There are a million and one things out there that you could add to your plant parent kit and Lord knows I’d love to have them all. But whether you are just getting started on this journey, or just looking for a little inspiration to re-spark your houseplant joy, here is a list of my must-have houseplant tools.
1. Narrow-Spout Watering Can
This is likely the number one houseplant tool you will use as a plant parent. Yes, you could keep using a glass or a measuring cup from the kitchen cabinet forever, but I know you must be getting frustrated by the water pouring down the side of the cup every time you water your plants. A dedicated watering can is well worth it, especially as you grow your collection or begin to incorporate plant food into your waterings. Be sure to get a watering can with a narrow spout, rather than the outdoor watering cans with a shower head spout, so you can direct the stream.
Here are a few that I love, plus the one I own. Hopefully this can save you some time and internet searching!
- Rustic Copper – Large, copper
- E.Palace – Black stainless steel
- Vattenkrasse – Ivory/gold stainless steel
- Bloem – Red plastic
- The Fletch – Large, black metal
- Opalhouse – Bird ceramic
2. Surface Protectors
Even the most enthusiastic plant parent is going to want to toss their leafy babe in the trash when it ruins their best piece of furniture or hardwood floors. Raise your hand if you have already had this stomach sinking experience. First off…I’m so sorry. I feel ya. Second off, let’s talk about how to not do that again and get you set with the right houseplant tools.
I like to use simple cork trivets under my plants. They look nice, and they are somewhat absorbent if your pot sweats or you drip a little while watering. One of my large fiddle leaf fig trees is in a clay pot with a matching clay tray to catch excess water. I noticed that even with the tray, the clay pot held so much moisture that it was starting to damage our unsealed wood floors. Adding a cork trivet was a simple, inexpensive, quick fix. You can order them online, or take a quick trip to your local nursery, like I did.
I know, you probably thought those plant stands you see everywhere are just for “plant fashion.” I thought that too! But now that I’m a full time plant mom, I have learned that they actually serve a purpose! Lifting your plan off the floor or your window sill, or wherever, protects your surface. They keep the moisture from getting trapped, causing mold or water damage. And the perk is that these houseplant tools look like fashion statements. ; )
Leave it to me to find the hand-me-downs…My only plant stands came from The Salvation Army and the “spring cleaning” pile at my last office job. But I found a couple of cuties for you to browse!
- Mkono – Brown, dark brown, or natural finish
- Mini 2-pack – Small and medium natural wood
- Augtarlion – Adjustable size, gold
PSA, these are also all over Facebook Marketplace, but the price matches the demand. So you may not find a great deal right now.
3. Pruning Shears
Whether you are going to town with propagation or you are just doing a quick trim of some leggy or dead tendrils, it is worth grabbing a pair of pruning shears. Your kitchen scissors will do the trick, but having the right tools for the job does make a difference. Unless you are planning to work as a florist, your shears probably won’t be attached to your hip, so just grab something inexpensive, but sharp.
4. Natural Fungus/Pesticide Spray
An unfortunate side of plant parenting is that at some point, you will likely deal with some form of gnats, fungus/mold, spider mites, fruit flies, etc. Give your plants a little check regularly. Look at the underside of the leaves, check the soil, and just keep an eye out for anything that looks out of the ordinary. This is an entire topic of it’s own, and one that we will likely cover eventually, but for now, here is what I recommend having on hand or purchasing when you see an issue:
Neem Oil Spray
Neem oil spray might not be the strongest, or the best smelling, but it is natural and not harmful to you or your plant. Avoiding harsh chemicals is very important to me and likely something that those of you with kids and pets care about!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar with a large drop of dish soap is great for trapping gnats and fruit flies. Mix a small amount in a glass/cup, cover it with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes in it about the diameter of a ballpoint pen. Set this out for a couple of weeks and it will probably do the trick.
Last thing. I have never really been a big fertilizer(er), but I have been trying out this plant food, and have seen such great results of new, healthy growth in many of my plants. Unlike many fertilizers, you add this one to every watering – think of it like daily vitamins for your plants. (…but don’t actually water your plants daily.) You don’t need to start here with your houseplant tools, but it’s definitely something to consider as you (and your plants!) grow. The new growth you’ll likely see from this plant food will definitely encourage your plant addiction to keep on flourishing. I’ll let you decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Ha!
For more tips on getting your houseplant collection going, check out my post, Houseplant for Beginners.
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