How to make (and sustain) your own micro jungle

Everyone knows houseplants make your home better. They freshen the air, add life, and are rewarding to care for (most of the time). But it can be intimidating to get started if your house currently looks like, well, the Sahara desert. We’ll show you how to be a proud plant parent in no time.

Take stock of your windows

Houseplants are sorted into categories based on how much light they prefer. Plants that like full light will want a south-facing window, while those that prefer full indirect light will thrive in east or west-facing windows. Shade-loving varieties will do great in north-facing options. Once you’ve figured out what kind of light you have to work with, you can begin selecting the species that will work best. Figure out what kind of space you have at each window location and make a note of it. It might even help to map it out on a piece of paper.

Start easy

Bring your window “map” to the nursery with you. It can be overwhelming once you’re surrounded by hundreds of plants but don’t let your emotions do the choosing here. Stick with your drawing and plans and choose plants with light requirements that match. Remember, each one will also need a corresponding pot and planter. For plants that require less light and attention, a great option is with the Dracena family. Also, avoid high maintenance species like a kangaroo paw plant or fiddle leaf until you’ve got some experience and can successfully keep some of the lesser maintenance plants alive. Other low-maintenance plants we recommend are cacti, yucca, and succulents. Just be sure not to over-water them!

Repot everything

You did get new pots at the nursery, right? Plants are often root-bound when you bring them home and need a slightly bigger space. Don’t go too crazy; go 2-4 inches larger for fast growers and 1-2 inches for slower ones. 

Water and repeat

It can be helpful as you’re getting into the habit of plant care to set yourself some reminders to feed and water your new little friends. Either use your phone or get one of the many plant apps out there. After a while, you’ll establish a routine, and watering will become second nature. 

Armed with these tips, you’ll soon be a proud plant parent. Just be careful, houseplants are addicting, and you might find yourself back at the nursery sooner than you thought!

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