Right Place

Right Place

Are you a plant-killer? Does your green thumb look a little faded and off-color? You’re not alone!

Right plant, right place

Keeping plants alive in your home can seem difficult: plants get too much light or too little. They get too much water or too little. A plant can sometimes be too big or too small for the (s)pot it is occupying. Pets, children, and even guests can easily set back a plant’s health if they handle it too much. Basically, there can be a lot of challenges to keeping your plants happy and healthy, but you can make your gardening life a lot easier by simply choosing the right plant for each spot in your home. We refer to this as “right plant, right place.”

The whole concept behind right plant, right place is that plants that are well-suited to their location will remain healthy and will be better equipped to withstand many problems than those that are struggling with their environment.

The first (and most basic) step to becoming a successful plant parent is to determine how much sunlight the plant will receive. Figure out how much direct sunlight the spot receives throughout the day. Even plants that love those direct rays will start to burn! Also knowing which direction the nearest window faces will help you. Flowering and foliage plants do well with minimal direct sunlight, so setting them a few feet back from a southern-facing window is ideal. If they’re at an eastern- or western-fasting window, they will need to be moved at certain parts of the day, otherwise the sunlight will be too strong and they’ll become damaged. And plants with large, thick, fleshy leaves will thrive in mostly shaded areas.

Another factor to look at is the temperature and humidity of your home. If it’s winter and your space is heated by central air, it will be very dry and arid. Desert plants will thrive, but you’ll have to pay extra attention to the plants that get thirsty. If there is a vent near where you’d like to place your plant, you’ll have to choose a plant that doesn’t require a humid atmosphere.

And finally, you should look at which locations in your home get the most traffic. Anything low to the ground or near walkways should be strong, sturdy plants that can take a little rough play. Also consider how much attention the plant needs. If it needs daily waterings/prunings, it might be wise to put it in places you’ll walk by daily, so that you’re consistently reminded to care for it. If it’s a plant that is better off when mostly ignored, maybe it can be displayed higher up or in a room that doesn’t see as much action.

Look, we get it, those succulents look great in the bathroom… but there’s no sunlight getting to them. Remember the three factors above and your plants will look much healthier with less effort. A healthy plant looks infinitely better than a dying plant, no matter which room it’s in!


Danny Parker
The Plant Parlor | Website

Danny Parker studied biology in Florida, where he fell in love with tropical plants. Upon returning to his home state of Michigan, he completed his Master Gardener Certification from MSU. His work history of finance and greenhouse management led him to opening his own plant shop, The Plant Parlor, in Grand Rapids, MI. Hobbies include traveling, scuba diving, hiking, and, of course, plants!

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