Save Money by Saving Your House Plants

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

I had to admit I consider it good luck if one of my house plants stays alive for more than six months. I’ve never had much of a green thumb, but I still have the desire to enjoy the fragrance and appearance of lush houseplants. This means I’ve spent a lot of money on replacing plants in my lifetime. While I mostly attribute the death of my plants to delinquent watering, there are times I’ve done everything ‘right’ and they still die. It sometimes makes me scared to have children. If I can’t keep a plant alive…

What I’ve realized is that it’s not really my fault. I was never taught much about plants except that they need water and sunlight; how much, how little, and all the other factors in determining a plant’s health have eluded me. This is why my mother also chose not to keep house plants — she would buy the fake plastic greenery you had to dust because she didn’t have the knowledge or patience to take care of the real thing. I prefer real ones, but  if I want to stop wasting money on new plants every six months, I need to know what I can do to make my plants (and consequently my funds) go a little farther. Here are a few things I’m learning.

Plants Are Kind of Like Pets
Unless you buy fake ones, you have to remember that your plants are living organisms. Like any other living thing, they need food and water and a nurturing environment in order to survive. You can’t just put them in a pot, sit them on your window ledge, and forget about them (unless you want to replace them in a week or so). In this way, plants are like pets — they need your attention. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow time for pets, it’s possible you don’t have time for plants, either. Granted, plants will require much less of your time than pets, but they will still take time.

Plants Require Very Specific Care
Plants are touchy, as I’m all too aware of. Some like lots of sunlight,  while some like the shade; some like plenty of water while others just need a misting.  When you purchase a plant, it usually includes  a little card that will educate you about its care. Instead of ignoring and throwing this card away (as I’ve done in the past), pay close attention to its instructions. If your plant didn’t come with instructions (perhaps it was a gift from a friend’s garden), it’s very easy to look them up online.  Check out sites such as or eHow articles to determine the preferred care of the plants you own.  Then simply follow the instructions. It’s really not that complicated.

Choose Your Plants Wisely
Just as you need to choose a pet that is appropriate for the size of your home or yard, whether or not you have children, and your overall lifestyle, it’s important to choose plants that will like living with you. For instance, orchids need plenty of sunlight and are sensitive to temperature changes, so if your home doesn’t have many sunny windows or gets drafty, you should reconsider purchasing them (as lovely as they are. sigh).  There are indoor plants perfect for every home, so it’s just a matter of finding the plants you like that will also like you.

Don’t Give Up
I’ve probably given up on some of my plants too easily. As soon as they start looking bad, I throw them out and start over. If I took the time to figure out why they were dying and nurtured them, they just might come back to life. I have one plant that has been snatched from the jaws of death many times. While I realize I need to make sure it doesn’t keep happening, at least I know that if I react promptly to its signs of distress, I can make it happy again.

Following these tips can save you a ton of money replacing your house plants and allow you to enjoy their beauty for years to come.

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