Becoming a Plant Lover: An Honest Guide for those with Zero Gardening Experience

Summer style guide

If 2016 was the year of the pin badge for me, then 2017 has definitely been the year of the houseplant. When we moved into our house at the end of the 2015, we didn’t own a single plant. By the end of 2016, I could probably count our plants on one hand. By August 2017, we have almost 20.

For full disclosure, I’m not a natural gardener. One of the main attractions of our current house was that the garden wasn’t too big, and being a new build, the entire thing would be turfed. Not a single flowerbed to weed! It’s not that I don’t like plants, it’s just that both me and Mr Makes only really get time for our hobbies at the weekend, and we’d much rather spend our time sewing, crafting, baking, cycling, etc. You get the picture.


Houseplants were a bit of a game changer for me. They appealed to me for a number of reasons. Admittedly one of the first was they look REALLY good. Secondly, they don’t have to be expensive, and thirdly, if you choose wisely, they really are minimum work.

My first houseplant purchases were succulents, and this was definitely because they were fashionable. I dutifully placed them around the house and watered them regularly, so was a bit devastated when they all died. As those of you who do know how to look after anything green have probably already thought, succulents don’t need much water! Not put off, and relieved that I didn’t need to remember to water them daily, I tried again, watering them minimally over the winter months, with much better results.


I knew I had reached a turning point when Mr Makes bought me a houseplant instead of flowers for Valentines Day this year. Six months on and it’s still going strong on my desk! I’ve since branched out a bit more, purchasing some more ‘leafy’ plants including some ferns, a pilea, and of course, the plant of the moment; a Monstera Deliciosa.

Over the last few months as I’ve thrown myself into my new hobby, I’ve come across some really helpful resources, as well as realising what it’s worth spending money on, and what’s not. I thought it was about time that I pulled together below some key information, tips, and links to useful resources as well as just sharing pictures of my plants over on Instagram!


So here we go, Em’s essential guide for wannabe plant lovers!

Where to start:

If you have zero experience with plants, start with a Cactus or Succulent. They are cheap to purchase, look good, and require minimal looking after. Just resist the urge to water them too frequently!


Watch a Vlog. I’d recommend watching the lovely Rachel from ONR Shop’s Vlog on plants. Rachel is the ultimate plant lady (seriously, check out her Instagram) and has lots of great advice on the many, many, different types of plants available.

Start a Pinterest board. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration, and has lots of links to posts with plant advice. I’ve created my own board for all things plant related.

What to spend your money on:

Good quality plants. This doesn’t have to mean that you spend loads, but investigate where is best to purchase from. Online is an option, but I’ve also purchased plants from my local garden centre, supermarkets, Ikea, and even Wilko. You’ll also find that some branches look after their plants better than others (many people swear by a well known DIY store, whereas the plants in my local branch never look that healthy), so it pays to spend some time looking around.


Nice planters. If the worst happens and your plant dies, at least you’ll still have a pretty pot! In all seriousness, I’ve got a mixture of planters, some are lovingly made by independent makers, others are cheap ones that I’ve picked up from Ikea. Mix it up, and if you are on a budget, look for plants that come with a planter included. Another option is to repurpose objects for planters? Perhaps you’ve chipped your favourite mug? Use it as a planter instead.


A good reference book. If you’re going to get serious about houseplants, it’s worthwhile investing in a good book about them. Yes, you can look online, but I’ve found that the advice can differ according to what site you look at. I love the Geo Fleur book; it’s got everything you need to know about houseplants, and it’s just as beautiful as it is useful.


What not to spend your money on:

A watering can. When I first started purchasing plants, I just used a small jug to water them. It’s only recently that I’ve invested in a small watering can. You don’t need anything fancy; I picked up my bright yellow one in TK Maxx for less than £4. If your plants need misting, you can also pick up spray bottles quite cheaply in Ikea.


Big plants. Inevitably, smaller plants are cheaper, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly they can grow. If you’re buying succulents at the start of summer, they’ll grow really quickly. Also remember to resist buying a plant that fits your pot perfectly, it’ll soon start to grow and you’ll need to repot it.

What if I really can’t look after a plant?

If you really don’t think you can look after a plant (no judgement here), luckily there are alternative ways to bring some planty goodness into your life. Check out some of my favourites below:


Monstera Coasters: Finest Imaginary

Terrarium Pin: Finest Imaginary

Cheese Plant Pin: Hello Sunshine

Monstera Leaf Patch: ONR Shop

Disclosure: All advice given in this article is based on my own experiences. I am by no means qualified to give 'proper' advice, and so I recommend checking out the resources I mention for more information.

This is not a sponsored post. All items have been purchased by me and reflect my honest opinion of the product.

Older Post Newer Post