This One Accessory Is the Key to Cuter (and Healthier!) Plants
Much can be said about the art of the good ol’ “college try.” That moment where even though you’re pretty sure you’re bad at something, you’re determined to give it your best shot anyway: the job you feel under-qualified for, speaking in front of a crowd, bowling without the bumpers on, cutting your own bangs. You get me, right? Well, for me, that “thing” is plants. I can barely keep plants alive, and I know this about myself, but damn am I going to keep trying anyway.
The ironic part is I actually know a lot about plants; I’ve written and edited numerous plant-focused stories throughout my career, spent time styling them as centerpieces and focal points on the sets of photoshoots, and have even done the flower arrangements for friends’ weddings. Something happens between my brain and my fingertips, though, that transforms all of this good intention into a certifiable death wish for any poor, once-green plant baby that dares enter my home. Once I hit my thirties, I came to terms with most of my best and worst qualities as a human — I’m told that’s something that happens with age. My green thumb (or really, lack thereof) is something I remain determined to fix about myself though, and thus I’m always on the hunt for new tips and tricks that could help me on my quest.
Plant advice has come my way from all directions, including my father-in-law (who is a gardening genius) and our neighbors (who have a raised garden bed set-up that would rival Joanna Gaines’). That said, one of my all-time favorite tips recently came from the owner of a hole-in-the-wall plant store in New York City’s flower district. That block is packed with fresh-cut blooms, thriving plants, and exotic specimens, all sold wholesale to the city’s florists, designers, and stylists. It’s the kind of place where you’re surrounded by so much beauty that you start to get really ambitious about your capabilities as a plant parent (as in, “Should I buy this rare plant that only blooms once a decade under the perfect conditions? Oh, but, of course, I should!”).
The shopkeeper in question saw me eyeing a variety of small ferns and succulents, and, upon me making what I’m sure was pleading eye-contact with him, he came over to lend some advice. His suggestion? Post up some of your more like-minded houseplant varieties — begonia, calathea, croton, pothos, peperomia, and more — on a decorative rolling cart for easier care. It’s not a bad display method either, for those of you that like to give your plants pride of place in your home.
Genius, right? He went on to explain that not only does this grouping idea make things like watering easier (no more trekking between rooms to make sure you hit every plant), but also, when gathered together closely, plants actually create their own “micro-environment,” supplying each other with moisture and humidity and increasing the oxygen levels in your home. By choosing a cart on wheels — either one made specifically for plants or reimagining a bar or crafting cart — you can also easily wheel the plants around your home to chase the sunlight, making sure your greenies get in those oh-so-necessary rays each day. Plus, you can seamlessly add a pop of greenery to a room or outdoor space you happen to be entertaining in just a few seconds.
Something about this idea totally clicked for me, and I immediately made plans to add a plant cart to our sunroom. Want to follow suit? Here are a few cute styles I spotted during my own internet search. Plant babies, meet your new mobile home!
IKEA RÅSKOG Cart
The classics are classics for a reason, and this metal IKEA cart is the true embodiment of that phrase. You’ve probably spotted it online used in all sorts of ways, from a craft cart and kitchen corral to a diaper caddy, and now… plant stand! Though your chosen plants would have to be on the smaller side to use this guy, I love that it has multiple tiers.
Buy: IKEA RÅSKOG Utility Cart, $29.99 from IKEA
Patere Utility Rolling Cart
This next pick also boasts three tiers and is slightly bigger to accommodate more of your favorite plants. The mesh base on each shelf helps eliminate the risk of mold, and you could even use one of the levels to house all your plant supplies, so you never have to hunt down a missing watering can again. Choose from three colors: black, white, and pink.
Buy: Patere Utility Rolling Cart,
$64.99 $52.99 from Wayfair
Opalhouse Cassia Rattan Bar Cart
For the boho plant cart of your dreams, look no further than this rattan beauty from Target. It would look amazing with an assortment of desert-inspired plants like succulents or cacti dotting its shelves. Quick tip: This kind of material can absorb excess water, so make sure to put your plants on drip trays to avoid compromising it while watering.
Buy: Opalhouse Cassia Rattan Bar Cart, $150.00 from Target
Novogratz Cache Metal Rolling Cart
Offset all that greenery with a bold dash of orange with this bright and streamlined metal cart from Overstock. It’s large enough to house all of your favorite plants, and the eye-catching hue will look great in a sunroom or even outdoors in your garden. They also have yellow, mint, and blue versions of this cart, if those colors work better with your decor.
Buy: Novogratz Cache Metal Rolling Cart, Starting at $62.99 from Overstock