You think we don’t see your green envy.
The way you eye the romantic fern framing the bottom of your neighbor's window…
The wonder at how fast green onions can shoot up when they were just planted a mere days ago…
When you complain that you forgot basil at the grocery store, and how you wish you didn’t have to go all the way now for just one ingredient --
Well. You wouldn’t if you tried your hand at growing your own herbs.
The idea of growing your own plants may seem overwhelming, maybe because you always thought you had to have a “green thumb,” whatever that means. Maybe it’s something you wish you’d start, you have started--but get so caught up in the details of remembering when to water or how much to water or you forget to in the first place and your worst fear is ending up with a dead, withered plant.
We’ve all been there.
But successful plant-growers will tell you that it’s not supposed to be stressful. It can be quite calming and enjoyable.
Not seeing where the enjoyment might be? Here’s how to find that spark of joy when starting as a new plant parent.
Finding Fun Planters
Maybe we’re a little shallow… But besides loving our greenery, we also love the fun options for vessels to put them in.
Plant-growing has spiked in popularity in recent years, and with that, so have the variety of options for planters. At this point, you can find just about anything your heart desires: a unicorn container for your daisies, a hanging planter for your fern.
But instead of buying whole new products… Why not repurpose something you already have?
So long as you have some sort of container (preferably with a hole at the bottom for drainage, but you can also just throw some small gravel in the bottom to help the soil drain), it’s pretty incredible what you can turn into a planter.
It makes our zero waste hearts sing to see a collection of mason jars on a windowsill growing herbs.
Of course, we’re not saying you can’t buy that llama-shaped planter off of Etsy--but we’re saying that making your own will be a whole lot of fun and may even make it feel more personal.
You can basically use any kitchen supplies you might not use anymore: old colanders, chipped or broken bowls, a cute juice glass. The possibilities really are endless, and we’d love to see what you end up making!
Research! It’s Easier Than You Think
There’s no two ways about it: sun, soil, and water are the three most important aspects to a plant’s health, and each species requires a different amount of each.
Before you tear your hair out at all the possibilities that presents--does this shrub prefer a lot of sun or none at all? How much soil? To water now or not to water??--save yourself the stress by doing the research first.
That might sound like a given--but hey, we’ve all been at our local nursery and fallen in love with the ever elusive orchid… Only to bring it home and discover it’s a challenge, to say the least.
Do you have a habit of overwatering? Maybe a boston fern is a good fit for you. Kids or pets in the house? Shoot for something non-toxic like an African violet. Have an apartment with not a whole lot of sunlight? Chinese evergreens are a delightful choice.
Yes, you can easily get caught up in just how many options there are--but how exciting is it that no two species are the same, and that there is maybe one specific plant that’s just about perfect for you?
Maybe that’s cheesy, but hey. You’ll know what we mean when you find The One.
Reward Yourself with Homegrown Herbs & Veggies
Look. Maintaining a thriving fern or succulent is extremely rewarding.
… But what’s more fun than being able to actually enjoy the fruits of your labor?
We’re always looking for ways to cut down produce waste in grocery stores. What’s better than growing your own and eating it fresh right when it’s ready to be picked off the vine?
There are plenty of incredible herbs and veggies you can grow indoors; but let’s start off with green onions because oh, we love them so. Green onions are one of our favorites because they’re an ingredient you can buy, cut, and regrow again.
… That’s literally it.
You’re going to want to slice off the bulbous ends with the roots, then plant them roots-down in a small dish of water. If you have a shallow measuring cup, or even an old yogurt cup, that’s perfect! Change the water about once a week, and once the shoots reach four or five inches long (trust us, this’ll happen fast) you can put the onions into a traditional planter with soil.
It’s also a great project to do with the kids. Considering how fast it grows and how easy it is to maintain, it’s a rewarding experience that will teach them the importance of growing their own food!
The Benefits Outweigh the Risk
So… If you’re afraid of taking on a new “green” member of the family, just know that it’s gonna be okay. Maybe it’ll thrive, maybe it won’t. Maybe it’s gonna take you a couple tries to get it--
Just breathe. Remind yourself why you started.
Houseplants are proven to help clear the air of toxins such as formaldehyde and benzine. Can you imagine all the nasty chemicals you don’t even know you’re breathing in your home… Suddenly being 94% gone in a twelve hour period because of just one dracaena plant?
Imagine what that can do for your mental well being, knowing that the plants you’re caring for are also protecting you!
And speaking of well being… A study in which assisted living residents were given plants have shown that caring for them gave them a greater boost in morale. Having a plant to take care of gives you a greater sense of accomplishment.
And once a little flower buds on your African violet, or a little tiny tomato grows on your vine, you'll realize the trial and errors have all been worth it.
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Check out our Crazy Plant Lady Pinterest board for more houseplant tips, tricks, and inspo.