If you have a green thumb and consistent watering and the sound of your morning humming happily keep plants, you’re plants are probably thriving. On the other hand, if you barely look at a plant and it starts wilting, and you can’t remember to water your orchid to save your life, we may have some solutions for you.
For most people, keeping plants alive and happy is a little more challenging than it appears. There’s just so much to think about:
- watering (and overwatering)
- using the best pot
- and even rotating plants.
It’s a whole lot to remember and know. Fortunately, there are many tools to help you become a better plant parent and keep those plants alive, and to help you out, we’ve identified some of the most useful ones.
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Keep Plants Alive Tool #1: A Moisture Meter
Plants are particular about the amount of moisture in their soil. While most plants come with care instructions that share how much to water a plant and when, sometimes that isn’t enough.
Unfortunately, since improper watering is one of the quickest ways to kill plants and flowers, these incomplete directions can do a number on your green, leafy friends.
Fortunately, technology exists to help. This moisture meter can help ensure that you provide enough water to maintain the exact moisture level your plants and flowers want to see.
This handy little device can be used for indoor or outdoor plants and has a large, clear dial that is easy to read. In addition, you’ll find that the monitor is easy to use. All you need to do is put the monitor in the soil, and you’ll see a quick read from a scale that reads dry to wet.
For best results, don’t use this little device in hard soil. Likewise, don’t test it in water; you’ll need to trust that it works.
Also, remember that it is only designed for testing the soil. Finally, wipe down the probe when you’re done so it’s ready to go the next time you want to use it.
You may wonder why you need a probe like this to determine how moist soil is. After all, you could just feel it. However, the look and feel test doesn’t always give you accurate results.
Your soil may look desert-dry on top, but it could be very wet below the surface. If you overwater your plant, you aren’t doing it any favors.
Keep Plants Alive Tool #2: A Soil pH Test Kit
We know that plants and flowers get planted in soil. From that soil, they absorb a lot of nutrients. Through this process, the pH level and composition of the soil change over time.
However, it can be challenging to know exactly how the soil has changed. That’s why this soil pH test kit is convenient.
When you test your soil regularly, you’ll get an excellent feel for what nutrients it contains and how it is changing. This will help you understand what fertilizer or plant food you may want to add.
The test kit measures the full range of pH from 0-14. This allows you to see the daily pH and extreme spikes or even dips. With four pads showing different values with different colors, your test results are also easy to see and understand.
This pH test isn’t quite as simple as the moisture probe, but it’s still pretty easy to use. Begin by taking equal parts of soil and water and mixing them together for thirty seconds.
Let your solution hang out for about 30 minutes then filter the water into a new cup. Dip the test strip in your water for three seconds and take it out.
You’ll need to wait about sixty seconds for full color saturation. After that, match your test strips to the pH color chart on the bottle.
The pH test kit works for both indoor and outdoor plants letting you adjust fertilization or food levels, no matter the location of your plant.
Plant Parent Tool #3: Keep Plants Alive Tool #1:
Life is busy, and watering plants can quickly become a task that gets forgotten. Fortunately, several apps are available that help you remember to care for your little plant babies. Here are a few of our favorites.
Vera by Bloomscape
This free app is quite lovely and impressive. First, you’ll make profiles for all of the plants you wish to track. From there, the app does the hard work of creating little baseball cards for your plant babies.
You’ll know some cool facts about your plant as well as its basic needs. You can even use this one to track the last time you watered, fertilized, misted, rotated, or even repotted your plant.
This handy app helps you identify the plants you have. Say, for example, you were gifted a plant and did not know what it was.
This app can help you identify it, so you know exactly how to care for it.
Like Vera, this app can create a virtual plant collection for you, but its primary purpose is to judge the lighting in a certain space. It measures the lighting in a room and tells you what types of plants would be happiest in that space and offers plant recommendations for specific spaces.
Though this one does have a free component, the best features are behind the $10 a month paywall. This app works with a team of knowledgeable folks that create a plant map for you based on your space.
You’ll take pictures of your area and the Steward folks will map out the appropriate lighting, layout, and size of plants needed for your space.
Keep Plants Alive Tool #4: An Understanding of The Plants You Own
Ok, this isn’t a physical tool, but it’s still a great one. Having a solid knowledge of what your plants are and what they need will help ensure you have more success in caring for your plants.
Knowledge is different from execution, which most of these tools help with, but you really need some basic information at the start of your plant parenthood. Try to avoid purchasing a plant just for decoration or because it is cute.
Do your homework first so you can understand whether a certain plant will fit with your space and lifestyle.
Keep Plants Alive Tool #5: Good Pots and Containers That Drain Properly
Like any living thing, plants need an appropriate home. Make sure you choose pots that drain adequately for the plant you choose.
Be aware that some plants can outgrow their pots and may need to be re-potted periodically. No one, not even plants, enjoys living in cramped quarters.
To know if you have an appropriate pot with reasonable drainage, check for pooling water on the soil surface. This could lead to root rot which may kill your plant.
Well, there you have it! Five tools to help make sure those plant babies are healthy.
What are some of your favorite tools to keep your plants thriving and strong? We’d love to know! Please connect with us in the comments section!