Help indoor plants thrive this fall with 4 tips from the Plant Kween

Here's how to care for indoor plants indoors this season.

indoor plants
(Image credit: Courtesy of Skillshare)

Stylish indoor plants are a great way to give your space a verdant aesthetic, but according to Instagram's famed Plant Kween, Christopher Griffin, it's about a lot more than looks. 

"There’s something so beautiful about being able to see life grow in the wintertime," Griffin says. "Despite all the coldness that’s outside, you can still create a safe haven for yourself and your green girls to grow."

In their new Skillshare class, Griffin is teaching students how to beautify their spaces with plants while using them as a means for self care. But here, we tapped Griffin's green thumb, and gathered their best tips for helping your Kweens thrive this fall and winter. 

Make a plan to bring plants indoors

If your houseplants have been sunbathing on the porch all summer, Griffin cautions to plan carefully before transferring them inside. "I would encourage folks to map out where they think they want their girls to be and do an environmental assessment in that particular spot: sunlight, the average humidity, and temperature," they explain. 

Watch out for drafty windows and doors, and don't place plants too close to your heater. Griffin likes to use a small kitchen cart to be able to move plants around for optimal lighting throughout the day. 

If you have the time, they recommend slowly acclimating plants that have been outdoors into their new home by bringing them inside for a few hours every day before making a permanent move. 

You'll also want to keep in mind that your plants needs will be different in this new climate. For example, they probably won't need as much water since the sun isn't going to burn off equal moisture indoors. Griffin says to do frequent soil tests by putting your finger in the soil to feel for moisture or looking to the drainage holes on larger pots. 

Invest in plant-friendly accessories

If you want to get serious about being a plant parent, Griffin recommends investing in some helpful accessories. A humidifier is a great way way to mimic the moisture your plants were getting outside indoors. (It's good for you, too!)

To get more sun, full-spectrum grow lights are key. You can replace bulbs in lamps you already have or purchase special lighting for your plant babies. Griffin likes the violet lighting, which gives off a warm ambiance. 

"They have them in white light options as well," they add. "I know violet light isn't for everyone's eyes, but I love how my entire apartment is purple at night." 

Buy the right plants

Houseplant

(Image credit: Courtesy of Skillshare)

For beginners, Griffin has several recommendations of easy-to-care-for plants that can thrive in cooler, darker seasons. The first are Pothos Plants, which feature lush green foliage and vine-like leaves. "It’s really really easy to care for. She bounces back from under-watering, which is great for Kweens on the go," they offer. "She grows really really quickly, too, so you'll love the immediate satisfaction of new growth."

Griffin adds that the Pothos are also easy to propagate, so you can create many to include around the home or give them away as gifts. 

With a name like Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, it's nor surprise Griffin's next pick goes by ZZ. The ZZ is drought resistant, so they don't require frequent watering, and leaves are hardy for less humid environments.

Finally, Griffin says the Snake Plant is a must-have. "I have about 25 of these Kweens. She is so resilient and hardy — I've never killed a snake plant," they add. "They can do anything from low light to bright, indirect light with some direct sun. I water them maybe every three weeks in the winter months, and they’re wonderful air purifiers."

Know your space

Finally, Griffin says it's important for plant parents to know their space before bringing a green girl home. When they moved into their new apartment, Griffin spent the day watching the sunlight shift throughout the space. "It was really peaceful, but I was also taking notes," they add. 

Once you have a feel for your home's light, temperature, and humidity, do a little research as to what a certain plant needs and see if it aligns. And of course, sometimes plants die. The process takes patience and practice, Griffin says.

"I have 183 plants in my apartment, but it took time," they say. "Plant's aren't furniture. They're living, breathing creatures." 

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