Products I {Heart}: Boho Planters

If I were to say the word “boho,” what would come to your mind? Perhaps you’d think of bright pops of color; lots of soft cushions, rugs, and textiles; beaded curtains; or maybe (because it always comes down to this for me), lots of lush plants.

While the boho aesthetic isn’t a style that I have incorporated into my own home, I love to look at boho spaces. All of the beautiful colors, patterns, and textures are a feast for my eyes!

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Image via Bohemian Collective

Something you’ll notice when you look at beautiful boho spaces is that there are – many times – a lovely array of plants. These are always displayed in the most unique ways: macrame hanging planters, vintage rattan stands, or one-of-a-kind baskets.

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Image via My Scandinavian Home Blog

(Seriously, I can’t handle how good these spaces are!)

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Image via Pampa

Today, I am featuring some of my favorite boho planters. You’ll notice that a lot of the planters come from Etsy; this is because many of them are vintage, adding to that perfect boho charm. (Etsy is an awesome place to look for great vintage pieces – no matter what your aesthetic is!) Flea markets and thrift stores – while frequently undependable in their selection – are also great places to search.

Vintage Woven Wall Planter

Etsy Cone Wall Planter
Image via Etsy

Seagrass Planter Basket

Amazon seagrass basket
Image via Amazon

Coil Wrapped-Leaf Baskets 

Etsy Wrapped Leaf Baskets
Image via Etsy

Macrame Hanging Planter

Amazon macrame
Image via Amazon

Black Boho Plant Holder

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Macrame Floating Shelf  (Ok, so I know this isn’t a planter…but couldn’t you just imagine a bunch of cute little plants on that shelf?!)

 

Amazon macrame shelf
Image via Amazon

Jungalow Rattan Plant Table 

Etsy Jungalow Table
Image via Etsy

Jute or Cotton Macram Hanging Planters

Etsy Jute or Cotton
Image via Etsy

Rattan Plant Stand

Amazon Rattan plant stand
Image via Amazon

Blue Crystal Hanging Air Plant Holder

Etsy Crystal
Image via Etsy

Even if you don’t choose the boho aesthetic for your own home or space, there’s no denying it’s beauty.

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Which of these planters is your favorite? Tell me about it in the comments!

– the {house}plant momma

 

 

The Right Amount of a Good Thing

Does anyone remember the scene in the 90’s movie “10 Things I Hate About You” where Chastity and Bianca are wandering in the parking lot after school?  They are walking slowly, pondering the mysteries of life and discussing the different between “like” and “love.”  (“There’s a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack.”)

Then there’s gem:

Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?
Bianca: I think you can in Europe.

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Image via BuzzFeed

Deep, right?

That’s literally all I can think of right now…because I know you can have “too much of a good thing,” and I’m sure there’s some kind of saying about “not enough of a good thing.” But what about the “right amount of a good thing?”  And how in the world does all this tie into plants?

My last blog looked at three important elements of plant care: proper light, the right amount of water, and the correct temperature.  While each of these is essential to a plant’s wellbeing, each plant has different needs. It is important to research what your plants requires in order to have a successful plant experience.

Did you know, though, that your plants can let you know (at least to some degree) what issues they are experiencing? If you find that your plant is struggling – be it losing leaves, leaves are turning brown or yellow, or the plant looks puny overall – this could be because the plant isn’t getting the “right amount” of the good stuff.

Over-Loved Plants

Are you a helicopter plant parent, hovering around your plant babies? Do you always think they need a little more water, a little more sun, a little more fertilizer in order to grow up big and strong? If so, it is possible that you are over-caring for your plants. If you have experienced any of the following, perhaps you are giving you plants “too much of a good thing!”

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Neglected Plants

On the other side of the coin, perhaps you are a neglectful plant parent. Maybe you go weeks without watering your plants, or maybe you never fertilize them. You might even forget to put them in the sun every once in a while. If so, then you are definitely not giving your plants enough of all the good things they need to survive.

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Every plant’s needs are a little different – just like people! If you see your plant beginning to show any of the “symptoms” above, then perhaps it’s time to change you plant care routine.

Personally, my biggest mistake is over-caring for plants by overwatering. (I admit: I’m completely a helicopter plant mom!)  I can’t tell you how many leaves I have turned yellow by giving my plants too much to drink!  <<insert guilty look>>

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What about you? Are you more likely to give your plants “too much of a good thing” or “too little?” Tell me in the comments below. I can’t wait to read about your experiences!

And seriously…can you just be “whelmed” in Europe?

