19 Things You Need When You Become A Dedicated Plant Parent

From great pots to pest hacks to soil mixers, grow lights and worm poop — yes, worm poop! – these products will help your houseplants grow and thrive.

Buy one houseplant and then find yourself buying 17 more? It happens to the best of us — because plants! They’re green and beautiful and make everything better! It also means you’re now desperate to keep them in good shape, and these products may be just what you need as an obsessive new “plant parent” to maintain all that healthy, gorgeous foliage. I know I did. I’ve used and loved most of these products at home.

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These Blumat ceramic watering stakes
Vacation is dicey for plant parents. You either entrust your babies to someone who may accidentally kill them, or leave them alone and hope they’re still alive when you get back. But there's a third option: These ceramic watering stakes. Just soak them, then place the end of the tube in a container of water next to the pot and let each plant suck up as much moisture as it wants while you’re away. Safe travels!

Promising review: "I was so happy to open my door to happy and healthy plants after a three-week trip away from home. These stakes work great, and I'm a bit embarrassed to say that they do a better job than I do at keeping my plants consistently watered. Many of my plants looked happier than ever. These are really the best and only solution (other than hiring a service) to take care of your houseplants for extended periods of time. My outside plants didn't fair as well even though a neighbor was tending to them. As long as you leave a water source large enough you can leave home with confidence for long periods of time... If your plant likes to be damp then your water source should be placed even with the plant pot, if your plant likes to be more dry you will place your water source below the level of your plant pot, and if your plant wants to be very moist then your water source should be above your plant pot." — Lou Who
Mesh pads for drainage holes
Tired of dirt falling out the bottom of the pot when you move or water a plant? Don't want roots growing through the hole? Just place one of these handy little mesh pads over the drainage hole and leave your Dustbuster in the closet. They come in two sizes.

Promising review: "Where have these been all my (plant mom) life! 💗These are the perfect solution to keeping soil from washing out of the bottom of the pot and are more convenient than hunting for a pebble that is 'just the right size!' Love, love, love. 10/10, highly recommend!" — Heidi
Sticky traps to get rid of annoying fungus gnats
Fungus gnats just love the moist soil of houseplants. Trick them with these glue-covered traps on stakes you stick in your pots. It's gross but oh-so-satisfying when one of the loops fills up with gnats and you can simply remove it and toss them in the trash. The set contains 7 stakes with 21 sticky yellow traps.

Promising review: "These suckers did the job well, even better than I expected. They are easy to use and look better than the big butterfly and flower sticky traps." — Amazon customer
A 6-pack of organic mosquito dunks to kill any fungus gnat larvae
The sticky traps above will catch adult fungus gnats flying around, but these organic "dunks" can help eliminate any larvae they lay in your soil without posing a harm to pets or plants. The product works because it contains BTI, a natural bacteria that is toxic to mosquito and fungus gnat larvae but non-toxic to other wildlife and humans. Reviewers suggest putting a quarter of a dunk in a gallon of water, letting it sit for about 24 hours, and then using the water to water your plants.

Promising review: "So far this is the best method I have found to rid your houseplants of pesky flies, gnats, and other unwelcome guests. I keep half a dunk in my watering can at all times. When it dissolves (usually after a couple months), I replace it with another. Works great on the houseplants. I tried a lot of other stuff first and nothing compared." — Joshua J. Homemaker
A moisture meter to check the soil
The longer you live with your plants, the more you'll learn about how dry the soil should feel for each one before you water again. Until then, it can help to use a tool like this to check the moisture in your pots, lest you overwater and harm any of your precious babies.

Promising review: "Best purchase ever and still wondering how the heck I made it this far without one? Probably killing plants, that’s how! This thing works, easiest to use and read... It is completely accurate. I was glad I read the reviews, as most of the negative reviews say they tested in water and it didn’t work so 'it must be broken.' No, it’s not, the device is specifically designed to be used in a dense soil and not to test in water. It doesn’t even work on orchid mix because it’s too chunky and there’s too many open/airy gaps in it. But all the other soil, potting mix, cactus mix, etc., it works perfectly fine. I highly recommend to anyone who wishes to get better at plant parenthood! I have about 20 plants in my home and they are all happy and thriving! If you have plants, get a moisture meter now!" — Mrs. Gal
A set of three modern terra cotta pots with saucers
Speaking of overwatering: Unglazed terra cotta pots are great for any plant that doesn't love having its roots stay wet (and that's most of them). This set includes 4.2-inch, 5.3-inch and 6.5-inch pots with drainage holes, plus a matching saucer for each.

