By Christina Timm
Living in Minnesota we can all agree that it’s no surprise that we spend most of our time indoors during the winter, but this holds true all year round. On average Americans spend about 22 hours indoors a day. Now if you are a gardener or a plant enthusiast, this probably does not hold true for you. Bur for most of us we are spending time at home, in our cars, and at work indoors. While it might not be realistic to change our routine and get outdoors there are ways to bring a little bit of nature inside. How do we do this you might ask??
When we buy our first houseplant we don’t really realize what we are getting ourselves into. One turns into two, two turns into three, and before you know it all your windows are filled with a variety of plants and we are calling ourselves plant parents. Even when we think there is no more space, we always make space.
For those who have houseplants, you can relate to the bond that is created when owning them. We take pride in the fact we can take care of something and keep it alive. It never amazes me how plants can have different personalities. Depending on their light requirement, water intake, or foliage type each plant acts a little different.
I think we all can relate to the types of plants that sit there and look dangerous. You know… cactus. They don’t require a whole lot of attention and that’s why they are great to have on a sunny windowsill and let them be. It’s great to maybe sometime forget about them but come back to a happy plant nonetheless. That’s what makes cacti so great: their lack of needing water. Which brings us to our next plant type.
The sit there and look pretty plant: succulents! Succulents are a lot of fun, but sometimes can be tricky. They absolutely love the sun and can’t seem to get enough of it. Like the cactus they don’t require a lot of water either, which makes them great plant starters for new plant owners that are busy. However, too much water and you have an over-watered plant that just can’t seem to recover.
Note to self: there is such a thing as loving your plants too much!
Finding the right watering regimen is probably the trickiest part as a new plant owner. It’s all about getting to know your plant and what it likes. “How often should I water??” It’s the dreaded question we as retail team members struggle with, because it all depends on where you put it in your house. Window or no window, draft or no draft, a lot of light or no light, what your house temperature is normally, and so on.
Alongside your watering regimen knowing how much water to provide at a time is another factor. This heavily depends on the container size. If you have a small container with a foliage plant, you don’t want to water excessively and run the risk of standing water. Someone once told me that you should water about ¼ of the container size. And of course, it goes even deeper when you have different plants that prefer different amounts of water. There are so many variables that decide how often you should water.
For example, on average, and this is a rough estimate, I water most of my foliage plants every other day and my succulents every 4 days. I say this is a rough estimate because certain plants dry out faster than others and I have a wonderful sunny window, so my cacti and succulents get a lot of sun. However, all this can change depending on the temperature. A cooler temperature requires me to water less frequently. So, you can see there are a lot of factors that play into being a plant owner.
I wanted to share my plant parenthood journey with all of you because it’s fun to learn what other people do and how we take care of our plants differently. Most of my plants have been with me for a year or greater. I have been able to get to know my plants and they have also helped me discover what they prefer. Owning and taking care of plants can be a great accomplishment and I wanted to share what I discovered along the way.