Indoor Plant Care

by Justine Green

Indoor Plant Care

No matter what season we’re in, indoor plants are great to have all year long! Houseplants not only look good, but they bring the outdoors in and by improving the air in your home, they provide numerous health benefits as well. They produce oxygen, increase humidity and can even trap harmful pollutants from the air you breathe. Think of them as nature’s air fresheners! Artificial plants only give you the beauty the real plants offer, so consider opting for the real thing. In this manner, you can experience all the benefits houseplants have to offer.  If you only have one or two houseplants, or are considering purchasing your first indoor plant, it’s important to take into account the maintenance that these “live” plants need.

Houseplant care includes everything from proper lighting, water and fertilizer, to proper pruning and re-potting your plants.

Here are a few general tips for giving houseplants the proper care they need:

Lighting

Lighting may be one of the most important elements of indoor plant care since light is essential for proper growth. Some plants require more light than others, and it is also important to factor in the number of daylight hours your plants are receiving, along with the intensity of the light. If your plant is getting too much sunlight and/or artificial light, you might notice brown scorched patches on its leaves. The leaves also dry out and may begin to fall off or start to look faded. On the other hand, if your plant isn’t receiving enough light, watch for signs such as slow or no growth, the plant reaching and growing towards a light source, or lower leaves turning yellow and falling off. If you do not have much natural light available for your plant, you can also give it artificial light as well.

Watering

Under-watering and over-watering are both harmful to your houseplant. Therefore, check the moisture of the soil before watering. The soil also needs to reach a certain level of dryness before re-watering. Be sure to water evenly over the top of the soil to ensure complete saturation. You can also water plants from the bottom. Fill a shallow dish with water and place it under the plant pot and the plant will soak up the water from the bottom. Check the plant in twenty minutes, and if all the water is gone, add a little more, and check again in twenty minutes. . Any water left after twenty minutes should be poured out.

Soil

Potting soil is recommended for indoor houseplants, as it includes soil conditioners that provide the plant with the adequate nutrients and support it needs to thrive inside. Soil mixtures can be made to suit your plants needs. However, if you are using local natural soil or dirt, be sure to bake your soil first for necessary sterilization, as natural soil often contains harmful bacteria which can be detrimental to your plant. Just like light, different plants require different amounts of soil moisture, so if you are mixing your own soil, be sure to mix properly.

Watering, lighting and soil are 3 essential factors to a healthy indoor plant, but don’t forget that healthy plants will grow! They often outgrow their original pots and will need repotting to an appropriate sized pot. Be sure to research your plant to find out what ideal indoor conditions are needed to grow your plant. If you continue to give your plant the love and cared it needs, it will keep giving to you as well!

 

 

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