Houseplant Care Tips
Houseplant Care FAQs and Care Requirements:
8 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Houseplants Healthy:
1. Watering Your Houseplants
All houseplants have slightly different watering requirements, depending on how they're grown and changes in growth through the seasons. It's best to water on an as-needed basis rather than by a set calendar schedule. In general, plants grown in well-draining soil should be watered when the top 1/2 to 1 inch of soil feels dry. Cacti and succulents need less water; flowering plants usually need slightly more. Overwatering is one of the most common causes of houseplant death. If you're not sure how much to water, it's better to err on the dry side than to give your plants too much water. A lot of houseplants are sensitive to softened water or city water. To prevent crispy leaf edges use distilled water, well water, or tap water that's been left out for 24 hours for the chemicals to dissipate.
- Fertilizing Your Plants
Like watering, there's not an easy rule to know how much to fertilize. It depends on the plant's growth rate and age, and the time of year. Most houseplants put on a growth spurt in spring and summer, so this is the best time to fertilize them. During the short days of fall and winter, most houseplants don't need much, if any, fertilizer. Most houseplants will go dormant in the winter, reserving energy for peak growing season. A good rule of thumb is if your plant is still putting out new growth in the winter it’s safe to fertilize. Follow label directions to know how much plant food to use to prevent burning your plants roots.
- Repot Overgrown Plants
Not sure if it’s time to repot? Check to see if the roots are circling the inside of the pot, or if you can see any roots from the holes at the bottom of the pot. If so, its probably time to repot. Always use fresh potting soil when repotting: old soil loses its nutrients over time leaving the soil depleted. When repotting if you need to size up pots, I suggest going no larger than 2” bigger. Too much room can cause the roots to die off as there is too much room for the roots to cover. Repotting is a great time to divide up plants and check for any pests or potential root diseases.
- Remove Dirt and Dust From Leaves
Routine cleaning of your houseplants leaves will ensure your plant can photosynthesize well. Dirt and dust create a blanket that the sun struggles to permeate.
- Prune Back Your Plants
Fall is a great time to prune back your plants after the growing season, but you’re welcome to trim back your plants year round. Trimming back your overgrown plants 4-6” not only makes your plants look nicer, it also promotes new growth.
- Remove Any Dead Leaves or Flowers
Removing dead leaves and flowers ensures your plants are looking great, and helps the plant reserve energy for new growth.
- Control and Prevent Pests
Ah pests, everyone's least favorite houseplant topic but also so vital to keeping your houseplant collection thriving. Insects commonly will attack houseplants. Main places pests like to hide are; under leaves, stems, and soil.
Scale or Mealybugs: to treat scale or mealy bugs rubbing alcohol does a good job of killing the pest. Using a cotton ball or Q tip soak them in rubbing alcohol and wipe all the leaves and stems down well to remove any pests. Check your plants surrounding the infected plant to make sure the pests have not spread. Scale and mealybugs both like to hide under leaves or line the plant's stem.
Spider Mites, Aphids, Thrips, and Fungus Gnats: To treat this set of pesky bugs I suggest spraying any infected plants down with a high pressure hose or shower head to initially remove any pests. Once sprayed down you can use a solution of 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water in a spray bottle and spray down the leaves and stems. Wipe away solution from leaves and follow up by watering the plant with the same solution. You may hear the soil sizzling as the eggs in the soil die. You may need to do this weekly till your pests are gone.
Pest Prevention: To prevent another infestation I suggest using neem oil spray monthly to deter pests, or buy my homemade pest spray that also acts as a leaf shine spray.
Remember pests are persistent and may take a few tries to get them all.
- Watch For Houseplant Diseases
Keep an eye out for plant diseases. Diseases can have an array of different looks. Fungal leaf spots (can be yellow, brown, or black spots on leaves), and root rot (mushy, dark-colored roots usually caused by overwatering). Powdery Mildew will present itself as white powdery spots on leaves. Diseases can be caused from pests, overwatering, or even the water being used.
Common Plants We Carry & Their Care
Pothos: Pothos are arguably one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. This gorgeous vining plant can grow up to 30 feet long. Hung from the ceiling it can trail your room with help of hooks.
Light Requirements: Full Sun, Partial Shade
Water requirements: Pothos like their soil to dry out completely between watering's. A water meter is a great tool to have on hand to tell you when it's time to water.
*NOT pet safe.
Hoyas: Hoyas are a go to for many plant lovers. They are easy to take care of and don't require much attention. With adequate sun this plant can bloom fragrant flowers. Hoyas are vining plants which make it an ideal hanging decoration for your home.
Light Requirements: Likes bright indirect light.
Water Requirements: Hoyas are in the succulent family and prefer to dry out some between waterings. Their waxy leaves retain water to keep them hydrated. Water about every 2 weeks, more in the hot summer months.
Philodendrons: Philodendrons are fast growing easy plants. A favorite among plant owners for their variegated leaves and fast growing vines. An ideal hanging plant, as it grows you can pin up the vines to provide support.
Light Requirements: Although it can survive low light conditions, Philodendrons like bright indirect light.
