New to plant parenthood? We can help.
Before you do anything else - put the credit card away and have a read. I know it seems like a good idea to head out, buy big, and junglfy your space instantly, but the reality is starting a plant fam should be done slowly - at least early on.
We're often asked what advice we have to someone new to plants. Our tips?
Start small, Ask for help and Don't give up.
Starting small seems easy, but everyone who has ever walked into a plant shop saying "I'm going to buy one plant" has always walked out with more. But starting small - we suggest one to three plants - has so many benefits.
Starting with three or less plants means you'll have enough time to spend on plant care without feeling overwhelmed.
It will also mean any changes to the plant won't be missed - you'll get to appreciate the new growth, keep on top of the potting media's moisture levels, see when the foliage is due for a wipe down. It'll also be obvious when the plant's foliage starts to droop, or if any pests have taken up residency, or if the foliage is starting to burn from too much direct sunlight.
But don't think that that it therefore has to be a long journey to go from three to thirty plants. Plant families tend to experience exponential growth - once you feel confident with your first few plants suddenly the idea of another ten doesn't seem too overwhelming.
Ask For Help
Thats what we're here for! Or the staff at your local nursery, or even your favourite Plantfluencer on instagram.
You'll find most "plant people" are pretty friendly and really keen to share advice. When it comes to plants there really are no stupid questions - we all had to start somewhere.
If you're in the market for your first plant and looking for advice, think about what the light and temperature is like in your home, if you prefer to be an involved plant parent or want to just let them do their thing (and not complain if you forget to water them occasionally). These are things that the people giving advice will want o know about you so they can point you in the right direction.
Don't Give Up
The reason why we suggest starting small - it's easier to look after three plants than ten. Even so:
you will kill a plant
I've made that bold so you don't forget it. It might not be one of the first few you own, but you will eventually kill a plant.
If it makes you feel any better, I've killed a plant. Dom has also killed a plant. Most people have killed a plant. If they haven't killed a plant, I'm going to go out on a limb and say they never owned any plants in the first place. The trick here is not to be disheartened by it. Don't label yourself a 'blackthumb' or a 'succulent killer' or write yourself off and claim that plants aren't for you. If you can, try to think about what might have caused the plant's early demise and learn from it. If you're unsure why it gave up, go back to our tip #2 and ask for help. It's not going to bring the plant back but it might help you from making the same mistake again.
Our Plant Picks for Beginners
After all that, what are our picks? We've listed five below that should be enough to get you started. All are different so there should be something for everyone. Enjoy!
Peace Lilly (Spathiphyllum spp.)
An unbelievably underrated plant. Large, dark green foliage, a beautiful creamy white flower (technically not a flower - its a bract, or modified leaf, but flower sounds way nicer than 'modified leaf'), and super easy to look after. This is a plant that really does tell you what it wants:
Droopy foliage = needs water
Not flowering = not enough natural light
Green flowers = too much fertiliser.
Keep out of direct sunlight and try not to let them dry out (although if you do, don't stress, these guys can really come back from the brink by sitting them in a sink full of water for a few minutes and really soaking the rootball).
Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
This fast growing climber is one of the most rewarding houseplants around. Not only is its foliage HUGE but you can actually watch it develop as it grows. The younger, juvenile leaves are smaller and without holes but as the plant matures its foliage becomes larger and starts to develop fenestrations (holes).
Try to keep moist over the warmer months and fertilise regularly while the plant is actively growing. These plants will do ok in medium light but thrive in a nice bright space with plenty of (indirect) natural light.
Snake Plant (Sanseveria spp.)
Often sought for its air-purifying abilities, the Snake Plant is a popular choice for low light spaces and for those people who may not be the most consistent with their watering. While its true these guys can handle lower light situations, they really want to be given a brighter spot so they can reach their full potential. The Sanseveria genus is quite diverse too, with a heap of interesting varieties to choose from.
Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum spp.)
You know this plant. It's the go to plant for any cafe or restaurant that wants to green up their interior. And for good reason! A low maintenance trailing plant that can handle weeks (if not months - although not recommended) of neglect. And when they are happy they really reward you for it, providing plenty of lush green foliage that will just keep growing. A great plant for propagation too.
Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
Cousin to the fussy Fiddle Leaf Fig, the Rubber tree is all class. This really is a low maintenance statement plant. Beautiful glossy, thick foliage in a variety of colours, the respond well to a monthly shine and feed and only need to be watered when the top few centimetres of the soil has dried out. Keep out of direct afternoon sun but provide them with plenty of light and they'll reward you with plenty of new growth and height.