PLANT CARE GUIDE
Below are some guidelines and recommendations to get you started on taking care of your plant. Each home, office, or room is unique so you may need to tweak some of these suggestions to fit to your conditions.
The two biggest factors that determine your plant's needs are lighting and watering. Use these as guidelines for picking a plant that will be great for your space, but you may need to tweak things based on your environment.
INDOOR LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS
- High Light – on a windowsill
If your cat is sleeping in this sunny spot, it's probably best for bright light plants. Plants that require bright light need to be as close to a direct light source as possible - preferably in a southern or western facing window where they can catch a glimpse of the sky.
- Medium Light – near a window
A sunny window with sheer curtains or an office desk near a window would also do the trick. Plants that require medium light should be placed near a southern, western, or eastern facing window, but not in direct sunlight. Within 3-5 feet of the light source would be ideal. Otherwise, you could place an indirect light plant in the middle of a bright, sun-filled room farther from the windows.
- Low Light – far from a window
Is northern light all you've got? Trying to add some greenery to your dorm room or office? Low light plants might be best for you. You can also place a low light plant in the center of a room away from windows.
Not enough light in your room? Light colored walls and mirrors that reflect light from windows will help brighten up the place. Otherwise, you can add grow lights near your plants for supplemental light.
- Water Weekly – these plants need a bit more attention and should be watered on a 7-10 day schedule. If the leaves look a little droopy, that's your plant telling you want to up that watering to every 5-7 days!
- Water Every Other Week – these plants can live on a lot less water than most plants. They should be watered every other week (every 14-20 days) at most and shouldn't be drenched in water. If you tend to be an over-waterer and have one of these plants, you might want to use a planter with drainage holes to make sure this plant can dry out properly
Can’t remember your plant’s needs? Just search for your plant’s detail page to get all you need to know
First things first: give your plant several days to acclimate to its new environment and then you can repot your plant if needed. To do that, you’ll need two things: a planter about an inch or two larger than the current pot it’s in. And soil. Check your plant’s detail page to get the scoop on soil
- Watch our video about repotting – how to tell when your plant needs to be repotting and how to do it. The telltale sign for when to repot a plant is when you see roots growing out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the plants.
- Read this page to see our thoughts on the drainage hole debate (spoiler alert: if you’re a beginner, we recommend only using planters with drainage holes until you get the hang of watering)
- Pets! We all know pets sometimes get a little friendly with plants, so please make sure you're researching plants before buying them to make sure they are safe in your home. We mark plants as pet friendly on our site, but plants are not pet food! We recommend you do your best to keep your pets from eating any plants - whether they are marked pet friendly or not.
Stick your plant in its ideal lighting, sit back, and enjoy!
- We usually give our small plants between ¼ and ½ cup of either weekly or every other week, depending on your plants watering frequency on the plant’s detail page. We highly recommend using a measuring cup from your kitchen to water your plants until you are comfortable enough to eyeball this amount with a watering can.
- For plants that don’t like their soil to be completely dry between waterings, you might need to either increase the water amount slightly or just take a spin around the house and water those plants more frequently (maybe every 5 days instead of every 7, for example).
- IMPORTANT: make sure you read our thoughts and feelings on drainage holes. We recommend always letting plants with NO drainage dry out completely between waterings because you don’t have visibility to the bottom of the plant. Root rot is not your friend.
- Super simple pro tip: set a weekly, recurring reminder in your phone to remind you to take a spin around the house and water those babies up! (Just remember to skip the plants that need to be watered every other week)
Once you have the hang of plant care basics, there are a few more fun things you can do with your plants:
We have a collection of “Graduation plants” that are great for those who want to go to the next level with their plants. Use the planting chops you learned with your beginner plants to keep these slightly more finicky plants happy.
Click here to read our propagation how-to for our favorite vining plants (like pothos and philodendron). Propagation is basically a way for you to get more plants from your plants, and the easiest place to start is with vining plants.