There’s something calming about having plants indoors. Having living greens can easily make any nook cooler and cozier, but did you know that they also have science-backed benefits? For one, they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. In fact a NASA study notes that plants can “remove up to 87 percent of air toxin in 24 hours, that aside from helping you improve concentration and reducing your stress levels.
Take it from our plant parents Mark, Maura, and Cherish who shared with us tips on cultivating their chlorophyll-loving babies. From orchids to succulents, you may just pick a thing or two from them that can help you start your own indoor garden.
Mark Umali from Cavite
Plants: Philodendron Giganteum, Philodendron Selloum, Golden Pothos, Arrowhead Plant, Butterfly Palm, Alocasia Mortfontanensis, Spanish Moss, Calathea Luthea, Yucca Plant, Boston Fern, Variegated Elephant Ear
“Ever since I was a child I knew that gardening was my favorite thing to do,” says Mark Umali, who admits to constantly reading a lot about greenery. “I consider them my babies, too.”
He shares three tips on how beginner plantitos and plantitas can start their own garden.
“Know your plants. Taking care of greens is very easy if you know the characteristics of each. For example, not all plants want frequent watering, [as] too much water can lead to rotten roots.” He also notes that indoor plants still need sunlight, “but too much sunlight can kill [them], too, that’s why I encourage people to know their plants first.
“Talk to your plants. They’re living things too. I actually learned this from my Lola and my Mom—your greens will produce happy and healthy foliage if they feel loved by their parents.
“Feed them. Plant food is available in the market. Like animals and humans, you need to feed them to sustain their foliage. You can make your own plant food by using 1 tbsp. Epsom salt, 1 tbsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tbsp. ammonia. Put them together in 1 gallon of water and pour just enough on the soil directly. Do it once a month and you will notice your plants getting greener and greener.
Maura Naval from Maryland
Plants: Orchids, Azalea, Clementines, Bamboo, Succulents, etc.
US-based Maura cultivates orchids, which require special care. She noted that while other plants need watering daily, orchids only need to be watered “thrice a week,” and that plant parents should regularly “give them fertilizer.”
Maura’s tips are simple: “Give them time, and [regularly] cultivate and water [them].”
Cherish Blanche Que Zosa from Cagayan de Oro City
Plants: Cacti, Succulents, Snake Plants
Cherish's plant babies don’t have one regular nook. Instead, she utilizes her them to breathe life to different parts of her home.
“I make planters as a hobby so that motivated me to grow my own cacti and succulents. I mostly have them as tabletop décor,” she says. “Most of my plants are the sturdy kind and as long as they get sufficient indirect sunlight they don't need to be watered daily. I try to water them at least once a week. I don't really have a green thumb but anyone can do it if they persevere and are open to learning.
Cherish also plans to create her own vertical garden. “The ones I have outdoors are the same species/variety that I have indoors but I try to not overexpose the ones outside from the sun. I learned that they wilt faster from overexposure. Even the succulent and cacti thrive better in a well-balanced environment.”
Aside from real plants, she also has a few faux greens which adds great texture to her space.
She has a few tips for beginner plant parents: “Just take it easy and relax. You don't have to be good at it at first. You'll get the hang of it eventually as long as the interest to learn is there. I am still learning. I am by no means an authority in plants.
“Also if you live in a space where you do not have abundant soil, make sure the ones that you have or the source where you get it from is legit. I bought almost a sack of soil online and I found out later on that the mix wasn't all that good and is acidic. I ended up having cacti and succulents that wilted on me even if I took extra care of them so the kind of soil that goes into the pots is really important too.”
This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.