Houseplant Master Resource Guide

This guide was assembled by Let’s Grow Plant Club of Lexington, KY. All information is the intellectual property of its owner. This guide is strictly for educational purposes. You will find some links that promote products or services. Let’s Grow is not associated with any of these companies nor do we give any endorsement of sales by linking to them in this educational guide.

If you would like to submit a page to feature in this guide please contact Brittany at letsgrowlex@gmail.com

General care and interest

University of Vermont extension: steps to success

Missouri Botanical Gardens

BBC Houseplant basic techniques

The Farmer’s Almanac

Gardenista house plants care guide

Improvenet pet safe plants

Cleaning indoor air

WikiHow care for indoor plants

Planterina: 18 Houseplant myths solved on YouTube

A-Z thematic houseplant resources

Air plants

Gardenista on air plants

Royal Horticultural Society: air plants on YouTube

WikiHow: Caring for air plants

Garden Answer: Air plants on YouTube

Artificial Light

Exotic Tropical Houseplants: Best artificial light on YouTube

WikiHow: Growing plants with grow lights

University of Vermont extension: indoor lighting

Humidity

House Plants Expert: humidity guide

Hunker: what is a good humidity level in your house?

Plants and Lucia: 6 tips for creating humidity on YouTube

Maintenance

Gardening know how pruning guide

WikiHow: How to overwinter indoor plants

Garden Up: How to properly clean indoor plants on YouTube

Garden Guides: How to maintain indoor plants

Nutrients

WikiHow: Feeding plants

Fertilizing plants complete guide by Summer Rayne Oakes on YouTube

WikiHow: Reviving an over-fertilized plant

Our House Plants: Feeding

Orchids

Gardenista on orchids

The Spruce: Basic indoor orchid care

Top 10 most popular orchids

Brad’s Greenhouse & Gardening: Phalaenopsis orchid care on YouTube

Searching common plants

Houseplant 411

Flowering house plants

Common house plants

Good office plants

House plants Encyclopedia A-Z

USDA PLANTS database

Plant ID resources

How to shop for plants by Summer Rayne Oakes on YouTube

Crazy Plant Guy: Easy houseplants for beginners on YouTube

Soil

This is a Plant: How to re-pot on YouTube

This is a Plant: Choosing your potting soil on YouTube

Potting soil or media

Growing medium, compose, and soil

Succulents

Mountain Crest Gardens: Succulent care

The Sill on succulents

Meadowview succulent care sheet

Sunlight

The Spruce: Understanding natural light

The Spruce: Determining natural light

Plantopedia: Best plants for low light

Garden Up: Best low light indoor plants on YouTube

Garden Up: How much sun a plant needs on YouTube

Terrariums

SerpaDesign: Collecting & identifying moss on YouTube

Plant one on me: Crafting a terrarium on YouTube

University of Vermont extension on terrariums

Garden Up: How to make a terrarium for free on YouTube

Troubleshooting

Gardening know how: when your plant is dropping leaves

Guttation in plants (water dropping from leaves)

Fixing common houseplant problems

Houseplant pests and diseases

Getting rid of mold on houseplants

Plant one on me: Common Houseplant Problems on YouTube

Watering

Floragrubb’s watering resource

Colorado State University on watering plants

Houselogic: How to water plants while you’re away

Crazy Plant Guy: When and how much water on YouTube

Lexington, KY plant swap

This event is hosted by Let’s Grow, Lexington’s Houseplant Club. Contact Brittany at letsgrowlex@gmail.com with questions or to join the club. Membership is not necessary to participate. Everyone is welcome!

The Plant Swap is Saturday, Sept 28, 2019 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Woodland Park, 601 E High St, Lexington, KY 40502. Set up will be on the Clay Avenue side of the park at the picnic tables.

In the event of rain, we will move to the central shelter located by the playground.

What to bring: Any healthy and pest-free small plant, cutting, or propagation to trade. Plants may be potted. A small plant would be one that could fit in a shoebox, not including its container.

Green obsession: houseplants are taking over

I’ve been collecting indoor plants for about 4 months and I love how they bring character and life to my home. Unfortunately I’m pretty close to hitting my limit due to lighting conditions. I don’t have many windows in my apartment and my plants are crowded near them. Thankfully they enjoy huddling and it helps maintain a decent humidity level. Plants look great when you style them together on a table or wall. Here is one of my favorite resources for styling with plants.

