Plant Mom Life

My home is filled with plants - inside and out.

Five years ago, I never would have believed that I would be surrounded by so much greenery - I regularly killed plants. Then I received a jasmine plant as a gift after I traveled to India. I shared with a friend that the smell of jasmine flowers took me back to that vacation as the family I stayed with would weave the flowers into my hair in the morning and the fresh smell would fill the rest of my day - but I was having a hard time finding the plant I wanted. She decided to find me a jasmine plant. I still have that plant, even after bringing it back to life twice now. Jasmine Plant

Jasmine is not the easiest plant to care for, I wouldn't recommend it if you're just starting out. What I would recommend is: Snake plant, Split Leaf, ZZ Plant, and Bird of Paradise (and more, but these will be what I'll cover in this post). I don't recommend starting with succulents - it seems everyone tries succulents first, and they are great, and easy... with a little bit of prep (I'll save that for another blog post).

 

Snake Plant

This plant was one of my first, and I'm since propagated 2 plants into multiple plants. The snake plant likes to be ignored, just a little water every so often, sun or shade. It's known for cleaning the air - which is why I have one in just about every room in the house. If you want to kill a snake plant, give it attention and too much water. I almost never fertilize my snake plants.

Snake Plant

 

ZZ Plant

One of my more recent additions! This guy also likes to be ignored, some water, some sun. The more sun the ZZ plant gets, the faster it will grow, but it will tolerate little to no light. I fertilized my ZZ plant with nitrogen and potassium (see below for how I make my homemade fertilizers) and within a week I had multiple new shoots of growth.

ZZ Plant

Split Leaf plant

This plant is one of my favorites. A friend gave me an offshoot of hers in November - it had 2 leaves. About every month, it starts to sprout a new leaf for me. I fertilize is pretty regularly. After some research, I learned that the split leaf really likes potassium (see below for how I make my homemade fertilizers). Also, the split leaf likes a lot of water and sunlight.

Split Leaf Plant

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise I saved my bird of paradise plant from Lowe's where it wasn't getting much sunlight. These plants like sunlight and humidity. I have one of mine in front of a heating vent - which normally wouldn't be good for a plant, but I water it almost daily and the heat from the vent allows the water to create some humidity in the air. I think this and fertilizing about once every month has been keeping him very happy. I feed my bird of paradise a mixture of potassium and nitrogen rich water (see below for how I make my homemade fertilizers).

 

Homemade Fertilizers

I have some hungry plants as you can see above, and buying fertilizer can add up. I found some easy ways to feed my plants at home just by using leftovers I have in my kitchen.

Potassium

Plants like potassium. Rose bushes especially. It's really easy to make a diluted potassium rich fertilizer by soaking a banana peel in water for a few days. Pour the water onto the plant's root system. You can leave the peel in the dirt if you want or throw it in your compost. Banana peel also contains some nitrogen, which helps plant absorb calcium, so it's really a great option for a starting fertilizer.

Nitrogen

I drink coffee every morning... so this fertilizer is super available. When I have a little coffee left in the bottom of the pot (just a tiny bit, not too much), I fill the rest of the pot with water and feed my plant babies. Rose bushes don't like nitrogen. Make sure you research your plants before feeding them nitrogen as it can burn some plants.

Calcium

My fiance eats eggs every morning. I rinse out the eggshells and let them dry up. When I have enough I crush them up into a fine powder (I use a morter and pestle, but you can use an old coffee grinder or food processor) and spread them i the pots of my plants. Over time, the plant slowly receives calcium from the eggshells. You can leave them in larger chunks and use them outside to deter slugs as well.

Magnesium Sulfate

Mix Epsom salt and water - easy! This fertilizer is great for germination and supporting all the other fertilizers above.

 

The great part about these homemade options is you can mix them all together as well. Make sure you research what you plant is hungry for though before you feed them.