Indoor Plant Care Kit Basic and Cheap

Indoor Plant Care Kit Basic and Cheap

Indoor Plant Care KitMany of us at Wirecutter adore houseplants because they give our homes and us life, color, the possibility of improved air quality, and psychological advantages. Our degrees of expertise are very different:

A few people on the staff claim to be members of the Black Thumb Club, one writer has experience working in a botanical garden, and our former editor in chief transforms her small New York City balcony into a bountiful mini farm every summer without fail. Those of us who have been successful in keeping our plants alive have discovered a few things that are essential for making plant care simpler and more effective.

Indoor Plant Care Kit

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Cheap, attractive planters

In addition to being more robust and attractive than the flimsy plastic pots that plants are frequently sold in, Bloem’s Saturn Planters are a colorful plastic substitute for the common terra cotta clay pot.

They cost little and include a saucer for catching water. Additionally, Saturn Planters are lighter than conventional pots, making it simpler to move or thoroughly soak plants in the sink. Don’t use these on their own for large top-heavy or leaning plants, though, as a lighter pot tends to make a tippier plant.

An affordable watering can

I used to water all of my indoor plants by repeatedly filling a glass from the kitchen. Although I’m unsure of the exact proportion of water that went into my plants and how much ended up on the floor, I do know that it’s embarrassing.

I could not believe how much time and water I had been wasting when I finally purchased the Bittergurka watering can. It is wide and short enough to fit on the counter or hang from a plant stand while still holding more than half a gallon.

Without disturbing the soil, the spout directs water exactly where I want it to go. The design is “chef’s kiss,” and the handle is solid.

The leading cause of unintentional herbicide committed by new plant parents is root rot, which frequently results from overwatering, but the parents aren’t always to blame. Pre-mixed potting soils are typically too wet and drain too slowly.

When I have the time, I like to make my own potting soil by combining peat moss, the main component for retaining moisture, with fine gravel or sand (bonsai soil works great) (a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and nutrients).

When I don’t feel like it (which is usually), I purchase pre-mixed cactus soil from the nearby garden center (any brand will do). It has a fair amount of sand in it, which helps with drainage and thereby protects all plants—not just cacti—from root rot. In fact, if I’m using it for cacti, I even like to add a little extra sand or perlite.

The majority of my plant pots are made of terra cotta, which is porous and ideal for housing plants because it helps prevent overwatering.

The drawback is that any water that does leak through eventually settles on the surface that the plant is sitting on. I placed these cork trivets under the saucer to prevent any spillage from damaging my wooden furniture and windowsills.

Even plants enjoy moisturizing

I mist the tips of my ferns with my beloved trigger spray bottle from Muji to keep them from browning or curling during the dry NYC winter. It is the ideal size for spritzing smaller pots or air plants because it emits a fine, concentrated spray that won’t drown or bend delicate fronds.

Muji’s small spray bottle never squeaks or drips, unlike other similar bottles I’ve purchased from dollar stores. I can spray warm water without worrying that it will melt the plastic because the canister can withstand water up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, its sophisticated, translucent, forest-green hue fits perfectly tucked beneath my Monstera. The commercial-grade Zep spray bottle is a better option for larger houseplants because the nozzle isn’t big enough to effectively hydrate them. A humidifier will benefit your plants just as much as your skin and sinuses, if you want to take it a step further.

You can easily find used gardening how-to books with sound advice because our understanding of plant care hasn’t changed much over the years (the 1970s were a particularly fertile period for houseplant publishing).

However, How Not to Kill Your Houseplant, which was just released, is the book I would recommend to a novice plant parent. It covers all the fundamentals, including how to buy, pot, and care for a plant, and does so with the use of simple, clear illustrations and explanations. This small book spends the majority of its space giving detailed instructions on caring for 119 common houseplants, some of which aren’t covered in older books.

The addition of decorations and minor improvements

An immediate makeover for boring planters

Seagrass baskets from Riseon, available in natural ($14 for a 9-inch basket at the time of publication) or black ($16 for a 9-inch basket at the time of publication).

Dropping your existing pots and planters into decorative baskets is a risk-free way to change up their appearance if you’re tired of how they currently look. Compared to a ceramic planter, baskets have a cozier appearance, and they are even more practical if they are robustly built with integrated handles, like either of these Riseon baskets.

