Everyone Has a Green Thumb!

How to Choose the Perfect Houseplant

Having a Beautiful Indoor Plantscape is Not an Accident

Pam Myers, Windcliff Hollow, 2020

The introduction of live plants to your home’s decor is as purposeful as choosing the right table lamp, area rug, or accent table. Many times, people select a beautiful plant conveniently placed in a beautiful container, bring it home, and put it in just the right spot. It fills the intended space and that is when it begins to go wrong, at least for the plant.

Sanseveria (Snake Plant)
Everyone has a green thumb!

Within the next few weeks, you end up with a beautiful planter full of soil which you will relegate to the cabinet under the kitchen sink. What went wrong? Why can’t you grow anything? I was healthy when you brought it home and you gave it plenty of water! Wrong lighting, wrong watering, wrong temperature. This guide is a basic plan to get you started to with a long-term relationship with live plants. The right plant for you is not always the same for everyone else. You have to take ownership of how much time you are able (or willing) to dedicate to your plants. This is not a negative aspect, but a very real and important question you must answer so you can choose the best plant for your lifestyle and home environment.


LIGHTING

Although this section is referred to as sunlight, natural sun light is not the only type of lighting with which indoor plants are exposed. Next time you are at your favorite fix-it store, take a gander at the variety of lighting and bulbs available: Compact Fluorescent (CFL), Light-Emitting Diode (LED), incandescent, and Halogen. And, then you have to decide on the wattage (how much energy the lightbulb uses). The more wattage a light requires the more power it will consume to produce light. To emit a brighter light, the bulb will also need a higher wattage. For example, a 200-watt bulb will use more power than a 100-watt bulb, but it will also give off more light. However, LED lightbulbs are compatible with any fixture no matter what the wattage requirement is. Once you have sifted through this information, you need to become aware of the temperature the bulb might emit.


Lightbulbs are available in different colors which emit different temperatures: candlelight, warm white, neutral white, and daylight. Candlelight, being the coolest, gives off a dim glow, similar to candlelight. They are not typically used in large work areas and are better used to provide the soft ambience to the room, usually in a tab le or floor lamp. Daylight is the warmest and you can expect a crisp, bright light that is similar to daylight. This color temperature is perfect for task lighting, such as crafting, studying reading and outdoor and security lighting. Keep this in mind when you decide on where to place your plants.