Top 10 Best Houseplant Tools Beyond the Basics

by | Jun 16, 2021 | Houseplant Care

This week we will go over the top 10 houseplant tools that make the experience of growing houseplants easier, more fun, and aesthetically pleasing.

These items are not must-haves (very little is must-have in the houseplant hobby), but they are hugely helpful and highly recommended.

What do I consider must-have houseplant tools? Here's the list: (Click to expand)
  1. Sunlight
  2. A watering can or container
  3. Water
  4. Potting Mix
  5. Pots
  6. Fertilizer
  7. Pest & Disease Control Options

Table of Contents

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#1 Squeeze water bottle

These water bottles are amazing for tiny potted plants, plants with sensitive foliage (like African violets), and succulents.

You can much more easily control how much water you pour into a plant and be much more exacting about where the water ends up.

If you’ve ever accidentally poured too much water in a tiny pot and ended up with a flooding situation, you’ll know that having something which makes small pots easy to handle is great!

#2 Screen covers for pot drainage hole

Drainage hole covers are so simple, but such a life changer. These drainage hole screens prevent a bunch of potting mix from escaping through the drainage hole when repotting and watering.

I’ve tried using coffee filters and other types of drainage hole covers, but these are by far my favorite because they are sturdy (so they stay in place) while still being well-draining.

The bigger the pot, the more useful these guys become because the drainage holes are also bigger and allow a lot more soil to escape.

#3 Magnifying glass with light

This magnifying glass is super helpful for trying to understand what is going on with a plant. It features optional LED lights that can make examining something even easier.

I use this magnifying glass all the time to get a better look at whether something is dust or spider mites, what is going on with a leaf up close, and identifying all of the other potential pests.

The first photo above is without the LED light on and the second photo is with the light on, so you can see the difference.

I’ll add a picture below of what it looks like on the LED side of the magnifying glass as well.

It has been so pivotal for me in quickly identifying what I am dealing with so I can make sure I am treating the plant correctly.

#4 Hanging Acrylic Shelves

Hanging acrylic shelves have made it possible to display a bunch of plants in a window in a way that:

  • is aesthetically pleasing
  • allows each plant to have individual space
  • makes it easier to access individual plants for water and maintenance

The shelves themselves are super easy to install and very sturdy.

I now have them hanging in 5 windows of my home.

It’s great to keep all of the plants I love without having them consume table and counter top space anymore.

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#5 Soltech Solutions Aspect Light

The Aspect lights are super powerful and are successfully growing lots of finicky plants in my home while ALSO being gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing.

Some examples of the finicky plants I’m growing using Aspect lights: citrus, ficus, anthuriums, plumeria, hibiscus, and more.

These lights are an investment, but they are well worth it. They are the most effective grow lights in my home.

The only issue I’ve had with these grow lights is figuring out how to NOT provide my plants TOO MUCH light.

Usually I have the opposite issue with grow lights and this is a welcome change because dialing back the time a light is on or moving the lights a little further from the plant is easier than trying to add more light.

#6 Ceramic Self-Watering Pots

Ceramic self-watering pots are the only reason I can maintain so many fussy plants successfully.

It isn’t possible as a full-time mom to also check 100 plants every other day for water. But checking the water reservoir in a clay self-watering pot about once a week is much more doable!

The plant featured above is a plumeria in a self-watering clay pot.

You can see how the rim of the pot is disconnected from the body of the pot. That’s because the inside lifts out for you to refill the water reservoir.

The inside pot is unglazed clay, which allows water to slowly pass through, keeping the potting mix evenly moist all of the time.

There are lots of cheaper self-watering pot options made out of plastic, but I don’t enjoy the look of them nearly as much. These pots give me everything I need: ease of care and beauty.

Tip when using self-watering pots: make the potting mix even more well-draining then normal to ensure the plant won’t sit too wet in the pot.

#7 A Glass Baster

Basters are super useful when caring for large indoor plants. You can water your large plant thoroughly and then use the baster to remove the excess water in the drainage tray.

I particularly love this glass baster because it is both strong and super easy to clean.

You can see anything and everything that might try to hide out inside.

#8 Rooting Hormone

Applying rooting hormone when attempting to root cuttings increases the chance of a cutting to develop roots and also speeds up the process.

Instead of the cutting having to produce its own rooting hormone first, you are providing it with some right away.

The hormone can be used as a dip for you to dip the rooting end of a cutting into or, when water propagating, it can be added directly to the water used to propagate.

#9 Gardening Under Lights by Leslie Halleck

Leslie Halleck’s book, Gardening Under Lights, is a GAME CHANGER for understanding grow lights in the home and how to use them successfully.

Her book is every plant nerd’s dream because it gives you all of the science and supporting information you need to understand and feel knowledge about choosing a light.

How do you know what light to buy? How much light do you need? What light spectrum/color do you need? Her book covers this and more. ‘

Highly recommended for any planty people who are looking to get a deep understanding of using grow lights.

#10 Pruning shears

Pruning shears make trimming plants easier and more exact.

Office scissors (which I used for years as plant trimmers) work, but they are more likely to crush the stem where you are cutting, rather than provide a clean cut.

The cleaner the cut, the faster and more likely the plant is to heal successfully. For that reason, pruning shears are a wonderful addition to the houseplant tool box.

What are your favorite houseplant tools? Let me know in the comments! I love learning about new and better ways to help my plants thrive.

Happy growing, everyone!

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