These make moving plants around much simpler, whether you’re displaying them before guests arrive or taking them to the bathroom for a plant shower. With handles, the journey is much less hazardous, especially when carrying large, heavy plants.

A position that goes beyond plants

The three-tiered Rskog cart is my favorite for holding potted plants and concealing extra gardening tools. The top can be used to display plants, and the bottom two levels can be used to store supplies.

The Rskog’s walls on each level keep pots from falling over; however, I’ve had to clean up numerous dirt spills caused by other wire plant shelves jostling them.

I can simply roll the cart aside to access dirt on the ground when messes do happen. To save space, I also hang our favorite watering can from IKEA on the top or middle level. The cart is available in red-brown, black, and beige.

I take advantage of any chance to infuse whimsy and humor into everyday life, which is why I display animal figurines alongside my indoor plants. Every time I look at the hippo in the jade plant on my desk, I smile.

These adorable Schleich toys are used by me because they are realistic, well-made, and adorable. They have a huge selection, including animals from all over the world, including dogs and livestock.

Their dinosaurs complete the plants’ naturally prehistoric appearance and are ideal for fern or succulent terrariums. Put a koala in your eucalyptus tree, and people will smile at you as you pass by.

Help with watering for the inconsistent gardener

The right amount of watering is one of the trickiest aspects of plant care, with overwatering being a frequent (and frequently ignored) issue.

If you frequently travel, easily forget things, or have high-maintenance plants (begonias and ferns, I’m looking at you), it will be even more difficult to get this right. Additionally, subjecting plants to repeated periods of drought and flooding often means their demise.

These stakes reduce the amount of time I need to spend watering plants and keep the soil moist without causing it to become soggy. Simply put a wine bottle (or any other long-necked bottle) upside down on the stake, fill it with water, and then bury the stake in the ground.

Cavalry: if things don’t work out

Even the best of us experience infestations. I take a deep breath and grab the neem oil when spider mites or aphids attack my plants. Neem oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the Asian evergreen Azadirachta indica tree, is a powerful fungicide and pesticide that, when used properly, isn’t toxic to people or animals.

Neem oil and dish soap should be diluted with 1 quart of water, shaken in a commercial spray bottle, and then thoroughly sprayed on foliage, paying special attention to the underside of leaves.

When plants are under stress or are weak, which may be brought on by too much or too little water or light, they are more vulnerable to pests. If you are having trouble getting rid of an infestation, you might want to think about altering the growing conditions for your plant. Regularly wiping the dust off of leaves is another advantageous preventive measure.

Most houseplants need plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients, and many commercial potting soils already contain these nutrients, so you don’t need to add fertilizer. But eventually, some plants might need a little boost, especially if you’ve been slack about transplanting.

These plant food spikes are convenient and foolproof, which is why I like them. The number of spikes to use is determined by dividing the pot’s diameter (in inches) by two. Push the spikes down into the soil until they are just below the surface, about halfway between the pot’s edge and the plant stem.

They gradually dissolve with routine watering, providing your plant with an ongoing supply of nutrients. Spikes don’t need to be mixed or diluted, they don’t need messy application techniques, they don’t take up much space, and they don’t smell like other types of fertilizer. Similar to how more water is not always better, too much fertilizer can harm or even kill your plant, so use it sparingly.

Plants occasionally require assistance to reach their full potential, whether it be due to injury or unfavorable growing conditions. In these situations, I grab a roll of plant tape, like the Velcro Adjustable Plant Ties. A small piece of plant tie should be used to gently secure your plant to a twig or popsicle stick that has been inserted upright in the soil.

The best plant ties stick to themselves strongly enough to hold the plant in place but delicately enough to allow for easy removal when you’re ready; they don’t need knots or adhesives of any kind. With the aid of plant tape, you can encourage plants to reach for the light in unfamiliar surroundings, get viney plants up out of the ground, and give woody plants that haven’t yet hardened a trunk structural support.

This collection of five moisture sensors allows you to keep an eye on the humidity of your soil for just $9 and a little bit of technical know-how (plus the cost of an Arduino or Raspberry Pi kit). The sensors monitor the humidity level continuously and compare it to a set threshold, sending out a trigger message whenever the threshold is crossed.

