Spring has arrived: an introduction to keeping houseplants


Graphic by Raegan Rains

Raegan Rains, Reporter

In a time where pets can be too much of a monetary investment for some, there comes a cheap way to spruce up the home and have something to care for: plants. Being responsible for any living thing can be daunting but there are handfuls of beginner friendly house plants and many resources. So for those who are worried they lack a “green thumb,” fret not.

A handful of beginner easy plants are pothos, philodendron, snake plants, pilea plants and succulents. All of them can add nice splashes of green and life to a living room, while still being pretty hardy and relatively easy to care for.

“Anybody can be a plant parent; it takes very little time and effort to take care of plants,” Spanish teacher and plant owner Danielle Turner said.

What a lot of new plant parents don’t realize is that they’re more likely to overwater their plants. However if you forget when the last watering was, plants are capable of showing you what they need. 

For her pothos plant, Turner said she doesn’t water it until the leaves feel limp. And as for her spider plant, she’ll know it’s time to water when it turns an off white-ish color. Turner says that plants are very individual; observance is key.

Also, it’s essential that plant pots have drainage holes to prevent water pooling at the bottom. Improper drainage can lead to fungal growth, bacterial growth and root rot. 

“You have to be really careful that you don’t over water to the point where the roots are sitting in water,” English teacher and plant caretaker Jody Petrow said. “Your soil needs to drain well enough but succulents especially need well draining soil.” 

When getting plants, it’s also important to be aware of light sources in the house and how your plants will get sunlight. Be aware of the environment and what your plants require.

“So sometimes you have a really bright room and you can get away with it not being that close to a window,” Petrow said. “Some plants can tolerate not being too close to a window but a lot of plants will start to look really unhappy and you won’t know why.”

Plants like philodendron, pothos and pilea thrive in bright, indirect light so they prefer to be near windows. For those whose homes don’t get much sun, there are snake plants and succulents that can do well in low light conditions. However, most plants prefer to be in some form of sunlight and not many can tolerate being in shade.

Keeping houseplants can be just as rewarding as having pets. And in a world of concrete and steel, it can be nice to keep some greenery in a home.

“Every day I’ll go over there and I’ll just sit by the plants and look at them because it just makes me happy to watch them growing,” Petrow said.