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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I create and share Allergen Free and Special Diet recipes (Paleo/Keto/Vegerarian and Vegan) to provide delicious options so no one is ever left out! Food is happiness and you’ll find a lot of that here! <3

The complete guide to making indoor tropical plants THRIVE! (PART 1)  With extra notes on caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

The complete guide to making indoor tropical plants THRIVE! (PART 1) With extra notes on caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree.

We have all heard (and many of us have used the phrase “I don’t have a green thumb”! 

Ive come to realize- that phrase is nonsense. Having a green thumb isn’t something you are born with.. or just “get.”   Being good at taking care of plants is as simple as putting in a little time to learn and caring enough to check in on your plants a few times a week. Which means you can totally have a green thumb if you want to.. :)

I didn’t care about indoor plants until this past year.. when we bought a house I went on a plant buying bender and now am the proud owner of almost 30 tropical plants. 😂🤷‍♀️ I realized I better do some serious research so they didn’t all die within a month.. so I threw myself into every website and book I could get my hands on.  To my amazement I only killed a few plants! With my past history of killing every plant I touched this has been a major accomplishment.  I also noticed that there’s a lot of conflicting information online.. which is annoying. Theres also a lot of super vague info that doesn’t really help much.  So- today I’m going to share with you everything that has continued to work for me! While I’m sure I have more things to learn, I can tell you that if you follow my advice you should see an improvement in your plants health!

BUT keep in mind that if your plants have seen hard time it can take time for them to bounce back- especially the fiddle leaf fig. That tree  can takes months..or even a year to bounce back and grow again depending on your lighting situation and care.

*NOTE: This post has gotten so much interest and good feedback that I decided to continue on with a series! If you have a fiddle leaf fig tree be sure to read: (PART 2) Advanced Fiddle Leaf Fig Care & Techniques!

Lets start with some BASIC Essential Tropical Plant Care.

  1. LIGHT: A lot of people like to assume a room is bright and has good light but the reality is that most plants really need to be right by a window. A window without a shade. If they have really good light then you will avoid most all other issues popping up. Even low light plants..grow best given light.  Keep in mind also that where the sun hits the windows in your house WILL CHANGE throughout the year. A spot perfect for plants in the summer..may lead to a plants demise in the winter. You need to track the light and be willing to move the plants to the absolute best lighting in your house each season. If your house lacks really good natural light then you’ll want to invest in some grow lights. I will link to some further down in this post.

  2. Humidity keeps a plant looking its best. A plant taking in nice humid air stands taller, has a more vibrant color and requires less watering because its using the moisture from the air. I have noticed a dramatic difference in my plants when there is humidity- they grow faster, the leaves and growth are bigger and they just look seriously happy. In Cleveland where I live our summers are quite humid..so the climate is perfect for them during that time of the year. They LOVE IT. But by mid fall..humidity drops and with the heat being turned on the house gets super dry. I noticed that the soil on all of my plants was drying out dramatically faster and all the plants looked less vibrant. I quickly ordered 3 WARM mist humidifiers. I moved my plants to the 3 brightest windows in our house (which happens to be 3 rooms) and I put a humidifier in each room. I run them basically nonstop. Filling them up every day. Since doing this despite the fact that its winter and cloudy..my plants are all growing again. Sometimes people think misting their plants with water will add humidity..and it doesn’t really work. It gives them humidity for maybe an hour. I say don’t bother. I also prefer warm mist humidifiers over cool because they warm the air up a bit too- which tropical plants prefer. They LOVE warm, muggy air. Don’t worry your house wont feel humid or gross..but your plants will be happy and it’ll help you avoid getting chapped lips and super dry skin to boot.  If you have drywall ceilings in your house and are concerned about too much moisture damaging them- running a Cool mist humidifier will be a better option for you!

  3. Careful watering is SO important. Most tropical plants die as the result of an over nurturing owner literally drowing them. In general its NOT good to follow a watering schedule- as a matter of fact that will get you into trouble. Watering a plant just because its been 7 days when its not ready for water can kill it. PLUS if its summer and your house is humid, or its winter and you have humidifiers going it could literally take weeks for the plant to need water again.  The key Is to let your soil dry out almost fully..and then when that happens you can go ahead and water until it comes all the way through the pot and runs out the bottom. You can use  the trick where you stick your finger an inch or two into the soil to feel if its dry to see if its time to water  (which is all that I do these days- but I don’t suggest that technique for a beginner). a TRIED and TRUE way to know if its time to water is to use a Moisture Meter. They are $10 and are the MOST important tool you could own. It will tell you EXACTLY when to water. You stick it deep into the soil and let it sit for about 10 minutes and the meter will tell you how wet or dry the soil is. Repeat that in a few spots in the soil - and the water only if it says it needs it. Make sure to remove the meter from the soil, wipe it off and store it someplace dry after. If you leave it in the soil longterm it’ll go bad.