You can program the trigger to send a reminder to your smartphone or start an automated irrigation system by adding a little bit of code. In contrast to many other beginner Arduino projects, the setup procedure is simple, instructive, and practical in my everyday life. If working with moisture sensors is your thing, you could upgrade your indoor gardening setup even more by adding pH or light sensors.

QnA Indoor Plant Care Kit

How do you care for indoor potted plants?

9 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Houseplants Healthy Watering Your Houseplants. Fertilize Houseplants Periodically. Propagate Houseplants When Needed. Repot Overgrown Houseplants. Remove Dust From Plants. Prune and Pinch Back Houseplants. Deadhead Flowers and Remove Dying Leaves. Control Insect Pests.

What do you need for indoor plants?

The Must-Have Essentials Watering Can. For indoor plants, it’s best to have a watering can on the smaller side. Gloves. A pair of gloves will keep your hands clean while repotting. Potting Mix. Pots and Planters. Spray Bottle or Plant Mister. Pebble Trays. Waterproof pads/drip trays to protect furniture. House Plant Fertilizer.

How do you keep indoor plants thriving?

7 Indoor Gardening Tips for Thriving Houseplants Less H2O. Interior plants need less water in winter. Hold the fertilizer. Let in light and keep plants clean. Increase humidity. Prepare for spring. Cut away old growth. Refresh the soil.

How often should you water an inside plant?

In general, the majority of houseplants should be fed every second watering during the growing season (spring and summer), which is probably every 10 to 14 days. In autumn and winter feed every fourth watering as houseplants will require fewer nutrients.

What should I put on top of houseplant soil?

Topdressing options can include: river rock, crush slate, replica coverings, moss, crushed glass, hardwood mulch and more. Given the plethora of options, it’s best to work with an expert to choose your office plant topdressing wisely.

How do you take care of a plant for beginners?

Indoor Plant Care for Beginners: 15 Fail-Proof Tips for Success Take 5 Minutes and Research the Plant Before You Buy It. Don’t Re-pot it Right Away. Don’t Move it Around the House. Give it Less Water Than You Think. Check the Soil Before Watering Instead of Watering on a Schedule. Try Bottom Watering.

What are the disadvantages of indoor plants?

The following Disadvantages of Indoor Plants and Flowers outline some of the reasons why indoor plants are not for everyone. Care Requirements for Indoor Plants. Indoor plants usually cost more. Most Plants Survive in humidity. Plants are breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Indoor plants may outgrow.

Can indoor plants grow without sunlight?

If you’re hesitant to grow indoor plants because your home lacks bright sunlight, don’t let the shady conditions stop you. Most plants need some light in order to grow, but shade-loving plants can easily get by with indirect light, or even artificial light from regular light bulbs.

How do indoor plants grow for beginners?

How to Grow Plants Indoors Learn to recognize when houseplants need water. Be aware of temperature, humidity, and ventilation. Ensure that your houseplants get the right amount of light. Use the right potting soil. Select a pot that fits your plant. Use fertilizer to supply nutrients.

What makes plants happy?

Ideally it should be a place with indirect sunlight and a constant temperature – that’s where your plant will be happiest. Some plants can also tolerate a day in full sun, but then do ensure that it gets enough water. Otherwise it’ll dry out and can become sick.

What are the 7 important things to consider in growing indoor plant?

All plants need these seven things to grow: room to grow, the right temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, and time.

What household items help plants grow?

10 surprising household items that can actually help your plants… of 10. Hair. of 10. White vinegar. of 10. Banana peels. of 10. Eggshells. of 10. Ash from the fireplace. of 10. Coconut. of 10. Coffee. of 10. Potato water.

Should you water house plants from the top or bottom?

Bottom watering plants keeps the roots uniformly moist, but it doesn’t wash away the salt and mineral deposits that accumulate on the top of the soil over time. Pour water over the top of the soil until it drains out the bottom once a month, just to rinse the soil and remove the excess minerals.

Why do houseplants get brown tips?

Plant tips can turn brown when they’re exposed to too much fertilizer and too many salts build up in the soil. When this happens to potted plants, tips turn brown from a condition known as fertilizer burn or tip burn.

Why do my indoor plants keep dying?

The humidity may be too low or the soil may be too dry. Are the leaves wilting? Wilting can signal overwatering or underwatering. If possible, take the plant out of the pot and check the roots for signs of rot, slime or excessive dryness.