For First-time Plant Parents

Being a first-time parent can be daunting and exciting at the same time. You could be a first time Parent to a baby, to a Pet animal or bird or fish, or even a Parent to a plant – each one is equally intimidating when one goes in with little to no knowledge. So, learning the basic and first few steps of care for the new baby to come is absolutely vital – be it a plant baby or otherwise.

We are here to specifically address Plant parenting through an understanding of basic and proper Plant Care. Since Plants, like babies or animals, are not able to talk, reading and research become imperative in knowing what works and what doesn’t in nurturing them.  

So, first things first. You’ve come to realize that you love Plants and would like to start a small little Home Garden. However there are some pertinent questions one must first ask themselves before bringing home Plant babies: 

  •  Will all types of Plants survive in my Balcony or Home Garden? 
  • How much care is needed for each plant on an everyday basis? 
  • Is there sufficient natural Light coming into contact with my new plants? 
  • What is the setting going to be like? Indoor, Outdoor, simply Desk Plants or Hanging Plants? 
  • Am I meant to fertilise my Plant? Does my plant require fertilising throughout the year or only seasonally?

There is a variety of Plants available in the market and you have to know what your expectations are out of becoming a Plant Parent. Are you just going for the aesthetic value or do you want to shift gears towards a more sustainable lifestyle by trying to grow something that is edible? Is your basic purpose Air Purification or simply adding a pop of colour to your Home space with some beautiful Flowering Plants? 

Whatever your purpose is, one rule of thumb you must remind yourself of is this – Plants aren’t just decorative objects that exist to beautify your home. They are not decor accents you buy from the market to make your home look more attractive – they are breathing, living things. So the right care at the right time is of the essence in their care and nurturing.  

Here are a few things you can do to make yourself more aware and better equipped for your new role as a plant parent:

  • Talk to your Local Gardener or any reliable source with expertise in Plant Care/Parenting. 
  • Explain to them the Lighting conditions at your Home and the amount and type of space you have created for your Indoor Garden so that they may be able to gain an understanding of your playing field and suggest Locally available weather-adaptable Plants accordingly. 

This is an extremely important step as you must understand that Air and Light make up for the Plant’s food and nourishment. Good food means good nutrition, which leads to a healthy and happy Plant from 

  • After making sure of the first step mentioned above, start small and with simple Plants that require easy care.

Make sure that once you begin: 

  • You don’t overwater or over-fertilize the plants as too much of anything, even a good thing, can spoil the health of your Plant baby.
  • Maintain a record of how much to water your plant and when all to water it – and if you’ve done it for the day or not – everyday.
  • Don’t be worried if some leaves on your plant begin to become Yellow or Brown, or if your Plant requires repotting. Repotting is a normal and necessary process that cannot be done without – and is a must as and when your Plant outgrows its original pot.
  • Choose Organic pesticides and fertilisers over Chemical ones as Chemical fertilisers and pesticides tend to destroy the nutritional composition of your Plants which may lead to early rotting.

Here are some Easy Indoor Plants we recommend you begin with: 

  • Fern: This plant is an easy choice that is well loved for its aesthetic appeal and its strength and resilience. With its cascading fronds and alternate, green leaves, it is quick to instantly enhance any indoor space – your home or workspace.
  • Lucky Bamboo: An air-purifying plant that absorbs toxins from the air and releases oxygen. This is an important job as the indoors lack natural ventilation. The Lucky Bamboo is easy to maintain as their demands are minimal. They enjoy ample indirect sunlight and grow happily in just water (rainwater or distilled water) but may also be potted if you so prefer. 
  • Snake Plant: An air-purifying plant that absorbs toxins from the air and releases oxygen. The Snake plant is low maintenance with minimal demands. It enjoys brightly-lit indoors and needs watering simply once a week. It also most enjoys its soil with a nutrient mix/plant feed. 
  • Money Plant: Both indoor and outdoor plants, the money plant is air-purifying and is known to fill the home with prosperity. It carries many health benefits like reducing anxiety and stress. A popular house plant, you may spot it easily indoors in homes, offices, shop and cafes and even on the balcony or in hanging baskets. 
  • Succulents: 

Succulents are hardy plant that are resistant to drought. They are easy to care for and sustain long lives. Highly low-maintenance when provided with the right environment, these plants  need little to no care in your indoor garden. They grow wonderfully in dry climates without too much water and are resistant to pests.

All first time plant parents tend to go one of two ways. The first type will try to overdo and overcompensate because they feel they are new to the field and since they don’t know how to do it right, they must do more to make up for it. So, one ends up harming the plants life by either overwatering or over-fertilising or even too much time in the sun. 

The second type will bring home the plant while hesitating the whole time, unsure of how to care for them – and deciding since they don’t know what to do, not to do much at all. In this case one ends up harming the plant through sheer neglect – leaving them in dark corners for days at a time, not watering them despite a very dry layer of top-soil and generally failing to properly nourish the new plant.

The solution to both of these situations and type of plant-parental neglect is educating oneself. Pick up a book, whip open google and get reading! Ask questions to experienced plant parents of local gardening experts. One can also visit local plant nurseries or pore over properly researched plant blogs It is said that the only thing worse than no knowledge is little knowledge – so like you would educate yourself in caring for a child or pet dog or cat, start your education in Plant Care and you will find yourself with green thumbs in no time!

Nurturing an Indoor garden can prove to be extremely soothing and stimulating, once properly mastered. Equip yourself with appropriate knowledge and you will find a world of goodness in giving and receiving in the Plant world. Ask questions and research well!

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