Five reasons you and your latest plant purchase might not last the distance…

Can we all take a moment to admit that there are certain plants we purchase with the acknowledgement that our time together will quite possibly be short-lived?

There’s no need to be ashamed. It isn’t any different to the cushions that you may have on the couch for a season, at least a plant can be returned to the earth. Realistically, you should be commending yourself on your environmentally friendly decorating choices. Here are the top five reasons you can safely admit you might be buying a plant that will have a limited life span.

Reason number one – The plant you love today won’t stay small forever!

We all know the typical line our parents fed us as a kid about having a pet, ‘they’re cute now, but don’t forget they will grow up and you still need to take care of them’. Plants aren’t any different. Your Monstera with its cute three leaves that you have doted on for several weeks now will continue to unfurl those leaves. Eventually, you are left with a beautiful beast of aerial roots, stems and leaves the size of your face. If you were after a small plant, in a designer ceramic, that is to spend its days on your shelfie, then you and your Monstera’s friendship is going to have limits.

Reason number two – You’re ambitious.

Certain plant varieties are described by a list of key facts that are then followed with a muttering of expletives by honest plant owners. These can be some of the most beautiful plants. We have all done it, brought a variegated plant, or one we knew was a step above what we are possibly capable of caring for. There is nothing wrong with it. How else are you going to level up in this plant game? Ash certainly can’t catch the same easy Pokemon forever to become a world-class Pokemon trainer. Neither can you on your journey to becoming a green-fingered goddess or god. But that’s not to say it will always be easy.

Reason number three – You’re not ambitious, you’re determined.

When you scroll through your social media feed, you will often find a thread where several plant enthusiasts openly admit they buy the same plant determined to have it survive their company and love. If you fit this category, you are an absolute legend. There is nothing more satisfying than working out how to make a plant survive in your home and working out their sweet spot. However, until this happens, you are happily taking home your latest victim.

Reason number four – You know you. When the going gets tough, your plants get going.

Owning a plant requires you to take care of them, water them, clean them, and re-pot them. When life gets busy, we prioritise, and sometimes our plants take a back seat to everything else that is happening. That doesn’t mean we like our plants any less. However, it does mean a trip to your favourite plant store will be required so that you can find a suitable stunt double, which you will love endlessly until life gets busy again.

Reason number five – Once you start, you just can’t stop!

Like a majestic Disney movie, as you venture further into the world of house plants, it’s like ‘a whole new world’ (yeah, you sang it). What caught your eye the first time you set foot into a plant store, and what might steal your heart the next time will change. The selection of plants you can choose from is only getting better, and the beautiful ceramics to complement all that delicious green goodness is constantly evolving. Your plant journey will see you bring in new favourites and a few older plants will need to exit left. Especially if your partner isn’t keen on the full-blown indoor jungle look.

All of these categories are normal. Life happens, our tastes change, we learn with our plants, we grow with them. We welcome them into our homes, and not every one of them will survive our company. The circle of life is a natural path of plant parenting, and the rewards far outweigh the losses. So remember, if possible, buy your plants with intent. Consider where you might move your plant if it grows big, or gift plants that no longer give you joy.  Minimally, have the perfect spot to hide the casualties of those less successful moments and your plant dealer ready and waiting.

The Health Benefits of Plants

There are so many aspects of a home to consider, especially with the items you choose to surround yourself with. A lot of the time we see these items as a reflection of ourselves, the colours that we like, the items that ‘spark joy’, or have a practical use to our homes.

Indoor plants incorporate all of these elements, which makes them a welcomed addition to your home. They add a touch of colour, life, and even come with health benefits. When looking closely at each of these aspects we can start to see why indoor plants contribute so much to the environment we create within our homes.  Firstly, and simply, plants add greenery to a room, a touch of life. Green is the colour of nature and is assists to balance our energies. Plants help to create a calm space, and are known to reduce stress and improve our feelings. In fact, they are said to help reduce feeling of fatigue and improving attentiveness.

Indoor plants are also well known to have health benefits. Due to their ability to absorb toxins that are circulating in the air they are often described as air purifiers. There are a number of ways that our indoor space develops a range of toxins. Human beings release carbon dioxide by breathing. The items within our homes release gases as they age, such as the paint on the walls, the clothes we are wearing, or the couches that we sit on. A plant breathes these toxins, absorbs them and then processes them. Finally, their output is a release of oxygen and vapour to our homes. This help reduce illness and improves the health of our bodies; our hair, our skin, our minds. Such a simple thing, a wee green pot plant, yet it has the ability to have such a big impact.

A US study recommend 15-18 house plants for every 167 square metre house. On average the kiwi home is 148 Square metres, so approximately 16 plants is the perfect number for maximum health benefits. Although, starting at one is still a step in the right direction

Variegated indoor plants – what do you need to know?

We have all seen the posts online: ‘in search of variegated Monstera’, ‘variegated String of Pearls‘, etc. What is making these plants so sought after? And, when you get your hands on one, how do you make sure that you keep that precious variegation in your plant that you have paid for?

The beautiful variegation of Monstera deliciosa.

Let’s start at the beginning. What creates that stunning variegation we have all fallen in love with? Plant variegations can occur due to one of three reason. Firstly, it may be created through the mutation of a new plant. Or, it may be a consequence of the environmental effects on an existing plant. Lastly, it might be the result of careful engineering through plant breeding. Either way, once this new variety of plant has been found, it is usually breed as a point of difference to provide colour variety for you, our plant enthusiasts. Variegation can come as a mix of colours within the same leaf, and can venture to include the stem of the plant as well. It can come in the form of an albino colouring such as the example of the albino Monstera, or a solid colour like pink, which is seen on the Philodendron Pink Princess.

Image Source: thejoyofplants.co.uk

A variegated plant, whilst beautiful, is actually a plant which is at a disadvantage in comparison to its fully-green leaved friends. Due to the lack of colouring (chlorophyll) in the leaf, your plant is unable to photosynthesis as well as it normally would, reducing its ability to grow and thrive. However, a variegated plant is not ‘sick’. It will generally have smaller leaves, and grow at a much slower rate, but when kept in the right conditions you will be able to enjoy them the same as all of your other plants. What are the right conditions? A variegated plant needs you to find it a bright-sunny spot, where the light is filtered before it reaches it. In front of a window which has a netted curtain is an example of an ideal spot. A variegated plant also likes consistent temperatures, and a variety appropriate watering schedule. If your variegated plant isn’t happy it will let you know by starting to revert back its standard form. It does this to ensure its survival by improving its ability to photosynthesis. If you notice this happening, simply change anything you think isn’t working, trim any leaves reverting to stall the process, and hope your beautiful variegated leaves continue to grow.