I Don’t Have a Green Thumb, but This Plant Service Helped Me Keep a Houseplant Alive for the First Time

published Feb 15, 2022
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I’m not exactly known for having a green thumb. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I even tried working as a floral designer’s assistant, but I was quickly relegated to gift baskets and candy bouquets exclusively. Even so, I still love the idea of being a plant parent. Both my mom and dad have grown enviable rubber trees that are taller than I am, and my best friends have homes packed with vibrant green potted plants. I, however, can barely manage one at a time. So when Plant Proper reached out about their delivery service, I decided that I would try it out and make one more solid effort to channel my inner plant whisperer. The company sent over three of their bestselling plants — Monstera Adansonii, Alocasia Black Velvet, and Alocasia Maharani — and one of them convinced me that there’s hope for me and plants after all.

Credit: Britt Franklin

The first indication that I was in good hands with Plant Proper was how carefully everything was packed. I’ve bought plants online before, and none have been packaged as well as these. Plant Proper’s nursery is in Florida, which means there were lots of opportunities for the contents to get damaged along the four-state journey west to me in Louisiana — but nothing did.

Of the three varieties I chose, the Monstera Adansonii (aka Swiss Cheese Plant) is thriving best. True, it’s not known to be a high-maintenance plant, but with my skills (or lack thereof), everything is a challenge. I followed all the basic care instructions, and the plant has grown tremendously, sprouting new leaves faster than I can keep up with! I was even able to give clippings to friends and family to start their own plants. (Unfortunately, the other two plants took a fatal blow after I put them in the care of the wrong plant sitter.)

Co-founder Matt Aulton notes that plants that may work out for brown thumbs are the Marble Queen Pothos and Cebu Blue Pothos, the “very, very forgiving” Sansevieria, the easy-to-grow Dieffenbachia, and the low-maintenance (and pet-friendly!) Peperomia. Plant Proper also has an active and super-helpful Instagram where they give tips, share fun facts, and showcase plants available from the nursery.

Plant Proper restocks every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. EST, and the earlier you can claim a plant, the better. Supply can (and does) run out, and if you don’t make it to the site in time, you can join the waitlist to purchase the same variety as soon as it’s available. Check out some of Plant Proper’s bestsellers below, but don’t wait too long to get your hands on your favorite!

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Plant Proper
$20.00
was $25.00

Originating in South America, the Monstera Adansonii (also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant) requires low-to-moderate care and prefers indirect sunlight. It can be trained to climb or left to vine, and it just needs a basic pruning to keep it neat and tidy.

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Plant Proper
$12.00
was $13.50

The pet-friendly Peperomia Frost is great for small spaces; it can easily fit onto a windowsill or floating shelf. Since it's a semi-succulent, the heart-shaped leaves with a glittery sheen require minimal care.

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Plant Proper
$40.00
was $45.00

The Sansevieria Robusta is "the definition of a low-maintenance plant," as it's part of the succulent family. Its striped leaves grow upright and don't require much sunlight, but Plant Proper recommends that you let it dry out between waterings to prevent the soil from becoming too soggy.