Teen Plant Parents

Library TakeoutTeens D.C.

Teen Plant Parents

The love for growing and tips and tricks for happy plants

Written by Ginger Holmer, Teen Aide at Mount Pleasant and member of DCPL Teen Council since 2018.

Houseplants not only liven up a room but has great stress-reducing and air quality improving benefits, especially around your desk or office. Caring for plants as a part of a wellness routine can be therapeutic and bring life and joy in any environment. There are so many ways people of all ages and skills can get involved with plant care including taking care of houseplants, growing an outdoor garden, container gardening, or something as small as having an air plant on your desk. 

Paige, Wyatt and Traci, all high school seniors at Woodrow Wilson High School and proud plant moms, share their love of indoor plants and advice for future growers. 

Paige, proud plant mom of 47 plants!

What is your favorite plant?: 
Probably my Philodendron, it’s magnificent it’s grown so large!

What is your favorite part about having plants?
Air quality improvement, I appreciate that they’re just there to be and to survive and grow, and they’re just so pretty.

What plant made you fall in love with taking care of plants?: 
Probably Lenard, he’s a Massangeana Cane and he was the first large plant I ever kept alive.

What advice would you give to prospective and fellow plant parents?: 
Get personal with your soil, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and make sure that whatever plant your buying is the right level of light for a humble abode.

Wyatt, proud plant mom of over 80 plants and propagation enthusiast. 

What is your favorite plant?: 
My favorite type of plants are Hoyas because I love the variety as well as the waxy succulent-like leaves.

What is your favorite part about having plants?:
I like variety and it makes me happy to be constantly caring for them, and new growth is the most exciting thing.

What plant made you fall in love with taking care of plants?:
Pilia plants, they’re so cute and bouncy, and [the] obsession took off from there.

Any plant habits?:
I like to talk to them, research has actually shown that talking to them can stimulate growth, so I recommend it to any plant parent.

What advice would you give to prospective and fellow plant parents?:
It’s ok to kill plants, it happens.

Would you recommend houseplants for everyone, how hard is it?
Yes! I think that it can be as difficult as you want it to be, different varieties, as well as large quantities, are more difficult to take care of.

Traci recently started maintaining a small indoor container garden with over 15 types of herbs and peppers. Container Gardening is an inexpensive way to get the benefits of plant care, the fun of growing plants, and to get something edible that you grew!

What is your favorite plant/ favorite thing to grow?:
I like chives the best because they are low maintenance, grow quickly and can be grown in any sized pot.

What is your favorite part about container gardening?
I wanted to start cooking more and having fresh herbs and vegetables makes that easier. I love to see plants grow from seeds, the process of germination and watching the seeds sprout is so exciting and rewarding. Being able to grow herbs and vegetables indoors makes it so easy and brings life to any indoor space.

Any advice for those who are interested in growing edible plants?
Make sure you know how much your plant needs to be watered. Overwatering is the most common and easiest way to kill any plant.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Great Books for Beginners:
  • Remember!
    • Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
    • It’s okay if plants die. Don’t get discouraged and learn from the experience. 
    • Get to know your plant, each plant will have different watering, light, humidity, and care needs so make sure you research so that your plants. Also, pay attention to changes in plants that can show watering, light, or pest issues, so check in on your leafy friends every day. 
    • Don’t overwater! In general, water if the 1-2 top inches of soil is completely dry, and make sure that water can drain through the bottom of the pot. 
    • Be patient and kind, many plants go through a stressful adjustment period when moved to a new environment, so it’s normal for some plants’ leaves to die. All of Alocaisa’s leaves usually die off and then regrow to get acclimated, so don’t panic!
    • You don’t need fancy or expensive materials to be a plant parent, plant cuttings exchange and propagation, taking soil from outside, and using recycled materials for pots is a great way to grow completely new plants for free!

Whether growing herbs in small pots, maintaining a garden outside or propagating and collecting houseplants, everyone should get in on the joy and health benefits being a plant parent brings, especially teens!