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A beginner’s guide to houseplants

September 10, 2021

A man surrounded by his houseplants.

Houseplants are the trendy addition to your home that not only look great, but help purify the air as well—helping your home be even healthier. A few leaves are bound to turn brown when first getting into houseplants, but that’s no reason to give up on your green thumb. The team at Elliott Homes put together a guide of helpful tips to get you started on the right path. 

Know Which Plants Work Best in Your Home

Not every plant is going to thrive in your home, and one of the main reasons is access to sunlight. Most plants you find at the store will label if it’s low light, medium light or bright light. Low light plants survive with no direct sunlight, so you can place your plant a good distance from the window or in a windowless bathroom. Medium light plants do well when there is a barrier, like a curtain or space between the plant and window. Bright light means there should be no barrier between the plant and light. Place these directly by a window, preferably a southern-facing one.

Our homes are designed to emit plenty of natural light with energy-saving dual pane windows. Curious as to which plants will work best in your space? Some great low light plant options are of the Sansevieria variety—known more commonly as snake plants. This is a great beginner plant because they are very low maintenance and don’t require much water. They do best when you leave them be, and can even survive in dark corners of the home. Another great low light plant is the pothos plant, which will reward you with long, trailing vines when it’s left alone to grow. 

Ferns and anthuriums are perfect medium light plants—but for bright areas with an abundance of natural light try aloe vera or cacti.

Don’t Forget Drainage

Now that you’ve picked out the best plants for your space, you need to consider the container that they’re in. It’s important that your plants have a drainage system in place for two important reasons. First, drainage prevents over watering, because any water that the plant doesn’t need will be emptied out. Second, drainage prevents root rot in your plants—a disease that can decay roots and kill your plants.

Look for a hole in the bottom of your planter, and you’re all set. But if you’ve fallen in love with a pot that doesn’t have drainage holes, there’s a simple fix—create a base layer of small rocks and place dirt on top when planting your plant. This will work the same as having a planter with a saucer underneath, as water will escape the soil and drain into the gaps of the rocks.

Set a Schedule

A common worry with houseplants is the fear of over or under watering them, but you can keep track of the watering schedule on a calendar to avoid this. Some plants need more water than others, but a good rule of thumb is once a week. This can increase depending on the humidity in your house, which will fluctuate during the seasons. Summer months also mean more sunlight, so you might have to increase your water to twice per week. 

Research the plants you have to learn how much water they need, and then try to not fuss over them too much. Letting soil dry out between watering will actually yield healthier plants.

Bring Your Home to Life 

Houseplants can help bring some of the natural beauty outside of your home right inside. When you’re ready to go green in every aspect of your home, contact Elliott Homes online or call the regional office you’re interested in.  Our knowledgeable team can tell you all about our new-construction communities throughout the most sought-after locations in California and Arizona

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