Just received a new plant? 4 things to do now!
You've just received a new plant, lucky you! Here are our tips for what to do when welcoming a new plant into your home, to ensure it stays happy and healthy.
1. Check for pests
Independent houseplant shops will always try to ensure the plants are pest free, but it is still good practice to give a thorough check on all the leaves and stems for any pests or pest damage. Make sure to check the underside of leaves too. The most common pests are mealy bugs, thrips, spider mites and scale insects, for what to look out for see our common houseplant pests blog, this has images and treatments.
Hopefully no nasties are there, but just in case it’s good to regularly give the leaves a wipe with a very diluted neem oil and water mix, even with a tiny squirt of washing up liquid in the mix. This will act as a preventative rather than a treatment. This will also help to keep the leaves dust-free with a lovely shine too!
It can be very tempting, when you are excited about receiving a new plant, to quickly find a space for it amongst your other plants. Stop! Pests or no pests, give a new plant a 2 week quarantine period away from any others just to be on the safe side. During this time, keep an eye on it for any changes that might hint at pests.
3. Research your plant's needs
To give your new plant the best chance of thriving, it is so important to understand what it needs, and where in your house the plant should live. Just because you have a spot that is crying out for a plant, that spot might not suit the plant you have been given. The best way to understand what a plant needs in terms of light, water and humidity is to understand where it is native to.
Is it a succulent or cacti that is used to desert conditions? This will need bright direct light and very little water, it wont like a humid dark bathroom.
Is it a tropical forest floor dwelling Maranta? Plants from the forest floors will like indirect light, a warm humid environment and don’t like to dry out between waterings. Unlike the succulents and cacti they won’t like a sunny windowsill and a neglectful plant parent.
A quick google search should tell you where your plant is native to or we also recommend The Green Indoors by Maddie & Alice Bailey.
4. Enjoy your plant
Once your plant's 2 week quarantine period is over, you are confident it is pest-free and you now know exactly where in your home it will be happy, it is time to enjoy getting to know your plant and watching it thrive.