Promising review: "Okay, I am over the moon about these pots. I was so unsure about buying them because of some of the negative reviews, but honestly, I have a LOT of plants and these are the best terra cotta pots I own! They came perfectly packaged and with no damage, the dishes fit the pots so precisely, had drainage holes, AND they came with the little rust resistant mesh and felt pads! The colors of the dish also do match the color of the pot, but I just watered my plants after repotting so now the pot is darker (since it’s wet). Maybe that’s what some of the reviewers were referring to? I don’t know, but that’s a totally normal thing. In any case, I will definitely be ordering more and feel like this is one of the best Amazon purchases I have made. What a great value and find!" — Milky Way
A trio of highly-rated pretty and modern plastic pots
Plastic pots are a great lighter-weight option for plants that enjoy moist soil and don't need the water-wicking ability of terra cotta. This set includes pots of three different widths with drainage holes and matching saucers that protect your carpet and furniture. Get the trio in sizes small (widths of 4, 5 and 6 inches) to XXL (widths of 10, 12 and 14 inches) in five colors, including matte white and black.

Promising review: "I find a lot of plant options are very boho or rustic, so I was happy to find this modern option.after buying many beautiful planters, I’ve learned my lesson that the lighter, the better and these are light! Having a lighter pit makes it easier to repot or move your plant during watering or cleaning. This may be the only pots I buy moving forwards." – LibraryGirl
A proven plant food that promotes growth
Ideal for plants in containers, this liquid plant food has all 16 of the minerals essential for growth and can perk up lackluster plants. The concentrated, low-salts formula means a little goes a long way, so this 11-ounce jug will last a long time.

Promising review: "My plants have THRIVED on this. I just a capful or less to my watering can when I water them and they've been growing like weeds!! :)" — Meredith
A long-spout watering can
For reaching the soil in hanging pots or to water plants whose leaves should stay dry, skip the rain shower type of watering can and get one with a long, narrow spout.

Promising review: "Bought this for my roommate who loves minimalist style and has a ton of plants. She absolutely loves it! The long stem is great especially for ferns that need a long stem to reach into the plant to water the roots. The can is a bit small, but it can definitely water multiple small plants at once!" — Sophia
Some premium worm castings
You know you're seriously into your plants when you buy them a bag full of nutrient-rich worm poop. Mix this into potting soil to aerate and add nutrients, sprinkle on top as a fertilizer or create a "worm tea" you can use to water. Fortunately, it just smells like earth.

Promising review: "My plants love it and I love it! It perked up my plants and they're all growing like someone gave them magic powder! They're so green and bulbs even bloomed when I didn't expect them to! Great product! Will continue to buy." — Extreme chef
A grow light that works with your own fixtures and lamps
Grow light fixtures that are actually attractive are hard to find (and can be expensive). This LED grow light from GE can fit in many "regular" lamps and fixtures so you can give your babies any extra light they need without compromising your decor.

Promising review: "Bought these bulbs to help some of my orchids and house plants that were just not getting enough light. What I wasn’t expecting is how bright these really are! Like holy smokes that’s a bright bulb, in a good way. One of my sad alocasias perked up within a couple of hours and my oncidium that didn’t look super hot perked up quickly as well! It’s a bright and clean white light that I really love and It shows off plant color beautifully. Will be purchasing more and I’d highly recommend them for anyone with house plants or orchids! Overall: Fantastic bulb for the price, great color of light, gives off enough energy to perk the picky plants up and they don’t run hot." — Victoria
A three-pack of cute macrame plant hangers
Ideal for pots between 4 and 6 inches, these 100% cotton hangers in different lengths will let your little friends dangle in front of a window where they can soak up all the sunshine.

Promising review: "These plant holders are absolutely adorable! Exactly what I needed! They are sturdy and a great value for their price point. I will purchase again." — Monique
A pair of beautiful ceramic hobnail pots
Got plants that don't need the quickest possible drainage? Put them in these gorgeous, shiny glazed ceramic hobnail pots. Each set includes a 6-inch and 4.75-inch pot, both with drainage holes. They're available in white, black, turquoise and yellow.

