A selection of indoor and house plant care guides to help you grow various plants successfully; following specific caring instructions including watering, lighting, humidity, and others.
These are house plant care instructions (highly important) that a plant cannot live without, or get it wrong and you’ll be treating a damaged plant; even worse it will die. Watering is one of those instructions.
Providing too much water for certain plants (e.g. succulents) can easily kill them, while not providing enough for others will prevent the plant from growing, causing leaves to drop and flowers to fade quickly.
The environment and time of the year play an important role in how much is the right amount for your plant.
Lighting can be slightly less serious to house plants than watering when comparing potential problems. It is still just as important to be right for promoting good plant health.
The basics of providing plants with lighting indoors are understanding which ones like full sun, shade, bright – without direct sun, and others that survive in low light conditions.
Most plants will not cope with full sun (apart from cacti) and like a brightly lit spot without direct sun, near an east, west, or south-facing window.
Temperature is a really tricky one, especially for most indoor growers living in temperate regions. Certain plants are so sensitive to cold that the drive home from the garden store can kill them.
The majority of plants thrive in average temperatures indoors which is 60°F (15°C) – 75°F (24°), and not below 50 – 55°F (10 – 13°C). Of course, each genus and species have its own likes and dislikes so it’s important to know the plant’s ideal temperature needs.
Many house plants are native to tropical and subtropical climates, which means they get a fair share of high humidity in their natural habitat that we need to mimic.
Fortunately, many plants we grow indoors adapt well to humidity levels, making this part of indoor plant care fairly easy in our homes. Some species may only need leaf misting to improve levels enough.
However, there are some species that need high levels which we have to provide them. Simple measures can be taken, such as misting, grouping plants, providing a humidity pebble tray, or purchasing an electronic humidifier.
Propagating is used to produce new plants from the parent plant – which follows various methods. The most popular method is taking stem, root, or leaf cuttings when a section of the parent plant is re-planted to form roots and shoots.
Woody-type species are typically propagated by taking a few inches of cutting from a stem, removing the lower leaves, dipping the lower section in rooting hormone, and then re-planting in a suitable pot.
Other plants including many desert cacti and succulents are propagated by taking leaf cuttings (or removing offsets) because there are no solid stems or petioles to take root.
– Feeding Plants
Like any living creature and species has a need to be fed to support its life and growth, a plant is no different and also needs food for nutrition and to look healthy.
The good news is feeding a plant is easy enough which can be done when it’s time to water and it can be added to the water.
While the majority of house plants can be fed using a balanced liquid fertilizer from spring until fall, once every month, others have more specific needs. It is important to follow a guide for that species to prevent under or worse over-feeding problems.
– Repotting Plants
Annual house plant care will include repotting, which could be a transplant to a larger pot or the same pot with new soil and a clean-up. Perfect time for pruning as well.
Here a grower must consider the new pot size, pot type, soil to be used, and the time of year it should be repotted. Most house plants are repotted during spring.
Cleaning is something you will need to consider doing to help keep your plants appearance up, and to keep them healthy.
There are three main methods which include using a damp sponge or cloth, dusting with a brush, or spraying.
Most plants with large leaves are easy to clean with water. Others (hairy types) need a bit more care given and have to be brushed gently.
– Going Away
You’ve booked your hotel, flights, and made arrangements at work for taking your vacation and now one of those other things on the to-do list before going away is to make sure your house plants will be well while you are away.
If you plan to go on holiday for more than a week you will need to arrange how your beloved air-filtering creatures will receive enough water. 10 days or less then most plants will be fine.
The best plan is to have a friend or family member pop in and water them, but if you don’t have a person to do it for you there are other methods you can use.
Elyssa Goins is an experienced house plant hobbyist who maintains over a hundred plants. She is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mother of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has a published study in the National Social Science Association, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.