  4. Using the correct pot is super important. NEVER ever ever ever plant your tropical plant in a pot without holes in the bottom. Unless you are a plant expert and know exactly how to water. Otherwise you are asking for problems. I find its best to just keep them in a nursery pot - and then to place that pot into a decorative planter or basket (with a little plastic liner at the bottom to catch overflow of water).  Another important thing to know is that most tropical plants don’t like having a lot of extra space- they prefer fairly compact roots. SO I keep mine in the nursery pots they come in..until their roots are literally bursting out of the top of the plant or pushing the shape of the pot out of wack. When you DO increase the pot- only go up by 1-2 inches MAX. That increase may be enough to sustain your plant for a year or even years.

  5. MOST tropical plants don’t like cool or hot drafts. There are exceptions to this rule (Pothos, Snake Plants, Philodendron and the ZZ are super tolerant patient plants that wont freak out from drafts.) But most will otherwise. This means..dont stick a plant near a running AC unit, or vent. A drafty window in the winter will also pose problems. Be sure to cover any cold drafty windows with plastic. The same goes for intensely hot blowing heat. Though plants often handle warm blowing temps a bit better than cold.   Fiddle leaf trees HATE drafts. So be super careful with them in particular.

  6. FOR ALL tropical Plants USE CACTUS SOIL. These plants don’t like their roots sitting in soaking wet soil for long periods of time. Don’t touch miracle grow as it often comes infested with bugs.. Instead I suggest purchasing Espoma Organic Cactus Soil (click here.)

    7. Cut off at the base any yellow or dried leaves. That way the plant can put all of its energy into the healthy sections of the plant. Fiddle leaf figs are the exception to the rule- if you remove a bunch at once you may shock and stress the plant. So just remove a few at a time with that plant.  

     

Troubleshooting guide

  1. Your plant is getting Leggy: this means that the plant is getting tall without a lot of leaves making it look full. Leggy/spindally plants aren’t the most attractive.  When this happens it’s a sign they are not getting enough sun.. as a plant is putting energy into quickly growing taller to try to reach for the sun. This means the plant needs to be moved to a new brighter window.  I had my Monstera plant in one window all summer that it loved- I noticed when winter hit that it was suddenly getting “leggy” seemingly overnight. So I quickly moved it to a new window and it has stopped growing awkwardly tall.

  2. The leaves are turning yellow or orange and then drying out or falling off the plant: this means that the plant isn’t getting enough light and as a result the soil is staying too wet for too long. If you move it to a brighter window this issue should stop.

  3. The leaves are crispy on the edges: this one is more obvious- it means you need water stat! Sometimes if the soil has dried out too much when you try to water it the water will just run through some sections and not saturate all of the soil. In which case you need to remove the whole plant from the nursery pot and run it under wonder in a sink or outside to make sure the soil is getting properly hydrated.

  4. Your plants aren’t growing: simple answer- not enough sun. OR the plant is recovering from past damage. In the winter plants tend to slow way down with their growth- but given a bright window and a humidifier running every day you should continue to see growth all winter long.

  5. Your house doesn’t have a lot of natural light: grow lights will be your best friend. Keep them on and running as many hours as possible.

  6. You have Fungus Issues:  This means that there’s a lot of moisture in the air and in your soil.. but not enough sun to keep things balanced.  Buy Neem oil and dilute it with water in a spray bottle. Remove the fungus and spray the soil liberally. It should resolve the issue- repeat as needed and limit watering. If it’s a plant that requires sun this is also a clue that you need to get the plant to more light!

    Keeo in mind that when there’s a lot of humidity in the air- your plants won’t be pulling as much water from their soil so if need be you can water a bit less too.  Don’t spray the leaves of the plant though as that can block photosynthesis. 

