House plant tips! - The Dainty Squid

House plant tips!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I think if you've been reading The Dainty Squid for any amount of time you've probably noticed that I kind of have a thing for house plants. I mean really really love house plants. Plant shopping is my happy place, and a guaranteed way to make a bad day better for me is to go browse plants. Whenever I post photos of my plants on instagram, which is quite often, I get questions about my plants. I'm definitely not an expert but I have learned a few things from experience that I thought might be nice to share.
Let me start with the number one question I get - How do you keep your cats out of the plants? I really have no idea. My cats have never been interested in plants. Even if the plants are "in the way", like in the photo below, they'll just sit behind them. I really did luck out with the best cats.

If you have pets, please make sure you know what's poisonous. The ASPCA seems to have a comprehensive list of plants and if their poisonous to cats, dogs, and horses. A lot of house plants can be very harmful to animals so take caution.
I think the most important part is picking good plants. It's always best to pick the healthiest looking plant (duh!) and make sure that your home is a suitable place to grow said plant. Most plants come with a little tag that has their ideal lighting condition listed. It's important to follow that. You will not successfully grow a high light plant in that dark corner of your bedroom, it's just not going to work.

Where to look for plants? Honestly, I prefer Lowes, and Home Depot. You're not always going to find something. Sometimes when I go everything is sad looking, and quite obviously on it's death bed. But both stores seems to get new shipments of plants quite often, especially during the spring and season so I always make it a point to go every few weeks. The variety available is always changing so it's never really a good idea to leave something behind if you really like it and it's in good shape.

Obviously your local nursery should have house plants too! The good thing about going there, other than supporting a local small business, is that someone who works there should be able to give you tips on caring for the plant you're buying. I've come to find chain store works don't exactly know what they're selling a lot of the time, and won't be of much help if you have a question about the specific plant you're purchasing. 
Make sure to replant your new plant in a pot with proper drainage. No matter how cute a container if it doesn't have a hole to drain the water, it's not going to work out. Plants don't like to sit in water, the roots will rot.

 I replant everything I buy in terra cotta planters for a few reasons. They have holes in bottom for drainage. I have a lot of plants, terra cotta planters are cheap, and I like all my planters to match. But there are definitely lots of other options out there for cute planters that can be found anywhere you're buying plants as well as places online, like etsy. Have you seen these? SO cute!
Watering your plants! Did you know that most plants die from over watering, not under watering them? When I first got plants I found it kind of tricky to remember to water them. Now it's just a habit. Setting a timer on your phone just until you get in the habit might be a good idea.

I water my plants every other day but I don't water every single plant at that time. It's a good idea to play off the plants cues. After some time you'll get to know your plants (did that sound a little crazy?) and you'll know when they need water.
Hope that helps a least a little!

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9 thoughts

  1. You're so lucky your cats will leave your plants alone. I can't even keep flower arrangements in our house because our cat Uzi will try and eat everything!

  2. Next time you're in Erie, I highly recommend Stan's Garden Center (the main location on Buffalo Rd - You can spend hours exploring all their plants! Really neat place!

  3. I've just recently been mulling over what cat-friendly plants to try in my apartment, so this was a helpful post, thank you!

    On the topic of all things green, if you've ever around Philadelphia and have time to explore, I definitely recommend visiting Ott's Exotic Plants ( You can wander through the greenhouses and feel like you're lost in your own private little jungle... there are cats prowling around the place, and they even have a waterfall. I was there this weekend and didn't even buy anything, just ogled at the awesomeness of plants!

  4. Thank you so much! I've just recently gotten into "house gardening," but I seem to have the worst luck with keeping plants alive. I think I'll have to rethink it. :)

  5. That's really great. I like plants and I wish I have a garden.

  6. Thanks for the tips!! I have always considered myself somewhat of a black thumb. I'm pretty sure the only plant I ever had that I kept alive for more than a couple months was a Venus flytrap, which my bother eventually killed by feeding it tobacco : (
    Anyway, I'm moving in a month or so and I feel encouraged by your tips, maybe I will get a plant in my new place and see how it goes!

  7. All of your plants look beautifullllll! Thanks for sharing your advice!

  8. Shawn's the plant master in this house... my thumbs are anything but green! In our last lease there was actually a clause about 'not having too many house plants'... I'm not sure what they consider too many, but we have a heck of a lot, so! And Lloyd could care less about the plants, except for after this recent move... he dug the dirt up in some of them! We chalked it up to him being anxious and he hasn't done it since :)

  9. I love your house plants so much! I have a couple of them but I'm, awful at remembering to water them -_- I guess I should make use of that timer option on my phone!


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