Bring Positive Energy into Your Home This Winter


We’re inside enough during the winter, but throw the pandemic into the mix – which has most of us staying home from school, work, and most social activities – and our homes are truly our sanctuaries (like it or not) right now. But with our windows tightly shut and our backyards out of commission thanks to sub-freezing January temps, our sanctuaries could definitely stand to bring a little of the outdoors inside. The best way to do that, of course is with plants, but it’s not always easy. If your greenthumb-less hands have been responsible for the demise of everything from flowers to ferns, have no fear, there is hope. We talked to Casey Godlove, Creative Director of the NYC-based flower and plant shop PlantShed with a location in Englewood, to get his advice for successfully bringing the outdoors in this winter. 


What are the key things to keep in mind around choosing a plant that you can be successful with this winter? 

First, be honest with yourself and how much time you’re willing to devote to a plant. Second, know your light and exposures. Third, avoid drafts around temperatures -- radiators, AC vents, etcetera. Most indoor plants come from either tropical environments or arid, desert environments. It’s important to remember that keeping a plant happy is all about mimicking their natural environment. 


Can you share examples of how to do that with certain types of plants?  

Succulents and cacti are going to want a sunny window with at least four hours of natural light and not too much water. A warmer spot is great for them, but they can also take some swings in temperature, as the desert is known to cool off in the evening. Tropical plants are going to vary a bit more on lighting requirements. Plants like snake plants or ZZ plants will tolerate lower light conditions and are more drought-tolerant. Show stoppers like the Ficus Lyrata or Ficus Audrey are going to require a brighter window and do best with a consistent watering routine. A general rule for temperature though is not below 55 degrees – which is the norm for most homes. 


Are any plants easier to take care of than others? 

Claiming any plant as easy care can be a bit tricky. They are living things and prone to disease or pests. They require check-ins – checking soil moisture levels, dusting their leaves, occasional repotting, fertilizing and just time in general. Stick to the tried and true snake plants and ZZ plants. They are great plants for any stage of your green thumb and are really fun to propagate as well. They do well with little care, but are prone to overwatering. Also, the pothos plant is a solid starter plant and fast grower, so it provides instant gratification usually. Succulents can be care-free if you have great light and are sparse on watering. 


Do indoor house plants last all year long?

Ideally, yes, your house plants should live year-round. You may see in the winter months that they are dropping leaves or not growing, which is a normal response to the shorter days. 

We often think of a potted plant as the go-to for indoors, but what are some other, creative ways to infuse plant life into your home? 

If you want those tropical vibes but not the general maintenance, we usually suggest cut foliage. A giant monstera leaf in a vase or a collection of cut palms on your kitchen counter can really add some life to your décor. There are so many textures and leaf patterns available as cut stems that you will be able to have the feel of the tropics without the constant care. 


What are some added benefits of having plants at home that we might not think of? 

We all know that plants filter our air, it’s part of their photosynthesis process. But I think the overall slow-down process to really inspect our plants, clean them, water them and provide care can be meditative and rewarding as new growth comes on. 


What mistakes do people tend to make when choosing and tending to houseplants? 

They pick for aesthetics and not for their general conditions. Yes, we all want a giant palm tree or fiddle leaf in our living room, but do you have the right light? Are you going to water on a schedule? We all appreciate a nice impulse buy, but resist the urge with a plant and listen to experts wherever you shop. We want to guide you to be successful. 


What kind of experience can customers expect when coming in to choose a plant? 

Plant retail can be a pretty personal experience. We are going to ask you about your home, your lighting exposure, what your work or travel schedule is like, how prepared you are for a watering routine, and many more questions. We also offer consultations, so we can visit your home or office and make suggestions for you – all the way up to picking pots and installing all of your plants – even maintaining them! Every person and environment is different and we want to try to understand where this plant will live, so we can recommend something that will thrive and that you will have a positive experience with.


Interested in channeling some positive plant vibes in your home?!  Take a picture of your space and head to PlantShed in Englewood, NJ, or your favorite plant shop.  You’ll be an expert in no time!

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