Promising review: "These a great little pots! The drain holes are a bit small but, they are a nice quality thick ceramic. I also love the color. I bought the turquoise, which is a dark turquoise, exactly as pictured! Good price for the two pots! They were also packed really well! I would definitely recommend!" — Amazon customer

An indoor humidity sensor
How do you know if the area around your tropical plants is reaching the proper levels of warmth and humidity? Well, this small gadget will tell you — and will even connect with your smartphone so you can check from your couch. It also comes with a strip of double-sided tape in case you'd like to stick it in one location permanently.

Promising review: "The Govee H5075 Hygrometer Thermometer is a game-changer for greenhouse growers. Its Bluetooth functionality and remote app control allow easy monitoring of indoor room temperature and humidity levels. The notification alerts and 2 years data storage export ensure you stay on top of your growing environment. With its LCD display and user-friendly features, this device is an indispensable tool for precise climate management." — Nick C
Organic perlite for enhanced drainage
Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic glass heated to the point that it puffs up like tiny popcorn. Most pre-bagged indoor potting mixes include perlite because it helps aerate and drain the soil, but many plants can benefit from adding an extra handful or two in the mix to make sure it doesn't stay waterlogged.

Promising review: "Price for the size, this product can’t be beat! What you get is a very quality bag of perlite to mix in with your soil. It’s been about a month since I used the perlite to replant some succulents and they seem very happy. I used 1/4 cup perlite to 3/4 cup soil ratio." — Paige H.
Organic pine bark fines to help aerate soil
Pine bark isn't just a medium for orchids. It can be a great aerating addition to potting mixes for plants that love slightly acidic and quick-draining soil, including varieties of aspidistra, syngonium, pilea and monstera.

Promising review: "I like this pine bark for adding better drainage to all my house plants, but especially plants that require more air and drainage like orchids and succulents. The nuggets are a nice small size, no dyes, clean, and sourced in the U.S. The bag is thick and resealable, making it easy to store and use as needed." — Ron Wis
Gentle insecticidal soap to kill pests
No harsh or dangerous chemicals here! A solid option for tackling pests is this ready-to-spray insecticidal soap, which kills the likes of aphids, mites and whiteflies on contact and complies with organic gardening standards. Thankfully, it won't harm any beneficial insects and can be used on edibles up until the day of harvest.

Promising review: "I use this to control mealy bugs and aphids in a home greenhouse. Other products, except neem oil, have been ineffective. This product is simple to use, which I use at first sign of small flying bugs. The is clean and does not leave a noticeable residue on pots, shelves, etc.. The active ingredient is potassium salts, so I am comfortable using this in an enclosed space, within reason." — Tom
A six-pack of shallow succulent planters
Many small succulents don't need deep planters, which will only retain more water than they prefer. Put your little babies in these 3.7-inch-wide planters of breathable terra cotta and watch them thrive. (Also available in 4.5-inch and 5.7-inch sizes.)

Promising review: "These little pots are perfect for my succulents! They had outgrown their 2 inch pots so going up to this size was a great transition. The packaging was great and not a single pot was broken or cracked." — K
A 3/4-inch ceramic drill bit for when your precious favorite pot doesn't have a drainage hole
Look, it happens: Sometimes you fall deeply in love with a ceramic pot that doesn't have a drainage hole (in which case, it's just a bowl). You can place a plastic pot inside it and move on, but it's also possible to add a hole yourself — you just need a drill bit designed for the job and a heaping dose of patience, as making a hole in a glazed or stoneware pot can be a challenge.

Promising review: "I'm not a tool person, but my husband is! He is a woodworker. I thought all drill bits were created equal. Haha! I wanted to drill a bunch of holes in ceramic pots. I borrowed my husband's bits thinking that he wouldn't notice. Turns out he did since I broke it. He immediately ordered this set for me. Once arrived he quickly showed me how to use it. I drilled several ceramic and clay pots easily. Then there were others that were glazed and I was not able to do it, neither could my husband. So these bits don't do all types, but enough to satisfy my gardening needs for most pots." — Annie B.

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