Three Tips for Caring for your Tropical Desktop Garden

Our desktop gardens are fun, friendly ways to bring a pop of green into your daily life. Whether you are back at the office or working at home, the happy little succulents, tropicals, and ferns bring the outdoors inside and provide numerous health and wellness benefits. Desktop gardens can improve air quality, reduce stress, increase productivity, creativity, and encourage moments of mindfulness.

Basically, they take good care of you–but do you take care of them?

Here are our top three ways to look out for the plants that are looking out for you–at work, at home, and everywhere in between. 

Know the Watering Schedule

Our desktop gardens come in three different varieties: succulents, tropical plants, and ferns. Different types of plants have different needs, so it’s important to be aware of exactly how often you should be watering and how much you should give each time. Most indoor plants don’t require nearly as much water as outdoor gardens, so be aware of the signs of both under- and over-watering. Under-watered plants have cracked soil and dry, wilting leaves with brown tips. Plants getting too much water if their soil is dark and soupy for long periods of time. Their leaves will also wilt and develop brown tips, but they will be soggy to the touch instead of dry. 

A good rule of thumb- water your succulents every 10-15 days, tropical garden every 7-10 days and, a desktop fern garden every 5-10 days. Rather than watering your plants on a strict schedule, get into the habit of checking the soil moisture regularly. The frequency of watering depends on heat, soil, light, humidity, and the season.

Grow Pro Tip: Never water your succulent if the soil is moist. Remember to always let the soil get totally dry between waterings.

Grow Pro Tip: Remember to mist your tropical or fern garden daily. It is good for you and good for your plants.

Bottom Up Watering

The best way to water your desktop garden from Gardenuity is “bottom up”. What does “bottom up” watering really mean? This is a method of watering plants from the bottom up. This helps the roots get stronger because they are always growing directly down toward the moisture. Find a small bowl or shallow dish that is large enough to hold the planter and fill it with a few inches of water. Place your planter in the container and leave it for 20-30 minutes.

Sunlight–Do You Know Her?

You remember high school science class–plants need sunlight (for photosynthesis!). Even though desktop gardens include plants that are optimized to live in indoor conditions, they still will benefit from a bit of sunlight from time to time. Give your garden a little field trip around two to three times per week. Thirty to sixty minutes in the sun should give it a healthy little boost. 

It is helpful to understand the different types of light you have inside your home or home office.

Bright light– A sunny window that receives direct light all day. That means a minimum of five to six hours of sunlight each day, preferably more. Be careful during cooler seasons, most plants that need bright light will not be able to handle the cold draft that increases close to a window.

Indirect light-Light from an east-facing widow, or in an interior of a room that receives full light from a south facing window.

Low light– Rooms with north-facing or partially shaded windows would qualify as low light situations. If it is hard to read a newspaper, it is most likely low light.

Grow Pro tip: Remember to rotate your plant often because all plants grow towards the light, this can result in uneven growth patterns. Rotating them ensures your plants are getting an even amount of light, this will also promote new growth in areas that might otherwise be stagnate.

Keep It Neat

Even when roots and overall plants are healthy, sometimes individual leaves just…die. It doesn’t make you a bad plant parent, it’s just a fact of plant life. When the inevitable does occur, be sure to remove dead leaves promptly. This allows for your plant to focus on growth by feeding the parts of it that are healthy and/or viable. 

Grow Pro tip: The best way to determine if your plant needs cleaning is to rub your fingers on the leaves. If you can feel or see more dust than you can blow off, it’s time to clean.

While cleaning your plants remember to remove any dead, brown or yellowing leaves. If a leaf looses easily you should remove it by hand, if it is resistant to a gently pull prune with scissors.

Desktop gardens are great for beginner gardeners who are looking to add a little green into their homes and offices.