How do I choose the right plants to buy for my home or office building?
We understand that buying statement piece plants is a big investment and we want to ensure that you choose the right plant for your specific aesthetic desires, but more importantly, we want to ensure that you choose the right plant for your space so that it can thrive. We have put together a list of frequently asked plant care questions below.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here please feel free to send us an email at email@example.com.
What kind of plant can live in a bathroom with no window?
Unfortunately, every plant is going to need light to grow. Placing a plant like a snake or a ZZ in the bathroom is going to be your best bet in terms of longevity. These plants can go a very long time without light, but eventually they are going to have a slow demise and death. We are big fans of putting snakes and ZZs in bathrooms and when it’s watering time placing them by a bright window to soak up the sun. This should ensure they last as long as possible, for sure months, potentially years.
Should I buy a Ficus? I’m looking for that decor magazine look!
If you have bright, bright light in the space you’re looking to fill with a Ficus and you’re able to provide the consistency it craves in terms of location and watering then yes! We must warn you though…They crave bright, indirect light. You’ll want to water when you see a slight drooping of the leaves or when the first few inches of the soil is dry and not damp.
Help! I killed my Calathea!
Who hasn’t? Kidding, but not really. Please don’t judge your plant parenthood skills based on a Calathea. While beautiful, they may be the most finicky and high maintenance as they come! Calatheas are the least forgiving plant you can purchase because they need extremely specific care in order to thrive. They need a consistently warm spot and bright but indirect light – away from direct sunshine. The soil should remain moist and they crave humidity. So, in the winter they could want you to mist their leaves when you water. Oh, and they want to be watered with filtered water only. See? Talk about a diva! If you can keep a Calathea alive and thriving you can do pretty much anything in terms of plant care. I like to think of Calatheas as a bouquet of flowers that lasts a really long time, but may not live forever or grow up into a beautiful large plant!
I don’t have a lot of light in my house/office, what plants should I buy?
Snakes, ZZ, Pothos, Philodendron, Aglaeonema
I have a ton of light in my house/office, what plants should I buy?
You have no limits! Any plant would love those conditions.
What types of plants are the easiest to care for?
Sansevieria “Snake” Plant
It's the perfect indoor plant...it cleans toxins out of the air and can live in any light condition, even very low. Keep watering frequency to a minimum and let the soil dry out between watering and you’ll be golden!
LIGHT - Tolerates any light condition, even very low.
WATER - Drought tolerate, water when soil is completely dry from top of soil to bottom, we recommend a monthly watering.
You might spot large potato-like rhizomes under the surface of the ZZ Plant's soil. These store water to help the plant survive drought in its native habitat. A ZZ plant is virtually indestructible, can handle neglect, can live in any light condition and still looks amazing. It's also a great air purifier. The only way to kill this plant is to water it too often which you'll know is happening if the leaves begin to turn yellow and mushy. The ZZ is so easy to care for it’s like having a fake plant! No joke.
LIGHT - tolerates any light condition, even low
WATER - Extremely drought tolerant, water when all of the soil is completely dry, most likely every 1-3 months, depending on how much light it is receiving.
Aglaonema AKA Chinese Evergreen
This plant tolerates medium light well, all you need is a room with a window. It doesn’t even need natural light to thrive! The Aglaonema is a great fit for offices with fluorescent lighting.
LIGHT- tolerates medium light conditions, can even live in artificial light
WATER - when soil is dry
This plant is able to adapt to bright indirect lighting, low lighting and artificial light and is a great fit if you’re looking for a tall plant to fill up any space. The Dracaena is extra hardy and forgiving.
LIGHT - tolerates medium light conditions
WATER - water when 3/4 of soil is dry
Pothos and Philodedrons
Super easy and fast growing air purifiers...this plant is so simple to care for because it tells you when it needs water (the leaves begin to droop)!
LIGHT - almost any light condition, as long as there is a window. Can do medium to bright indirect light.
WATER - when it is completely dry and leaves begin to droop
How much light does my plant need?
Lighting is (almost) EVERYTHING! It’s important to make sure that the plants you buy are a good fit for the light levels in your home so your plant will thrive.
Keep in mind that the light level depends on the exact spot where you want to place your plant. The simplest way to determine what plant will thrive in its desired space is to think about the direction of the windows. A southwest facing window is considered high light. An east or west facing window is considered medium light and a north facing window is considered low light.
Once you figure out the light level for the spot where you intend to place your plant, then browse for plants that will thrive in that exact spot:
Bright Light Lovers: These plants must receive strong sunlight most of the day, usually in a southwest facing room.
Medium Light Lovers: These plants are perfect for east or west windows that receive partial, filtered, or indirect sunlight.
Low Light Tolerators: Some examples of a low light condition include a room with small windows, a room with natural foliage or an awning outside blocking the sunlight from the window, or north-facing windows. Have no fear! We source plants with these conditions in mind. We want everyone to have the opportunity to bring life to any room they choose, regardless of the light situation.
How do I know when to water my plant?
The frequency in which you will water your plants will vary depending on which plants you choose for your space and how much light they are receiving. Something to take into consideration before choosing your plants is how much attention you are willing to give to each plant.
