(Plus a free illustrated guide to beginner-friendly plants to welcome into your space)!)
I love filling my little apartment with lots of houseplants and pieces from the outdoors: you can truly feel how they change the energy of a space. With an abundant village of plants thriving on window sills, wooden shelves, and corners throughout my home, my leafy friends never fail to ground me. There is no better feeling than waking up to new growth and realizing how much you've grown, too.
Being connected to nature is something I value in my journey to cultivating a healthy, balanced mindset, so I love pouring care into the plants that take care of me and my home. Whether you’re an avid indoor gardener or are thinking of welcoming a few houseplants into your space, this is how to set up a plant care guide in your bullet journal — and if you head to the end of this post, I created a free illustrated guide to beginner-friendly plants that you can print out at home!
I’m starting off with my Leuchtturm1917 classic notebook in A5 with dotted pages. This hardcover notebook comes in so many beautiful colours and I’ve been re-ordering it since 2018 to create my bullet journal spreads.
Its pages are on the thinner side, which is okay if you're just using pens, but it may not be the best choice for more elaborate designs, paints, and lots of colour. If you would like to incorporate any of these into your journal, I’ve heard wonderful things from fellow artists about Archer and Olive’s dot grid notebooks!
In addition to my bullet journal, I’m sketching out my plant care guide with my Faber-Castell artist pens and soft brush ink pens — though any fine lines and pastel or grey markers will work for this setup.
CREATING YOUR CARE GUIDE
When I first introduced houseplants into my space, I was a chronic overwaterer — which resulted in yellowing leaves and not-so-happy plants. That’s why I find it super helpful to keep track of each plant’s needs, requirements and when I last watered them — because let’s be honest, I always tell myself I’ll remember but I rarely do.
For your care guide, start by drawing a vertical line that spans 7 dots in your bullet journal (make sure you leave a good amount of space to the left for your plant illustration to go). At the top, moving two dots to the right, write the type of your plant in the lettering of your choice: I like to use cursive for my titles. Leave a 1-dot space below your plant's name before listing out its care requirements! I include lighting requirements first on my list and jot down watering requirements, other notes, and the date of its last watering from there. I then draw a horizontal line for a space to fill in the plant's needs! Grabbing a regular pen, I fill in the specific requirements under each category — and switch to a pencil to write the date I last watered so I can erase and replace it with a new date the next watering day. 🌱
SKETCHING YOUR HOUSEPLANTS
In the blank spot you left beside your guide, it's time for the fun part: sketching your plants! Not only is this a fun design for your bullet journal spread, but it's also a great way to get to know your houseplants so you can create an environment in which they thrive.
To draw your plants, start off by drawing the pot as your base. I’m partial to classic terra cotta (and my plants seem to be too because of their good drainage), but there are so many beautiful pots for your plants, from hand-thrown ceramics to painted pottery, all of which are so fun to draw (not to mention add a unique touch to your home decor). Start off with the basic outer shape of your pot and don’t worry about making it perfect. Once you have the basic shape down, draw a few wispy lines for simple shading and to emphasize the rounded shape of your pot for some movement. If you’re not comfortable going straight in with your pens, start off with a pencil outline if that helps you (I usually do)!
Once you’ve sketched out your pot, it’s time to fill it with your plant. 🌱 Your leafy friend is your biggest source of inspiration here: begin by drawing out a few larger leaves. Plants are perfectly imperfect by nature, so don’t worry about making your lines neat. I find it helpful to start with a few large leaves to form the base of the drawing and then fill out the sketch with a few smaller leaves surrounding them, being sure to vary them in shape, size, and direction.
You can stop here, but to add some detail, I like to draw the stem in the centre of each leaf and a few lines that capture how the leaves shape themselves around their stem.
YOUR FREE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BEGINNER-FRIENDLY PLANTS
Welcoming houseplants into your space has wonderful benefits to your mindset and the energy of your space, so if you’re thinking about introducing a few plants into your home, I put together this illustrated guide to beginner-friendly houseplants and all of the care requirements they need to thrive!
Filled with low-maintenance, resilient air-purifying plants, this guide is everything you need to start cultivating an indoor garden that cares for you, too. Download your illustrated plant care guide below! Happy growing 👩🏼🌾🌱