Since I grew up in a home full of beautiful houseplants, I thought I’d create a similar at-home greenhouse for my own kids. Even though I hate to admit it, until November 2019 I thought I had a black thumb!
Hana’s Houseplant Advice
My husband is from the Czech Republic and his family still lives there. It seems every Czech home we enter contains beautiful green plants. On a recent visit with my sister-in-law, Hana, I decided to ask for help! She gave me simple yet wonderful advice. She explained that I needed to look at the plants leaves, the dirt, and study the window light. Every week when she waters her plants she takes mental notes on how her plants look. She may give them more or less water based on the color of the leaves. She may move them closer or farther away from the window or even move the plant to a different window. Or she may add fertilizer to her watering can. She is mindful of different types soil for a cactus, succulent or tropical plant.
Best Window Light
Hana taught me that the quality of light is different from each window depending on the direction the window faces. North-facing windows receive the least amount of light and typically aren’t conducive to growing house plants. East-facing windows receive morning light and are typically best for plants that need moderate or morning sunlight. South-facing windows are usually where the strongest sunlight enters your home. West-facing windows get the afternoon and evening light and are ideal for sun loving plants.
Before talking to my sister-in-law, I used to buy plants based on where I though they’d look the best in my house. Now, I buy plants that I love and I may have a place in mind where I’ll put them, but I move them if I notice that they are not thriving in their location.
Leaves are Turning Yellow
When you are watering your plants and you notice yellow leaves, it could be a variety of issues like: low light, over or under watering, low temperatures, mature leaves or a virus.
Plants Developing Brown Spots
Brown spots could be caused by not enough light, too much heat, too little water, or too little humidity.
Plants are Dropping Leaves
If you are seeing leaves dropping off of your plant, it could be from shock, low humidity, physical damage, pests, low light, extreme temperatures, over or under watering, or a nutrition deficit.
House plants thrive in a warm environment. I’ve read that 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. That’s easy enough. Just watch out for cold drafty windows and hot radiators, etc. Earlier this year, the leaves on our hanging philodendrons started curling. By simply pulling up the vines away from our radiators the leaves uncurled and look healthy again.
My plant loving friend, Lenna, gifted me a container of her favorite plant fertilizer, Jack’s Classic All Purpose Plant Food. It’s wonderful! I’ve been using Jack’s for over a year. It is easy to use as you just add a small amount to your watering can. It makes my plants look fantastic. I couldn’t be happier with it!
Repotting + Growing Media
Recently I realized that my monstera’s roots were outgrowing it’s pot. It needed more dirt to continue to grow. Typically it is best to repot plants in the spring before growing season. I use growing media from IKEA to avoid root rot by keeping the roots aerated.
Once quarantine hit and we were home ALL THE TIME, I kept gravitating towards new plants! I often picked up a cute plant while doing our grocery shopping and before I knew it our house started turning green!
Grow Your Greenhouse
These days, when I’m worried about a plant I either google information, check out Hilton Carter’s Wild at Home book or IGTV, or visit a local nursery. I hope these tips help you transform your home into a beautiful greenhouse!
Click here to read about creating a boho studio.