What is the one thing that nobody tells you about adding plants to your nursery?
Where to start!
If you have a brown thumb like me - it may be tough to decide where to start and how to start adding plants to your nursery. The most important thing to do is keep it safe by ensuring your plants and their soil are non-toxic for baby! A good rule to follow is to steer clear of plants that are toxic to animals as well as babies. Stay away from sago palm, dragon tree, jade, pathos and silver evergreen plants. Even though these plants are mildly toxic - it truly isn’t worth the risk. If you’re ever in doubt - ask your local nursery and they can guide you to the safest plants available.
A great plant to start with in a nursery is a Zanzibar Gem otherwise known as a ZZ plant.
There are four key things that make this plant perfect for new plant moms and baby nurseries:
- They are extremely low maintenance
- They grow well in shady nurseries or bedrooms
- They are great for someone with limited time & beginner plant parents
- They are slow growing - so no need to repot every few months
You should be able to find this plant at most local nurseries but be sure you’re on the hunt for a healthy plant. You definitely don’t want pests buzzing around your new babies nursery so ensure you check for pests on the top and bottom of the leaves and around the stem and soil. Check for new growth (not overgrowth) and a ZZ that is standing upright with thick healthy stems and dark green leaves. You’ll also notice a solid bulb that grows on top of the soil - ensure this bulb is hard and not squishy to ensure you have the healthiest plant in your home.
Plants can spend some time in the pots they came home in - usually they are freshly fertilized and unless they have overgrown they may be perfectly happy adjusting to their new home in the pot they came in. Sooner or later you will have to repot so look for a breathable option like a terracotta pot or a ceramic planter. ZZ plants like dry dry dry so a well draining soil and a moisture wicking pot is a must. Add a combination of 70% soil, 20% pearlite, and 10% sand to make the perfect well draining mix for your new friend. The roots need to be able to dry out completely between watering, otherwise your at risk of root rot. Make sure you water every 2-3 weeks in the spring and summer and 3-4 weeks in the fall and winter. Signs you’re overwatering your ZZ? Look for yellow leaves that fall off. Underwatering? Look for burnt brown and crispy leaves.
According to the Canadian Division of Agriculture, most plant poisonings involve young children touching or attempting to eat plants. Some basic plant safety points include but are not limited to:
- Staying away from fertilizers
- Keep plants elevated and away from little hands
- Avoid plants with pointy edges and thorns.
- While ingesting small amounts of plants don’t often result in deadly reactions, it’s best to keep toxic plants out of your baby nursery to avoid danger.
Lastly, to keep your ZZ healthy AND happy ensure you water with Luke warm water. I like to water until I see water peaking out of the drainage holes in the base tray. Give the leaves a wipe down every week to keep them dust free and rotate the plant every few weeks very slightly to ensure the plant is getting enough sun on all sides.
Numerous house plants are safe for babies and easy to care for that would make an excellent statement in your baby’s nursery.
Remember to look for plants that don’t shed or attract bugs, making it easier to keep the room clean. Avoid cacti and other plants that have sharp leaves.
Happy decorating and congratulations!