The ultimate guide to buying, owning and caring for houseplants

Written by Lauren Geall

Want to become a fully fledged plant parent in 2021? Here’s our guide to getting started.

Plants, plants, plants. Whether we’re obsessing over them on Instagram, shopping for them online or caring for them IRL, it’s safe to say that houseplants have well and truly taken over our lives.

However, if you’re new to the wonderful world houseplants, getting to grips with ‘plant mom’ life can be a little confusing.

While buying a couple of plants in your local garden centre is pretty easy, knowing what they need and which ones suit your space is a little tricker. 

So whether you’re interested in buying a new plant for your desk, want to learn how to repot a plant which has outgrown its container or simply want to know which plants would look good on your Instagram feed, we’ve put together this guide to all our best plant-related content to help you get started. 

How to pick the right plant for you and your space

Buying a plant isn’t just about picking the one you like the look of – to ensure you’re able to give your plants the environment and care they need, you’ll want to do a bit of research first.

If you’re a complete beginner, there are plenty of low-maintenance plants which look great and happen to be easy to care for. There are also succulents to consider (which tend to be easy no matter what) and some easy-care flowering plants, too.

On the other hand, if you’re up for a challenge, you might fancy picking up an unusual plant that tends to need a bit more TLC to thrive.

Next, you’ll want to consider what area of your home you want your plant to live in. Different plants like different light and humidity levels, so choosing the right plant for the right spot is essential if you want them to remain nice and healthy.

From desk plants to hanging plants and those that prefer low-light conditions to taller plants for open spaces, there truly is a plant to suit every kind of space. And if you’re after the ‘retro’ aesthetic, these plants tick all the boxes.

Finally, if you’re looking to gift a plant to a friend or family member, opting for a plant with meaning is a nice extra touch.

You can check out our full list of articles on this topic below:

  • 9 low maintenance plants that are perfect for beginners
  • 5 easy-care succulents that’ll brighten up any living space
  • 4 easy-care flowering plants to bring a piece of spring into your home
  • 7 unusual houseplants to add a splash of excitement to any room
  • 7 eye-catching desk plants to transform your working from home space
  • Short on floor space? These hanging houseplants will bring life to any room
  • 8 low light houseplants to bring life into your home this autumn
  • 9 statement houseplants to give your living space a new lease of life
  • The retro plants to fill your home with right now
  • 9 beautifully symbolic houseplants, and their meanings

Where to buy plants 

When it comes to buying plants, there are plenty of different places to consider. While most plant shops are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many offer great online services which allow you to buy new plants without stepping out the front door.

The big online plant shops offer a wide range of plants with next day delivery, but if you’re willing to wait, shopping with one of the smaller, independent shops is a great way to support local businesses – especially at a time when so many are under strain.

If you want the responsibility of choosing a new plant taken off of your hands completely, you might consider paying for a plant subscription box instead.

You can check out our full list of articles on this topic below:

  • 14 of the best online plant shops to buy from now
  • 9 independent plant shops to support online during lockdown
  • The best plant subscription boxes that deliver all over the UK

How to display your plants

Once you’ve bought your plants, it’s time to think about how you’re going to display them in your home. After all, one of the main appeals of houseplants is their ability to brighten up a space – and accompanied with the right pot, they look extra special.

Speaking of pots, there are loads of different types to choose from – check out our round-ups of raised planters (pots with legs), quirky pots and hanging pots for some inspiration to get you started.

Alongside pots, there are other, more unique ways to incorporate plants into your home too. Terrariums are a beautiful, self-contained way to add a bit of greenery to a room (although you may need to pick up a few extra bits to make one at home) or you could try and put together your very own garden room.

You can check out our full list of articles on this topic below:

  • Take your plant game to the next level with these 7 must-have raised pots
  • 9 quirky plant pots that’ll add a pop of personality to any room
  • 7 hanging pots that’ll help you achieve the indoor jungle aesthetic
  • How to make your own terrarium at home, including what plants to buy
  • Garden rooms are the interiors trend taking over Pinterest

Taking care of your plants

The final step in plant ownership is actually keeping your plants alive. Depending on the type of plant you’ve picked, you’ll want to make sure it’s getting enough light and water – and be able to recognise when you’ve overwatered it, too.

On top of this, you’ll need to adjust your plant’s care routine depending on the time of year and the temperature of your home and know how to repot it when your plant has finally outgrown its pot.

If you fancy getting super green-fingered, you can also check out our guide to growing plants from seeds, too.

You can check out our full list of articles on this topic below:

  • How to keep your favourite houseplants alive (and Instagram ready)
  • Houseplants keep dying? Here’s why overwatering could be the problem
  • How to keep your houseplants alive (and thriving) during the winter months
  • How to take care of your houseplants during a heatwave
  • How to stop your plants from dying (and help them to thrive) during lockdown
  • How to repot a houseplant properly in 6 easy steps
  • How to grow your own plants from seeds, whatever your gardening skill

Images: Getty

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