On to the photos:

Feature image: Dumb Cane, Dracaena, Orchid, Marble Queen Pothos.

Pictured (left to right, top to bottom): Arrowhead Vine, 2 Fittonia varieties, Snake Plant, Fittonia again, the same Fittonia next to Coffea Arabica (no longer with me), Pothos vine above.

Row 2: Chinese Evergreen, Orchid (no idea what kind…), Schefflera. Small pic in between rows: Dumb Cane again in the center.

Bottom row: Florida Beauty next to the Orchid from earlier, Snake Plant and Fittonia riding home with friends, most of the gang at the end.

Not pictured: Aloe Vera, Crassula (I have no idea what type), Jade Plant, Croton mammy, Golden Pothos. These are on my balcony.

Natural elements: adding greenery in small spaces

There are infinite ways to style your home. Why not bring it to life with attractive foliage and pops of color from flowers? If you find yourself overwhelmed but awed at the indoor jungles present on social media today, you’re not alone. I’ve been watching the youtube channel Planterina and I absolutely long for a big beautiful house filled with plants like Amanda’s. Alas, I have a rabbit, a particular budget, and an apartment with exactly four windows (counting the sliding glass door). Not too bad but these do complicate my plant aspirations!

In this article I’ll show you some of my solutions to keeping plants in small spaces and away from pets.

The first picture on the top left is a small collection of some of the plants I’ve been keeping on my balcony. I had assembled them here together to get a look at what I had and to plan where they would end up. There are ferns, basil, a croton, an aloe, a schefflera plant, and a couple of small flowering plants. The table is a perfect height to keep plants well out of my rabbit’s reach.

The two plants in the center are enjoying my latest creation- a DIY light station. I got this tube light at Goodwill a few weeks ago for $5. I mounted it to the glass panel of a bookshelf with one of those picture hanging velcro sets.

On the right is my very first attempt at a terrarium. It’s not yet finished because I am expecting a shipment of moss next week. All it has right now is the bottom layer of pebbles and a layer of activated charcoal. I put my fern straight into it to start acclimating and with a few light misting sprays it’s looking great.

Terrariums are an excellent solution for fitting in greenery in small spaces. You can find pre-assembled ones that are teeny tiny (jars, cups, bowls, and even necklaces) or you can build one in a former aquarium. Humidity-loving plants can really thrive in an old aquarium and they create a lovely conversation piece.

Here’s what my patio table looked like at one point. I’m constantly moving plants around. I set an old shower curtain on it to keep it clean of dirt and debris. My aloe is loving the morning sun here and it’s protected from the rain getting in at the other end of the balcony.

Top left: Two lavender plants soaking up the sun. I found that cute little white container at a thrift shop. It jazzes up the plants without blocking their light and helps protect against predators (like rabbits) when closed. I’ve read from several places that lavender is safe for rabbit consumption but my boy is a piggie and he would leave none left for me to showcase.

Top middle: A funky little flower I picked up at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. I’m surprised it has survived a week because I had no idea what it was until I stumbled upon some larger ones at Meijer with tags. This plant is the Cyclamen flower common to Europe and the Mediterranean. It is actually a perennial (could have fooled me) and prefers cooler air in the 50’s to 60’s and high humidity. How it is still alive on my balcony is a miracle.

Top right: A yarrow plant. I picked this plant because of its luscious yellow color and safety for rabbits. I’ve used one of my patio chairs as a plant stand for it and I covered its nursery pot with a white wicker basket.

Extra suggestions for adding plants to small spaces:

  • Use every surface available (within reason). When you are thinking about introducing a plant in your home think about its needs. Foremost, where would it get appropriate light? You may need to rearrange your space a bit. I have plants on a tray on my printer, on my dresser, on an end table, a bookcase, and on chairs.
  • If you can’t build out, build up. You can get cheap shelves at the hardware store and make your own built-in plant paradise near a good window. This saves tons of space.
  • Remember to rotate your plants when necessary. Once you place a plant it doesn’t have to stay there forever. Sometimes the light isn’t right or you find a draft, etc. Swap plants around every once and a while to change things up. Even if you only have a few plants it makes a difference visually.

Indoor plant inspiration for 2019

A light background, dark furniture, and pops of color to accessorize is a solid formula for styling any space, large or small. Throw in a couple of plants and you’ve got a cozy retreat. In this article I’ve brought together some looks and ideas that have given me inspiration this year.

