Having a green thumb can be learned! Without knowing the needs of a plant, it is impossible to make it happy! Have you learned to read without knowing your letters? Of course not, that would be far too difficult. It's the same for plants! But don't worry, I'll teach you the plant alphabet. 🌿
A plant needs three things to stay beautiful and healthy!
Light is the basis of the functioning of all plants. It is therefore essential to find the right type of light that our plants require. My infallible tactic... Know the orientation of our windows!
First, I will teach you the basics of the movement of the sun and the propagation of its light. The sun always rises in the east and always sets in the west. The South orientation is the one that receives the sun the longest in the day and the strongest rays. Finally, the North orientation never receives direct sun, but only reflected rays from the other orientations.
We conclude that an east-facing window will receive the gentle morning sun. A west-facing window will catch the high-energy late afternoon sun. A south-facing window will receive the strong midday sun and a north-facing window will receive only ambient light. Thanks to this, we can now associate certain types of plants with certain orientations according to the light received by the window where they will be established.
East Windows: Absolutely all tropical plants! Note, tropical plants with colorful foliage may prefer a west-facing window to keep their beautiful colors vibrant.
West Windows: Tropical plants with colorful and leathery foliage, as well as absolutely all varieties of succulents. Note, succulent varieties with colors such as red, blue, purple, orange, or white will retain their beautiful colors much more vibrantly in a south-facing window.
South Windows: Absolutely all cacti and succulents! Tropical plants can also be found there, but always at a minimum of 3 feet. In the summer, the sun's rays get stronger and they could cause burns to the foliage of your tropicals, if they are within 3 feet.
North windows: Plants that tolerate only ambient light, such as sansevières, zamioculcas, aglaonemas, dracaenas, pothos, philodendrons, syngoniums, as well as ferns. Note, we avoid colored foliage, since your plants may simply lose their beautiful colors.
Without light a plant simply does not survive! The famous miraculous plants that live without light is a myth. Some plants can survive a very long time in a room without light thanks to their very slow metabolism, but in reality they are slowly dying. Most plants have a very fast metabolism, so it takes very little time to realize that they are not happy in a dark room. It will only be a matter of time for those with a slow metabolism. If you want to put a plant in a room without a window, you will need to equip yourself with artificial lights.
2- Water 💧
Water is also the basis of the functioning of all plants. It is therefore essential for you to define yourself as a gardener.
Option 1: Overly attentive gardener...
You tend to overwater your plants, so Ferns, Calatheas, Anthuriums, Fittonias, Syngoniums, Palms, Spathiphyllums, Begonias, Alocasias and Colocasias are the perfect plants for you! These are plants that tolerate or prefer having too much water than not enough.
Option 2: Busy gardener...
You tend to forget to water your plants or you just don't always have time to do it, so cacti, succulents, yuccas, dracaenas, pothos, monsteras, philodendrons, ficus, aglaonemas, sansevières and zamioculcas are the perfect plants for you! These are plants that prefer to dry out completely between waterings.
Option 3: Observant gardener...
My favorite option! Our plants speak to us and we have several ways to listen to them. We can simply observe our plants and deduce their needs. The leaves of the majority of tropical plants lose tone or roll up on themselves when they lack water. The leaves of succulents will shrivel up slightly when the water supply in them begins to dwindle. Cacti will lose volume as they begin to deplete the water stored in their tissues. If you observe its phenomena on your plants then it is time to water them! In addition, we have an incredible tool to test if our plants need water... Our fingers! You can dip one of your fingers into the soil of your plants and if you no longer feel any humidity in the soil... We water! Lifting our plants too can be a great way to know when to water them. A waterlogged soil will always be very heavy and a waterless soil will be much lighter. This technique takes a bit of practice, but don't worry, your plants will forgive you!
A pot without a drainage hole... It's a cache-pot. So, we place our plant there with its plastic growth pot which is pierced. A flowerpot is only aesthetic, you should never plant a plant directly in it. Without a drainage hole, you will never be able to let excess water escape during your watering. Too much water in the bottom of a pot is the easiest way to rot a plant's roots.
How do I know if I have watered my plant enough? It's quite simple, when you water you want to saturate the soil with water. If the soil is completely dry, two or three drops of water won't be enough, so don't be shy! We water well as it should until we feel that the pot seems heavier, since waterlogged soil is heavy. You can never overwater a plant when watering, since in any case, thanks to the drainage holes, the excess water that the soil has not been able to absorb will flow out. Now all that remains is to wait until your plant seems to need water again!
Nutrients are also the basis of the functioning of all plants. Just like us, a plant needs nutrients to maintain its development. It is therefore essential to provide your plants with fertilizer support, to ensure that they never lack the elements essential to their survival. The nutrients found in fertilizers are mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is mainly used for the growth of the plant, phosphorus for its reproduction (flowering) and potassium for the maintenance of its natural functions. When a plant lacks one of its nutrients, its health will then be in danger... I recommend the use of 20-20-20 type fertilizer that is diluted in the irrigation water, every other time during the summer (active growth period) and every fourth time during the winter (resting period).
We must also repot our plants generally every 2 to 3 years for tropical plants and generally every 4 to 5 years for succulents and cacti. Everything depends on the growth rate of your plant, we always try to maintain a ratio of 2/3 (foliage, stems and trunk) to 1/3 (volume of soil). This ratio ensures that the plant will not lack material during its growth, since the fertilizer is not there for everything.
I hope this knowledge base will be useful to you! Do not be shy to write to us and until then happy gardening!
- Nicholas of Vegetal Design