Indoor plants can purify the air, improve our mood, and enhance our spaces, but these benefits are only achievable when the plants are alive and healthy. That’s why we’ve put together the top ten tips for houseplant care. This should help those of us without green thumbs to have green homes.
1. Know Your Plant. Each plant is different, so before purchasing you should do a little research to find out whether it thrives in direct light, indirect light or shade and how often they need watering. If the plant doesn’t come with one already, make a cheat sheet with this information and stick it in the soil so you don’t forget.
2. Fertilize. Many of us don’t think to fertilize our houseplants, but it is very important. Follow the directions on the fertilizer you purchase.
3. Water Consistently. Over and under watering can stress a plant’s root system. Most plants like having their roots consistently moist – others prefer to be on the drier side. If that seems like a big hassle – at least water your plants once a week.
4. Quarantine. New plants can have disease or insects that can quickly spread to your healthy plants. Keep them away from other plants for two weeks and keep an eye out for any problems.
5. Bath Time. Dust makes it difficult for our houseplants to breathe. Take them into the shower and give them a good bath with warm water a few times a year.
6. Avoid Problem Areas. Don’t place plants near spaces that change dramatically in temperature. For example, avoid placing a plant near an air duct or a frosty window.
7. Drainage Is Key. Make sure the pot your plant is in has proper drainage. This will allow excess water to flow out freely. Otherwise, the roots can rot and the plant can die.
8. Buy Potting Soil. Don’t try to save money by using soil from outside – this can contain insects, weed seeds and disease.
9. Observe. Brown patches on leaves, wilting midday, and faded leaves could mean your plant is getting too much light. Whereas, yellow leaves, small leaves and slow growth could mean your plant isn’t getting enough light.
10. Repot. If you can see roots on the surface or growth has stopped completely – it may be time to repot your houseplant. If a plant is thriving – do not repot. The new pot should not be more than 2 inches deeper or wider than the old pot; otherwise, the plant will have too much space and this will stunt its growth.