This gallery set is provided by Mike Marquez:

Plants don’t have to be the focus of a room but they really do bring a lot of personality and life. Geometric planters and hanging planters are super popular right now. They can also be repurposed or refashioned if you grow tired of them.

IKEA small space big adventures

What I love about this room is that is looks curated but lived-in. It has bright lighting, a cozy feel, and personal touches like the chair and the art. It’s clean and organized but not necessarily a museum-worthy dwelling. The plants are spaced across the room and they are varying shapes, sizes, and species. All these elements come together in an attractive space where I can imagine myself reading a book, taking a nap, or typing on the computer.

IKEA Home visit: five ways to benefit from house plants

Also nice of course are plants that are shown together. This lot creates a natural barrier in the room and draws the eye to this spot. It’s generally good to huddle plants together as they can help one another keep a small bubble of humidity.


photo by Liana Mikah

Not everybody has a bunch of plants. I have six right now divided between my living room, office, and outside balcony. One plant can make a lovely addition to a shelf.

photo by Stephanie Harvey

I also find it very pleasing to house plants in uncommon pots. Here, a sugar cup from a tea set makes an unexpected home to a succulent. It is best to make sure that plants can drain properly, so try to make holes in the bottom of their containers. Small rocks or sand can also be used in the bottom of containers to help keep root rot at bay.

Former plant killer takes on 6 plants 😱

Okay was that title too clickbait-y? It’s a pretty good description I’d have to say. I’ve killed succulents. I’ve killed aloe. I’ve even killed a cactus. A cactus!!! But I decided to turn a new leaf (please don’t leave yet) and I went out and got three plants in late February. Then I got bold and brought home three more early this month. I’m at capacity here. I’m learning a lot and checking my plants everyday. I’ll tell you what I got and how I’m dealing.

Going from the plant world FBI’s Most Wanted to the plant world’s…kid at a lemonade stand? Non-threatening and unassuming citizen? I don’t know what we are to each other right now but my plants are showing life and I’m happy.

Despite what you may read elsewhere there are no “secrets” to taking care of plants. This article isn’t an “Area Woman Finds One Simple Trick, Gardeners Hate Her!” I’m begging you, don’t put essential oils on your plants. I’ve been on Pinterest long enough. Anyway, this article is about how I think you should purchase or acquire plants at a beginner level and how to make them not die. I don’t know maybe next week a plague will visit upon my plants and all my advice will be rendered null…Stay tuned.

Getting to it. I bought:

  • A coffee plant (4″ tall)
  • A peace lily (8″ tall)
  • A luna croton (4″ tall)
  • A florida beauty (4″ tall)
  • A janet craig compacta (?? right?? 4″ tall)
  • A golden pothos (7″ circumference)

I know these all have scientific names just bear with me. Now, things you should consider before getting a plant: How much light do you have? What is your climate like? How much does your indoor temperature fluctuate? How much time do you have to pay attention to a plant at all? I know, it’s obviously not a kid or a dog but you do have to actually look at it and touch it occasionally.

I used this tool to help narrow down what kind of plants I wanted: http://www.costafarms.com/plant-finder#!/

Scroll down under the alphabet and you can change your search to reflect plant type, lighting, perks, color, and personality. Maybe a plant is kinda like a puppy. A small, green, dirt puppy.

How I’m keeping my plants alive

  1. Read the tag that comes with your plant then do your own research to supplement it. I found that the tags on my plants weren’t super accurate. Tag said lowlight website says happiest in medium-high light? When this happens keep digging. When in doubt most plants probably want more light. Your plant is probably not enjoying your windowless bathroom. Plants can actually get burned by the sun, so if you notice spots set your buddy further from the window or in indirect light.
  2. Your plants will likely not all fall on one watering schedule. Forget about it. Instead, consult your research. Figure out if your plant prefers to be kept moist or if it likes to get a little dry between waterings. You probably don’t need a big flow chart to manage the watering but perhaps set an alarm so you don’t forget those sensitive plants.
  3. Observe your plants. Watch for signs that the plant’s needs aren’t being met. If your plant’s leaves are sagging that may indicate overwatering. If its leaves turn pale it probably needs more sunlight. If a non-creeping plant is creeping towards the light it needs more light. Other considerations are humidity and direct vs. indirect sunlight. Make changes to your plant’s surroundings as necessary and of course as reasonable. After all, they’re plants not puppies.