Journal

Five Useful Tips for Newbies about Taking Care of Houseplants

Being surrounded by different plants was actually one of my oldest childhood memories in my house, especially when seeing my mom in the garden with her different plant collection when I was a kid. Until I grew up and our garden is almost the same.  I don’t have much time to look around there or ask anything to my mom about her houseplants, maybe I don’t have the interest to know more about houseplants, or I can’t see myself being in plants. I never imagine I got an interest in houseplants lately during my home quarantine.

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Benefits of Plant Care

This time of pandemic made me transformed me into something that I cannot see myself doing some hobbies that I never been through. I got an interest to collect houseplants when I browsed on the internet about different hobbies while on quarantine and also about therapies of dealing with anxiety. I found out that both results have common and that is plant care. There are different reasons for planting is also a therapeutic remedy to relieve anxiety and stress. At this time of the pandemic, many of us can’t handle some anxieties and pressure due to the current situation where we can’t go outside easily and having a fear of having the virus.

According to my research, planting a beautiful garden can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether you have a small patio to decorate or a vast amount of space to tend, the act of making your particular stretch of nature into a haven can be a stress reliever in itself, and the garden that you create can bring you even more peace.

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/gardening-for-stress-relief-3144600

That’s why I love seeing my houseplants in the corner of my room and it looks like a mini jungle. No wonder why some people got an interest to collect plants for their homes. The most accurate answer to why they want to collect plants is to escape from being bored and worried about the pandemic.

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“Garden of Daydreaming” by Aldrin Suan in digital media | 10″x12.5″ 2020.

 

Proper Care of Plants

As a newbie Plantito, I learned so many things about how to take care of my houseplants. There are days that I am worried about its physical appearance like the dried leaves, plant mites, dried soil, and also the room light condition. I also learned that too much water can kill them. That’s why I purchased a moister meter to check the soil condition.

Part of my plant journey has many ups and downs when it comes to maintaining its condition. I’ve done different experiments for my plants, but some of them are not applicable and it can damage my plants if I push through. That’s why I created this blog to give you ideas and tips on how to properly care for your houseplants.

1.) Always do the scheduling

Just schedule the water of your houseplants every 2 to 4 days as required keeping the soil’s moisture. For example, I scheduled my Monstera Adansonii plant for its water routine every Monday and Thursday every week or it depends on the soil moisture. I always touch the soil base by touching it. So you can determine when to water your houseplants by checking its soil condition. I also check the soil by using a moister meter to check the deeper soil’s moisture.

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Seeing the new leaf of my Monstera Adansonii makes me feel happy!

2.) Check the soil 

We use soil to keep the houseplant alive with the help of water and sunlight, but not all soil can be applied to your houseplants. That’s why choosing the right soil is essential to keep your houseplants grow and healthy. Potting soil is the most applicable type of soil for your houseplants. Some common ingredients used in potting soil are peat moss, composted bark, and perlite. Some potting soil contains a small amount of fertilizer and slow-release nutrients. Aside from that, water drainage is also important to make the soil firm and healthy. Waterlogged soil can attract fungus and it can kill your plants too. That’s why always check the bottom part of your pot and check the holes whether there’s clogging on the drainage holes.

3.) Check the light condition

Some houseplants can survive in low light conditions and others prefer in light shades like windows and room corners. I noticed that some plants cannot produce new leaves because I place it 2 meters away from my window (the only light source in my room). I decided to place it near the window, so I can check if it’s applicable to my houseplant. After 1 week, I saw tiny leaves appearing in the stem part and I was so surprised! Direct sunlight can burn your houseplants because their mechanism is not similar to any outdoor plants that can tolerate a direct sunshade. Better to check some of the houseplant guides on Google or YouTube just to know where to place your houseplants without damaging the leaves and also the growth. 

