How To Care For Houseplants

Houseplants need four basic things to stay alive: Water, food, light and proper temperature. To thrive, each plant species needs slight variation of the fours basics, such as some houseplants thrive in direct sunlight while others would curl up and die if exposed to direct sunlight. Use these tips when caring for your houseplants so they will not only survive, but thrive.

Know the Plant
All potted plants come with pertinent information printed either on the outer wrapper or on a placard stuck in the soil. This is where you will find out the vital information about the plant and the type of care it needs. Adhere to the information so you will know what the plant’s care needs are and the houseplant can thrive.

Water
More houesplants die from drowning due to over-watering than do from drying out. As a general rule of thumb, only water houseplants when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Some plants do have different water needs, the plant label will alert you to any variation of watering requirements.

Food
Mix in slow-release fertilize to the potting soil (or use fertilized potting soil) prior to planting the houseplant and each time the plant is re-potted. Feed them with a weak solution of water soluble plant food (mixed at one-half the recommended rate) once a week so they will have a steady food supply to draw from.

Light
The proper amount of light is the number one factor in keeping plants healthy when they are grown indoors. They need the light to manufacture their food and a room with a southern exposure typically provides the best light for all houseplants. If you have indoor plants that are categorized as low light plants, they will fare better in a room with a northern exposure and high light plants will thrive in a room with a western or eastern exposure for direct morning or evening sunlight.

Temperature
Indoor plants need a constant air temperature of between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenhite. Houseplants will not thrive when placed where they will receive chilly blasts from exterior doors or windows being opened and they won’t thrive if they’re near a heating or cooling vent either.

Dust
Dust and pollutants, like pollen and pet dander, settle on indoor plants and they will need to be dusted occasionally. Dusty houseplants can’t absorb sunlight and manufacturer food efficiently, so every few months it’s needful to dust them off. Carry houseplants to the kitchen sink and gently wash leaves with water to remove dust. Larger plants that are too heavy to move, wipe the leaves down with a damp sponge or cloth.

Spring Cleaning
Inspect houseplants when the weather warms in the spring. It’s time to re-pot the houseplants into larger containers if you see roots growing out of the bottom drainage holes or if the plant had to be watered more than normal during the winter.

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