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Driftwood Guide to Houseplants

We get loads of compliments on our house plants! At this point, I have a serious love for (addiction to?) collecting houseplants. Without them, our house wouldn’t feel like a home. Plants were my first responsibility. The first things I ever had to take care of. I don’t think I was born with a green thumb, but I’ve worked hard to cultivate one. If you’re thinking, “There’s no way I’ll ever have a green thumb,” or if you’re just looking to elevate your houseplant game, then this blog post is perfect for you. Houseplants are so good for you. Our indoor air quality, although filtered, is not the greatest air to breathe. Especially with quarantine, we are all spending a lot more time within our homes. Plants are one of the easiest ways to breathe cleaner air. Many plants even absorb various pollutants [JSS1] from the air, acting as a natural filter in your home. Super cool- right? Or maybe I’m just a plant nerd 🤓 Not only do they bring physical benefits, but plants also bring texture and vibrancy to design! We are big fans of clean modern lines, but these spaces can so easily feel sterile. Houseplants come in a wide variety of textures, shapes, and sizes. They bring an organic feel to any space, automatically making it feel more lived-in, cozy, and welcoming.

Speaking the plant language Plants communicate with us. Unfortunately, not in the, “Hey, I need more water, please!!”, kind of way, but you’d be surprised what you can understand if you know the signs to look for. There are three conditions we need to consider when speaking the language of plants: HYDRATION - aka how much you water LIGHT - sunny vs shade NUTRIENTS - soil type and fertilizer Every plant requires a specific balance of these three factors. If you can get the balance right, you will have a happy and thriving house plant. Here are some common plant signals that we see, and what they can mean: SIGNAL: Drooping leaves, wilted leaves, dropping crunchy brown leaves MEANING: typically these signals mean your plant is thirsty! Check the soil to see how damp it is. If it’s dry an inch or two below the surface (think knuckle-deep), give it a good drink! Don’t be shy, but remember that most plants do not like to sit in water- it’s best to water generously until you see drainage, and then stop! SIGNAL: Browning/yellowing at stems that spreads to leaves, softening of stems, wilting and discolored/yellow leaves, blisters and lesions on leaves, new growth but you have yellow falling leaves MEANING: too much water! Check if the soil is wet and let your plant dry out. Leave it until the first inch or two of soil are dry and then reduce the frequency you water. SIGNAL: Tips of leaves are brown and dry MEANING: Your plant is likely sunburnt! Some plants only like partial sun to shade, so be mindful of the lighting conditions. This can also be a symptom of underwatering as well. SIGNAL: Plant is alive but barely growing, the plant is reaching towards the light and getting “leggy” (stems are long with few leaves, possibly just at the top) MEANING: Your plant needs more light! Try moving it to a sunnier spot or closer to a bright window. This is a common difficulty with succulents and other sun-loving plants.

Some of my favorite beginner-friendly house plants! Low light plants:

· Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)- all varieties like low to bright indirect light

· Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)- all varieties also like low to bright indirect light

· Ivy (Hedera)

Bright-indirect light plants:

· Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)

· Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

· Coin plant (Pilea peperomioides)

Sunny/bright light plants:

· String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

· Jades- all varieties (Crassula ovata)

· Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)

These tips and tricks are general. Different types of plants required different conditions, and my best advice to you, if you’re struggling with a certain plant, is this: if something isn’t working, listen to the signs your plant is showing you and take ACTION! Always research the type of plant that you have and understand the conditions it needs. We can’t expect our plants to change if we don’t alter their environment. Wishing you all a green thumb and some happy, healthy houseplants!

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