Do you already have a couple of plants, maybe a little bit more than a couple, just one, or none at all?

If you have a jungle inside your house like me… congratulations! Crazy Plant Lady is the new crazy cat lady. Don’t worry though because the Crazy Plant Lady or Man is hip, cool, tight: whatever the young kids are saying these days. Much cooler than the lady down the street with twenty cats, not that there is anything wrong with that.

If you need proof of the previous statement, just peruse the copious amounts of plant Instagrams that are highly successful. Millenials (people in their 20’s and 30’s) are spearheading the houseplant movement. Many of them are using plants to de-stress and to create better air quality inside their living space.

If the idea of lots of greenery inside your living space is appealing, read on as I share my journey and provide a few tips for you to get started.

SOURCE: Pixabay. All other photos in this post are mine.

The Start of My Jungle Sanctuary

When I ask myself “how did I get so many plants into my house?”, I think of the joy it brings. With each plant that grows well in my house, I feel a sense of happiness and a sense of control in my crazy life.

I grew up primarily on my grandparents’ farm, always surrounded by greenery. However, when I went to live in Chicago for college, I was suddenly surrounded by concrete, steel, and smelly garbage that littered the streets. I quickly found myself depressed not only because I was away from my family and my fiance at the time, but because Chicago seemed cold and unattractive to a country girl like me.

One day on my campus, they hosted a plant-your-own-succulent event. I thought to myself “eh, why not”; so I suddenly had two plants. They were my first ever house plants. If I can be honest (this is a safe place right?) I had no idea how to take care of succulents.

Succulents are a completely different ball game than the vegetables I was used to growing in our garden back home. So as soon as I was home, I YouTubed how to take care of them. (If you want to learn basic care on plant check out my other article “Is Your Plant Talking to You“)

Once my college adventure in Chicago was over, I moved to Wisconsin for an internship which quickly turned into an actual job. My new apartment was lifeless – white walls and white cabinets.

How did I make the apartment feel like home? The answer was simple, plants. I might have gone overboard in buying plants, I quickly found myself owning 60+ plants.

How Did I Keep All These Plants in My House?

Plant stand– there are many different stands available on the market in various heights, colors, and materials.

If this doesn’t seem like enough room, try a plant shelf.

PRO TIP: Buy plants that fit your home! That means think about the size of the plant and care needed for it before you buy it. Some plants grow super big fast; can you accommodate that?

PRO TIP: Use plants as a decorative item, I have two plants on my TV stand framing my TV.

SOURCE: pisquels.com

Shopping for Your Little Jungle Sanctuary

Where’s the best place to find plants? There are a lot of answers to that question but here are two common options:

Big Box Stores

You could go to stores like Walmart, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. However, shopping at these stores is kind of touch and go because many garden center employees don’t know about plant care.

I have to admit, I am guilty of buying from the big box stores, mainly because of the convenience of location in comparison to the nurseries in my area.

But one risk of bringing plants home from these stores is that the plants may be stressed (meaning poorly taken care of). Even though it may seem fine, as soon as you take it home it could be so stressed, it might not live long, like the bonsai below.

This is a little bonsai my wife convinced me to buy. The left photo is how I bought it, the right photo is what it looked like a week later.

You might want to check the store’s refund policy before buying. For example, Home Depot and Walmart both have a return policy of one year with a receipt.

Nurseries

Nurseries usually have a whole array of plants that are well-taken care of. And unlike big box stores, the employees at nurseries can give in-depth care instructions, including how to prevent or treat pests.

Online Shopping

Buying plants online is the easiest route to go because they ship right to your door. No need to drive to and wander around a nursery or a big box store!

Never buy online without reading customer reviews!

While I don’t have a lot of experience buying plants online, there are tons of places to pick from – The Sill, Bloomscape, and Etsy to name a few. And I can’t stress enough the importance of reading reviews before buying.

Surprisingly, you can buy plants from Amazon as well. For example, Shop Succulents, Costa Farms, and Hirt’s are a few of the different plant shops found on Amazon.

I haven’t listed every single way there is to buy plants for creating your houseplant utopia. But this is a good starting point.

Why Did I Buy the Plants That I Did?

I know many of the readers are probably wondering: just what types of plants did I buy? Did I buy plants willy nilly, or did I have a plan? If I am honest it was a collection of both. Like I stated earlier my life is crazy, and so is my collection of plants.

As I peruse the nurseries and garden centers, I generally look for something that catches my eye or for something that will add to my collection of that variety. For instance, for a while, I was obsessed with buying all the different varieties of Sansevierias that I saw in the store.

As you can see I bought quite a few of them before I decided that I had enough.

Once I became more knowledgeable about plants, I would wade through the myriad of plants at stores and I would begin to ask myself questions.

What type of light requirement does this plant need?

How often does this plant need to be watered?

If the answer was something I deemed incompatible with my lifestyle or if the direction of the windows in my apartment was incompatible, I set the plant back down on the shelf.

Like always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below!

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