  7. Your plant looks uneven or is leaning towards the window: Most plants will move towards the sun! So it’s best to rotate them around once a week or so- to keep them looking even and upright.

    8. In the winter due to less moisture in the air (even if you run a humidifier) your new baby leaves sometimes will stick together when they are trying to unravel. This causes rips and holes in the leaves. Keep a spritz bottle of water handy and keep and eye on this. spray just that portion of the plants new leaves 1-2x a day while it’s actively growing so that it doesn’t stick together. The second option is to stick your humidifier right next to the plant so that beads of moisture form on the leaves- it’s not good to do that longterm as it blocks photosynthesis but for 1-2 days it’s fine! I did this with the bird of paradise below when I noticed it had a rip in the leaf and it opened really nicely after! 

     

     

My bird of paradise just put out a big baby leaf in December. I noticed a rip in it - and realized I should have sprayed it with water a few times a day this week as it was trying to open up! I won’t make that mistake again! I’m confident however that this leaf will still be beautiful once it fully opens! :)  I ended up putting my humidifier super close to the plant for a day and the leaf opened the rest of the way without any new rips!

My bird of paradise just put out a big baby leaf in December. I noticed a rip in it - and realized I should have sprayed it with water a few times a day this week as it was trying to open up! I won’t make that mistake again! I’m confident however that this leaf will still be beautiful once it fully opens! :)

I ended up putting my humidifier super close to the plant for a day and the leaf opened the rest of the way without any new rips!

SHOPPING GUIDE:

Here is a list of tropical plant essentials. Click on the links to view the products.  

I wanted a grow light situation that blended into our decor- so I found a tall simple lamp that matches our decor and bought the grow light bulb separate!   The lamp:    https://amzn.to/2FfJFn7     The grow light bulb:    https://amzn.to/2SGYMtP    I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the  plant stands-  they came from Joss and Main but no longer are available. I found some that are very similar on Amazon:   https://amzn.to/2RHyha6     I am also using a timer for this set up (    https://amzn.to/2VEzQFe   ). The LED plant bulb works amazing and its what the plants NEED- but its very bright! We are both sensitive to lighting in our house and prefer really soft mellow light. So- I bought this timer that allows me to schedule what time I want the lamp to go in every day of the week! m-f I have it set for the hours we are at work- and the weekends its set for night time. When we are entertaining and I want to use this lamp- I’ll just swap in a lower watt warm bulb as needed!

I wanted a grow light situation that blended into our decor- so I found a tall simple lamp that matches our decor and bought the grow light bulb separate!

The lamp: https://amzn.to/2FfJFn7

The grow light bulb: https://amzn.to/2SGYMtP

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the plant stands- they came from Joss and Main but no longer are available. I found some that are very similar on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RHyha6

I am also using a timer for this set up ( https://amzn.to/2VEzQFe ). The LED plant bulb works amazing and its what the plants NEED- but its very bright! We are both sensitive to lighting in our house and prefer really soft mellow light. So- I bought this timer that allows me to schedule what time I want the lamp to go in every day of the week! m-f I have it set for the hours we are at work- and the weekends its set for night time. When we are entertaining and I want to use this lamp- I’ll just swap in a lower watt warm bulb as needed!

Where to buy fun tropical plants:

Generally Garden Centers and nurseries will have SOME of these plants but it can be hit or miss and some can be very hard to come by. So I spent some time digging deep into the internet to find a company that ships beautiful healthy plants - at a low cost. I spoke to a number of friends as well and the resounding answer over and over was that Ordering plants from Costa Farms OR Hirts Gardens on Amazon was the way to go. They arrive undamaged, healthy and beautiful. Linked below are some of my favorites!

Decorative Planters/Stands and Baskets!

How to care for plant by type!

 

Now lets move on to some specific plant types that are really trendy right now (and rightfully so). Follow the care instructions above for pretty much all of them..but its good to know some extra tips that are more specific.

CARING FOR A FIDDLE LEAF FIG TREE

This plant is SO popular right now. It’s also known as a high maintinance plant which can be true BUT thats only if you don’t have it in the proper lighting set up from DAY 1. If its in a good spot with great sun..you may never have a problem! My FLF trees have become some of my happiest and fastest growing plants. Once you get in a groove with them- you will wonder why you ever felt stressed in the first place.

Here is a list of  Fiddle Leaf Fig tips (some are repetitive) but they are worth repeating.

