So you’ve decided to add a little greenery to your home. But maybe you’re feeling greener in the face than the thumb at the idea of caring for houseplants? Never fear! Keep these basics in mind, your flowered friends will be flourishing in no time.
The key rules to plant care are:
1. Provide Adequate Sunlight
We all know: Plants need light.
However, different species can vary as to how much or how little light they need. A quick search online can give you a good idea of your plant’s lighting needs. Remember that south and southwest facing windows will provide the most light, whereas north facing windows will provide the least.
2. Don’t Over-Water
Everyone loves to feel helpful, but don’t overdo it! Too much water can be just as bad for your plant as not enough. Watering once or twice a week is plenty enough for most, but use your judgement. The goal is soil that feels moist to touch, but not saturated. If it’s consistently lighter in color or cracked by watering time, then consider increasing your watering frequency.
3. Use the Right Soil
Not all dirt is created equally. While most plants thrive in a balanced 10-10-10 soil (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium), some may do best in soil with an altered nutrient makeup, or a different type altogether. Plants like cacti and succulents require their very own mix that’s suited to desert plants, and some plants do better in moss than in much soil at all. Check with your local home and garden store to see which is best for you.
4. Prune Regularly
As sad as it can feel, trimming your plant is actually good for it! Cut away dead/dying flowers, stems, and leaves to help it relocate those yummy nutrients to the rest of the body and keep it thriving.
5. Maintain Good Air Quality
Just as important as what goes into your plants, is what goes on around them. Humidity plays a key role in keeping our green friends happy and healthy. This can easily be increased by grouping plants together, occasionally spraying them with a mister, or with a pebble tray .
6. Keep Them Clean
No one likes to feel dirty, including your houseplants. Dust accumulation can block sunlight and prevent photosynthesis. So if you see your plants looking a little dingy, give them a quick bath!
Most plants can be gently rinsed under warm water in the sink. But if they’re a little too large for that, a quick sponge bath will do just fine. They will thank you later!
Caring for houseplants can seem daunting at first. But keep these basics in mind, and you’ll feel like a gardening pro. You got this!