Plantlife 101

This week's blogger Esmee (student Nutrition & Health) will share how she got into the plantlife and some useful tips for beginners.

Hi everyone! I am Esmee, 23 years old and a plant lover. My plant addiction started when I adopted plant two and a half years ago via Facebook from someone who was going to move. A euphorbia trigona that, including the pot, was 80cm high, it was love at first sight. I put it on my windowsill in the sun and soon it started to grow. She is now almost the same size as me!

Once you have one plant, you’ll want more. Besides that, it is a good step into adult life. It is, of course, common knowledge that you must be able to keep a plant alive before you can have a pet. And that if you keep that alive, then you can start with children.

Last year I created the Facebook group Wageningen Student Plants, where you can exchange or sell cuttings and plants, find an adoptive parent or a babysitting address when you go on a holiday or exchange and ask questions on how to take care of your plant.

Find the facebook group here.

Plants for starters

Do you also want to pick up plants as a hobby during the corona crisis? This is my top 5 recommendations for new plant moms and dads. All 5 are easy to propagate, so you can quickly expand the family.

1.       Mother of thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)

2.       Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncate)

3.       Pancake plant (Pilea peperomioides)

4.       Grass lily / spider plant (chlorophytum)

5.       Pea plant / string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

Sunny side up

Different plants have different preferences to light. Do you have a window on the sunny side of the house? These are plants that like a lot of sun:

·         Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

·         Common Geranium (Pelargonium)

·         Dwarf Citrus (citrus spp.)

·         Umbrella Papyrus (Cyperus alternifolius)

·         Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Shady plants

If your room/ house is pretty dark and doesn’t get much sunlight, then these are some plants to consider, as they don’t need that much sunlight to be happy:

·         Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)

·         Pothos / Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

·         Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)·        

·      Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

·         Snake Plant (Sansevieria) 

·         Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Important tips for taking great care of your plants:

1.       Match plants with light conditions (some prefer more light than others)

2.       Choose the right container (It is important to consider size, material and even colour)

3.       Use good-quality potting soil (this promotes healthy roots by providing a balance of proper nutrtition and water-holding capacities)

4.       Water properly (Allow the soil to partially dry before watering again and don't leave standing water in the catch-tray for more than a day or two. Doing so can promote root diseases)

5.       Fertilize and control pests (Regularly inspect your houseplants for signs of insect pests and treat when necessary)

6.       Increase humidity and prevent drafts  (Indoor conditions can be dry and drafty. Keep plants away from heater vents, doorways and drafty windows)

7.       Keep foliage clean (Dust that accumulates on the leaves of houseplants will block light and harbor insects. Clean leaves by wiping them with a moist towel or, in mild-winter areas, take plants outdoors and hose them off)

Tips an inspiration for this blog came from these websites:

-          Bioadvanced

-          Pilea

-          Gardentherapy

Do you have a unique, fun or exciting hobby you would like to share with us and the rest of the WUR community? Send an e-mail to with a short story and some photos and maybe you will be featured on this page!