  1. Find the best sunny spot for this plant in your house. I needs to be RIGHT by a window. Scout out that spot before buying a plant and bringing it home.  If you aren’t getting a ton of sun in a window then you’ll need to supplement with a grow light.

  2. NO DRAFTS are ok. HOT OR COLD. Close the vents..or put it in another room.

  3. Use a moisture meter!! Don’t play the guessing game on watering - if you aren’t a seasoned plant owner you cant trust your intuition with watering. You may over  water out of fear of killing it.. or under water in fear of giving it root rot. Most meters will show the soil is dry at a 3.  Poke it in several spots in the soil and let it sit in each spot for 10 minutes for an accurate reading.

  4. When it’s time to water- water until it comes out of the bottom of the nursery pot. Let it drain fully so its not sitting in water.  Using the method that you may read about on other sites of only using a few cups or water isn’t reliable..there will be no way of knowing if all of your roots got water this way.  I like taking my plant outside or doing watering in the tub!

  5. Use a FLF Fertilizer during heavy growing season (Late Spring/Summer and early fall). Every time you water.  This one works great and I highly recommend it. Make sure to use exactly as much as it calls for..not more. 

  6. Watering on a schedule once a week isn’t a golden rule to live by. Rather keep an eye on your plant and soil and play things by ear using the moisture meter.

  7. If your plant is dropping leaves that likely means you aren’t getting enough sun! (SO does root rot/ fungal issues etc!).  If you don’t have a super bright window in your house then Get a grow light quickly and keep that on for 6-8 hours a day minimum. You can also give it a bright window and a grow light combination. The more light it has the happier it will be!

  8. Sometimes when you first bring your plant home it’ll drop leaves as a result of the stress from moving. I have found this doesn’t happen if I have put it in a nice bright sunny spot. This happened with my first FLF as I didn’t give it enough sun.. the 3 that I have gotten since haven’t lost a single leaf due to being put in bright light in our home from day 1.

  9. When you repot use Espoma Organic cactus soil (order here). And only increase the pot by 1-2 inches max. Put it in a new planter only when its root bound (meaning the roots are bursting out of the top!)  Only use a nursery pot with holes in the bottom. That pot may be placed into a decorative planter or basket.

  10. You may read online that FLF should never be moved around. This is a partial truth- what matters the most is sunlight and if you remove your tree from a bright window then yes by all means it’ll fall apart on you. But, the caveat to this rule is that one window typically does not get the same amount of light year round and so you may need to move your FLF around during different seasons to place it in the best spot. Doing this will ensure a happy plant.

  11. Every so often take the time to wipe the dust off of leaves with a damp microfiber towel or paper towel. This will not only make your plant look beautiful but will allow for it to soak in more sunlight!

    12. I’ve heard from a bunch of people that if you have a skinny stalk you can strengthen it (and encourage ir to grow thicker) by giving it a wiggle every so often. 😆 I haven’t experimented with this but some people swear by it. 

 

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I almost killed my first fiddle leaf fig tree by doing literally everything wrong while I was still learning..but that doesn’t mean you shouldn't try again! This is my second tree and this is the growth its had since mid July! :) I have since added 2 more to my collection and they are also growing quickly.

When you start a fiddle leaf off in the right lighting situation from day 1..you usually will have a low maintenance happy plant that requires very little effort. But if they don’t have enough sun within a few weeks they will begin to fall apart..leaves falling off rapidly or root rot. So study your home and find the brightest window before buying your plant. When it comes home get it in that spot immediately and your chances of things being smooth sailing will be high!

BE SURE TO PUT YOUR FLF TREE RIGHT NEXT TO A WINDOW! In a corner or halfway across the room are not acceptable to these trees. They live or die based on how much sun they have. The longer exposure of sunlight that window has the better! And remember that the sun shifts throughout the year- so be sure to move your FLF tree accordingly..give it the best window you have!

This plant is Pet SAFE!

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Root Rot on the Left from too much water and dry leaves on the right from not enough water! All over the internet you’ll read different things about root rot- they will say “Root rot only happens on the inside of the leaf”. FALSE. These dark brown splotches show up all over the leaf..and they can can appear quickly. One day your plant will look fine- the next week your leaves could be covered in these ugly things.

If you discover root rot- act fast and follow these steps:

  1. Take the plant OUT of its planter STAT so that it can start airing out and drying out.

  2. Pick up or Order Organic Cactus Soil (I prefer this brand) Miracle grow should be avoided..its often infested with bugs.

