Beginner’s Guide: Learning From Fellow Plant Parents (Part Four)

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 four of this series Paige Carlson (@paigesplantpage), a self proclaimed amateur plant enthusiast from Spokane, Washington thought it would be fun to have her husband Brian answer some of the questions as well. I had a good laugh seeing this from the perspective of the significant other who is, as Paige puts it “not into plants”. I hope you will learn as much from her as I have and who knows, maybe your spouse or other half will relate!

What is the most important thing you learned as a plant parent?

Paige: I learned that you need to be observant to each individual plant because they each have their own needs to grow and survive.

Brian: You need to have a patient spouse.

What is your favorite part about caring for plants?

Paige: My favourite part is seeing a plant survive and then thrive and knowing that you’re giving it what it needs.

Brian: I have more time to play video games while she is taking care of her plants.

What is the most important thing a new plant parent should know about plant care?

Paige: I’d have to say the most important thing to learn is to pay attention to lighting conditions and research the care for your plants BEFORE bringing them home to make sure you can fulfill its needs.

Brian: Fertiliser. 

Paige: I don’t know if he really knows what he’s talking about but this is actually a good answer. A lot of new plant parents only think about watering but don’t know about fertilising.

What aspect of plant care did you struggle with most at first?

Paige: I struggled the most with consistent watering schedules. I’m horrible at tracking watering schedules and since I got so used to Pothos being my first plants and them being so resilient to inconsistent watering that I have almost killed many other, more picky plants. I now use a plant app to keep track so I don’t let them go without water for too long.

Brian: Dealing with soil being everywhere.

If you could go back in time, is there something about your plant care or approach that you would change?

Paige: If I could I would take it slower while growing my collection. I would be patient and only buy plants that I love. I bought quite a few and then almost immediately got bored of them and sold them to someone else. 

Brian: I would prepare to have my life overflowing with plants.

Which plant is your favourite?

Paige: It’s really hard to decide on a favourite, but at the moment I’d say it’s the Philodendron Brasil! It’s just so gorgeous with it’s crazy-patterned variegated leaves and I love the lush, tropical look it has. It’s easy to grow but gives you so much to look at.

Brian: That neon-y one downstairs. 

Paige: He means the Philodendron Moonlight. 

Brian: It’s just so different from any other plant she has and I like the bright colours. It’s puuuurty.

Is there a plant you regret buying?

Paige: I almost immediately regretted buying my Calathea Medallion. I had just started getting into plants and saw it at a greenhouse and I just had to have it. I came home and looked up it’s care and found how finicky it can be and how much humidity it likes and became very worried. Luckily it’s still alive somehow!

Brian: The first one.

Do you prefer buying plants online or in person?

Paige: I prefer buying them in person if I can find them but online is great for more rare ones that local places don’t have.

Brian: Online so I don’t have to stand around waiting for her to choose “the one” from 100 identical plants.

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.

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