Courtesy of North Haven Gardens

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5 Care Tips for the Houseplant Enthusiast

Dallas’ North Haven Gardens makes the match between the trendiest indoor plants and their owners.

Household trends come and go—but one trend that has circled back and deserves staying power is the houseplant craze. Indoor plants have made a beautiful comeback—not only as part of a home’s décor, but also the increased interest in how to properly care for them.

A surge in the popularity and revitalization of the mid-century modern and Boho-chic aesthetic in Dallas has created a renewed interest in adding pops of green throughout the home. An inviting, fresh look is one benefit of household plants, but they also pull double duty by purifying the air and creating an overall sense of calm. Indoor plants create a connection to the outdoor world and bring the outdoors in, so you can enjoy their beauty whether you are sitting at your kitchen table, on the couch watching Netflix, or meditating in the sunroom.

Courtesy of North Haven Gardens

With any trend, some brands are hotter than others, and in the case of houseplants, some types of plants are considered “it” plants, including big, leafy plants like Philodendrons and Alocasias as well as hanging plants, such as Linear Hoya and Hanging Hearts.

If you’re ready to “green up” your space, you’ll first need to consider a few things, including your level of commitment to caring for them and your home’s access to natural sunlight. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of indoor plants to match almost any commitment level. For example, if you are rarely home and want a low-maintenance houseplant that will thrive without much attention, consider a Sansevieria, commonly known as a snake plant, that does well with minimal watering and a proper amount of light. If the idea of carefully tending to your indoor plants each day, spray bottle in hand, sounds more appealing, look for a Maidenhair Fern that thrives best on a delicate balance of rainwater and fertilizer. Middle-of-the-road plant lovers usually like low-maintenance Calathea Ornata plants that do well on a regular watering schedule and need only ample indirect light.

Courtesy of North Haven Gardens

North Haven Gardens in Dallas, Texas is a garden center that has become a destination for local indoor plant enthusiasts and collectors of all ages and skill levels. The nursery has an expansive tropical greenhouse filled with almost every type of indoor plant, and the expert garden pros here can help you make the match once they know more about the space you live in and the amount of time you are willing to make to care for them. While there, look for care tip brochures, available for several of the garden center’s most popular indoor plants. North Haven Gardens searches growers from California to Florida and even Canada to find the highest quality, most unique plants. Currently trending is “String of” plants, such as String of Hearts (Ceropegia), String of Turtles (Peperomia), and String of Pearls/Dolphins/etc. (Senecio). Fiddle Leaf Figs, Monstera, Philodendron, and unique varieties of Anthurium are also popular. North Haven Gardens has orders of indoor plants arriving from growers almost weekly throughout the year. Hunting for something special? Email them at [email protected] and buyers will try to source it for you.

Once you have the perfect collection of indoor plants, what’s next? Protect your plants—and your investment—by learning how to properly care for them. North Haven Gardens suggests the following care tips to get your leafy friends to cooperate in your design scheme all while growing healthy and strong:

Let there be light.

Plants don’t live indoors in nature. Though we want them as part of our stylish look, we must try and give them something resembling their natural habitat. They may not necessarily thrive on your floating wall shelf or living room coffee table, and they definitely won’t survive in your dark bathroom. Group your plants near a window in the brightest room in your home. Use a plant stand to lift them closer to natural light. If desired, you can move them to decorative locations for a dinner party or gathering of friends, but then let them live most days where they receive the best amount of light.

Don’t over-love your plants.

Most people over-water their indoor plants. A plant’s roots need oxygen as well as water meaning, yes, they need a good drink, but then some time to breathe. It’s a myth that you should water houseplants once a week. Plants are specialized, living organisms that do not have a default setting or a schedule. Each container, location, and type of soil you plant in has different qualities which will affect the amount of water the plant needs.

Water like a boss.

Take your plants on a little walk to a bathtub, sink, or outdoors where you can soak them. To clarify, you cannot water too much—just too often. Allow water to run through and drain out the bottom at least three times or more. Splash the leaves and get rid of any accumulated dust. Plants love this treatment! Then wait until they need water again. Remember, each plant will have its own timing. If you’re not sure, wait another day or even another week in most cases.

Do some self-analysis.

Are you a social butterfly who is often out and about and forgets to tend to your horticultural housemates? Do you get plant guilt from being a tad neglectful?  Consider potting and growing succulents. They enjoy their independence and do better with longer waits between watering.  If you are the opposite and love to stay home and dote on your leafy babies, consider ferns and orchids that love being misted often and watered more frequently.

Be careful with cute.

If you have big plans for your windowsill with that adorable container you found at an estate sale, reconsider. Does it have a drainage hole in the bottom? If not, proceed with extreme caution before using it as a planter. Remember, plants need to breathe. If there is no way for water to drain out, it’s very difficult for the roots to get the oxygen they need.

If you take the time, you can learn to happily cohabitate with all kinds of plants that will reward you with cool aesthetics and clean air. Contrary to the label, there is no such thing as a “green thumb.” The key to having thriving indoor plants is to show some interest and to get to know them. Learn what the plants prefer to grow and stay healthy. North Haven Gardens, located at 7700 North Haven Road in Dallas, is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM with experts on hand to help you choose the best indoor plants for your space. For online tips and tricks, subscribe to NHG newsletter, browse their blog, or watch instructional videos.

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