Houseplants 101: What I’ve Learned

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram for any recent period of time, you have likely witnessed firsthand my journey (read: saga) to becoming a successful plant mom.

Back story: my mother (Pamela aka Momela) and her mother (Ruby Jean) have incredible green thumbs. Forgive me because I don’t know proper terms (which will become even more evident as you read this) – but I’ve literally seen them snip a leaf or bloom from a plant, put it in a cup of water for a period of time, and then transplant it into the ground and grow some magnificent specimen in the backyard that lasts for years to come.

I didn’t inherit that gene.

But ever since we bought our house last summer, I’ve started collecting little plant buddies to live in harmony with us. A snake plant here, a succulent there… and I have really loved taking care of them, watching them grow, and enjoying the extra burst of life that they bring into our home.

That said, there has definitely been a learning curve.

I killed the first fiddle fig I brought home. Like, aggressively killed it. In retrospect, I probably should have eased into owning such a finicky plant… but I was feeling entirely too confident and I had always wanted one when we lived in an apartment. We came home after a weekend trip and every single leaf was brown, brittle and either falling off the stalks or already on the ground. After a lot of Googling and a few calls to my mom, it was deemed too late for Fiona the Fiddle Fig. I later learned that I had over-watered her, waited too long to repot her, and moved her about 12 too many times. After a couple of months, I decided to try again with Fiona 2.0. Truthfully, things were touch and go around the holidays but I’m feeling optimistic about some new growth I’ve seen on her stalks, a new plant food regimine and the well-lit corner of our dining room where she now resides.

Here’s my whole point to this post – I’m learning. Am I lucky enough to have a few amazing women (and men) in my life who ARE naturally skilled at nurturing plants? Yes. Do I have the internet at my fingertips 24/7? Yes. Are there a ton of awesome Instagram accounts I can follow that serve not only as resources, but a community full of eager plant moms/dads? Yes!

It’s been so encouraging to see some of my other friends on the same journey and chat about what we’re doing for our respective plant babies. My novice advice would be to talk to the plant lovers in your life, or the people who work at any nursery or plant store you like to visit. They obviously know a thing or two, or they wouldn’t be there! And research what’s best for your space. If you’re in an apartment that gets a ton of natural light, look for plants that would thrive in that environment. If you travel 3 days out of 7 for work, some low-maintenance cacti might be in the cards for you.

I’ll have a follow-up post coming soon with specific tips that my Ruby Jean and Momela have shared with me, as well as a few favorite places that I like to source new plant friends. In the meantime, I want to know… are you working toward becoming a skilled plant mom/dad too? Are you a seasoned pro? What species have you had success with? Would you like to join my dead fiddle fig support group? Kidding. Let me know in the comments and as always, thanks so much for being here!



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