21 Things You Need When You Become A Dedicated Plant Parent

From the best pots to pest hacks to soil mixers and 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 each 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. 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

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $15.40.
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

Get it from Amazon for $11.04.
Mesh pads for drainage holes
Tired of dirt falling out when you repot or water a plant? Just place one of these handy little pads over the hole and leave your Dustbuster in the closet.

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

Get it from Amazon for $5.99+ (comes in two sizes).
Modern terra cotta pots with saucers
Speaking of overwatering: Unglazed terra cotta pots are the best friends of succulents, cacti and any other plant that doesn't love having its roots stay wet (and that's most of them). Ikea's Muskotblomma pots are a great value, but seem to be out of stock in most stores right now. This alternative 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

Get it from Amazon for $28.99.
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.

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

Get it from Amazon for $6.99.
Mosquito dunks to kill any fungus gnat larvae
The sticky traps above will catch adult fungus gnats flying around, but these can help eliminate any larvae they lay in your soil without posing a harm to pets.

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

Get it from Amazon for $8.52+ (comes in a variety of quantities).
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

Get it from Amazon for $11.99.
Dr. Verm's premium worm castings
You know you're seriously into your plants when you buy them a bag full of worm poop. Mix it 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: "I have around 30 years of experience growing a variety of vegetables, flowers and 'herbs' — both indoor and outdoor — and I have to say that Dr. Verm's is far and away the best brand of castings out there. The superb quality and consistency of the product is something that you just don't see across the board with most of the other castings companies (and I've basically tried them all). Vegetables are plentiful and packed with flavor. Flowers are vibrant and popping with color! Just an absolutely fantastic product that has helped all of my plants flourish, especially my big juicy cannabis buds!! Will be ordering again and again. A+++." — Patrick D.

Get it from Amazon for $14.79.
A wee plant humidifier for all your thirsty tropicals
Most plants enjoy a moist environment. But if you don't want your entire home to feel like Mississippi in August, grab one of these handy little humidifiers that's just for small spaces. One fill can last for 18 hours of intermittent spraying, and it runs off a USB power cord.

(If you'd like to disguise your humidifier among your plants, you can buy a smaller one in a cactus shape — just note it will need to be refilled more often.)

Promising review: "I purchase one that was slightly different and they both work well. I like the intermittent setting as the water lasts longer. They do a very good job of increasing the humidity around my plants. I am considering purchasing another one to place by my other plants. The unit is nice and quiet and turns off when it is out of water. The only downside I would say is the USB cord it comes with is a little on the short side if you don't have an outlet close by where you want to place it. Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase and would recommend these to any plant owner." — Gourd Lady

Get it from Amazon for $17.09.
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: "I love this thing! It’s simple. Easy to connect and it gave me peace of mind when my kitten accidentally shut off the power supply. I was able to map how long it had been off. I mean for the price it is better than expected. I use mine in an egg incubator." — Monica Heisse

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
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

Get it from Amazon for $8.01.
A thicc planter for your larger plants
For plants that grow top-heavy or especially large, you want a pot solid and heavy enough it won't tip over. This fits the bill, but won't break your back — or the bank.

(Bonus: The 4-inch version is very cute, too.)

Promising review: "Great planter for the price! Heavy, durable and [it has a] drainage hole!" — Mika K.

Get it from Target for $20.
Organic perlite for enhanced drainage
Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic glass heated to the point that it puffs up like popcorn. Most pre-bagged indoor potting mixes include perlite because it helps aerate and drain the soil, but some plants may benefit from adding an extra handful or two in the mix.

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.

Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (comes in six sizes).
Pretty modern plastic pots
Plastic pots are a great, lightweight option for plants that enjoy moist soil and don't need the wicking ability of terra cotta. This set includes pots of 7-inch, 6-inch and 5-inch widths with drainage holes and matching saucers that protect your carpet and furniture.

Promising review: "I've been searching for good quality plastic pots that would look great on a shelf or table top, and/or lightweight enough to use in a macrame hanger. There are plenty to be found, but they are of very poor quality and/or have questionable drainage capabilities. These pots exceeded my expectations! The quality is amazing and their simple elegance is aesthetically pleasing and right up there with ceramic pots. These have drainage holes at the bottom to keep your plant roots from sitting in water, and the tray easily twists off to drain any excess water if necessary, or for easy cleaning. I highly recommend these if you are looking for quality, value and modern elegance." — Letty A.

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
An LED grow light
If your window isn't providing enough light or you need an extra boost in a dark winter, grab a grow light that will supplement the sun.

Promising review: "This light is bright! I mean, I know it is supposed to be, but it is bright in a 'make sure it isn't accidentally turned toward your face when you turn it on' bright. I live in a state where winter is 6 months out of the year and we see the sun 1 day out of 24. This light is a necessity for my houseplants. It has a clamp to clamp it on a shelf or a planter, or pole. Be prepared to muscle it open, it isn't a simple squeeze. There is a dimming feature to allow for a not-so-intense lighting, as well as the ability to turn a few of the light heads off or on depending on the push of the button. Even though it is sunny and bright now in the summer, I am using it for indoor plants and they are thriving. My plants are going to love this in the winter, when they are having their daily concerts and getting sprites. 10/10 recommend for happy plants." — Happy

Get it from Amazon for $24.35.
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

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
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 5-inch pot, both with drainage holes and an optional rubber stopper so you can convert them into cachepots.

Promising review: "These planters are even prettier in person!! I’ve been extremely pleased with the planters I ordered from Potey, and could easily recommend them to all the plant parents. The quality is incredible, as well as the packaging! They are also a great size for repotting from a grow pot!" -- Haley

Get it from Amazon for $24.64 (also available in blue, pink, orange-yellow, matte black, and gray).
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.

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

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (also comes in a wider size).
A three-piece gardening tool set for all your repotting needs
Why pay more? Ikea's three-piece gardening tool set includes two trowels and a rake, pretty much all you need to transfer your plants to any new home — and they all snap onto a ring so they don't get lost.

Promising review: "Good value for money. No metal, so wont rust." — Parag

Get it at Ikea for $4.99.
Ready-to-spray neem oil to kill diseases and pests
Neem oil is a natural seed product that can control diseases like powdery mildew and blackspot as well as pests including spider mites and whiteflies. No harsh or dangerous chemicals here! It can even be used on a regular basis as a preventative.

Promising review: "I am always on the lookout for a good product that's safe for pets and family to take care of those common annoying problems common to plants. I had never tried Neem Oil until now and it took care of white fungus problem in my green house within several days. Looks like I finally found my go to product!" — Kevin

Get it from Lowe's for $10.48.
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.

Get it from Amazon for $12.49.
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