  3. Take your plant outside and poke the crap out of the roots and loosen a ton of the soil until you get a lot of it left and are left with the root ball plus a little dirt.

  4. Replant it back into the nursery pot with the new cactus soil. Water until it seeps through the bottom and let it drain entirely. Then bring it back inside and put it in your brightest window! Let it be..dont bug it by touching it a lot. Don’t stress over the fact that it may take awhile to soak up the water and DO NOT use any fertilizer while it is stressed/sick. Wait for it to perk up again. Keep in mind that this process could take months… even a year. Your goal is to just stabilize. Don’t expect to see any new growth for awhile. It takes them AWHILE to bounce back. Continue to treat it with love, make sure it has humidity and your patience will pay off in time. TO stimulate new growth down the road you can try notching.. (read more about that above),

You can avoid BOTH Root Rot and Dry Soil by faithfully using a moisture meter and giving your plant REALLY GOOD Light. If you put your plant in a spot where it looks nice..vs where the best sun in your house is..you will pay the price. Once this happens to these leaves..they wont return to being perfect looking. You will have to wait for new growth which could take a very long time..because once a FLF has problems it doesn’t usually bounce back quickly. With love and patience and the right care it usually will bounce back eventually!

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This is a beautiful fiddle leaf fig tree growing outdoors (photo source unknown). Online you’ll notice that most websites will tell you they need bright indirect light..but thats only SORT of true.

In nature they have full sunlight…and its only in those situations that they get super big.

If they have grown up in a nursery not getting direct light then putting them in the blazing sun will shock them and cause sunburn. But if you ease them into that bright light..giving it for short spurts of time and then giving them a break they will adjust to it and eventually will be able to handle full sun and then will THRIVE.  Indoors..dont worry about a window being too bright. They will love it.

If you live in a warm climate you can have your FLF trees outside in the summer or on a covered porch that gets some good light. But be sure to bring them in when it starts getting below 50 at night as they will die otherwise.

*NOTE: This post has gotten so much interest and good feedback that I decided to continue on with a series! If you have a fiddle leaf fig tree be sure to read: (PART 2) Advanced Fiddle Leaf Fig Care & Techniques!

An example of a sunburned FLF plant! It can happen in a matter of hours on a hot sunny day if you leave your plant outside and it is not yet used to that level of sun intensity.

An example of a sunburned FLF plant! It can happen in a matter of hours on a hot sunny day if you leave your plant outside and it is not yet used to that level of sun intensity.

CARING FOR A MONSTERA PLANT

I LOVE these plants! They are actually in the philodendron family..but are a slightly more sensitive part of the family. They are pretty tough plants but they DO NEED good light. Without it their leaves wont split- and they will get leggy and lanky trying to reach for the sunlight.

While I haven’t tried doing it yet- I have read many times that you can train them to climb a Moss pole if you prefer a tall plant vs one that shoots out randomly.

This plant really doesn’t require fertilizer but you can give it with every watering or so in the summer months.

This plant is not safe for cats and dogs- however it doesn’t drop leaves on the ground .. so as long as you animal doesn’t climb and get into plants and chew on them this shouldn’t pose any threat.

My first Monstera! 6 months ago- and now! The leaves don’t always grow in with their split shape- sunlight plays a role in making that happen!

My first Monstera! 6 months ago- and now! The leaves don’t always grow in with their split shape- sunlight plays a role in making that happen!

This is my newest plant (and treasured possession!) A unicorn in the plant world. This plant is also in the Monstera Family. Its called a “Swiss cheese” Monstera and its a smaller vine type plant. The photos are 5 days apart- the day I bought it and on the right today.  I bought the plant even though I could tell it needed a little TLC..because i’ve been trying to find one of these for months! I immediately trimmed off all the yellow and broken leaves. Then wiped down the leaves with a damp paper towel as they were really dusty. I then placed it near a bright window right next to a humidifier. In 4 days it has changed dramatically- perked up big time and the color has gotten a richer green!

This is my newest plant (and treasured possession!) A unicorn in the plant world. This plant is also in the Monstera Family. Its called a “Swiss cheese” Monstera and its a smaller vine type plant. The photos are 5 days apart- the day I bought it and on the right today.

