On an almost daily basis, someone will walk into our shop and look longingly at some cute little plant and exclaim "Ugh! I want one but I kill everything! I've even killed a cactus!!". Seriously, we hear this a lot, especially that last cactus part. Or maybe they come in, gaze at the orchid plants and walk away saying how difficult orchids are to care for.
I write this to help cure your Black Thumb curse. I bet you aren't as hopeless as you think. Most people I speak to are actually just giving their plants too much love. Don't be a helicopter plant parent! Sometimes less is more. Almost all of the plants we carry at Rouvalis prefer a little Benign Neglect. That's right, leave it alone! The number one way people kill orchids is over-watering. This is the same for most succulents. That said, orchids and succulents do need a little water, so if it looks limp, it is trying to tell you it needs a drink.
Here are a few basic things to know about plantcare:
~Limp, yellow leaves & dry soil -You guessed it, needs water.
~Yellow leaves and wet soil -Back off! Too much water, check the base of your plant to make sure it isn't sitting in water as this can cause root rot. Wait until the soil dries out before you water again.
~Drainage holes are key -See above. If there are holes in the bottom of your pot you will be less likely to have the roots sitting in water. Place a saucer underneath to catch the runoff. If you notice it is full, dump it out.
-Indirect Light -You hear plant people say it all the time but what does it really mean? This means you want a bright window but not one that gets totally blasted by the sun's rays. When you look at the window are you squinting or covering your eyes to shield the light? That's probably direct sunlight.
~Read your care tag -Most plants come with a little plastic tag in the soil with tips on caring for your specific plant. READ IT. Seems like a no brainer but you'd be amazed. It won't tell you everything but it will tell you the basics. Light and water, are you starting to pick up what I'm putting down?
~Talk to plant people -Plant people LOVE talking plants. If there is something funky going on with one of your plants, go down to your local florist or nursery and ask someone what they think. We're plant geeks, its why we do this. Even better, take a picture with your phone so we can see what you're talking about.
These are the most basic basics, but it is your foundation for plant success. We could get into fertilizing, bugs, humidity but that's intermediate level. Let's get you comfortable with the easy stuff first.
I have faith in you. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Come see us. Grab a snake plant, a ZZ, or a pothos. You Can Do This!