Ah… it’s that time of the year. Out with the Old, In with the New!
Houseplants 101. As we un-deck the halls there tends to be a crave for something green to get us all through the long, cold (or not so cold ) winter until nature starts doing it’s thing. Here are a few Quick tips to add a little green into your everyday.
1. LOOK FOR THE LIGHT! If you can read a book by day light, without turning a light on, you have enough light for some basic houseplants.
2. TEMPERATURE. In colder climates the cold radiates in about a foot, keep this in mind when determining where you will be putting your new plants. The windowsill may have the light however; your plants may need a parka. Also, in older buildings the radiators tend to be under windows?! Yes, I did my time in those old NYC walk ups with the cast iron radiators and pipes clanging away and the sizzle of the steam… would you like to sit on top of the radiator? No, I didn’t think so… and your plants don’t either.
3. Dinner! Yes, I know we have all eaten our weight in food over the last few months and we are all looking to slim down…I should be at the gym but I am here writing this post for all of you 😉 You like to eat & so do your plants!
When you buy your plants from the store if it is under 45 degrees YOU WANT TO PUT THEM IN A BAG and cover them up. I know we all want to be enviro friendly, bring your own bag… just have something to protect them from the cold… would you go outside without your parka?
Houseplants arrive at your local garden shop looking all healthy and vibrant. We take them home and stick them on the window sill and water them once a week, maybe. Then they start to look a little sad until there is one twig and a leaf and you are schlepping it into your local shop asking what went wrong?! ( also you probably took it outside with you to the shop naked in the 20 degree weather… remember, parka ) You Like to eat & so do your plants! The growers feed their plants with food and water giving them nutrients so they will entice you to take them home. So it’s like going from a diet of Steak & Potatoes to water. Add a little plant food into your watering schedule and your plants will thank you!
Now watering… how much? when? are common questions. The short answer? I don’t know. The long answer. Everyone’s home is different… the amount of light… the temperature and all of these things factor into how quickly your plant will need a drink. It’s 5 O’clock somewhere, right?! WEIGHT. Yup, I used the W word. Get to know your plants. Pick them up and see how they feel. Is it so light you could toss it across the room without effort or does it feel heavy as a brick? Or maybe somewhere in between? Typically watering a plant until is is like a wrung out sponge is a happy medium for novice plant peeps. Put on some good music, pour a cup of coffee and take your plant (s) to the sink. Pour a little water over the potting medium and let it soak in, then repeat… maybe 2 or 3 times if it is really dry. DON’T water ‘until it runs out the bottom’ and then call it quits. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one when I ran a retail enterprise. Basically, your plant dries out – the potting medium shrinks- the water runs down the sides and doesn’t soak in – the plant dies. Sad, I know. You are caring for a living thing… love it, spend a little time with it…it’s a relationship. The plants counts on your for it’s ability to live and you count on it for joy, green in winter and O2… yes, Oxygen. This little bugger is helping you breathe. Don’t forget that.
Nest time: Potting 101… and PaperWhites!