4.) Check the leaves

Plant leaves can tell that if it needs care or not. We can tell the plant’s condition on its leaf color and shapes. Most plants show moisture stress symptoms when they are too dry or frizzy. Smaller than normal leaves that may be wilted, folded or misshapen, dull gray-green in color, and may turn brown from the outside in and may drop are signs of too little water. For more information about leaves, you may visit this link to know more.

I always cut the brownish leaves to keep the plants healthy. To keep away from mites, always mist a little the leaves and wipe away with a soft cloth gently. Shiny and green leaves indicate that your houseplant is in the right condition.

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My beautiful Heartleaf Philodendron after watering.

5.) Leave it alone

I know that plant growth takes time and it really depends on how we take care of it. That’s why it is important to stay patient and positive all the time when it comes to planting growth. Other plants don’t need too much care and maintenance. Plants prefer to live peacefully and sometimes they feel stress if we touch them too much. Too much love will kill them indeed. Repotting is also not advisable to any plants, but it is necessary for plants that need to revive like having diseases in soil or the pot are broken. There are many ways on how to repot plants without damaging the roots and foliage. Seeking experts will guide you and give you some personal advice from their experience. I personally contacted my friends that have a similar experience with plant care.

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Close-up photo of Monstera Adansonii new leaf.

I know that seeing plants can give some peace, but they need also space for their ecosystem and peace as well. It is an exchange relationship between us and plants. That’s why plants are the most important living creatures on earth because it gives us oxygen to breathe. Being a newbie of this particular hobby was a bit challenging, but I learned so many things in life about being a plant parent. It is a call that we need to be in this position that we have to be responsible and diligent in our duties to take care of the environment surrounded by us. Whether it is a plant, pet, or a living creature, it is similar to have a relationship with our friends, siblings, and love ones.

I hope this blog will help t your plant care journey. I admitted that I am not an expert in this area, but I shared some of the personal experiences that I encountered during my time with my plants. I also want to hear from your stories too. Just write your personal insights about your plants in the comment section. Feel free to add your comments, so I can improve more on my plant care and also to my writings as well.

Also, check my plant journey Instagram page at @plantercore.

Always stay home and stay safe, guys. Happy Planting!

Content Creator & Illustrator from Cebu, Philippines.

23 Comments

  • Roneth Politud

    Wow! Taking care of plants is not as easy as it sounds. I think if I decide to be a plant mom I need to have a serious commitment to doing it. Thank you for this wonderful tips Drin! I love your plants by the way! They look so cool. 🙂

  • Lys Guch

    Speaking of plants, daghan kaayog plants here sa akong lola haha. Been fond of looking at plants, maglibog lang jod ko kung unsa ang appropriate plants for room or indoor :))

    • Aldrin Suan

      That was me before hahahaaa.. I researched a lot of plants na maka survive in low light na perfect for home. You can explore more on the web and you will surprise cguro if you find out na naa kay plants there na pwede i sud sa balay heheee. ❤️💯❤️

  • Pie

    oh plants.. this is something nga maka relieve sa stress gyud. unfortunately here in Cebu, wala tay sakto nga area for gardening, which is sad for people who loves plants.

    • Aldrin Suan

      Yes, agree! For urban cities kay naa ray way to start a gardening at home like putting a small patio near in the window and it will be a nice place to start planting houseplants or herbs pud for food ingedients. 🙂 ❤️💯❤️💯

  • Rome Nicolas

    I have a quick story about my personal houseplant, bes.

    I always wanted to have a pet at home. Since we’re technically allowed not to have a pet here in the apartment where we’re staying, I decided to adopt a pet plant!

    This was sometime early last year. My pet plant succulent is just tiny and I was told to water it at every now and then (roughly 2 times a week). Unfortunately, that pet plant I had died. I forgot to water it, eh!

