How to grow plants: 11 houseplant care tips
Plenty of households have plants, right? They’re often gifted or bought because of their decorative features. Not only are houseplants beautiful additions to any room, but some of them are also beneficial to have in the house due to their indoor air purifying qualities.
There are many different types of common houseplants, and most of them have similar care requirements. Houseplant care can sometimes be tricky to handle, though. Thankfully, there are tons of informative tips and tricks related to the most popular indoor plant care in our plant care guide!
1. Consider Your Lighting
There are a few things to consider when it comes to the light requirements for indoor plants. Although not all potted plants have the same requirements, they are mostly quite similar. Most of them grow best in bright but indirect light. Natural light is important, but you should always consider what type of indoor plant you have and look into what its ideal conditions are. While some require natural light, others can grow just as well with artificial lighting. Typically, most indoor vegetation grows best in spots where it will receive bright but indirect sun for at least four hours per day. Ideal spots to keep your houseplants are near or on windowsills.
Other indoor plants, such as succulents, can grow in artificial light and can be kept out of direct sunlight. For best results, search the care requirements for the specific species and find a spot in your house that fits those exact lighting requirements.
2. Keep Optimal Room Temperatures
Generally, it’s relatively easy to provide and maintain the appropriate temperature for indoor plant growth. Most houseplants are not fussy when it comes to temperatures and will do just fine in regular room temperatures. The ideal temperature to grow indoor plants will depend on their species, but typically it is between 65-75℉ for best growth results.
Some indoor plants are sensitive to changes and should be protected from cold drafts and heat from furnaces or radiators. During the colder months, it is also recommended to move them from the cold glass of the windows if they are kept on windowsills.
This part of houseplant care may seem hard to remember, but it is simple. When you get cold, your foliaged friends get cold. When you get hot, your potted plants get hot.
3. Monitor The Humidity Levels
Humidity for indoor plant growth is also important and goes hand in hand with temperature requirements. Although the ideal humidity for houseplants is typically quite high and does not always jive with the typical humidity of a house, there are simple solutions to keep your indoor plants happy and thriving.
The best way to increase the humidity around your houseplants is to bunch them together or place them on pebble trays. Placing or bunching your indoor plants together will increase the humidity around them. Placing your plants with high humidity requirements on pebble trays is an excellent way to keep it where the plant is while still catering to its needs.
4. Water Indoor Plants Correctly
One of the most important indoor plant care requirements is watering. The best way to water your plants is to cater to their specific needs.
Not all indoor plants will require the same amount of water at the same frequency. The best tip here is to stick to a watering schedule. It can save you from the risk of overwatering.
Additionally, each type of plant will have its individual watering needs. Some houseplants may need to be kept moist, while others should be left to dry out in between waterings. For best results, take note of your individual plants’ requirements and follow them carefully in order to water your plants correctly.
5. Fertilize Houseplants Periodically
To find out how to fertilize indoor plants, you should choose a fertilizer based on the type of houseplant and then follow the provided instructions.
Houseplants should be fertilized periodically to keep them thriving and growing. Because they are potted, the nutrients in their soil will be consumed rather quickly. That’s why fertilizing is important for indoor plant growth.
6. Repot Overgrown Houseplants
Indoor plants are kept in containers that they can eventually outgrow. Repotting them is easy – especially when done at the right time. The trick to knowing when you should repot an indoor plant is by looking at its roots.
If the roots have begun to grow out of the drainage holes in your pot, it is time to repot. No drainage holes? Repot when the plant has doubled in size. This can be a bit tricky to track, but you should be able to see when your plant has overgrown its pot.
One more important plant repotting tip when taking care of indoor plants: make sure you repot your houseplants at the right time. The best time to repot an indoor plant is generally during its growing period, and repotting it during the wrong season can actually stress the plant. To be safe, find out more about your particular plant’s ideal requirements.
7. Choose The Right Potting Soil
Soil is one of the most important factors for happy and healthy plants. The ideal soil for houseplants is typically light and well-draining. Because potted plants grow in a confined space, their soil needs to drain freely to avoid developing any serious diseases like root rot.
While you can create your own potting mixture, it is often easier and safer to make use of store-bought potting soil. When purchasing potting soil for your indoor plants, make sure to choose something houseplant-specific or something specific to your particular species.
8. Prune Your Plants to Make Them Healthier
Plant pruning is an important part of maintaining a healthy plant. It is a task that should be done regularly to keep them free of diseased or damaged foliage. Pruning is also an ideal way to encourage new growth.
Although the best time to prune your houseplants is during spring and summer, you should always look out for leaves that need to be removed. It is best to spot prune your indoor plants often. Always remove yellowing, damaged, or diseased foliage as it appears. If your houseplant has an abundance of foliage and needs to be thinned out to improve air circulation, this should be done during the plant’s growing period.
9. Propagate Houseplants When Needed
If you wish to reproduce your favorite houseplant, you can propagate it! There are several plant propagation methods you can try, however, not all plants can be propagated the same way. The most common methods include cuttings, division, and seed. If you are taking cuttings or dividing one of your own plants, make sure it’s from a plant with healthy growth.
Depending on the type of plant and the method of propagation you are using, you can also try growing plants in water, without soil.
10. Clean Plant Leaves Regularly
One way to ensure your houseplants are getting enough light is to keep their leaves clean. Dust commonly collects on plants and, if left unattended, can affect the plant’s growth and ability to absorb light. You should clean plants often to keep a layer of dust from forming over their leaves.
To clean the leaves, you will just need a slightly damp cloth. With the damp cloth, gently wipe each individual leaf down to remove any dust build-up. Cleaning your plant leaves is also a good time to check for any pests or foliage that needs to be pruned. Doing this is a quick way to get through your plant care routine.
11. Control Indoor Plant Pests
Houseplants that are not maintained are typically more susceptible to attracting pests. There are several common houseplant pests that can infest your indoor green friends. Pests you are most likely to run into include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and thrips.
Getting rid of insects is generally an easy task if you catch them early. Once they have infested your plant, it becomes much harder to get rid of them. Typically, you can rid your house plants of common pests by using a bit of pesticide. You can also wipe the foliage down with some neem oil on a cotton pad.