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Everything You Need To Know About Houseplants w/ Audrey d'Erneville

Audrey d'Erneville in her Los Angeles at-home creative studio.

She's part illustrator, painter, graphic designer, nail artist, textile designer, and finally, plant mom. Audrey d'Erneville has made a creative life for herself, so it's no wonder when it came to plants, she integrated her green friends into her colorful at-home studio. From trial and error, including being away from her houseplants for a month, she developed a green thumb and makes growing your own indoor jungle look easy. Just on time for Earth Day, Audrey tells us how to achieve healthy and happy houseplants in your home, even if you're a first timer.


TOOLS FOR BEGINNERS

TOOLS FOR BEGINNERS

1. Mister: for misting (not watering) your plants

2. Pot with drainage hole(s): this prevents water from staying trapped inside of the soil

3. Sustee Aqua Meter: this monitors the soil's humidity and lets you know when it's time to water your plant

4. Pinch Provisions Plant Lady Kit: gardening essentials to get you started

5. Plant “tape” from The Home Depot: this tape helps keep your plants from drooping and maintain stability


AUDREY'S FAVORITE HOUSEPLANTS

monstera deliciosa plant

MONSTERA DELICIOSA

Origin: Tropical forests of southern Mexico

Pros: Low Maintenance / Grows big and beautiful leaves / Easy to propagate

Cons: Toxic to animals / Needs lots of space / Needs medium to bright indirect light

pilea plant

PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES

Origin: China

Pros: Low Maintenance / Grows fast and multiplies quickly / Perfect to propagate

Cons: Sensitive to overwatering / Needs to be rotated often / Needs bright indirect light

snake plant

SNAKE PLANT

Origin: Tropical West Africa

Pros: Air purifier / Very low Maintenance / Will survive in low light

Cons: Can easily rot if overwatered / Less esthetically pleasing / Slow grower


FAQ'S ABOUT PLANTS

How do you prevent tiny bugs or gnats from swarming your indoor plants?

Choose plants suited for your lighting conditions. Plants that are “stressed” in unfavorable light conditions will be more sensitive to insect infestation.
 
Make sure your plants are drained well. All your plants should be in pots with drainage holes and left to properly dry after being watered, as poorly drained soil can saturate the roots and make the plant more susceptible to infestations.
 

My houseplant keeps losing leaves, what does that mean?

Leaves can fall for many reasons including environmental stress, pests, and disease. However, the most common causes I’ve experienced have been from either moving the plants, repotting them, or right after getting a new plant. They can suffer from a change in temperature, light or from being moved around too much while repotting.
 
If any of these situations apply, your plant will usually recover on its own and start growing again if you continue to take good care of it.
 
Leaves falling could also be a sign of overwatering or an overcrowded pot.
 
Audrey d'Erneville in her Los Angeles at-home creative studio.

Monstera plant in Audrey's at-home creative studio.

 

How often do you trim your plants?

Unless your plant is overgrowing its pot too quickly, you shouldn’t need to trim it too often. I usually just remove any dead/brown leaves whenever I see them and prune some overgrown branches if I feel like it’s starting to look messy.
 

When do you know it’s time to repot a plant? Is it always necessary?

  • You will know that your plant needs to be repotted if the roots start growing outside of your soil at the top, or the roots are growing out of the bottom of your pot. If your plant is root bound, or starts to be too heavy and is losing balance, it is also time for a bigger pot.
     
    Your plant will need adequate space to grow, so if you want a plant that can thrive and continue to get bigger then yes, it will be necessary to repot it at one point. However, that is usually only necessary every 1-2 years, as long as you make sure to at least double the size of the pot every time to repot it.

 

  • What does it mean if the leaves on my plants turn yellow?

  • Yellow leaves are usually a sign of either over watering or under watering. If you have a plant that has yellow leaves, stick your finger in the soil and check if it’s dry. If it is, remove the dead leaves and water it. If it still wet, make sure to completely let the soil dry before watering again.

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR WATERING YOUR PLANTS?

  • Stick your finger or a chopstick into the soil. If it's still wet, don't water it. If it's dry, water it. The Sustee Aqua Meter is also a great tool to use to let you know when your plants are ready to be watered.
  •  
  • I also like to water my plants in my bathtub. I try to fit as many as I can so that I can water them all at once. I make sure the soil is wet from top to bottom, and then I let them drain for a couple of hours until they're dry and ready to go back into their pots.
  •  
Plants in bathtub to be watered in Audrey's at-home creative studio.

Plants  in Audrey's at-home creative studio.
  •  
  • What does “rotating your plants” mean?

Your plants are attracted to the light and will tend to lean and grow towards it over time. If your light source is only coming from one side (which it usually is), rotating your plants periodically will help balance them and produce growth all around.

Do you have any tips and tricks to keep YOUR plants happy?

I make sure to mist my plants in the morning at least every 2 days to keep them humid and clean. Misting also helps to prevent some mite infestations. Gently wiping the leaves with a soft cloth or paper towel also helps with removing dust and keeping them shiny and happy.

Photos courtesy of Audrey d'Erneville.


Green Thumb Inspired

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