How to take care of plants with 3 easy steps

air eyes healing spaces home Sep 05, 2019

House plants offer many invaluable benefits. They can convert toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde and benzene, into oxygen. And they are also essential to healing spaces. Science has proven that seeing nature helps us relax and heal.

The biggest challenge, however, is how to take care of plants so that they don't die!

Most of us juggle so much that adopting additional responsibilities—like taking care of house plants—can feel impossible. I highly encourage you to try it though.

The following three tips can help.

First, choose low maintenance plants

When I first started buying plants, I tried to buy the ones that were most impactful in detoxing indoor contaminants. Some of these I couldn't find in retailers available to me. Others died.

So I realized that I should focus on plants that are accessible to me AND easy for me to keep alive. The three main plants that I have been stockpiling are: Sansevieria trifasciata (or snake plant), Zamioculcas zamiifolia (or ZZ plant), and Peace Lillies. Each are shown in their respective orders in the images below. They are low maintenance plants that can survive my dry NYC apartment and hectic lifestyle.

Second, use terra cotta watering pikes

The terra cotta watering pikes below decrease how often I need to water the plants. I bury a watering pike into the plant's soil, fill a bottle with water, and then rest the water-filled bottle upside down to rest into the watering pike. The soil or plant's roots then draw upon the water as needed. This system has transformed my plant-care experience because over-watering plants is one of the most common ways to kill them!

I start with using any empty bottles that fit into the watering pike. Often, this has been an empty plastic water bottle (my children save theirs from tennis for this purpose.) Over time, I have replaced plastic water bottles with used wine bottles, as shown in the first image at the top of this article. It's been fun to settle with our favorite wine labels.

Third, mist your plants' leaves

I love the glass spray bottles below to spritz the plants' leaves. It's important to mist the leaves to help clean dust and offer humidity that the plants wouldn't otherwise have. As I do this, I occasionally notice when some large leaves need me to wipe them clean because there is so much dust on their leaves.

You can click on any of the images above to explore buying them on Amazon. Please note: I will make a small affiliate fee if you purchase something on Amazon after clicking on the images below. If you do: Thank you for supporting my work!

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About Ruan Living

Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


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