I bought the plant even though I could tell it needed a little TLC..because i’ve been trying to find one of these for months! I immediately trimmed off all the yellow and broken leaves. Then wiped down the leaves with a damp paper towel as they were really dusty. I then placed it near a bright window right next to a humidifier. In 4 days it has changed dramatically- perked up big time and the color has gotten a richer green!

CARING FOR A PHILODENDRON

This plant is SO fun and EASY! It thrives and grows like crazy with bright light - but also tolerates medium light situations. It doesn’t love low light though and it will slowly develop issues one leaf at a time if left in a dark or low light room.  Whats convenient about this is that the whole plant wont die at once- it will give you fair warning that its not doing well in its current lighting situation. I had mine in a dark corner, and every week or so one new leaf would get really soggy and yellow and drop. Once I moved it to a brighter spot this immediately stopped happening and within 2-3 weeks I had tons of new growth. This plant bounces back QUICKLY.

The philodendron won’t throw a fit if it’s in the same room as blowing AC or heat! It’s a TOUGH plant! But like all other tropical plants it appreciates humidity and will do especially well with a humidifier around. Though it won’t die without one either.  

If you get this plant be prepared to give it space- it branches out wildly.

No fertilizing is needed!

This plant is not safe for cats and dogs- however it doesn’t drop leaves on the ground .. so as long as you animal doesn’t climb and get into plants and chew on them this shouldn’t pose any threat.

You can put philodendrons outside in the summer in full sun or partial sun if you wish! Be sure to bring them inside when it starts to get cold at night! 

If you buy this plant be prepared to give it space to sprawl. To my knowledge it can’t be trained to climb. It typically doesn’t grow in height- but rather will fill out.

If you buy this plant be prepared to give it space to sprawl. To my knowledge it can’t be trained to climb. It typically doesn’t grow in height- but rather will fill out.

CARING FOR A BIRD OF PARADISE

Birds of paradise are fairly easy plants to care for..I see a lot of people stressing that they need the brightest light out of ALL plants- but I have found that fiddle leaf figs are the most demanding light wise.

But as everyone says its true that these guys do well placed right in a bright window. If you give them a humidifier to boot they will be thrilled and will grow all winter long! In the summer they prefer that their soil is kept relatively moist- in the winter I treat them like all my other tropical plants and let the soil pretty much dry out fully before watering again.

If your plant become limp- get it into bright light immediately and buy it a humidifier for it.  A healthy bird will stand tall! If you don’t have enough natural light -use a grow light to supplement.

This plant is not safe for cats and dogs- however it doesn’t drop leaves on the ground .. so as long as you animal doesn’t climb and get into plants and chew on them this shouldn’t pose any threat!

My beautiful Bird of Paradise! It took me awhile to find this plant and I ADORE IT. Its continued to grow despite the fact that its winter thanks to the humidifier and a bright window! Its sitting about a foot from a very large hot radiator- but that hasn’t posed any problems thanks to the lighting and humidity situation that I have for it.

My beautiful Bird of Paradise! It took me awhile to find this plant and I ADORE IT. Its continued to grow despite the fact that its winter thanks to the humidifier and a bright window! Its sitting about a foot from a very large hot radiator- but that hasn’t posed any problems thanks to the lighting and humidity situation that I have for it.

CARING FOR A POTHOS

Pothos are one of the toughest plants around!! They can handle AC blowing right on them.. or they can literally be inches away from a hot radiator.. and they will STILL grow! Think of them as a beautiful tropica weed! Haha.

Theres one important rule though.. they hate being over watered! So leave them alone most of the time.  You can tell when a pothos is ready for water when the leaves sag and drop a little lower. Wait till you see that happen- as long as you do you’ll have a happy plant.  When you water put in enough so the water drains through the bottom of the pot!  You’ll notice within a day of doing that- the leaves all perk back up.

No fertilizer is needed ever.  

Pothos can grow in a variety of light situations..including a fairly dark room. But one thing to keep in mind (as a golden rule for all plants) is of it has bright colors it needs bright light. 

Some pothos plants are a solid green color and they don’t need as much light (don’t don’t be fooled they still need some light!)  My plant has bright yellow steaks on its leaves so I keep it next to a window.  if I didn’t that yellow color would fade and wouldn’t be present in new growth. 

Like all tropical plants - the more sun the better.. but the pothos is more tolerant than some others of medium light situations.  