– the {house}plant momma

Just Because You Like It, Don’t Make It Right…

“Just because you like it, don’t make it right…”

Kinda sounds like an old country-western song, doesn’t it? My grandma always loved country songs – the more heart-breaking (or heart-broken) the better. However in this case, I’m not talking about love (or the lack thereof), but instead I am referring to – of course – plants.

When I first began my plant journey, I bought plants purely based on looks; if I thought a plant was pretty, I bought it. I didn’t bother to do any research about the proper growing conditions for the plant, what kind of sunlight it might like, how often to water it, etc. I simply bought a plant, stuck it in the spot where I wanted it, and watered it (maybe – if it was lucky) once a week.

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As you can imagine, things did not go well. If I knew what I know now, I would not have put many of my plants where I did, I would have watered them on a different schedule, or bought different plants entirely.

Whenever I lost a plant, I felt defeated and sad.  However, my experiences taught me an important lesson: just because you like a plant does not mean that it is right for your space.

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Light is one of the most important elements when it comes to maintaining healthy plants. Some plants require bright light, some like indirect light, and some do well in low light. (Some plants, like the ZZ plant, can even grow with no natural light/florescent light only!) Plants rely on the sun to convert light into energy through a process known as photosynthesis. Too little light, and the plant isn’t able to create enough energy to survive. Too much sun, and the leaves can burn or the plant can dry out completely.

The first step in ensuring that you have the correct light for your plants is to understand the light in your space. Spaces that have north or east facing windows get less direct sun; therefore plants that like low light or low, indirect light will do better in these spaces. Spaces that have south or west facing windows will get more direct sun; because of that, these spaces will better sustain plants that like bright, indirect light or bright light.

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You also will want to think about how close to your light source you are putting your plants (i.e. directly up against a window, close to an inside wall with no windows, etc.).  A space that has bright light up close to the window might also have bright, indirect light a little further into the room.

Once you understand your space, it’s time to head out to buy plants. At some plant nurseries or plant boutiques, plants are sorted or marked according to the type of light they need. At other places, this information isn’t clearly stated. If you aren’t sure about what light a plant needs…ASK! Whenever I go into a store and don’t know about a plant’s light needs, I’ll hold him up and say, “So tell me about this guy…”

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If you have a plant in your space that doesn’t seem to be doing too well, try changing his lighting. My monstera plant survived in a low, indirectly lit space, but he didn’t show a lot of growth. Once I moved him into a brighter area (bright, indirect sun), he started putting out new shoots every week! Keep in mind: many plants will survive in the “wrong” light, but won’t thrive.

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Water is another essential part of the photosynthesis process. We all know that every living thing needs water to survive. However, too much water can be “too much of a good thing;” one of the most common mistakes made by new plant owners is overwatering their plants.

Before buying a plant, research to find out how much water/moisture your plant requires. Some plants like to dry out between waterings. Others prefer to have constantly moist soil. Still others, like cacti and many succulents, like to be watered infrequently. Once again, sometimes this information is attached to your new plants, but other times it is not. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you don’t know how to properly water your plants. And, if you leave the store without knowing how much water your plant needs, check online.

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I have found, though, that much of the advice you find online can differ, depending on where you look. One site might say to keep the soil for a certain plant moist, while another might advise to let it dry out between waterings. Asking for advice from someone who is knowledgeable about your plant, but also understands your local climate, can be a much more effective way to gather knowledge!

A great piece of advice that was given to me in regards to watering was to set a watering schedule. If you have a set day or time that you always water your plants, you will be less likely to forget about them and find crusty, brown leaves in a pot weeks later or, on the flip side, drown your poor plants by watering them any time you feel like it.

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Another aspect to consider when it comes to water is the humidity of your air.  Climates and homes that are more humid will provide additional moisture to your plants, and may require an adjustment to your plant’s water needs.

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Temperature is yet another element to consider when it comes to your plants. It is less of a big deal when it comes to houseplants, as most homes stay within a certain temperature range. However, if you keep your home on the chilly side or live in an area that gets very hot (or very cold for that matter), this factor may matter more to you. Some plants come with suggested temperature range information attached, but others do not. As I’ve said before, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask what is best for your plant! Your plants will generally do best if they don’t get too hot or too cold.

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Here are a few things to consider: What is your lighting like? What day should be your “plant watering day (or days)?” What kind of climate do you live in, and how does that impact the temperature and humidity in your home?

I’m not saying that having this information will give you guaranteed houseplant success or it’ll be all rainbows and lollipops. (HA!)  However, if you consider these three elements before selecting houseplants, your chances of succeeding will be much greater.

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Now, go buy some plants! (That’s what I’m heading off to do right now!)

– the {house}plant momma

Plant Killer vs. Plant Lover

“Hi. My name is Allison, and I’m a plant killer.”

