15 Essentials for Beginner Plant Parents: What Every New Plant Owner Needs
Keep your new plants alive and thriving with these must-have tools and products.
If you’re new to taking care of houseplants, it’s easy (and normal) to feel very overwhelmed. Sure, you know that plants need water, air, soil, and sunlight, but do you know the best ways to really help your plants thrive?
The products highlighted below can take some of the guesswork out of plant care and prevent you from making some common indoor gardening mistakes. These 15 must-have tools and accessories will help you keep your plants healthy so you can officially and proudly call yourself a plant parent.
1. Self-Watering Planter
The best self-watering planter according to our experts, this pot offers the ideal solution for busy individuals or those who are afraid they will forget to water their plants. Available in four sizes and five colors, the unique design includes a water reservoir large enough to store up to two weeks of water to keep a plant lush and green. In testing, we loved how easy it was to use and how well it kept the soil moist.
2. Soil Meter
A soil meter is an invaluable tool for any plant parent to make sure you aren’t over- or under-watering your plants. This one, which has more than 4,500 reviews on Amazon, monitors the moisture and pH levels of the soil along with the sunlight level. Simply slide the switch to indicate which reading you’d like to take and place the meter in the soil. It will quickly work to detect the level and display it on the readout scale at the top of the meter.
3. Long-Spout Watering Can
When you have hanging plants or other plants with leaves that shouldn’t get too wet, a long-spout watering can is essential. This one offers two watering modes—one with a steady stream of water and one that waters plants through the detachable shower nozzle—to meet the needs of all your indoor and outdoor plants. It comes in four trendy colors and has a ½-gallon capacity that thousands of Amazon shoppers say is just the right amount.
4. Glass Spray Bottles
In addition to a watering can, beginner plant owners should also pick up a few glass spray bottles, like this highly-rated pair. They’ll come in handy for misting succulents, herbs, and other smaller plants. Each water bottle is made with an amber-colored glass that is BPA- and lead-free, so you can ensure your prized greenery is receiving the ultimate care.
5. Plant Humidifier
While some plants will survive with or without you, orchids, ferns, philodendrons, and others will grow best in a more humid environment. Even if you live in a dryer climate, you can still keep your plants happy and healthy with the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. A top pick in our researched guide to the best filterless humidifiers, this model offers up to 24 hours of continuous operation. Our experts highlighted the 360-degree rotating single and dual-mist nozzles as one of the top features of the humidifier—it can direct the flow of the mist.
6. Humidity Monitor
A humidity monitor, such as the ThermoPro Digital Hygrometer, can help you keep track of humidity levels to provide ideal conditioners for your plants. This monitor updates the readings every 10 seconds, so you can feel confident that you’re viewing the latest data. Dubbed one of the best hygrometers by our experts, its top features include its easy-to-read touch screen, highly accurate readings, and three different mounting options.
7. Multitiered Plant Stand
Don’t make your plants fight over sunlight from the window with this tall plant stand. With its nine different compartments, you’ll enjoy plenty of space to place multiple sun-loving plants together near the same window. Nearly 1,500 Amazon customers have given this plant stand a 5-star rating due to its sturdiness, budget-friendly price, and easy-to-follow assembly instructions.
8. Sticky Pest Traps
Keep pests from ruining your potted plants with these sticky traps from Stingmon. Each pack includes 12 bright yellow traps designed to attract small insects such as fruit flies, aphids, fungus gnats, and whiteflies. Once the pests make contact, they’ll be trapped by the sticky glue, sparing your plants. The nontoxic traps come very highly reviewed by 22,000 Amazon customers, with many impressed with how many bugs the glue collects.
9. Hanging Planters
If you want to add some hanging plants to your indoor garden, consider these on-trend macrame plant hangers. The set includes three ivory hand-crafted pots with staggered rope lengths between 23 and 35 inches. Each one features a durable, vintage-inspired macrame design with a pure cotton cord. The nearly 3,500 reviewers like how sturdy the construction is, so you won’t have to worry about your precious plants falling.
10. Plant Food Spikes
Give your plants a continuous supply of the micronutrients they need to stay healthy with these Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes, which are an Amazon favorite with more than 66,000 reviews. Consult the package to determine the ideal number of spikes given your pot size, then use the Miracle Aerator to create holes in the soil. Place the spikes in the soil, and they’ll continuously release the necessary nutrients and food your plant needs for up to 2 months.
11. LED Grow Light
Selected as the best LED grow light for beginners by our experts at Bob Vila, the Leoter grow light offers four flexible gooseneck arms, 10 dimmable modes, and a timer function. With 80 LEDs (16 blue, 36 red, and 28 full-spectrum), it will help ensure your plants enjoy optimal lighting to grow in spaces without much, or even any, natural sunlight.
12. Watering Stakes
If you’re going to be away from home for a few days or just want to reduce the amount of time you spend tending to your plants, these watering stakes from Blumat can help. Simply push the natural clay stake into the soil and place the end of the tub into a reservoir of water. Choose a larger container to provide more days of worry-free watering. Of the more than 4,300 glowing Amazon reviews, many have shared how impressed they were that these watering stakes were able to keep their plants alive when they were away from home for weeks or even months.
13. Mesh Pads for Flower Pot Holes
While plants can add a wonderful decorative touch to a table or a shelf, it’s not too pleasant when dirt comes out of the drainage hole and leaves a mess on your furniture. These mesh pads are designed to cover the hole to keep soil in the pot while still allowing water to drain. They have more than 3,000 positive reviews from Amazon shoppers.
14. Succulent Pots
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance and stress-free plant, succulents are the way to go—and you can put them in these perfectly sized mini ceramic planters. Named the best pots for succulents by our experts, they boast a sleek, modern design and make a great addition to a coffee table, a bookshelf, or a desk whether placed alone or grouped together. Bonus tip: Save the hassle of shopping in-store, and choose one of the best plant delivery services to have fresh succulents shipped straight to your door.
15. Neem Oil
Get rid of pests in the egg, larvae, and adult stages with the Captain Jack’s Neem Oil Spray from Bonide. Approved for organic gardening, neem oil is a natural fungicide, insecticide, and miticide that’s safe to use on plants, including fruits and vegetables up to the day of harvesting. Nearly 23,000 reviewers on Amazon recommend this spray after seeing how well it kept their plants protected from pests.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 4/20/22.