Are you someone who loves the idea of being a plant parent but can’t seem to keep them alive? You’re not alone. Caring for houseplants takes a lot more work than many people realize, but it’s a lot easier when you know what you’re doing. Here are some things every novice (and expert) plant owner should know about caring for houseplants.
Choose the right plant for your life
The first step in keeping houseplants alive is choosing the right plant for your space and lifestyle. Different plants have different care needs, so it’s vital to choose one that will thrive in the conditions you can provide. Otherwise, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
If you live in a low-light apartment with little natural light, for example, you’ll want to choose a plant that can tolerate low light levels. Some good options for this type of space include snake plants and ZZ plants.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of bright, direct sunlight, you may want to consider an aloe vera plant or jade plant.
When it comes to houseplant care, you also need to consider the amount of space you have available for your plant to grow. If you don’t have a lot of space, a smaller plant like a pothos plant or spider plant might fit better than a large fiddle-leaf fig.
And don’t forget to take your lifestyle and schedule into account. If you travel frequently and don’t have a caretaker to turn to, you’ll want to choose a plant that doesn’t require daily watering or maintenance. Some of the best low-maintenance plants include succulents and cacti.
Set an alarm for irrigation
One of the most common mistakes people make when caring for houseplants is watering them too much or too little. Both can be detrimental to the health of your plant.
To avoid messing up your plant’s watering schedule, set a reminder on your phone or calendar to water your plants on a regular schedule. How often you water will depend on the type of plant you have and the conditions in your home, so be sure to research how often to water each of your plants.
There are a few different ways to find out if it’s time to water your plants. One way is to stick your finger into the soil an inch deep. If the soil is completely dry, it’s time to water. You can also buy a moisture meter that will alert you when the soil dries out.
Due to photosynthesis, light is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to caring for houseplants. Most plants need at least some light to survive, but the amount and intensity varies greatly between plant species.
Some plants, like snake plants, can tolerate low light levels, while others, like basil plants, require bright, direct sunlight.
To ensure your plant receives the correct amount of light, monitor its placement and adjust as necessary. If you notice your plant stretching out or leaning toward a window, it may need more light. On the other hand, if the leaves are turning brown or dry, the plant may be getting too much direct sunlight (but not always!). Consider moving it to a shady location or using a sheer curtain to filter light.
Use high-quality soil and fertilizers
Your plant’s soil also has a big impact on its overall health. Most houseplants require well-draining soil that allows for airflow and does not retain too much moisture. You can buy pre-made potting mixes designed specifically for houseplants to take the guesswork out of the right soil mix.
In addition to good soil, your plant can benefit from an occasional fertilization. The fertilizer provides essential nutrients that can help your plant grow stronger and healthier.
However, fertilizer should be used sparingly because over-fertilizing can lead to poor plant health. Follow package directions carefully, and consider using a slow-release fertilizer to avoid overwhelming your plant.
Watch out for pests and diseases
It is important to watch for signs of pests or diseases in houseplants. Some common houseplant pests include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.
Signs of pest infestations include yellowing or wilted leaves, visible cobwebs or insects on the plant, and sticky residue on the leaves or on the soil. If you notice any of these signs, you’ll want to act immediately to prevent the infestation from spreading. There are a variety of natural and chemical treatments available to treat pests, depending on the pest and the severity of the problem.
Diseases like root rot or fungal infections can also be a threat to houseplants. Signs of disease include wilting, yellowing, or brown leaves, and a general lack of growth or vitality.
To prevent disease, avoid overwatering and make sure your plant has adequate drainage. If you notice signs of disease, remove any affected leaves or stems and consider using a fungicide or other treatment recommended for your specific plant.
Growing houseplants is a rewarding and rewarding hobby… if you can keep them alive. With a little effort and knowledge, you can create a lush, green oasis in your home. Here’s what you need to know about keeping plants alive.