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Gardening Basics

The Art of Houseplants: Part 1

Words by Kristen Geil

Okay, so you successfully unpacked one of Modern Sprout’s brand-new Live Plant assortments and carefully arranged your new set of succulents on your bookshelf. Or, maybe you just made it home from your local plant shop with your umbrella tree still intact.

So… now what?

Real talk: there is a LOT of information out there about how to take care of house plants, and it can be really intimidating. Fear not, that’s what we’re here for. Here’s everything you need to know as a beginner plant owner to keep your plants thriving.

Just like humans, plants can be pretty sensitive to changes in their environment. Once your new plants are in your house, wait a few days before repotting them, so they can adjust to their new home. Then, follow these tips for your specific plant:

Succulents: Give your plants two or three days to acclimate to their new home before you repot them. Set them in a sunny window that faces south or west, and hands off the watering can—the roots need to fully dry out.

Tropicals: Tropicals need 3-5 days to get used to your home before you can repot them. Place your new plants in a south- or west-facing sunny window, then give them a drink on the second day. During this time, use a damp cloth and a light touch to wipe off their leaves (this will remove any dust and help your plants absorb sunlight more efficiently).

Herbs: Like tropicals, herbs need 3-5 days to acclimate before repotting. Set your herbs in indirect light (like a north- or east-facing window). After a few days, they’ll be ready for a more direct, medium-high light, like a south or west window. If the soil feels dry to the touch, go ahead and water them. Your herbs may drop a few leaves during repotting, but that’s totally normal, and you’ll see the herb bounce back in a week or so.

Once your plants are ready for repotting, transplant them to a new pot and be extra careful not to disturb the roots.

Take a pic anytime you water one of your new plants, and use it to track your progress over time. Tag us on Instagram so we can cheer you on and answer any questions that come up—we’re @modsprout. You got this.