The Truth Behind the Myth of the Green Thumb
Do you really need to have a green thumb, aka some kind of special power, to keep your blooms and houseplants happy and healthy? What about the myth of the green thumb? Keep reading to find out!
We always hear from a lot of people all the time that they can’t grow plants because they don’t have a “green thumb.” I used to say that too. I remember my first houseplant died less than a week after I bought it. Imagine that! So I have always been concerned that I don’t have a “green thumb,” and I should avoid houseplants.
However, little did I know then that a gift for keeping houseplants happy and healthy is not something you’re born with, but it’s about constant research that will help you properly care for your houseplants. Green thumb? Psh. It’s simply a myth. So the truth is you’re not “bad with plants,” but you just don’t have anyone to ask for advice, such as specific requirements for nutrition, light, and water.
Here at Omysa, we do our best to help everyone find their green thumb. Yes, you don’t need a divine gift or inherent talent for gardening, but the ability to read and follow instructions. So if you want to learn how to keep your houseplants happy and healthy, you’re in luck!
Why Do Indoor Plants Die?
It’s not you, we promise! The sad truth is that most houseplants from stores are basically DOA. Think of this: houseplants transported to the store where you buy them spend weeks traveling from a greenhouse. During this time, the plant has been stressed because it did not receive proper light, temperature, and water. On top of that, plants from the store fail to thrive because most of their pots have improper drainage. As a result, the roots basically drown or root rot. So it’s very important to transfer your houseplant in a planter with proper drainage and avoid overwatering it.
How to Keep Plants Alive?
First things first: pick a plant that has no disease or pests. Checking the leaves and roots is a must since there might be pests living under the leaves or unusual brown or yellow spots that you will only notice when you look closely.
Next is to figure out what it needs, which means you need to read the label and do research. One of the things about the myth of the green thumb is people will jump on the train of plant parenthood without doing proper research. As a result, plants end up dying under their care. It’s not that difficult to research a plant’s needs, especially if you’re serious about taking care of one. Research its light, water, humidity, temperature, and food needs.
Lastly, you should meet those needs. For example, if the plant that you like needs bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours a day, then you should be able to provide it. Check if your place has enough sunlight for the plant to thrive. If your plant needs filtered water to survive, then either use distilled water or fill a container with water and leave it overnight. The harmful chemicals will evaporate overnight, making the water safe to use the next day. Also, don’t forget that some plants require humid areas or warm temperatures to thrive.
Is My Plant Healthy?
OK, for beginners or new plant parents, when shopping for houseplants, you need to look carefully at the leaves, stems, and roots because plants have a range of looks to determine if it’s healthy or dying, such as brown or yellow spots, wilted leaves, mushy stem, or crispy leaves. You can also ask for advice, but we recommend that you do some research first before heading to the store, so you have enough knowledge.
In case you bought a healthy plant, but its leaves are falling off, then you don’t have to panic or worry because this is normal. For example, Croton‘s leaves fall when they are moved to a new environment. This means that the plant is adjusting, and it might take some time. You just need to be patient and care for as it is. Once the plant has fully adjusted, it will start to flourish.
A Couple Factors to Look Out For
To break the myth of the green thumb, here are some common plant needs you need to learn:
Sunlight: the right amount of light can help the plant grow. If your plant is not getting enough light, its leaves will droop and turn yellow or dull-green. Some plants become leggy because they’re trying to reach the sunlight. However, if it’s getting too much light, then its leaves will have burned patches. Read the label and research what type of light your plant needs.
Water: Drought-tolerant plants, such as Snake plant or Aloe Vera, thrive in dry conditions. Some plants want to keep their soil moist. However, as a general rule, water your plant only when the soil is completely dry. Check the soil by sticking your finger towards the rootball. If it’s wet, wait for a few more days. If it’s dry, then you can bring out your watering can. That’s how you water plants, but this rule doesn’t apply to all.
Humidity & Temperature: Plants have different humidity and temperature needs. However, most houseplants can thrive in average room temperature or normal humid. If you have a tropical plant, then you need to increase the humidity and temperature in your place. You can also place those types of plants in the bathroom or kitchen.
Pests: Healthy plants tend to be resilient to pests. However, you still have to be careful because they can easily destroy your plant. One of the causes of plants attract pests is overwatering, so it’s best to check the soil before watering again. Always clean your plant with a damp cloth. You can wipe pests with soapy water or cotton with alcohol to eliminate them.
Food: Feeding your plants is pretty simple. Feed it during the growing season, which is spring and summer. Stop feeding it during the cold season or fall and winter. Follow the prescribed amount of fertilizer to avoid fertilizer burn.
Learning about all the needs of your plant will help them grow and thrive for a long time. You don’t have to fret in the myth of the green thumb. It’s all about constant research and a lot of work if you want to see your plants flourish.
Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.