The Stoner’s Guide to Houseplant Care: 8 Tips & Myths to be a Great Plant Parent
So you’re a plant-lover who’s a plant-lover. Chicken or the egg, whichever came first between your bong-obsession or houseplant obsession, we have the right tips for houseplant care tailor-made for a stoner’s disposition. And, BONUS! We have a brand new collection of houseplant themed bongs with our PLANT DROP for you to obsess over, too.
You might assume you can stick any plant in a window and it’ll grow just fine. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for most houseplants. Some hardy plants (that we’ll detail later) can survive in medium to low light while others require multiple hours of bright light to thrive. Other more fragile plants will burn in direct sunlight, killing your precious plant babies. And don’t take the tags at plant stores at face value. Many big box store brands will simply label it “bright indirect light” or blatantly wrong information. A succulent labeled low-light? Lies! The best place to check is with online plant experts or see if your local area has a houseplant enthusiast facebook group!
After a few hits, dumping your bong water into your plants might seem appealing after you’re feeling glued to the couch. You might look at the murky water and think, “this has… like nutrients… right?” STOP! Not only does bong water contain germs and bacteria that could lead to nasty kinds of grow in your plant’s soil, the pH of bong water is acidic and could upset the balance of your soil. Plus, after a while the smell is going to start to linger. Keep your watering routine to regular water and fertilizer from the pros.
If you’ve failed at plant parenthood before, it may be because you chose the wrong plant to love…
Are you a helicopter plant parent, watering the second the soil is anything but moist and doting on its every perceived whim? You might match better with a plant like a calathea, maranta, or peace lily. These plants all need lots of water and attentive care. They’ll benefit from purified or distilled water to keep their delicate leaves from mineral build up. If effort equals love in your heart, these plants will appreciate the effort. And the more humidity you can give these plants. The better
However, if you’re prone to distraction more than doting you may want to pick a hardier houseplant. Plants like pothos, philodendron, zz plants, and snake plants can easily be “set and forget” houseplant babies. Simply water them when the top couple of inches of soil are dry, which you can measure by sticking your finger in the pot up to your second knuckle. If it feels wet, or any moist soil clings to your finger, wait until the soil dries out some more to water it. Set these plants in bright, indirect light and they’ll grow happily.
Some cacti can be hardy too, but they require more direct light to thrive and even less water. If you can give desert-like conditions in your home - go for it! But without supplemental light and heat, they won’t thrive in darker conditions.
When you see houseplant advice online, you’ll often see people suggest misting your plants to make up for a lack of humidity. Unfortunately, the small amount of water droplets your plants get won’t make up for a lack of humidity in the air. It can maybe increase the ambient humidity for a few seconds, but those water droplets will evaporate before your plants have a chance to use it. BUT! This does not mean misting doesn’t do anything… If you see a plant with a leaf ready to unfurl, misting the leaf can help it unfurl without getting stuck. Some plants don’t like water on their foliage, though, so check before you mist!
Every plant has different needs for humidity. In general, most tropical houseplants will appreciaciate higher humidity. Plants like monstera, rhaphidophora, philodendron, pothos, calathea, maranta, and ferns love humidity and will grow better in the closest to tropical conditions you can give them. Pop them in a terrarium or greenhouse and they’ll show healthier growth to reward you.
Cacti and succulents on the other hand, prefer dry, desert like conditions, so keep them away from your humidifier and out of the terrariums. This goes for zz plants and snake plants, too. These plants store more water which is why they can go longer without watering and don’t need the humidity tropical plants are used to.
Don’t ash in your plants! While this has… maybe a little more efficacy than your bong water (ash does contain nitrogen and calcium) the risks outweigh the potential benefits. If you’re ashing into your plants from a lit joint or freshly smoked bowl, you risk starting a fire with the embers that still may remain in the ash. Perlite, very common in potting soil, and dry plant matter can easily catch fire when embers fall into your houseplants’ soil. Additionally, mixing ash and water can create lye, a toxic, caustic substance used in making soaps. Buy a cute ashtray from our shop instead and let your plants get nitrogen and calcium from less scary sources.
Fertilizing can be simple, promise. First, it’s way, way better to under fertilize than over fertilize. So use caution. Every other week during growing seasons (spring, summer, early fall) is best and maybe once every few months during off-season or not at all depending on the sensitivity of the plant. Every plant has different needs, but a multipurpose solution will work for most tropical plants. Additionally, plant food like Superthrive has been used for decades by houseplant enthusiasts and gardeners alike. Cacti and succulents need a little different of a balance of nutrients, so use a cacti-specific fertilizer.
You may hear in plant advice to water “once a week” or “every other day.” While this is meant to be helpful, only use it as a general guidance. Once you have your houseplants long enough, you’ll start to sense a rhythm for when they need to be watered. Keeping to a schedule ignores the many factors that go into watering like humidity, heat, light, climate, and growing medium. Like noted above, take each plant’s needs into account when you water and be intuitive to their needs rather than setting a schedule. Light one up and walk around and talk to your little plant bebes—you’ll learn a lot more and get happier plants!
Now that you know how to care for your plant babies—shop our Plant Mom Drop starting 3/24 at 9PM EST to have the perfect piece to match your plant obsession. Hurry! Our drops regularly sell out. You don’t want to be the only plant mom at the sesh without a cute plant bong or pipe!