If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know by now that I’ve not always been the {house}plant momma; for most of my life, I’ve actually been a plant killer. It has taken time, a lot of research, and some straight-up good luck to turn me from a plant killer into a {successful} plant lover.

Plant Killer
Pin available at Hemleva.
Plant Lover
Pin available at Hemleva.

My first major causality was a fiddleleaf fig. However, I’ve also killed lilies, a watermelon peperomia, and many succulents along the way (and that’s just the short list!). Luckily, not every plant is difficult to care for! Some of my favorite plants are actually pretty easy to take care of, and tend to be fairly forgiving even when you forget to take care of them.

Below you can see some of my favorite hard-to-kill houseplants. These are not just houseplants that I found on a random list somewhere on the Internet, but are ones that I actually have in my own collection.

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Pothos

As I wrote in a previous blog, pothos are air-purifying plants. They are also very flexible when it comes to their light and temperature requirements. I have four different varieties of pothos, and each one has done really well in my home – no matter the lighting situation in the room.

Another thing that I love about pothos is that they propagate very easily. I recently moved and lost quite a few long vines off of one of my pothos plants. I took the vines, stuck them in water, and have been thrilled to watch the roots emerge. Once the roots are well-established in water, I will plant them in soil.

(To learn more about why pothos plants are awesome, check out my friend Joi’s blog here.)

Aloe

I remember one time as a child, I was visiting a friend who was cooking my family lunch. However, as she cooked, she got busy talking, stopped paying attention, and burned her hand. Instead of reaching for ice, she broke off a piece of her aloe plant and held it on the burn. I vividly remember being fascinated that a plant could have medicinal properties. Aloe is also known for being great on sunburn.

Aloe is a succulent, so it does well with lots of sun and doesn’t need to be watered too frequently. It’s a great plant if you are bad at remembering to water!

Snake Plant

Snake plants have to be one of my favorites of all houseplants! They are so resilient and are really easy to care for. They do well in a variety of lighting conditions, which makes them fit for many different rooms in the house. They also do well in warmer conditions, and prefer their soil moist.

When I bought my first snake plant, the girl working at the shop told me, “Do you know what these plants are nicknamed? They’re called ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ because they’re impossible to kill.” I don’t have a “bad” mother-in-law, but every time I think of that story, it makes me smile.

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are another plant that is known for the air-cleansing properties (see more here). They are also very easy to grow; they enjoy low-light, and do well in warmer temperatures.

Peace lilies are great at letting you know when they need watered, too. When they need water, their leaves go limp and they look rather listless. Shortly after being watered, though, they perk right back up again!

Spider Plant

I hate spiders…but I love spider plants! Spider plants look great in hanging baskets. There are also many different beautiful varieties. Spider plants prefer moist soil, and enjoy medium to bright light.

One of the things that I love about spider plants is that they put out “babies,” which allows you to easily expand your collection of plants! Simply snip off one of the pups, put it in water, and once roots develop, you can plant it on soil.

Areca Palm

I got my areca palm as an impulse buy from my local grocery store. It was huge and cheap, so I figured if I killed it, I wouldn’t be too sad. However, mine took off as soon as I got it home, and has been putting out new shoots consistently since then!

Areca palms do well in low light (which is perfect for the room I put it in), and need to be watered as infrequently as every other week. They can grow quite large, but will stay smaller if kept in a smaller pot.

(To learn more about hard-to-kill plants, check out this article.)

I still kill plants sometimes, but I have been getting much better about understanding what each one of my plant babies needs. But even though I’ve been more successful lately, I still feel sad when one of them doesn’t survive. Each day I’m learning more about what my plants need, and I’m having a great time along the way!

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So, which are you – a plant killer or a plant lover? (Or perhaps a plant lover who happens to be a plant killer??) Let me know in the comments below!

– the {house}plant momma

Growth

If you’re here, it’s like it’s because you like plants. (I mean, that’s why I’m here…but I hope that’s why you’re here, too!) There’s something so special about plants. Working with them always feels like such a gift, and is one of my favorite ways to spend free time.

Today, I thought that I would share a little bit of my own personal journey with plants. As I said in my first blog, I haven’t always had the best of luck with plants. Be it buying the wrong plant for my space, poor lighting, over- or under-watering, or purely lack of experience, for most of my adult years, I have not been able to successfully keep houseplants.

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At the beginning of this year when I got my first monstera plant and vowed to keep it alive, I discovered that working with plants was a huge stress reliever for me. I have always struggled with anxiety, but shortly after the birth of my daughter, my son had some pretty serious health concerns. Post-partum anxiety, combined with constant worry about my son, turned me into a hot, anxious mess.

