How to Help Houseplants Thrive with Sprout Home
15 May 2020
As we spend more time than ever inside under COVID-19, cultivating houseplants is the perfect way to brighten up your home and introduce a fulfilling routine into your life. To kickstart your favorite new hobby, we spoke with expert Stephen Hill at Sprout Home to break down how you can help houseplants prosper and thrive.
The Thrill of Tending
Even before COVID-19, cityfolk have adored keeping houseplants. From limited private green space to the inclement Midwestern weather, “there’s many reasons why plant-tending is appealing,” says Hill. “Growing plants inside our homes allows us to create our own retreat and oasis. It also gives us a chance to exercise a practice that requires patience, observation and a dose of nurturing. All of these are incredibly calming. As time passes, we get to see the benefits of this, too — successful plants thriving alongside us.”
Plantcare for Beginners
“Getting started can be tricky,” adits Hill. “First: always ask questions. It’s okay to not know something and staff at garden shops are always excited to share their experience and knowledge.”
For starters, Hill recommends choosing plants that are adaptable, and popular for being so. This includes Epipremnum (“pothos”), trailing Philodendrons and Scindapsus — or for smaller spaces, Fittonia and Asplenium, and for larger spaces, a mature Schefflera actinophylla and broader-leaved Dracaena. Rather than going for overly low-maintenance starter plants, like succulents, Hill says, “I like to start people off with the ‘moderate across the board’ options: moderate light, moderate water.” These allow beginning houseplant hobbyists to cultivate a practice of care.
When it comes to care, a few factors are crucial to consider: watering frequency (which can be impacted by the outside climate), sun exposure, specific soil mixture, fertilization, pruning/manicuring and repotting with growth.
A Custom Hobby
Outside of cultivating care routines, Hill says, “aesthetically, plants also round out a home much like adding art, object and furniture, they bring that final finishing touch to a space. It’s an opportunity to make it unique to you as well: selecting the right planter to display your choice plant can bring as much satisfaction as a personally-curated bookshelf.”
Ultimately, creating and caring for your houseplant collection is a personal process and journey. Each person’s specific wants and needs, just like their plants, will vary. Part of the fun is experimenting along the way to find what’s right for you.
Sprout Home is currently closed to the public but taking phone and online orders for curbside pick up as well as courier delivery of smaller items. Visit them at www.sprouthome.com or check out their social media @sprouthomechicago for more information and plant care tips.