    But, truly, having a houseplant this pandemic is one of the ways to let go of stress and be happy despite all the lonely moments we have. Yes to pet plants! <3

    • Aldrin Suan

      ohh..so sad to hear, bes! Some houseplants need to water moderately and there are also houseplants na maka survive without watering for 1 week. You can have pet plants soon and explore the species of Philodendron and Epipremnum (pothos), they can survive in water alone, bes.. dili na bubu-an kay naa na cya sa tubig na hahahhaaa.. Thanks bes! ❤️💯

  • Fernan Salibongcogon

    Wow… this is so amazing. I just recalled my childhood memories where I’m happy being surrounded by plants. My mother was really the one who’s into taking care of houseplants or as you termed it, “plant parent”. Hoping to be a successful plant parent with your five steps. Wish me luck.

    • Aldrin Suan

      Yaayyy! You can do it! Always keep your patience when it comes to plant growth. It takes time and the long wait is worth at the end! Keep going lang dyud! Thank you! ❤️💯❤️💯

  • Marco Yambao

    Wow! That’s one good thing that you discovered this quarantine. Keep it up! 🙌 I have also been planning on adding plants here in my place. Probably after I do some renovations haha. Will keep track of these tips! Thanks!! 😍❤️💯

  • Gerald James Perino

    I am not into planting but your point of view with regards to small snails to leave them alone is indeed a great decision .Sometimes plant’s don’t die because of them but becuase of over care .Lol hehehehe

  • Kobe mahinay

    I keep bringing plants sa house but I don’t do the maintenance kay I’m so bad at remembering the things I need to do hehehe. But will try this tips.

    • Aldrin Suan

      Yaayyy! It is normal na makalimut ta sa atong duties para sa plants hahahaha.. but looking at their leaves can tell where need na sila i water or not. Yas, keep going lang sa imu plant care! ❤️💯

  • Philip Andrew D. Mayol

    I like this, drin! It’s so happy to know that you became a plantito. I mean, home gardening can help you relief stress. I also wrote about it on my blog. Actually I really wanted to start as well, but I think my location won’t allow me since the rooftop is mostly made of tiles and cement walls. We have tried to grow plants there but with no success. We have no choice but to place them all downstairs in front the house. And the row is already full.

    I would like to add up that you really did spend time to come up with this article with good background research since you have just started growing your own plants. I am hoping this will be a long-term endeavor since home gardening can really give you a peace of mind and a panorama of green, which helps you relax. Sunch a nice read from your blog.

    • Aldrin Suan

      Thank you so much for reading, Flip! ❤️💯 I know that I’m struggling in writing composition, but I remember you said that I need to push harder. Anyways, you can you start planting some hanging plants in the window. I suggest to start propagating pothos and philodendrons. These kinds of plants are low maintenance and you can water them once or twice a week. Just hang them near at the window with bright shades and indirect sunlight. I’m planning to write about hanging plants on my next blog entry soon. Thank you so much! ❤️💯❤️💯

  • Armie Garde

    Thank you for these tips, Aldrin. 🙂 My mom also has a garden back home and it’s one of my fave nooks for reading. I love plants but I’m not really into collecting them. My friend gave me a house plant recently. It’s a gift so I feel the need to make sure it’s nurtured while it’s with me. Haha. Your tips are surely helpful, Aldrin. 🙂 P.S. I love your graphics and photographs!

  • Angel Villamor

    While I religiously follow some of these advises, I failed on scheduling maybe because of my kind of work. I left the watering schedule to my mom because I often leave the house at dawn and return home late afternoon. I am so guilty about this! Nonetheless, the plants that I have do not really require so much watering (cacti and succulents) but then I again, I have to take care of them even more. I enjoyed reading this article and yes, I am a green-thumb wannabe that all throughout this quarantine period, I only managed to grow an alugbati.

    • Aldrin Suan

      I can relate too because I’m also very busy on my work and I can’t see over my plants within the day. So grateful that I have houseplants that can survive for 3 days without watering them. Start to care pothos plants as your new plant pet and it can survive at low maintenance and dark shade areas too. Thank you so much for reading my blog!🙂🙂

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