essential tools for plant parents

essential tools for plant parents

Posted by Megan Nichols on Mar 28th 2020

It’s impossible to hop on social media and not see plant parents highlighting their favorites day in and day out. We all know someone like this - one (or a few) or, if you’re reading this, maybe it’s you? (Fair warning: spring-like weather has me feeling giddy and channeling my inner Dr. Suess , apparently). As with all hobbies and endeavors, and especially when working to keep plants surviving and thriving, there are a variety of tools that will make plant parenthood easier and make the grower more successful. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Espoma Organic Fertilizer

New to us this year, and we’re so excited! These easy to measure, easy to use, liquid fertilizers make nourishing your houseplants a dream job instead of a chore. Tip the bottle upside down, tip it back, open the cap, and there you have a perfectly measured amount. Just dump into a watering can, add water, and you’re on your way to happier, healthier plants.

Watering Can

Speaking of watering, a good watering can is a must. Our new favorite is a beautiful black metal piece. The smart design is reason enough to invest. The can is perfectly designed to naturally tip at an angle, decreasing strain on the wrist, and the spout meets the body of the can at the bottom (rather than in the middle) so all water can be poured out without risk of it spilling from the top. Perfect! Plus, the look of this watering can makes it a piece of art. This is not one you’ll need to tuck under the sink. Follow your instinct and leave it right on the counter or shelf, it’s too attractive to hide.

Chopsticks

Great for aerating soil (plant roots need air, too) and serves as a moisture meter. Handy in a pinch if you run out of forks, too.

Moss poles

Plants that love to trellis and climb especially love moss poles. Rather than having exposed roots on plant tendrils, this gives them something to grow into which also provides them with moisture and nutrients, resulting in bigger leaves and more lush plants.

Mister

What better way to keep your moss pole moistened and those adventitious roots growing strong? A mister is a must! Many plants that survive and thrive in our homes have tropical and rain forest origins, meaning they do best when grown in a humid environment. The air in our homes, particularly in winter, is often far dryer than they’d like it to be. A mister supplements the moisture they’d find in the air in their natural environment.

Deep saucers

Deep saucers encourage deep watering by allowing for more run-through. Plants don’t want to be teased with water, so water thoroughly, let drain, and empty the saucer. Even if you water you plant in the sink, it will never drain completely, so a saucer is still a welcomed addition.

Neem Oil

Our go-to solution for a variety of plant problems is Bonide’s Neem Oil. Neem oil is derived from the seed pods of the neem tree in Africa. The oil is a natural pesticide, miticide, and fungicide and is approved for organic gardening.

Light meter

Plants eat light! Or, at least, they make their own food from the quality and quantity of light they receive each day. A light meter will help you determine if you’re feeding your plant a crust of bread or a buffet based on the light it is recieving. We like the Dr. Meter Digital Light Meter. Like just about everything, you can find it on Amazon.

Common sense

Yup. I mean it. This is an important one. Check the soil for moisture. Be honest about the light situation (you can’t fool the plants, they’re smarter than we give them credit for). Have you had that plant for two months, and now it has one yellow leaf? Stop panicking. Houseplants aren’t perfect, and the sooner we accept them for who they are, the better off we will all be. Leaves grow and die, things happen, it’s nature. So nurture your plant by giving it a little TLC. Trim off those dead or dying leaves. Assess your light and watering situation. If all seems to be going well, then good job! If not, make some changes. It’s really cool if you can keep a houseplant for years on end. It’s also really likely some will die through trial and error. It’s OK if it dies. It’s OK if you cry if it dies. Move on, try again, try a different plant. Keep learning and growing. You got this! And we’re always here to help.  

Happy Houseplanting!