Care Guides

Low-Budget Plant Parenting

Is caring for your green babies taking a toll on your finances? If so, we’re here to help! Read our tips on how to plant-parent on a budget.

Start Small

One of the golden rules of gardening on a budget is don’t bite off more than you can chew. Or rather, don’t buy more plants than you can handle. (Especially when you’re just starting off!). While simply not buying too many plants may be an obvious bit of advice, there’s another side to this—it’s best to steer clear of overly demanding ones.

Take It Easy

Avoid carnivorous plants like Dionaea muscipula, as they’ll need a constant supply of distilled water. Stay away from flowering divas like the poinsettia or Chrysanthemum and conifers like Juniperus, which require both particular light and temperature conditions that are tough to maintain. Before buying a plant, use Plantum’s recognition feature and check the difficulty label in the profile.

By sticking to widespread, easy-to-care-for greenery, you won’t need to buy extra tools to provide appropriate conditions. Plus, if you make any care mistakes, it may be easier to let go of a low-cost green friend than a more expensive, exotic one.

Make Far-Sighted Choices

As you opt for low-effort candidates, consider those that favor propagating. This will allow you to get more plants for free. Some options to consider are Dracaena sanderiana, Tradescantia, and Epipremnum.

By the way, you can always exchange cuttings with friends, colleagues, and family. They’ll make for great gifts and will turn your hobby into a fun way to connect with others.

Trust Your Head Over Your Heart

You may be tempted to rescue sick, dying plants out of the goodness of your heart. But it may be a serious (and costly) challenge, and these plants may infect your other leafy friends. In fact, for beginners, it’s best to go for plants that are sold in reputable garden centers and look their best. You can always check the health of your prospective green baby using Plantum.

What Can You Offer?

Deciding on your green list may be challenging when there are so many options out there. To limit the number of plants to choose from, consider the space you’ll be able and willing to provide for them.

Is there enough light? Are there any southern, southwestern, or southeastern windowsills? How often do you get sun where you live? Depending on the answers, you may go for shade lovers or sun-soakers. Thinking about this beforehand and checking the plant’s specific requirements will save you the trouble of purchasing grow lights.

Choose Wisely

If an eastern or western windowsill is the best you can offer, there are some leafy beauties you can place next to them, including non-variegated Ficus plants, Zamioculcas, and Monstera.

If your space is dark for the most part, you can safely grow Sansevieria, Hedera, Gynura aurantiaca, Aspidistra elatior, and Phalaenopsis.

If you’ve been blessed with southern windowsills and plenty of sun throughout the year, you’ll have more options. For example, in addition to all the suggestions above, you can welcome cacti and succulents into your home.

Lighting Hack

To make light-hungry plants happy in a darker environment without splashing out on grow lights, use tinfoil, glossy white paper, and mirrors to your advantage. Place them by the sides of a window to trick more sunlight into helping you out.

Stay Vigilant

Doing regular checkups can make a difference between a plant that can be saved and one that’ll be lost forever. Examine your green babies for pests and diseases regularly. Being able to spot a disease or infestation at an early stage may also save you money since you won’t have to purchase any products to fight it.

If you do notice any pests, remove them using a cotton pad dipped in a soapy solution right away. This may root out an infestation before it gets severe. Use Plantum to diagnose your collection regularly.

Unusual Amendments

You can add horticultural charcoal or wood ash to your potting mixes to aerate the soil and prevent rot. Make a habit of collecting these materials in a container after barbecues, bonfires, or from fireplaces (ask friends for help!). Don’t do this for plants that love acidic soils, such as Azalea, Camellia, or Gardenia.

If you happen to have a turtle or fish for a pet, you can use water from the aquarium to hydrate your plants once or twice a week, instead of pouring the water out when you’re cleaning. It’ll serve as a natural fertilizer.

Enjoy the Process

Finally, celebrate every plant parenting win. Houseplant care on a budget can be rewarding if you approach it with a creative and positive mindset!

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.