New Plant Care: What To Do When You Bring A New Plant Home

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New Plant Care!  What to do when bringing a new plant home?  I’m sure you get just as excited as I do, and just want everything done right as soon as possible! Try and restrain yourself, I know it’s difficult, especially when you have the PERFECT spot in mind and the PERFECT pot ready to go at the perfect size. There are a few things you should really do first though, just to make your new plant as happy as possible (the rest of your plant collection will thank you as well).


First, before you even leave the plant store, new plant care has to be at the top of the priority list.  Check the soil, underneath the leaves and between the growth points to make sure there are no signs of pests hiding in waiting to ambush your collection. I also personally try and pick plants that have visible new growth on it’s way since that’s usually a sign of a happy plant. Make sure that you know what kind of plant you’re purchasing and what it needs to thrive so you’re ready to give your new friend all of the care they need!

Arriving Home:

When you finally get your new friend home, resist the urge to repot! Your plant just went through the trauma of leaving its garden center home where it was probably quite happy, and it needs to acclimate to its new home. Before we let the poor guy rest, it’s time for a bath. I’ve had too many beautiful plants come home just to develop spider mites in a few days no matter how hard I look for them, so all new plants coming into my home get a neem oil bath. I could (and probably will) write an entire article on all of the benefits of neem oil, but to keep it short, neem oil is an all-natural insecticide and fungicide that does no harm to your plant themselves, but treats and prevents fungal issues as well as most common houseplant pests like spider mites and mealybugs. You can even bathe in it yourself in solidarity if you’d like; it’s full of antioxidants and great for your skin! Follow the instructions on the packing of your neem oil as it sometimes comes as a concentrate that needs to be diluted, and sometimes as a ready to use spray.


After their bath, it’s finally time to let the poor plant rest. Find your plant a temporary living space to acclimate in, somewhere away from your other plants to make sure they don’t transfer any sneaky pests that may have escaped your notice and survived their neem bath. It’s important that even though this spot is temporary, that it still provides the appropriate amount of light and humidity for your new friend to thrive. My plant jail is my bathroom window, which is west facing and receives plenty of humidity; perfect conditions for most of my new plant friends. As the name implies, I reserve my plant jail for plants that have committed crimes (gotten pests) to keep them isolated from the rest of my plants, as well as for new plants to acclimate! Even though your new plant hasn’t committed any offenses (yet) it’s always better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping the rest of your plant collection safe and happy. If you have a small indoor greenhouse to use, that’s even better! Hopefully I’ll be writing an article on putting one together soon😊

Join the Family:

After about two weeks in isolation, if your new friend has no pests and appears happy, they should be ready to join the rest of your collection or go wherever else you have planned for them! If you’d like to repot them, you now can with no issues as long as you’re gentle and using the appropriate sized container. If it’s the appropriate season to do so, I will also introduce them to my fertilizer of choice to help them get the nutrients they need to thrive.

Final Thoughts:

That’s all there is to it! It’s very easy, it just takes a bit of patience. I’ll link my plant must haves down below, but please comment below with any questions or suggestions you have for bringing your new plant friends into your home.

Happy Planting!

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