Everything You Need to Buy or Find to Become a Houseplant Green Thumb

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I love my houseplants. I think at last count I have 38 in the downstairs of my house alone.

The NASA Clean Air Study was a project led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in association with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) to research ways to clean the air in space stations. Its results suggested that, in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.

The study further suggested that efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of space, but was conducted under sealed space station conditions and research conducted since has shown mixed results in the home or office. (Wikipedia)

I’m all about clean air, and mostly I just love the added life that plants bring to any space. My grandmother is a Master Gardener from Purdue University and taught me everything I know. She has Alzheimers now, so it feels particularly sweet to be carrying on her obvious legacy.

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1 // Four Pack Assorted 4” Plants — You’ll receive four plants from this collection of easy to grow options—included in collection are peace lily, fern, snake plant, devil's ivy, parlor palm, or dieffenbachia.

2 // 12” Swiss Cheese Monstera — I have found this extremely easy to grow and super distinct (and impressive) looking.

3 // 4 ft Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree — Here’s the honest truth, Fiddles are not easy to care for. BUT, they are so trendy and sculptural and fun. I have a hard time finding this tree shape locally (I can generally only find bushes), so this is a great option!


4 // 3-IN-1 Moisture, Light, pH sensor — This is a cheap and easy tool that will help your plants THRIVE. You’ll feel informed and extra smart with this little gadget.

5 // Fertilizer — Another inexpensive way to help your plants look healthy and grow quickly. You can also just grab Miracle-Gro from the grocery or hardware store!

6 // Small Watering Can — I love this one because there is a lip at the top that keeps water from spilling out everywhere! In addition, I love these trays (they’re huge boot trays, so they hold lots of plants!) to keep water off my furniture—I keep plants on every flat surface. ;)

7 // Potting Soil — I always keep a fresh bag of this on hand. Have you ever had a plant that doesn’t seem to accept moisture when you water it? I have! It seems to happen a lot with plants from big-box stores and old plants. Your soil can actually become hydrophobic (where water just pools on top of the soil) when it is depleted of nutrients. You have two options at that point, either repot the plant in fresh soil (more time-consuming but better in the long run) OR you can throw a saucer under the plant and water it from the bottom, giving the plant plenty of time to soak up the water.

Step Three: Choose Your Containers!

This is the fun part! You can use almost anything as a planter. If there is no hole drilled at the bottom, make sure to put a shallow layer of pebbles at the bottom so the soil will drain. Most plants hate soggy roots.

Top: 5” Terracotta Triangle Pot

Middle: 6” Stripe and Dot Pot

Bottom: 3 Pack Terracotta Saucers — I put these under almost every pot I have! I hate watering my plants and getting that soily water all over my furniture!

Step Four: Learn and Read

This is an underappreciated part of becoming a green thumb! You get to join a whole bunch of other people in a hobby that can be loved life-long. I enjoy picking up vintage gardening and houseplant books from thrift stores and also reading new releases regarding plants! There are so many good ones right now.

Practical Houseplant Book // New Plant Parent // Propagating Plants // many, many, many more