CARING FOR YOUR NEW FRIENDS

Congratulations, Plant Parent! You treated yourself to some green therapy or someone must've gifted you a plant if you are here. The following are general guidelines, but there are several factors that come into play when caring for your new friend: plant placement, time of year, water and sunlight. 

Cactus / Succulents

A common myth is that you don't need to water a cactus or succulent. True, they are less maintenance as a whole, but they still need love! The most common cause of death is overwatering, so here is a general rule of thumb

During Spring and Summer months, you want to make sure you give your plant plenty of water-enough to where you see water run clearly through the drain hole. The plant is usually set for about 7-10 days and you MUST make sure the roots are completely dry before your next water. Keeping a moisture meter handy makes checking soil easy, but a simple finger check works as well. If you can stick your finger in the soil 1 1/2"-2"and the soil is dry, you might assume you are ready to water.

In Winter months, these babies are dormant! You might only water every 5-6 weeks, up to 2 months. Pony up, invest in a moisture meter..it can save the one you love. 

These plants love south facing windows. Bright light is best, but if you notice a discoloration, move to a place where it can enjoy indirect light, por favor. Chances are it's sunburned!

Tilandsia aka "Air Plants"

Submerge upside down and soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Gently shake and remove excess water. Place in bright indirect light and allow to dry fully before you repeat that cycle.

Bromeliad

Bromeliads are adapted to withstand drought, but are much less tolerant of being over-watered which can cause root rot.

Thoroughly soak the soil so that the water runs from the drainage holes. This will remove any salt build up in the potting media. 

Don’t water the bromeliad again until at least the top two inches of potting media are dry (maybe once a month, depending on the environment the plant is in). Any more often than this and the plant can be sitting in too much water and could succumb to root rot.

 

Another watering option...Many bromeliads also have a 'tank'. This is the part of the plant where the leaves meet together and form what looks like a cup. Bromeliads also take in water through their central tank. Fill the tank with water, preferably rainwater, and be sure to flush it regularly to prevent water stagnation (every month or two).

 

Note: It is important to never use a metal container to water a bromeliad. Bromeliads are very sensitive to metal and the results could be devastating to your plant.

 

Bromeliads prefer about 60% humidity. This level of humidity is very difficult to maintain especially in a home that is being heated by a furnace in the winter season. There are several options for increasing humidity levels.

  • Run a humidifier near your plant.
  • Create a humidity tray. Simply take a shallow plant saucer, or tray, and fill it with small pebbles or decorative stones. Fill the tray with water to just below the stones’ surface. Then set your potted bromeliads on or near the tray. The water will add moisture to the air and increase humidity in that area. If you set the container on top of the tray, it is important to make sure it is not setting in the water. This will keep the bromeliad’s roots too wet and can result in root rot.
  • Place a few more plants in the vicinity. Transpiration, the process in which a plant converts water into a vapor and releases it into the atmosphere, will help raise the humidity of the immediate area.
  • Use a spray bottle to mist the plant regularly. This requires a bit more diligence but is fairly simple.

*(never use soil when repotting your bromeliad. It is too dense and will not allow for the quick drainage that bromeliads require. Instead, use potting mixes specially formulated for bromeliads or mix your own using porous materials-cactus mix is a good alternative)

 

Rubber Plant

needs bright light but prefers indirect light that isn’t too hot. Some people recommend putting it near a window that has sheer curtains. This allows plenty of light, but not too much.
During the growing season (summer), it needs to be kept moist. It is also a good idea to wipe off the leaves of your rubber tree houseplant with a damp cloth or spritz it with water. If you water the rubber tree plant too much, the leaves will turn yellow and brown and fall off. During the dormant season, it may only need watered once or twice a month. If the leaves begin to droop, but not fall off, increase the water you give the rubber tree houseplant gradually until the leaves perk back up again.

Mist during any season if they air is too dry, especially heated dry air like that which might occur during winter indoors.

Another tip is to water with lukewarm water.  Let cold tap water to stand until room temperature as this allows chlorine to evaporate and reduces the shock that cold water can cause to plant roots

 

ZZ plant

They say the easy ZZ plant is the perfect plant for the ultimate brown thumb. This virtually indestructible houseplant can take months and months of neglect and low light and still look amazing.
 

The plant tolerates both low light and bright light (but best to avoid direct sunlight) and different levels of watering. However, watering depends on how much light it receives (i.e., less light = less water and more light = more water)

 

Allow the soil to become dry at the top to the touch between watering and do not over water. It's best to water this plant less than too much because over-watering can cause stem and rhizome rot.

Sanseveria

Also known as a “Snake Plant” or “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” is a great household plant to have in your home as it’s tough, durable and will even grow in conditions of low light or under watering.

Snake plants love the heat! The plant should be placed in a bright area, in indirect light. If this isn’t possible, it can survive in low light surroundings if necessary.

Water a Snake plant sparingly. It is better to under water than to over water. Use only about maximum 1/4 cup of water every few weeks.  Let the soil become completely dry between watering.  Always water on the edge of the base of the plant – never pour water over the leaves.

Watering signs...if you are not giving enough water, the leaves will lean or droop and will wrinkle up.  If over watering, the leaves will turn slimy.  (If you notice your leaves beginning to appear soft, greasy or slimy – pull them out immediately! This will prevent it from affecting the rest of the leaves)

*Also, as the seasons change – your water amount should adjust as well.  In the hot summer months your plants will  need more water.  In the winter months, your plant will need less water, and less frequently – once every month or two months*

Kokedama

Kokedama is a Japanese word that, simply translated, means “moss ball”.  The of art of binding plants into green, mossy orbs dates back centuries to the Edo era in Japan (around 1600 AD).

 

Soaking: Depending on the size of your kokedama, fill a bowl, bucket or sink with room temperature water.

Place your kokedama in the water, plant side up. Push the moss ball down so that it is fully submerged and begins to absorb water. Allow to soak for 10-25 minutes, or until fully saturated with water.

Remove kokedama the water, and gently squeeze the moss ball to allow excess water to drain. Allow kokedama to drip dry in a colander before replacing it to its given home.

Misting: Many kokedama appreciate misting in addition to soaking (see below). Use a bottle that casts a fine mist and spray on and around plant foliage. Take care to mist in the morning, when the light is gentle, so that the plant is not burned.

Arrangements (what to do about finer sand, etc)

Arrangements should be watered carefully so as not to disrupt the sand/pebbles on the top.

Use a spray bottle and carefully spray each plant in the arrangement so that the water drips down into the soil until saturated.

Wait until the arrangement is fully dry until re-watering. (usually once per week in warmer months, and every couple weeks-to once a month in winter)

*be cautious of placement of your arrangement during winter, as warm/dry air from a home heater will also dry out the plants quickly.