Plant Mythbusting – Part 1


Eva Kynaston

Monstera Deliciosa

Eva Kynaston, Staff Writer

After years of plant experience, I have had my fair share of plant failures. I got my first plant when I was about ten, and ever since I’ve loved getting my hands dirty and adding to my plant collection.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot from watching countless YouTube videos and researching answers to my plant problems. The world of plants is full of many amazing tips, but also many misconceptions that may hinder both your plant’s growth and your growth as a plant parent. There are many misconceptions in the plant world, and for a beginner, these are hard to spot.

To help you on your plant journey, here are some misconceptions that need to be debunked.


Myth: You can overwater a plant by adding too much water. 

Overwatering is usually due to unnecessary frequent watering. When you water a plant, the plant absorbs the water that it needs in one watering. When you water a plant too often, you add extra water to the soil that the plant doesn’t need, and it doesn’t give time for the plant to “breathe” between watering, which could cause root rot. After you have watered the plant, when to water it next should be based on the soil’s moisture levels, not the amount of time that has passed. Different plants need to be watered at different frequencies.


Myth: Cacti and succulents are easy to grow for everyone. 

While they may work for some people, cacti and succulents can be hard to take care of for some beginners. They are famous for being low-maintenance and easy to grow, which is why many people pick these plants as their first plants. However, some plant parents find it easy to kill cacti and succulents because they overwater them. I personally killed quite a few succulents when I was getting into the world of plants; I like to say that I killed them with too much love (I over-watered them!) Cacti and succulents may or may not work for you, depending on the type of plant parent you are. 


Myth: Some plants like low light. 

I bet you have walked into Lowe’s and picked out a plant with a sticker plastered on it saying that it likes low light. While some plants won’t thank you for being in bright direct light, most plants thrive in medium to bright light. Some plants can live in low-light settings without dying for a while, but they won’t grow very fast and they won’t be as happy as they could be. Move your plants closer to the window!


Myth: You should water orchids with ice cubes.

This is a common misunderstanding promoted by orchid sellers. Orchids in their natural habitat are watered by warm rain, which completely soaks their roots. By watering them with ice cubes, you are contradicting their natural environment by watering them with very cold water and only giving them a small amount of water that may not saturate their roots. Watering with ice cubes shocks their root system, so your orchid won’t live as long as it should and won’t be too happy.


Myth: Plants purify the air in your house. 

As we all know, plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. You’d think that having plants in your room would increase oxygen levels and purify your air. Theoretically, they could but the difference is nothing to very little, so it won’t make any difference.