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plant care!

by Robin mcgraw

Hello again Secret Squad!

 

I hope you’ve all had the chance to listen to my episode with the wonderful Christopher Griffin, aka Plant Kween! Christopher is such a bright light and I just could NOT stop smiling while talking with them. 

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Christopher shared so many amazing tips with me for taking care of houseplants and I can’t wait to put them to use on my own plants. Whether you are new to being a plant parent or have been one for a while, these tips are sure to help keep your plant babies happy and thriving all year long!

Research Your Plant

This may seem a bit obvious, but this is such an important step in being a plant parent! You wouldn’t get a new pet without doing research, so why wouldn’t you do the same with your new plant? Christopher recommends doing a quick Google search about your new plant so that you can learn about its origin and natural habitat. This will help set you up to be a great plant parent! 

 

I also love going to my local nursery and speaking with the people that work there. They always have tons of great tips and advice about my plants and it’s nice to have people in your community that you can go to whenever you need some help with your plants!

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Location is Everything

Christopher told me that this is one of the most important things to do before bringing a new plant into your space. They said that doing an environment assessment of your space will make you aware of the kind of sunlight you get. Depending on where the light comes into your home or office, should dictate where you place the plant. The best way to do this is to use the compass app on your phone to figure out which direction the sun faces through the windows. 

 

And don’t forget to be patient with the plant! It will take a while for your new plant to get adjusted to its new surroundings, so also make sure not to move it around.

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Re-Pot Your New Plant

When you bring a new plant baby home from the nursery, it’s important to re-pot it when the time is right. Christopher told me that the plastic pot the plant comes in is only meant for transportation and not to be a long- term home for the plant. The best time to re-pot is about 2-3 weeks after you’ve brought the plant into your home or when it has started to grow new leaves. You don’t want to re-pot your new plant immediately because it needs time to adjust to its new environment.

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Choosing the Right Pot

Picking the perfect pot for your plant can be tough! There are so many different options out there that it can get overwhelming trying to find the right one that fits your plant’s needs. If you’re buying a pot to replace the one that the plant came in, Christopher recommends getting one that is 2 inches larger than the one it's in. They also recommend getting a pot with a drainage hole. Since overwatering is the number one killer of plants, having a pot with a drainage hole will allow any extra water to drain out of the bottom. This will reduce the chances of overwatering and root rot, which is when the root of the plant is suffocated. 

 

I love these ones from Amazon because they are really cute and come with a saucer that catches the leftover water!

 

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Overwatering and Underwatering

I am always worried about whether or not I have overwatered or underwatered my plants! I knew that when I had Christopher on, they would have some great tips on how to make sure I could keep my plants happy and healthy. They told me that before you water any plant, you should place your finger two inches into the soil. You do this so that you can test the soil near the root. If the soil is dry, the plant needs to be watered. If the soil is moist, the plant does not need to be watered. For a problem that seems so complex, I could not believe how simple the answer was! 

 

In case you don’t want to get your hands dirty, there are plenty of soil testers that will do the work for you! This one from Lowe’s will test the moisture, light, and pH of your plant helping to prevent over and under watering!

 

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Dust Your Leaves

This is something that I never thought of until Christopher brought it up! They told me that the leaves are how our plants take in the sun, so it's important to make sure that they are clean. Also, don’t forget to dust your windows that are near any of your plants! This may seem a bit tedious but it’s a preventative measure to keep pests away that could inevitably grow into infestations. 

 

To make dusting a bit more fun, I like to put on one of my favorite podcasts and turn the chore into some self-care time for myself! 

 

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Secret Squad, make sure to check out Christopher’s new book, You Grow, Gurl! Plant Kween’s Lush Guide to Growing Your Garden for even more tips and tricks to taking care of your plants! And make sure to tell me all about your plant babies in the comments of my latest Instagram post!

 

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