You can read a ton of different information out there on the internet about watering opinions but we like to keep it simple and have broken watering down into a few easy to follow tips:
Ditch the plant apps!
There are a TON of factors that would determine when you should water and only you will know what they are. Some of the factors include: what kind of light the plant is in, what kind of plant it is, the weather outside based on the season, size of the plant, etc. There's no way an app is going to be able to tell you when to water because it doesn't know all these conditions. The best thing to do is to check in with your plants and learn their signs for thirst!
Check the soil!
Checking the soil is the most foolproof way to know when your plant needs water. Stick your finger in the soil of your plant. Is the first couple of inches damp or wet? Walk away! Your plant isn’t ready for water. Is the first couple of inches of soil dry and crumbly? It’s time for a thorough soak! If you don’t want to stick your fingers in the soil you could get a wooden dowel. Imagine sticking a toothpick in a cake you’re baking…same concept but with soil. If the wooden dowel comes out clean and dry, it’s time to water! Lastly, keep in mind what type of plant you’re watering and what it needs from you. There are some plants that thrive in drought tolerant conditions and it would be best to go by time between watering. The plants that should go by time between watering are snake plants and ZZs.
Drainage is key!
Regardless of the type of plant you purchase, every time you water anything it will want a thorough soak of all the soil and roots. Every plant needs to be in a container with a drainage hole so that when you water the water can run fully out of the drainage hole. This will ensure the water gets to the roots. This will also prevent overwatering. Nothing can be “overwatered” if your plant is potted in a container with drainage holes. You could dump gallons of water onto your plant’s soil but as long as water is running out of the drainage holes it can not possibly be overwatered. If there are no holes in your pot your plant's roots will not receive the oxygen they need to thrive and will eventually, most likely, die a slow death.
We understand that most of the gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing pots do not have drainage. We work hard to source pots that nursery pots, with drainage, can nest perfectly inside. This makes it very easy for watering (and redecorating). Simply remove the plant and nursery pot from its decorative pot and water into your sink, tub, or plastic trays. We provide plastic trays with all trees and larger plants so that you can lift them out of their pretty pot into the plastic tray, and visually see the water running out of the nursery pot’s drainage holes into the plastic. And then once you’re finished you can lift the tree or large plant back into its decorative pot. Once you get to know how much water each plant takes for a thorough soak but not extra, you can leave your plant and drip tray in the decorative pot to water.
Does my plant come with care instructions?
In our brick and mortar shop each plant comes with basic care instructions printed on the side of its nursery pot. If you’re shopping our plants for local delivery you can find the care instructions on each website product listing or on our plant care guide.
You can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific care questions!
Care tips are guidelines, and every plant will behave differently depending on light and watering conditions.
How can I tell if my plant is struggling?
Yellowing of leaves
Brown leaf spots
Brown edges of leaves
Drooping leaves that don’t perk up after watering
White spots or webs forming
EEK! I see bugs, where are they coming from?
Fresh Flowers: Cut flowers from your yard or garden can be a carrier of houseplant bugs
Fruits and Vegetables: Unfortunately, whether from your own garden or the grocery store fresh produce can carry houseplant bugs
Other Bugs: We recently learned that bugs like ants can bring other bugs into the house.. like aphids, scale, and mealybugs
Other Plants: Unfortunately, if you bring in a new plant and it has bugs unbeknownst to you they can travel to other plants
Doors and Windows: Houseplant pests can easily come even through the screens of open windows/doors and can easily travel through air vents. ICK!
What are these annoying little flies?
Most likely they are fungus gnats. Fortunately, they do not harm plants but unfortunately they are extremely annoying.
These guys can come from anywhere. They enjoy a nice, warm, moist place to lay their eggs, which is typically your soil. Frequent water does encourage them to breed, so you can usually get rid of them by letting your soil dry completely out between watering.
If that doesn’t work, try removing the top few inches of the soil in your plant and replacing it with new. We recommend Good Dirt and sell it in our brick and mortar shop. You could also use sticky traps to catch the adults before they lay eggs. And you can also use an insecticide. Doing ALL the things should deliver pretty good results!
Why are my plants' leaves turning yellow?
This can be happening for a few reasons. Sometimes leaves turn yellow around the time a plant is purchased while it acclimates to its new home. Some older leaves might turn yellow and shed, usually the lower leaves. A very common reason that leaves turn yellow is overwatering, meaning too little time has passed between watering. Please see the watering tips here. Another common reason you could see yellow leaves is underwatering. We know, we know…so confusing…under OR over watering! If you have not watered your plant for a while and the soil feels very dry try to give it a good thorough soak and be sure to check in once a week to ensure you’re not skipping a watering that it needs.
Why do my leaves appear to be rotting?
This one is easier! Rotting leaves are a true sign of overwatering or root rot. You can use a fork to fluff the soil like rice and assist it in drying out and get oxygen to it. Also, make sure you check the soil to ensure the first few inches (at least) is dry before watering again. Don’t ever water if the soil is already moist.