A New Hobby I Didn’t Expect To Love So Much…

Lockdown has caused a lot of people to try new things, me being one of them! Gardening seems to really be popular with younger people nowadays but it wasn’t until I received a late birthday gift that I’ve been introduced to gardening. As you must know by now if you’ve been following me for a while, I have a variety of indoor plants which are pretty much thriving (only sometimes they decide to die on me and I revive them) but it’s only recently that I’ve had a go at growing plants from seed, specifically sunflowers.

I think sunflowers are pretty easy to sow, even kids can grow them! You don’t need much room either. I was given a little “grow your own” kit which contained everything you need and was such a lovely gift to receive too. I sowed about 22 seeds and at present, I have about 20 sunflowers growing nicely.

As you can see in the photos, I sowed them all in one container, once they grew, I transferred them to another, bigger container and since then I’ve left them to get bigger before giving them their own space. I think I left them in this second container slightly too long as they were slightly crowding each other. Since they’ve been transferred to their own/bigger containers (some have to share but they’re still got plenty of room) they seem much happier. I’ve pretty much left them to it too, only watering them until they’re damp and leaving them in a sunny windowsill to grow. A very low maintenance plant to grow!

I’m pretty certain that these plant pots they’re in now will be the last ones they’re in before I plant them outside in the garden. I’m very lucky in the fact that my parents have a big garden and my mum is happy to have these sunflowers planted out! I think they could still survive in a big pot however, most outdoor plants would be happier in unlimited soil.

I have quite a few (20) so if they all survive I will potentially gift my friends and family some sunflowers to plant – this is such a lovely thing to do (if they’re interested in plants/have a garden!). The trouble with growing from seed is that you don’t know what/how many seedings will take. I think I’ve been very lucky to get 20 sunflowers out of the 22 that I planted. Some people organise charity plant sales or pop them out in their front gardens for free if they have too many seedings and I think this is such a lovely thing to do. There is actually a fundraiser near me organised by a lovely woman who donates all the money raised to the NHS so I will take a few sunflowers down to her to sell on to raise money.

I’m really looking forward to seeing them grow bigger and flower. Because I have so many I’m hoping that I can leave some planted out in the garden but also bring some in to enjoy in a vase. I’m hoping to harvest the seeds once the heads have gone over too so I can grow more next year and have an unlimited supply of sunflowers!

If anyone has any sunflower growing tips then I’d love to know. I’ve really been enjoying growing these, they’re the first thing I’ve really grown. I have a couple of plants in the garden (hydrangeas) and I also look after my nans garden but that is more looking after plants that are already established and not growing so it’s been really enjoyable doing something new.

It’s been really interesting to grow something for outside too as I normally just take care of my indoor plants and propagate them. I’ve given some to my mum before and also Elliot’s family but I know so many people who also pop them on Facebook groups/marketplace. I’ve always been a little cautious of this but it’s a nice way to gift plants on.

The indoor plants I currently have include a Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa), a ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) and also Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy).

I have two Monstera’s as I propagated cuttings from my original plant to not only trim it back but also encourage new growth. I have done this a handful of times so far and all have been successful. I’ve passed on these cuttings/new plants to my mum and Elliot’s family (and obviously kept some for myself). I know some people find Monstera’s tricky to care for but I’ve had quite a good run with them. I actually bought my original plant from Ikea for £15 about 3 years ago. I’ve definitely learnt as the years have gone by but it’s quite a low maintenance plant. The biggest tip I would say is much sure that you’re not overwatering it (leave it to properly dry out between waters) and also, it likes to be slightly pot bound. This is the strangest thing for me, as soon as a plant becomes pot bound I rush to re-pot it but Monsteras like it. I think it’s because this means their roots dry out quicker instead of being surrounded by wet soil.

The ZZ plant is another great low maintenance plant. It tolerates low light which a lot of plants don’t. It also doesn’t like to be overwatered (forgot it for a few weeks? It’ll probably thank you). There has been some talk about this plant being toxic however I don’t have pets that come near it, nor children and I don’t eat it so I think I’m pretty safe! That being said, it’s good practice to wash your hands after handling this (or any) plant.

The ZZ plant is also quite slow-growing and won’t grow very big either. I actually got mine last year but it’s recently become very popular over on Instagram so you’ll probably see them about!

The last plant that I got, which is probably the newest one to me but is also very popular is the Pothos, otherwise known as Devil’s Ivy. This is a trailing plant that can also benefit from a moss pole (if you want it to grow upwards). They are incredibly easy to look after and propagate. I actually was looking after a bit of a neglected plant and instead of trying to save the original plant (which was losing leaves and looking very sorry for itself), I took a good amount of cuttings and propagated them into about 3 separate plants which are now all thriving. It’s grown so much that I’m actually looking forward to propagating it again to make it a bit fuller!

Do you enjoy looking after indoor plants and gardening? Do you have any gardening tips?