With so many fun accessories, the essentials can get lost. Here's our rundown of plant parent must-haves.
1. Watering Can
A watering can is a must have. Any kind will do, really, but we prefer one with a narrow spout. This helps target the water to a specific area, and it helps you keep control over how much comes out. It's especially helpful for smaller plants (less than 6" pot diameter) - too much water at one time on those guys can cause flooding, which is an annoying mess to clean up.
For larger plants, a large watering can is helpful. We like to use recycled plastic bottles or milk jugs and fill them with tap water. We leave them out for a few days to evaporate the chemicals present in treated water (chlorine, etc.) and then use them to water plants larger than 6" in pot diameter.
2. Pruning Shears
As we mentioned in our article on pruning, a good pair of pruning shears is essential to any plant parent. Ripping, or using scissors to remove dead foliage is a big no-no because it can cause permanent damage to the plant's stem and/or leaves. We don't want that!
Trays are a great tool to have around. They are excellent for under a pot to catch excess water (and to keep it off your floor and furniture). They can also be used to make humidity trays for your rainforest-loving plant fam.
To make a humidity tray, all you need to do is full the tray with something to keep the pot from sitting in the water. We like to use rocks, but have used marbles and even binder clips in a pinch. Once you fill the tray about an inch of rocks, pour water over the rocks until it reaches about three-quarters of the height of the rocks. Then place your plant in the tray. Ta-da! Instant humidity.
4. Metal Straw
Ah, the metal straw. The unsung hero of plant parenthood. We love to use these for aerating the soil on our plants. Aeration involves making small holes in the soil of a plant to allow air, water and other nutrients to penetrate its roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger plant. It also alleviates soil compaction, which many keeps many houseplants from living their best life.
Don't have a metal straw? Try a fork. We like to recycle the plastic ones we get from take-out and delivery orders.
5. Neem Oil
Neem oil is a great for pest control for your house plant fam. Neem oil combats fungus, insects and mites (mites are immune to pesticides). Not only does it stop an infection in its tracks, it also works to prevent infestation in the first place. It's a good idea to apply neem oil once a month to your plants, especially in the winter when many of them may all be inside.
What are your favorite plant parent accessories?