It’s good to rotate these plants so that all sides get sun exposure- otherwise a section left in the dark will eventually start to turn yellow and die.  

Losing some leaves here and there is conpletely normal- so if you see that happening don’t stress that the plant is on its way out.   

Another thing worth noting-  I don’t bother keeping a humidifier near this plant. It grows without that extra tlc. 

This plant is not safe for cats and dogs. When a leaf gets dry and crispy it will fall .. so I make sure to be proactive in trimming any crispy or yellow leaves.

(My dogs could also care less about all the plants!) 

My pothos plant is basically bullet proof! In the summer it sits next to an AC unit- and in the winter that radiator is HOT. It doesn’t seem to care- and I think thats because it enjoys its bright window. This plant has doubled in size since it was given to me in August as a b.day gift!

My pothos plant is basically bullet proof! In the summer it sits next to an AC unit- and in the winter that radiator is HOT. It doesn’t seem to care- and I think thats because it enjoys its bright window. This plant has doubled in size since it was given to me in August as a b.day gift!

CARING FOR A MONEY TREE (Pachira Aquatica)

Money trees like bright indirect light and medium to high humidity. BUT that being said- in our past house we had terrible light for plants and our money tree hung in there. It slowed way down with growth for awhile but it didn’t suffer otherwise. Overall money trees are pretty tough and patient. But for good growth- like all other tropical plants sunlight and humidity are your best bet.

Our money tree is currently living in the kitchen (since I’ve run out of space otherwise!) I don’t have a humidifier in there BUT our kitchen tends to have some humidity from cooking. Every morning when I make coffee I let the tea kettle run for awhile longer with the spout open to steam up the kitchen. Thats been enough to keep this plant super happy.

The ONE thing that I have seen effect this tree negatively was a cold drafty window. But once I moved it, it perked right back up.

The money tree is NOT toxic to pets.

This money tree has been with us for 4 years! Long before I had any clue how to care for plants..and its hung in there with us. Its a super durable plant but it really took off when I started being more attentive to making sure it was getting some light and humidity. You’ll notice in this photo that left side of the plant is droopy- this is because I had not rotated the plant in awhile. I did so last night and already today that side of the plant has perked up.

This money tree has been with us for 4 years! Long before I had any clue how to care for plants..and its hung in there with us. Its a super durable plant but it really took off when I started being more attentive to making sure it was getting some light and humidity. You’ll notice in this photo that left side of the plant is droopy- this is because I had not rotated the plant in awhile. I did so last night and already today that side of the plant has perked up.

CARING FOR CACTUS and SUCCULENTS

These plants are considered one of the easiest- but took me the longest amount of time to figure out. I wasn’t doing the obvious things..

1) BRIGHT light or else they grow crooked trying to reach for the light. Put them right in your brightest window.

2) Don’t worry about humidity. If its humid they wont be upset- but theres no need to supplement. They prefer a dry hot environment.

3) Let the soil dry out FULLY before watering again. The only tricky part about this is that when soil becomes fully dry it often doesn't hold water well with normal watering. So, my little trick has been to remove the plants from their planter and water them in the sink making sure the soil is fully saturated and the water isn’t just running off. Repeat that process and put them in a bright window and you’ll be golden.

Ps. They HATE cold drafts..so don’t put them near AC. But they are totally cool with hot dry air since they are from the dessert.

This succulent stands tall since it has the proper light and water.

This succulent stands tall since it has the proper light and water.

CARING FOR LOW LIGHT PLANTS: The Snake Plants (Mother in Laws Tongue) and the ZZ (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

So heres the truth about “LOW LIGHT” plants. There really isn’t a single plant that actually prefers a dark room. There are just some plants that will tolerate them. The ZZ amazingly will grow slowly with very little light but I have noticed my snake plants don’t grow at all if they are in a dark corner.

But if you put them in a bright spot or even full sun they can get HUGE!  

So, I have several snake plants and a ZZ that I like to rotate around my house so that they each get a chance of getting some sun so that they DO grow.

Another VERY important tip is to not over water these plants. Thats a guaranteed death sentence. Allow the soil to dry out fully before watering again. You can even get away with neglecting to water them for awhile and they wont freak out. 

They also don’t like being put in a big roomy nursery pot. Keep them in the pot they arrive in- until the pot is literally being busted out of its round shape because the plants roots are taking over. When that happens its new pot should only be 1 inch bigger.