While I did begin medication to help control my anxiety, I decided it was also time to pursue activities that would allow me to relax and unwind more frequently. The more I worked with plants, the more I began to appreciate their calming effect. Something about their soothing green color, the tenderness it required to encourage their growth, and the sense of accomplishment when something flourished got me completely hooked! Before I knew it, I was seeking out local plant shops wherever I went, frequently adding plant babies to my collection, and grew my little plant family rapidly.

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Some of my experiences thus far have been good. One of my biggest successes is my first monstera. She started off in a small pot, but I soon had to move her to a bigger pot. Because the bigger pot needed to be on the floor, she moved into a sunnier corner. With the additional sun, she began to pop out new leaves – filled with the most perfect holes – quickly. Oh, sweet monstera love!

I’ve also had a lot of success with propagation. I love when I put a little leaf clipping in water and a few days later, suddenly roots appear. (I seriously wait for root growth with baited breath!) My most successful propagations have been several varieties of Wandering Jew and all different kinds of pothos. Propagation is literally one of my favorite parts of working with plants!

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One of my less successful experiences has been with a rubber tree. When we first brought him home, he seemed to be doing really well in our space. However, after several months of looking healthy and strong, he began to drop leaves at an alarming rate. I thought it was perhaps because he was too close to an air-conditioning vent, so I moved him to a space closer to a window and far from a vent. However, he still has not stopped losing leaves. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to save him…but I’ll keep trying!

We recently moved, and are currently living in temporary housing. All my plant babies went to my in-laws house for a while until we get settled in our new place. (My father-in-law told me I have a “regular greenhouse” after seeing all my plants – HA!)

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A few days ago, I went to visit and tend to my plants. Walking into the room with all of my babies put a big smile on my face. I started checking their soil, trimming off leaves that hadn’t fared so well during the move, watering and fussing as needed. My husband walked in on me as I worked and said, “You’re in your happy place, aren’t you?”

I was. Plants just make me happy.

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I’m not a perfect {house}plant momma. I still over-water my plants here and there, or have a plant die because I didn’t give it the right light. Sometimes I don’t even know why a plant isn’t thriving. But for me, this journey isn’t about perfection. It’s about finding peace in the midst of a crazy, chaotic life. It’s about battling off my anxiety so that the rest of my life is fuller, better. It’s about pouring time and energy into something, and seeing beautiful results. It’s about growth.

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But really, isn’t that what life itself is all about?

– the {house}plant momma

Products I {Heart}: Monochromatic Planters

There’s an old saying that says, “Less is more.” This is true in many instances. (My mom used to remind me of this when I was learning to apply makeup, when I was eying heels with a little too much sex appeal, or when I wanted to buy a shirt with too much “bling.”) However, I can’t think of many situations where that saying is truer than with plants. Neutral planters allow the beauty of the plant to shine through, making a simple, elegant statement.

Neutral 1
Image via ShopStyle

When I started my journey with houseplants, I didn’t have a clear vision for how I wanted to display my plants or the type of message I wanted them to send. I simply bought whatever I liked at the moment, and shoved my plants in the pots accordingly. However, the more I work with plants and gather inspiration from others (specifically on Instagram), the more I find myself drawn towards neutral colors – specifically the monochromatic palette of white, black, and gray.

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Image via House Plant Journal

Below you will find some of my favorite pots and planters in this color scheme.

Triangle Floating Wall Planter

Triangle Planter Etsy
Image via Etsy

Cut Ceramic Planter

Geometric Anthro
Image via Anthropologie

Hanging metal planter (available in black and white)

Hanging Planter Etsy
Image via Etsy

Netara Gray Planters

Netara Planter Anthro
Image via Anthropologie

Iris Planter + Chevron Stand

Chevron Stand WE
Image via West Elm

White Ceramic Vintage-Style Pot – I have a set of these and absolutely love them!  They’re a great way to add texture into you decor without adding in additional colors.

Vintage-Style Amazon
Image via Amazon

Gray Geometric Pot

Gray Geometric Amazon
Image via Amazon

Large Mid-Century Planter

Large Mid-Century Etsy
Image via Etsy

Ceramic Wallscape Planters (white and black) – I also have one of these and absolutely love it!  It currently houses some of my rooted Wandering Jew cuttings, and makes a wonderful statement piece on the wall.

Wallscape Planter WE
Image via West Elm

Monochromatic Concrete Planters (available in multiple color combinations)

Gray Concrete Etsy
Image via Etsy

What’s your favorite color scheme to use when displaying your plants? Tell me in the comments below!

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– the {house}plant momma