Good to Know: My Plant Babies & How I Care for Them
Good morning peeps! As a lot of you know, this post has been months in the making!!! I think it started around the time Shavonda came to Memphis for our joint makeover project. There was a major discussion around us not being able to use plants in the project (due to the winner's pets), in spite of both of our obsessions with plants, especially our own! They're a frequently asked about topic anytime they make an appearance here on the blog or on Instagram. So now, it's time to give my babies all the shine that they can stand!
Before I get into all of my plants, I feel like I need to give a few disclaimers.
1. I've done zero work with outdoor plants! This is strictly for indoor plant babies.
2. I live in Memphis, TN and we're known to have very high humidity, long summers and short winters.
3. Our home faces north and the living room, where most of my plants live, has floor to ceiling windows (ceiling height of 18'). Since our house faces north, the living room gets great indirect sunlight for a majority of the day.
4. We keep our thermostat at around 70-75 degrees all the time
Now that that's out of the way, I'm going to give you guys the official names of each of my babies. And now is a good time as any to introduce them all with their new given names!!! It was only right that they all got a name. Not only does the bestie name her plants, I had a ton of you in my direct messages telling me to name them!
First up, my favorite and most majestic plant baby, Queen, my Jungle Queen.
This ginormous beauty is of tropical decent, so it loves sunlight and humid air conditions.
Next is, Dorothy, my Dracaena Marginata or dragon tree.
They're great house plants since they need very little attention. Just some good filtered light and a watering only when their soil is extremely dry. Careful not to over water!
Next is Dorothy's cousin, Dana (and her twin sister that's not pictured, Donna), my Dracaena Massangeana or Corn Plant.
Very tolerant of low lighting conditions and grows very slowly, but great indoor plants!
Next we have my little family of snake plants: Sabrina, Sue, Samantha & Sybil. (You have to guess who's who! LOL)
Snake plants are definitely one of those plants that are great for those of you who are just dipping your toe in the plant parent waters.
Another easy goer is Einstein, my Dumb Cane.
Unlike his name puts on,this guy is pretty self sufficient. It likes indirect light and slightly moist soil. Other than that, leave him be!
Next is my variegated croton, Valarie!
I didn't know what to think of her at first. I don't think she felt welcome when she got here. I don't blame her since I never got around to getting her into a container that fit properly. But, eventually, she came around and made herself completely at home! She's totally flourishing in her too small digs, but I promised her a new container ASAP.
Next up is the design industry's poster child, the fiddle leaf fig tree. I just like to call her Frankie.
For whatever reason, she's one of the most sought after house plants in today's time. She not the hardest plant to care for, but she's no walk in the park either. It neeeeds light and is very sensitive to loosing leaves. You should also note that over watering this one is pretty much a death sentence.
It gets its name from its oblong, fiddle shaped leaves and can grow up to 10 feet tall if you can keep it alive that long.
Next is my zz plant, Zeke. This guy probably needs the least attention of all my plant babies. Water him or don't. Give him light or don't. Either way, he's good. But if you really care about him, you should try to give him a little bit of both every now and then.
Next is one that's most fun to watch grow: my birds nest fern. Her name is Nettie.
She actually grows from her center.
Its not difficult to care for, but she needs a ton of moisture. I love to give her a good spray down with my little glass and brass mister that I got here a couple years back.
My newest baby, Birdie, is a pretty showy bird of paradise; already standing at almost 6 feet tall!
I hate her container and will definitely change it out soon, but she is probably the prettiest plant in the room. Be careful not to over water because she doesn't like having wet roots.
Next is Penny, my peperomia. She's cute and getting really tall right now, but I don't think she'll stay this way for long. I will eventually have to prune her back a bit and get her growing in a bush-like shape.
Next is a plant that I think EVERYONE should own, aloe. I call mine Aloe Blacc.
They're great for so many things. You may have heard its great for skin conditions, but its also great for things like asthma, ulcers, constipation and diabetes. (do your reserch!)
Next is another designer favorite, the monstera or swiss cheese plant. Mine is named Missy.
Just keep in mind warmer temps and moist soil. And a little misting doesn't hurt at all!
My last two are of the hanging variety. First up is my Pothos plant, Patty. Patty reminds me so much of my mom. She used to have at least six of these pothos plants and they were spread all over the house. It was actually the first plant that I purchased for our new house 2 years ago.
When I say, easiest plant to care for, I mean it!!! Definitely a great starter for beginners.
Rounding out the group is Ronnie, my hoya rope plant! I stopped in my tracks when I first saw it. I had never seen anything like it! All of this texture, and I knew I had to have it!
I was surprised to find that it was pretty simple to care for! It's the one and only plant that I own that needs direct sunlight. This is why its hanging in the window of the kitchen. And since it's considered a succulent, its water needs are quite low.
16 plants later, here we are (there's actually a few more living around here, but this post is already suuuper loooooong). And in spite of having so many plants, outside of their location, I treat them all pretty much the same way.
1. Water - I water everyone almost weekly. Now their nature and preferences determine how much water they get. For example, Queen is huge, loves moisture and has a ton of roots so she gets about a half gallon water. But Ronnie only gets about a half a cup due to its tendency to need dryer soil.
2. Mist - I mist every single plant with my mister on every watering day. Most of my plants are of tropical nature and love humidity so they need the added moisture for their leaves to stay nice and green. When you see new plant growth that comes in with deformities, like brown dry brown spots of holes in the leaves, its usually an indication that they're lacking that moisture!
3. Dust - I dust everyone's leaves, especially those with extra large leaves or those that need moisture about once a month. Plants get what they need from their environments through thier roots and their leaves. This is why its so important to take care of both ends.
4. Prune - If I have dead or dying parts on any plant, I cut them off so all of the plant's energy can go towards keeping the healthy parts healthy! Dead leaves are an energy drain and can slow the growth of the rest of the plant.
5. Love - I treat my babies like the living beings that they are! I've never named them til now, but it helps to better the relationship! It's been scientifically proven that plants thrive on positive energy so just like a pet ot actually child, they need a little love as a part of their care.
Alright guys! That's it! It's really not rocket science but does take a tiny bit of research and a bit more common sense. Did you catch all of their names? There will be a quiz tomorrow, so be sure to show up to class with you pencils! LOL! Just kidding, but do you have any favorites that you think you'd bring into your home? Please share in the comments below! I can't wait hear your thoughts!!!
And just in case you haven't gotten your fill of plant talk here, join me in heading over to see what Shavonda has to say about them! You know its going to be good!