You don’t need to worry about giving these plants humidity. I’m sure they will appreciate it if you do- but they will be fine without it too.  

If keeping your snake or zz in a dark corner or spot be careful about watering... in a dark spot they won’t be able to handle the technique where you water until it comes out of the bottom. You’ll end up with a rotting plant. I tend to just add a little water here there.  Unless they are in good sun in which case you can get away with a full water like the other tropical plants.

Both of these plants are toxic to pets however they don’t drop leaves on the ground .. so as long as your animal doesn’t climb and get into plants and chew on them this shouldn’t pose any threat.

Our low light plant trio. Snake plants (aka Mother in Laws Tongue) on each side and a ZZ plant in the middle.

Our low light plant trio. Snake plants (aka Mother in Laws Tongue) on each side and a ZZ plant in the middle.

CARING FOR RUBBER TREES

 During the growing season, it needs to be kept moist. During winter I water way less..and let it dry out between waterings! It seems to appreciate the humidifier like all my other plants- and it requires prime window space. I tried to move it away from its bright window once and it started getting orange leaves right away. During summer and spring it’ll grow quickly given lots of light and the right balance of water.

Some rubber plants are poisonous to pets- but others are not. You will need to look up the specific name of your plant to find out if it is safe or not.

This is a classic Green Rubber Plant- they come in a few different colors and all require the same care!

This is a classic Green Rubber Plant- they come in a few different colors and all require the same care!

CARING FOR PRAYER PLANTS (Calathea)

I have a love/hate relationship with prayer plants. They are overly DRAMATIC sensitive plants..but when they are happy and thriving they are absolute showstoppers. At night they lift their leaves up as if they are praying and then during the day they lower them again. They are very active plants- and you know they are healthy if you see a lot of change in them from day to day.

I killed 3 prayer plants in the last 6 months. Just as I thought I knew what I was doing and saw growth happening..boom another one would bite the dust. I finally figured out the secret to their happiness. HUMIDITY. Their need for humidity cannot be taken lightly. If the have it they will grow..if they don’t for even a day or two the plant will throw a tantrum and start to die immediately!! They also DO NOT LIKE having too much water.

I have found the best way to keep them alive is to put them in a bathroom (with a tub or shower) near a window. They do good with bright indirect light or medium light as LONG as they have a TON of humidity. Water just a tiny bit so that the soil isn’t dry- and let the humidity do the best.

In the winter I find just the humidity from the shower isn’t enough..I keep a small humidifier going in the bathroom at all times. We went out of town for 4 days for Thanksgiving- and just in that time because I didn’t have the humidifier going I lost one of my my prayer plants.

THEY HATE cold drafts. Forget about putting them anywhere near an AC unit. They will be goners within a few days.

So if you want a prayer plant- be prepared for some trial and error..and don’t hate yourself if you kill one because keeping them alive can be tricky. BUT, if you are patient- and are willing to keep the air humid for them- you will be rewarded with a GORGEOUS highly active plant.

When prayer plants are happy they grow QUICK!

This is my 4th or 5th prayer plant.. I cant even remember..haha! I have killed so many. Once I discovered how important humidity was we have hit the ground running and this plant has done very well! Prayer plants come in a variety of leaf shapes/colors and sizes. They are ALL beautiful.

This is my 4th or 5th prayer plant.. I cant even remember..haha! I have killed so many. Once I discovered how important humidity was we have hit the ground running and this plant has done very well! Prayer plants come in a variety of leaf shapes/colors and sizes. They are ALL beautiful.

Thats all I’ve got for now!

In the future I will cover more plant types and go over how to propagate your plants!

If you have a tropical plant that I didn’t cover- follow the basic tropical plant care at the top of this post and they should be happy! Sunlight and Humidity tend to be a standard combo that wlll make most tropical plants very happy!

Please feel free to comment below with any questions you have. PLEASE feel free to share any tips that you have as well! xo

Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies! (Egg/Grain/Coconut Free)

Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies! (Egg/Grain/Coconut Free)

Holiday Baked Ham! Plus 4 glaze options: Strawberry Sriracha, Peach Jalapeno, Mango Tequila or  Hard Cider Bourbon Glaze!

Holiday Baked Ham! Plus 4 glaze options: Strawberry Sriracha, Peach Jalapeno, Mango Tequila or Hard Cider Bourbon Glaze!