Becoming A Plant Parent: What To Expect




August 31, 2023

Are you interested in stepping into plant parenthood and bringing some life to your home but unsure where to start? You're in the right place. This no-nonsense guide covers what it means to be a "plant mom" or "plant daddy," the benefits of owning plants, and practical steps for getting started.

What is a Plant Parent?

A plant parent is an individual committed to the comprehensive care and well-being of their plants, covering essentials like proper watering, sunlight, and pest control. While the level of commitment is generally less intensive than that of pet care, plant parenting still demands ongoing attention and a willingness to learn about each plant's unique needs for optimal growth. This enthusiasm often extends to plant-related accessories and is commonly showcased on the individual's social media accounts, where they share their journey and expertise.

What Are the Benefits?

Getting indoor plants isn't just about home decor; it's an investment in your well-being. From improving your mental and physical health to boosting your relationships and confidence, here are the surprising ways a bit of green can make a big difference in your life.

  • Physical and Mental Wellbeing: Owning plants can significantly improve physical and mental health. They contribute to cleaner air by removing toxins and producing oxygen, enhancing your focus, and lowering stress levels.
  • Relationship Benefits: A green thumb may also make you more attractive to potential partners, demonstrating the qualities of a responsible person.
  • Home Ambiance: Plants can add aesthetic value to your living spaces and create a calming environment, enhancing your home's ambiance and improving social dynamics.
  • Boosts Confidence: Successfully caring for a plant can boost your confidence and give you a sense of achievement.
  • Judgment-Free Companionship: Plants provide a form of non-judgmental companionship, especially valuable for those who may feel socially judged.

Steps to Becoming a Plant Parent

Bringing plants into your apartment isn't just about brightening up the space. It's also about becoming a responsible plant parent. Like any commitment, caring for plants requires some basic knowledge and consistency. Here's how to plunge into plant parenting, with practical steps and handy tips.

  • Research and Ask: If your new plant comes with a care tag written in another language, don't panic. Online resources, instructional videos, and plant care apps can provide additional guidance. When in doubt, feel free to seek advice from more experienced plant parents or botanists.
  • Know the Basics: Before you head to the nursery or click 'Buy Now' online, research the plants you're interested in. Know their preferred light conditions, watering schedules, and ideal temperatures. This foundational knowledge will set the stage for a healthier plant life in your apartment.
  • Start Small: Begin your plant parenting adventure by choosing low-maintenance plants such as succulents and cacti. These are excellent starting points for newbies because they require minimal care and can tolerate periods of neglect. Additionally, their compact size makes them perfect for small apartments.
  • Follow Watering Guidelines: Watering is often where new plant owners falter. Not all plants need to be watered daily. Some prefer their soil to be on the drier side. To avoid the pitfalls of over-watering or under-watering, follow the specific guidelines for each plant type. If in doubt, consult experienced plant owners or online forums.
  • Balance is Key: Striking a balance is crucial for plant health. Too much sunlight can be as detrimental as too little. The same goes for watering and temperature. Pay attention to your plant's condition and adjust your care routine as needed, ensuring you don't go overboard with any single care element.
  • Invest in Aesthetics: Your plant deserves more than a plain pot. Invest in decorative pots, stylish watering cans, or unique misters that match your home's aesthetic. These can serve as decorative pieces in your apartment and keep you invested in your plant care routine.
  • Expand Horizons: Once you get the hang of caring for easier plants, don't be afraid to diversify. Graduating to more demanding plants like orchids or even trying your hand at small vegetable plants can be a rewarding experience.

Tips for Becoming a Plant Parent

Mastering the basics of plant care is just the starting point; becoming a seasoned plant parent involves more nuanced actions and choices. Below are essential tips beyond the basic care guidelines, offering additional wisdom to elevate your plant parenting skills from beginner to expert.

  • Be Consistent: Creating a consistent care routine is crucial for your plants. Consistency helps them acclimate to their environment and minimizes stress from erratic care. Given that life gets busy, even for the most committed plant parents, setting reminders on your phone's calendar app can help you stay on track for watering, fertilizing, and rotating your plants for even light exposure.
  • Use Quality Soil: Investing in quality soil appropriate for your specific plant type can significantly affect their overall health and growth. Good soil provides the nutrients and proper drainage your plants need to flourish.
  • Observe Your Plants: Watch for signs of distress like yellowing leaves or drooping stems. Catching these symptoms early often results in easier solutions before significant damage is done. Regular observation can also help you understand the natural cycles of your plants, which can be invaluable for tailoring your care routine.
  • Use Proper Tools: Investing in the right tools, such as a moisture meter or quality pruning shears, can make your plant care routine easier and more effective. The correct tools make your tasks easier and ensure that you are providing the most accurate care, like delivering the right amount of water or making clean pruning cuts.
  • Seek Professional Advice: When faced with plant issues you can't seem to resolve through online forums or advice from friends, it might be time to consult a professional. A seasoned botanist or a professional plant carer can offer solutions backed by years of expertise and specialized knowledge.

Have Fun: Remember that plant parenting is not just a chore; it's also a rewarding and fulfilling hobby. Enjoy the process as you learn and grow along with your plants. The more you invest emotionally in the well-being of your plants, the more fulfilling the entire experience will become.