hi! i thought it’d be fun to have my friend molly of pop up greens to share some tips for caring for your favorite house plants, as well as alternatives to each. pop up greens is an LA based shop that specializes in hand painted pots, which you can shop online too.
move over fiddle leaf fig! you’re on the cover of domino, you’ve staked your claim in the plant hall of fame and proven yourself to be the most pin-nable houseplant. we get it, we get it, you’re like the jennifer lawrence of houseplants. while i still love me some j-law, she’s a staple, an obvious choice because EVERYONE KNOWS she’s amazing. i mean i have 2 fiddle leaf figs in my living room alone.
we think it’s time to pass the baton and let some other ladies have a stand in the spotlight. you know those girls, the zoe kazan’s, lupita nyong’os’, and alicia vikander’s. we’re giving you the plant equivalent of these babes.
1. IT GIRL: RUBBER TREE
the rubber tree gets its name from the sticky sap that seeps from its trunk when its full-grown that dries into a low quality rubber.
LIGHT bright indirect light, but not direct light or sun. like most plants, it will probably be used to partial shade once you bring it home from the nursery, and will need to be slowly introduced to more light. keep leaves dust free and shiny by gently wiping them clean with a damp cloth.
WATER water about once a week. soil can stay relatively moist but sitting in water will cause root rot.
GROW TIP similar to most houseplants, it doesn’t like to be moved around. sudden changes in temperature or humidity, even varying from room to room, may cause it to drop its glossy leaves. place away from any drafts from doors, fans or A/C.
2. IT GIRL: DRACENA AKA DRAGON TREE
this exotic tree has dramatic spiky leaves, which start to grow in various directions as it matures, resulting in spear shaped clusters punctuating the air. basically it’s the plant version of an exclamation point.
LIGHT indirect light, can tolerate some shade. can get burned in too much light and is cold sensitive.
WATER keep soil moist, water once a week. cut back watering during winter, but don’t let soil get too dry. bonus points if you mist the leaves.
GROW TIP dracaena’s are known to filter out xylene (cleaning agent) and trichloroethylene (a carcinogenic found in paint & spot removers) vapors from the home.
3. IT GIRL: CAT PALM
LIGHT this tropical palm thrives in bright light near a sunny window. to ensure the lush leaves stay full and even, give your palm a quarter turn every week so every side gets a nice little sunbath.
WATER because of alllll that sun, make sure it stays hydrated! this baby needs to be watered TWICE a week, yup she’s thirsty. palms are not desert plants; they’re tropical so mist those fronds so they keep their bounce.
GROW TIP the palm family is a large one so if you can’t find this particular style, there are quite a few that look similar. kentia palm, lady palm, parlor palm, molly palm… ok that last one i made up but still, lots o’ palms to choose from.
4. IT GIRL: SPLIT LEAF PHILODENDRON
this exotic beauty developed the splits in each leaf to withstand the harsh wind and rain in its native jungle habitat.
LIGHT bright light but not direct sun. younger trees often grow a variation of split or full heart shaped leaves. most full leaves tend to split later on. if leaves on mature plants are growing without slits, it probably needs more light. if the tips of the leaves look scorched or brown, most likely it’s getting too much sun.
WATER water once a week, but make sure the top inch of soil has dried out between watering’s. yellowing of leaves means the plant is overwatered. wilting or “sweating” of leaves can mean the plant is too hot, unless you only notice it on new leaves unfurling. the new babies tend to be thinner and can look somewhat wilted as they open, but don’t worry they’ll get stronger.
GROW-TIP this powerhouse plant is climber if it has the legroom or something to hang onto. if there is nothing, it makes its presence known by branching out horizontally and growing wide. often when potted in pots, they sprout thick roots, which grow down looking for water, you can either cut them off or tuck them around the plant.
5. IT GIRL: BIRD OF PARADISE (NON FLOWERING)
the bird of paradise gets its name from the exotic flowers that bloom resembling the head of a crane. although, the majority of the houseplant versions potted in pots do not bloom, their leaves are just as stunning.
LIGHT full sun 4-6 hours daily is ideal for bird’s to bloom, but if you purchase from a nursery and this plant is indoors or has some shade, most likely the bird has acclimated to medium light. can thrive in both environments depending on what it is now accustomed to.
WATER water thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry out between watering’s. limit watering in winter.
GROW TIP the lighter the leaf color, the more light it needs. when a plant has darker leaves it means it can tolerate more shade.
To Pot or Not to Pot, That is the Question
if it’s terra cotta or ceramic, pot it! a plant potted in a one of these pots with a drainage hole and saucer underneath to catch excess water will thrive!
it’s ok to leave the plant in it’s plastic container the plant came in with a plastic saucer underneath placed in a pot. this way you can easily remove the plant and plastic saucer to dump put any excess water.