Before we jump into picking the perfect plant baby, let’s cover my tips for growing a houseplant. These will not only help you keep it alive (harder than it sounds), but beautiful and thriving!
1. Use high-quality potting soil.
Using a high-quality potting soil is super important, because this is what is going to give your plant the best chance at thriving and surviving well! A high-quality potting soil recommendation could be one that is actually organic (not just saying it is, because there is no regulation). An example of what not to do would be to use regular gardening soil for an indoor plant. This is because it’s essentially common dirt. While that may work in a garden setting, it’s actually too dense and heavy and provides poor drainage. By using a high-quality potting soil, you won’t run into the physical issues it would have if it can’t drain water.
The soil will probably benefit you, too, as it may contain water retention crystals – which allows your plant to retain water better. That means you won’t need to water it as much!
2. Replace old dirt.
Using high-quality potting soil is a great first step! Unfortunately, though, the bagged potting soils won’t last forever – they’re not meant to. Over time, some of the substances in it do break down. The bigger chunks crumble into smaller ones, and the particles end up suffocating around the plant’s roots. This makes it so the plant doesn’t get all the water and oxygen it needs. Over time, your pot will be completely filled with roots and old, ineffective soil. If you’re able to, it is super important to change and re-pot your plant annually to make sure that it gets what it needs.
3. Water it correctly!
Watering too much or too little is one of the most common – and easiest – ways to kill an indoor plant. If you over-water your plant, it can rot the roots and lead to decay. If you under-water your plant, it can dry out and die that way, too. Plants should never be swimming in or sitting in water. They should drain after watering to get rid of any excess water that it does not need. Each plant will have its own watering recommendations, so make sure to know which plants need what kind of care!
4. Crank up the humidity.
Typically, a home or indoor environment is air conditioned or heated and can have a low humidity level. Many houseplants actually come from more tropical areas and are made to thrive in that kind of environment. To facilitate this, you can grab your spray bottle or mister and spray/mist the leaves of the plant regularly.
5. Watch out for pests.
There are certain pests that are known for affecting indoor houseplants. If you see these pests flocking to your plant, isolate your plant and spray it with water to try to get the pests off of it. Try to identify the bug you are finding on your plant, and look up different non-toxic and natural spray deterrents you can make to get rid of it if water does not work.
6. Mimic the plant’s natural environment.
This one is simple and makes sense – you just have to know which environment your plant is naturally from. Obviously, the plants are made to thrive in the natural environment they grow in – which most likely was not your house. The best way to take care of your plant is to simulate the conditions of its natural environment as much as you can to help your plant thrive. Looking at a plant’s natural environment will clue you in on the best way to care for it.
7. Use the right size container.
Plants need to be rooted well in their container. If the roots are coming over the edges of the container, or are beginning to grow out of the drainage holes, then it is time for it to be repotted. When you re-pot, make sure to go up a size so that it has ample space to grow.
8. Place the plant for more than just decoration.
You find the perfect spot for your plant. It brings together the whole design and look of the room, and you are in love! But then you realize your plant needs ample sunlight to thrive – and the place you put it doesn’t get any. Talk about a bummer.
Before even deciding on a plant, decide what you want its main purpose to be. Is it functional in taking out toxins? Is it to decorate that one spot in your living room that needs something? Is it a fun project for you? What is its purpose? Based on that, decide which plant you want to get and have an idea of what conditions it needs. That way, you can be prepared to put it in a spot where it can look good and thrive – not just one or the other! With proper planning beforehand, you can have both!
9. Listen to what your plant is telling you!
It can feel like there are so many strict rules to follow when taking care of a plant, but each house and environment is different. Each plant may have different needs than what you are expecting. Remember to pay attention to how they respond to your care. When you are watering, misting, or repotting, be sure to check up on them and see if you notice anything that needs to be taken care of or adjusted.