One of the biggest mistakes, in my opinion, new plant parents make is believing that a person is born with green fingers. Houseplants, like any other hobby or interest can come more naturally to some but most of the time the only way you will succeed is if you are willing to learn. Luckily the plant community is filled with kindhearted people eager to share their knowledge and tips with others.
For part three of my Beginner’s Guide I turned to Shehana Hussain (@sheytheplantlady), a plant mom from the Netherlands. Shey grew up in the South of Sri Lanka and has over 100 plants! Not only is she an incredible plant parent, she is also one of the kindest people I have met through the online plant community. I hope you will learn as much from her as I have!
What is the most important thing you learned as a plant parent?
The most important thing I’ve learned is that plants are just like us. They need love, attention and care. They cost time and money but in the end, what you get in return is priceless.
What is your favourite part about caring for plants?
My favourite part is seeing them grow, bloom, give new leaves and produce babies. It is so satisfying to see how nature works. And giving life to a dying plant surely is the best of it all.
What is the most important thing a new plant parent should know about plant care?
The most important thing you should do is to know the name of the plant you purchased. Google the new plant and read about care requirements for the plant. You need to know where to place it, how much water it requires, humidity requirements and soil structure etc. When you do this from the beginning, it becomes a habit and you will kill fewer plants which lead to fewer heartbreaks. You don’t want to hate the plant but rather love the process and enjoy being a new plant parent.
Which plant would you recommend to a new plant parent and why?
As a new plant parent I would recommend going for a simple plant with less hassle. You don’t want to start with difficult plants, like with Calatheas for example. I would go for a Monstera Deliciosa. They are big and vibrant and will give that funky jungle feel to the house and at the same time, they are rather easy to care for.
Do you prefer buying plants online or in person in a store or nursery?
I prefer buying plants at a shop or a nursery. I like to look at the quality of the plants, check for pests, pick a full-plant with tons of growth. The only downside to buying plants at a store is they don’t always have what you are looking for. Unique plants can be hard to come by.
If you could go back in time, is there something about your plant care or approach that you would change?
If I could go back in time I would start with knowing the names of the plants I bought and how I should care for them. The best way is to read and know all about the care the new plant needs. I was too lazy and busy and I have killed so many plants including cactuses. I learned the hard way!
Is there a plant you regret buying? If yes, which plant and why?
I do regret buying Calatheas. They have never appreciated my care. Even after being a professional plant mom, I have still struggled with them because they are super sensitive to everything. They ask for way too much attention and I don’t have the time for it. Maybe one day, I will have the patience for them.
If you would also like to share some of your knowledge with me, or if you have any particular topics in mind that you would like me to discuss please feel free to contact me here or send me a DM on Instagram.