How to be a Plant Mom

     So you wanna be a first-time plant mom and start your own #plantfam? Keeping house plants is a great way to make your home more cozy, especially now that we’re cooped up in our homes way more than usual. Having plants is a great way to bring in greenery when access to open spaces isn’t easy. Not only are plants a way to up your IG game, they also boost your mood, reduce your stress and create a more calming atmosphere. Sounds perfect, right? Now before you hoard all the plants you can possibly get your hands on, here are a few things you should consider:

Location, location, location

Before you even pick out which plants you want to get, it’s important to decide where you want to place your plants first. Will it stay indoors at all times or will it stay out on the patio? Maybe on your desk, or in the bathroom? Different locations will mean different conditions for the plant. Sunlight, humidity and temperature are a few things to watch out for, so make sure to keep these factors in mind and which conditions suit your plant!

Let’s talk about pets, baby

If you’re sharing your home with some furbabies, it’s important to keep in mind that not all plant varieties are pet-friendly! In fact, some may be toxic and lethal to cats and dogs, so make sure to do your research. Here are some plants to watch out for:

  • Sago Palm
  • Tomato Plant
  • Ivy
  • Amaryllis
  • Gladiola
  • American Holly
  • Daffodil
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Hyacinth

It’s getting steamy

Like we mentioned above, some plants, especially tropical ones, do better in humid environments. Grouping plants together is one way to up the humidity in your home. Diffusers/humidifiers are also convenient ways to improve the plant’s conditions, apart from misting them! The bathroom is also a great humid place for your leafy green friends!

Water you waiting for?

Now this is what gets most first-time plant moms anxious and overly excited at the same time - watering their #plantfam. Some people may have heard that it is useful to stick to a watering schedule (for example, water your plants every MWF) but this may not be best because this often leads to overwatering. Underwatering is actually better than overwatering - so the best way to check if your plants need a drink is to stick your finger into the soil. Dry? Then go ahead and water it. If the top layer is still a bit moist, skip that day and check again tomorrow!

Shop responsibly

Because of the growing popularity of plant parenting, many shops have been struggling to keep up with the demand. Make sure your supplier sources them responsibly and ethically. There have been many reports of mountains and forests being stripped off of their natural vegetation for these plant babies. It may look cute on your desk or bedside table but it simply isn’t worth the damage to the environment! Do your research beforehand about where and how the nursery sources its plants.

Trust the process

Lastly, remember that plants, just like humans, are living things that go through their own ups and downs. When one of your plants starts showing yellow or brown leaves, don’t panic! This is totally normal, especially in the first few weeks, as your plants start adjusting to your home. If you do see a few yellow or brown leaves, don’t cut them off right away. Some plants feed off of the nutrients from the dying leaves, so leave them on till they're nice and crispy. You might also want to check for any bugs or signs of sickness on the leaves. Make sure you haven’t been overwatering!

Now that you know how to take care of your #plantfam, here are the best plant varieties for newbie plant moms:

Snake Plant

Probably the most “kill-proof” on our list, the Snake Plant can survive pretty much anything. They do well with minimal amounts of light and can survive even the worst droughts. Water them once every 2 to 6 weeks, and only when the soil is completely dry. Great low maintenance starter plant!

Asparagus Fern

Typically found in hanging baskets, Asparagus Ferns are great for keeping the air clean indoors. Their light and airy foliage, with the surprise appearance of white flowers, can serve as the perfect backdrop for your ‘grams. To take care of them, put them in an area that receives lots of indirect sunlight.

Peace Lily

Native to tropical rainforests, Peace Lilies are popular for their lovely white flowers! They come in all different sizes, but are usually kept on the floor as they can grow up to three feet tall. They are highly adaptable and can thrive even in low-light conditions. If cared for properly, you can expect them to bloom in spring and sometimes during the fall. It’s best to use distilled water, as Peace Lilies are sensitive to the chemicals that can be found in your tap water.

Aloe Vera

They serve as great double purpose plants. Not only are they ~aesthetics~ for your room, they can also be used in your skincare routine. Just snap a leaf off the plant, and use it as a face mask to soothe your skin after a fun day at the beach! Just remember that aloe plants are desert plants, so they love lots of bright, direct sunlight. Make sure its pot has at least one drainage hole, and that you allow the soil to completely dry out before rewatering to avoid root rot.

We also asked some of our Blackbough babes who happen to be plant parents as well for some tips on how to start and cultivate your future plant babies! See what they have to say for you aspiring plan moms!

Raechelle Ricketts

First plant: Vinca Carmina
Plant's status: Healthy and Growing
Number of plants owned: 25 and growing!
Favorite flower: My Vinca Carmina!
What made you start being a plant mom? I became a plant/flower mom because of the lockdown- it really got the best of me and I started getting bad anxiety. Planting helped me stay grounded- it reminded me to take life day by day, to not look too far into the future and to just stay calm and go with the flow of life!
Plant parenting tips: Be patient, be kind, and be gentle with your plants and flowers! Talk to them and play them some music in your spare time!

JM Zata-Hernan

First plants: 1 Snake Plant, 2 Bacularis and 1 Peperomia Watermelon
Plant's status: After 1 month, my peperomia watermelon plant died due to overwatering while the rest lasted for 5 months.
Number of plants owned: As of today, I have 8 plants (3 Succulents, 1 4ft Bamboo Palm, 1 Selloum, 2 Bottle Brush Plants, 1 Fortune Plant).
Favorite plant: Selloum and my succulents. 
What made you start being a plant mom? Since we live in a condo, I wanted to decorate our living space just to keep the nature and cozy ambiance.
Plant parenting tips: They say that too much love can kill you, and this is true with our plant babies as well. Overwatering is unhealthy for them, the more sun your plant gets, the more watering you’ll do; less sun means less watering. Start with 1 to 2 plants and if it lasts, congratulations, you are now ready to buy more. It’s really heartbreaking to see your plants wither or die but patience is the key here and understand their needs and wants too. The road of being a plant mom is really a tough one but a rewarding experience that no matter what you will have babies for a long time!

Inya de Vera

First plants: It was an air plant and it died so fast because I got too excited to water them.
Plant's status: Dead *cries*
Number of plants owned: Can’t count!
Favorite plant: Pink-spotted Aglaonema or the Polka Dot Plant.  
What made you start being a plant mom? My mom is so into plants and visiting her jungle of houseplants has a very calming atmosphere. Even though plants grow slowly, it’s actually very thrilling to see a leaf bloom and unfurl over time! I love how it also reminds me to be patient because things that are worthwhile truly take time. 🌿
Plant parenting tips: Better to underwater than over water! Be patient! Don’t quit because even the best gardeners’ plants die. Sometimes it could be because of different factors that you may or may not control like- the weather or the amount of sunlight or water it gets! Do research, make some changes and experiment with your space.

We hope this helped you girls kick start a new hobby and embrace the plant parenthood life. Tag us on your stories and show us your new plant babies!

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