We’ve noticed a trend of houseplants occurring throughout the year and now 7 in 10 millennials consider themselves plant parents. So, we thought it was about time we created an ultimate guide to helping new and old green-fingered friends to maximise the sustainability of their houseplant hobby.
Existing ‘houseplant parents’ might find this useful to discover new varieties to care for, tips on giving houseplants the very best care and ways to help your newbie ‘plant parent’ friends.
First of all… which houseplants to buy
It can be a bit tricky selecting the right houseplant. For many, a significant deciding factor will simply be how stylish or pretty the houseplant is. If you’re a new plant parent, we suggest you throw caution to the wind at this deciding factor. Why not consider the practicality of the plant, and how easy they will be to look after.
• Golden Pothos Vine – If you want to feel like an instant success as a houseplant parent, this is undoubtedly a great start. This indoor vine will grow in almost any size plant pot, so we suggest starting small. The large and colourful leaves will create a beautiful aesthetic, and the plant requires minimal attention with only an occasional water.
• Spider plant – These houseplants are quite popular. Their light green long leaves are incredible at tumbling downwards, which is why these plants are often found hanging around the home. Their independent nature means that these houseplants aren’t too fussy when it comes to light exposure, water or warmth. Over time they develop plantlets which you can hand out to your plant loving friends to nurture for themselves.
• Succulents and cacti – You might already be aware of this option, after all, we often find these types of plants naturally growing in dry and extremely warm temperatures. A great way to begin your green journey is to purchase a houseplant that, if you forget about it for a few weeks, it won’t be deadly for the plant! These types of plants are perfect all around the house. Windowsills, shelves, side tables, and if you look after them well enough, they might even flower and bring some additional colour to your space!
Next up… crucial houseplant care tactics
Looking after a houseplant requires a level of responsibility… after all, you are looking after a living creature. We know this can seem a little daunting, but we’ve got some crucial ‘care tactics’ to prepare you so that you don’t wake up to a nasty surprise!
Plant care tip 1 – Thirsty or drowning
One of the biggest killers of houseplants is OVERwatering, the second it UNDERwatering… it’s a balancing act you see. So, the best way to perfect this is to set yourself up with a self-watering device. Hearing the word device might make you visualise your depleting bank balance but do not worry! You can easily make one of these using items already in your home. Our favourites are made from things around the house, and can all be found on this ProFlowers blog.
Plant care tip 2 – Location, location, location
While some plants are not fazed by how much sunlight they get, or the warmth of their corner of the room, it would only be polite to consider their space after purchasing them from a more than accommodating garden centre.
Location can vary between each plant, so check out its needs before setting it up. If you place your plant in direct sunlight in front of a window it could dry them out fast and can even give them sunburn. Some plants thrive in a dry atmosphere, so putting them in the kitchen might be great, whereas some love a dewy bathroom. Make sure you consider all areas of your house, not just the living room.
Plant care tip 3 – The size of the home
You might see an adorable little plant pot at your local garden centre that matches perfectly with your sofa cushions, but it is the plant that chooses the pot. While your baby succulent may start small, as the stems and leaves grow, so do the roots. If you don’t let them stretch out, the plant won’t grow into the beauty you had imagined. This doesn’t mean to purchase a huge pot that towers over your little plantlet but to recognise its stages of growth.
If you’re thinking you don’t have enough room, consider reading our blog demonstrating that you do for the right plant!
Followed by… houseplant signs of attention
Sometimes, your plant will cry out for attention. Please don’t be worried that your plant is going to start screaming for a 3 am feed, but it will show you signs when it needs a little extra love.
|Signs to notice||The reason for change|
|A change in leaf colour||can be over or underwatering|
|Extremely hard soil||underwatering|
|Edges turning black||low humidity or can be a fungus eating the roots|
|The smell of damp||overwatering|
|Lower leaves are yellow||overwatering|
|Roots climbing out of the pot||overwatering|
|Gnats||not letting it dry out between watering, overwatering|
Looking after houseplants can be rewarding. Watching them grow into magnificent creatures can be exciting. If you’re sure that you know what you’re getting into, then there’s no reason why your new extended family won’t give you delight for years to come.
If you want to make plant ownership that little bit easier on your wallet, then why not check out our partnership with Blossoming Gifts? You could save 20% with this reward.
Plastic recycling as a way out of poverty
Imagine if plastic became “too valuable to throw away”? That’s the idea behind the startup company Plastic Bank. Here’s how it works:
1. Plastic Bank sets up a branch in a coastal community. This place is carefully chosen: somewhere that’s not only drowning in plastic pollution, but also where many people are forced, through no fault of their own, to live a hand-to-mouth existence.
2. Plastic Bank offers to pay local people a premium to collect the plastic waste polluting their streets and coastline. It’s up to the individual what they want to put the premium towards, whether that’s stocking up on food, paying for health care treatment or investing in school tuition and adult learning skills.
3. Jobs are created at the Plastic Bank branch, running the premium system as well as processing the plastics before they’re sent for recycling. This brings money into the community and gives local people experience that can help them get other work.
4. The products made from the recycled plastic waste is trademarked Social Plastic®. Remember the name if you want to support both the removal of plastic from our oceans AND people working hard for a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
Infinitely recyclable plastic
One of the reasons glass wins out over plastic, ecologically speaking, is that glass is infinitely recyclable:
>> Plain glass can be used and recycled, used and recycled, used and recycled, endlessly with no loss of quality.
>> Plastic objects are manufactured using huge numbers of different chemical dyes, fillers and flame retardants. This weird mix of additives permanently attaches itself to the plastic molecules. Batches of recycled plastic are murkier and less durable than the original – and each time the plastic is recycled, the quality gets worse.
Until now, that is…
Last year, scientists announced that they’d created a new plastic, called polydiketoenamine (PDK). Unlike all the other plastics we use today, its molecules can be ‘cleaned’ of those pesky additives with a quick dip in an acid bath. And if a plastic can be returned to its original building block form, it becomes infinitely recyclable with no loss of quality, in the same way as glass.
With plastic being less heavy, and therefore less emissions-intensive to transport than glass, infinitely recyclable PDK products could be a total game changer. Imagine, no need to chuck any plastic away ever again, because 100% of it can be ‘washed’ clean and recycled into new, high quality objects.
What are your hopes for the future of recycling? Would you like to see products made out of infinitely recyclable PDK plastic in the shops?
Share your thoughts with the Greenredeem team below.