Caring for Houseplants

Help! How do I care for Houseplants?

Houseplants are really nice and have many benefits. But there is one problem. However much we may like them, want them, or even have them, we might not know how to care for them.


But before we begin, there is one thing that we should remember. There is some difference in the care required depending on the houseplant. A cactus or succulent will not require the same amount of water and care as other houseplants. And this makes sense. Houseplants vary not only in looks but in place of origin. A plant from the desert will not have the same needs as one from the rainforest or wetlands. Beyond this, there are many plants that are from in between these two extremes. But the good thing is that there are some general best practices that apply to all plants.

Consider these 5 tips:

  1. Make sure not to over water

    One of the biggest problems with houseplants is overwatering. Ironically, this is the opposite problem that is faced with outdoor plants. Outdoors, plants tend to be under-watered but indoors they are so often under-watered. People tend to water not only to often but tend to also give too much water. How does one avoid this? One of the best ways is to make sure that you water only when needed. How does one know when it is needed? Test the soil with your finger. If it feels dry, then it needs water. If possible, water the plant in the sink with a small amount of water and let the excess water seep through. Of course, this is only possible if your pot is drained and you remove it from the saucer. One of the worst things is for your houseplant to sit in standing water.

  2. Make sure they get enough light

    Lack of light is something that causes a lot of houseplants. What is the best way to figure out whether your plant does not have enough light is to look at it. There are three results of low light. The first and most sure-fire way is to see if the plant looks stretched as it is trying to get to the light. The second and longer term is that the leaves are lighter in color. This is because the plants are not getting enough light to get photosynthesis. The third-way thing is if plants do not get enough light the leaves will begin to fall off. Houseplants do best near a bright a window. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to supplement with artificial light. The important thing to note, however, is that this generally requires a special bulb in order to get the correct light waves.

  3. Remember to fertilize

    Fertilizing your houseplant is something that is easy to do wrong. Either people fertilize them too much or not at all. The good thing with houseplants is that they do not need much fertilizer. The reason for this is since houseplants are generally grown in containers and not drained, it is a close-looped system. Compare this to a container that is drained outside. Every time it is watered, you loose nutrients with the water that goes through the pot. This does not happen indoors since either your container is not drained or has a saucer under it. For this reason, your houseplant will only need to be fertilized somewhere between 2 to 6 times per year during the growing season. Your best bet is to look up the specific plant online to see how often and when it should be fertilized.

  4. Make sure your houseplant does not get potbound

    One of the biggest worries when growing plants in pots is that plants have a habit of growing. Depending on the plant, it is often not long before the plant becomes rootbound. This is a big problem because a rootbound will not do nearly as well. Furthermore, repotting your plant regularly is a great way to keep it looking good, even if you put it back in the same container. The reason for this is that this means that your plant will have new soil and it also allows you to loosen the roots and possibly cut them back. If you do cut back the roots, it will slow the growth of the plant. This is the same method used with bonsai.

  5. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases

    Our final tip to keeping your houseplants nice is to try to make sure that your houseplants are free from pests and diseases. Of course, one of the best ways to avoid pests and diseases is to make sure that you do not buy infected plants. Further, you will want to make sure that you use clean water and watering can and clean soil when you re-pot. Another tip is to make sure that you do not let leaves touch other plants. This helps prevent spread. Finally, if a plant does get infected, you want to isolate it.

Have you used any of these tips? Any you would add? Comment below!