Water Requirements: Water deeply then allow the top 50% of the soil to dry between watering's. Philodendrons like to dry out between, or you risk root rot.
*NOT pet safe
Monsteras: Monsteras are becoming a well known favorite in the houseplant realm. Their large lush green leaves with gorgeous fenestrations make this plant a perfect decoration for your home.
Light Requirements: Monsteras like bright indirect light to produce large leaves with fenestrations. Monsteras can handle lower light conditions but will produce small leaves with no fenestrations.
Water Requirements: Monsteras are a great plant for newbies because they can survive on less water. Water your plant when the top 2" of soil are dry.
*Mildly toxic to pets in excessive quantities.
Ficus Light Requirements: Ficus need bright filtered light or bright indirect light. In order to achieve filtered light we suggest using sheer curtains to filter the light coming in.
Water Requirements: Water deeply and allow excess water to drain out. Let the top 1 1/2 to 2 inches of soil dry out between watering's (1-2 weeks).
*NOT pet safe
Sansevieria (Snake Plants): Snake plants are a staple in beginner plant parents' homes. Snake plants are well known for being one of the easiest low maintenance plants. They can survive on neglect, and are hard to kill. These spiky beauties can put up with anything.
Light Requirements: Snake plants like and can tolerate a variety of light conditions. Although they do best in bright indirect light. They can survive in full sun as well as low light conditions. Although in low light conditions the yellow edges to the leaves can dull.
Water Requirements: This guy needs watered every 4-8 weeks. Snake Plants enjoy drying out completely between waterings. Watering your Snake plant too much will cause root rot.
*NOT pet friendly
Aglaonemas: Aglaonema's are decorative foliage houseplants that can thrive easily in most homes. Aglaonema's are great for all levels of plant enthusiasts!
Light Requirements: Aglaonema's are tolerant of low light conditions, and thrive in medium indirect light making them suitable for a variety of spaces.
Water Requirements: Aglaonema like consistently damp soil, but not wet. Water once every 8-10 days or more in hotter climates.
*NOT pet safe
Alocasia: Alocasia impressive and stunning leaves are arrowhead or shield shaped with large protruding veins running through them which contrasts strongly with the rest of the dark green leaf.
LIGHTING: Alocasia Polly requires bright indirect light, but protect the plant from direct sunlight during the day. It can grow in some half-shaded corners if it is warm and humid enough for the plant.
WATERING: Alocasia Polly requires moist soil consistently (water the plant 3-4 times a week during hot season, in winter reduce the watering). Don’t let it dry out between waterings.
FERTILIZING- starting from March through October feed Alocasia Polly every two weeks. No need to feed it during the cold season. Use organic fertilizer, or fertilizer with high content of potassium.
*NOT PET SAFE
Calatheas: Calathea are known for their bright colorful patterned leaves. They are eye-catching plants with their deep hues of green, pink, and creams.
Light Requirements: Your Calathea will do best in bright indirect to medium light. They do not like full sun, it will burn the leaves.
Water Requirements: Calatheas like a consistent watering schedule. Water deeply when the top 2" of soil are dry.
Dracaena: Dracaena are very easy care plants that are drought resistant and can thrive in low light. A great choice for a beginner plant owner.
Light Requirements: Dracaena enjoys partial shade, to moderate indirect light.
Water Requirements: Water when your soil is dry half way down your pot. Dracaena are drought resistant and can handle infrequent watering.
Soil Requirements: Dracaena like loose well draining organic material with some bark mixed in.
*NOT pet safe
Peperomias: Peperomias are known for being great low maintenance plants.
Light Requirements: Medium to Bright Indirect
Water Requirements: Peperomia don't like a lot of water. Their thick leaves retain water which helps keep this plant low maintenance. Let your plant dry out thoroughly between waterings. Peperomias will commonly droop some when it’s time to water.
Soil: When potting, use well draining soil.
Succulents: Succulents are a wide range of plants with hearty thick waxy leaves that retain water. Native to warmer dry climates these plants like a lot of sun and not a lot of water.
Water Requirements: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Water or mist or succulents twice a month. Beware of overwatering, overloving these plants is a sure way of killing them. Set them and try to forget them.
Light Requirements: Succulents enjoy lots of sun. Place yours in the sunniest window you have in your home.
Peperomioides: This plant is ideal for new plant owners because it's surprisingly easy to care for. Peperomioides propagate easily, giving you lots of plant babies to give to friends and family!
Light Requirements: Peperomioides like bright indirect light. Too harsh of sunlight will cause your plant to burn. Rotate your plant regularly to keep it symmetrical.
Water Requirements: The leaves of a Peperomioides will droop when it's time to water. Let your plant dry out between watering's (7-10 days) then water well.
Zamioculas Zamiifolia ZZ Plant: Are you looking for a low maintenance plant for your space? The ZZ plant is the one for you! Dark green waxy leaves with thick bulbous stalks make this plant a great easy care choice for your home.
Light Requirements: ZZ plants thrive in medium to low indirect light. Not suited for direct sun, will burn the leaves.
Water Requirements: Water every 4 or so weeks. Let the soil dry out completely between waterings. This plant doesn't like their soil being too moist.
*NOT Pet Friendly