvd. Suite 7, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Hours: Wed – Fri: 11 am – 6 pm & Saturday 10 am – 6 pm & Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

This is an excellent nursery for Southern OC folks looking for a selection of classic houseplants and tons of cool pots.

 

Picking the Perfect Plant

Don’t start your houseplant journey with a high-maintenance fern or ficus. Instead, try one of these low maintenance plant babies that are almost impossible to kill.

ZZ Plant: Basically indestructible and will be very forgiving if you forget to water it once or even twice a month. Oops.

Pothos: Otherwise known as the Devil’s Ivy (not the devil’s lettuce, so don’t try it) because they can survive in various lighting. They also happen to look beautiful draped over bookshelves.

Monstera: If you have the space for a larger plant, monsteras have unique holey leaves that grow wide and take up space, so you can see your hard work paying off.

Snake Plant: These are the bad boys of the house plant world. These plants will make you fall in love with them, but be careful as they will poke you when you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. 

They also refuse to die no matter how much you ignore them. If you’re looking for a stubborn companion to last through quarantine, this is your best bet.

 

A Planter’s Survival Guide

After you visit your local nursery or shop for the perfect plant, it’s time to make sure it doesn’t just survive, but that it thrives. Below are some of Veronica’s tips and tricks to keep your houseplant happy.

Start Small

As tempted as you are to buy every plant in the place, Veronica said it’s best to “start small. Buy one houseplant and wait two weeks. If the houseplant survives, you’re doing something right and can handle another one, and so on.”

Invest in Your Plant’s Success

If you are committed to your houseplant’s success, there are a few expenses to consider. The first is a must-have for every plant enthusiast: a moisture meter. It will tell you when your plant needs to be watered, or even if it’s drowning.

Check out this list for seven of the best meters for every budget.

Our expert Veronica also recommends investing in humidifiers and grow lights. You can find these items at most online retailers for under $25. 

Pay Attention to Your Plant’s Needs

Every plant is unique and has its own watering and sun requirements that change depending on the season, soil, pot, and placement. Be mindful of what your plant responds to. 

“If the plant is closer to the window, it’ll receive more indirect sunlight which will dry out the soil faster than if it was sitting a foot away from the window,” Veronica said.

If you give your plant the attention and love it deserves, you are in for a rewarding experience.

Happy growing!

P.S.: Don’t forget to name your new plant baby.

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