If you are new to houseplants, taking the best care of your green friends can seem overwhelming. With the different guides online, it is easy to get confused and feel like you cannot care adequately for your plants. However, it is important to remember that most houseplants do not need 24/7 attention to achieve healthy growth. Periodic care like watering, fertilizing, adjusting temperature and humidity, pruning, and other measures require little time and ensure optimal plant growth. We have curated a collection of the most important steps to take care of your houseplants in a guide that is easy to understand and can help you stay on top of your plant-care game. Let us take a look at the best ways to care for your houseplants.
Depending on their species, plants have different requirements for watering that change depending on multiple factors, the most important being their pattern of growth overall and through different seasons. The ideal technique is to water plants according to their requirements rather than on a predetermined schedule. Dry, non-flowering plants like succulents need less water than flowering plants, and overwatering plants can result in their death. As a rule of thumb, less water is better to stay on the safe side, if you are not sure about a plant’s particular water requirements.
Like water, fertilizer is necessary for the optimal growth of your houseplants. The fertilizer requirements for plants can vary depending on their type, age, growth rate, and season of the year. Spring and summer are usually the ideal seasons to fertilize houseplants since they grow exponentially during these periods. On the contrary, they might need little to no fertilizer in the fall and winter seasons. Like watering, fertilizing your plants is best if done in moderation. An excess can result in the death of your plants due to stunted growth and root damage.
Some houseplants benefit greatly if propagated by methods like cutting, layering, grafting, division, budding, etc. If you feel like your plant has slowed in terms of its overall growth, you can breathe fresh life into it through propagation, which is an inexpensive means to expand your little garden by using the plants available. Since all plants have different requirements, the methods of propagation used may vary accordingly. For instance, some plants, like spider plants, only require soaking their base in water to sprout roots, after which you can plant them in soil.
Repotting is a great way to ensure that your house plants remain healthy and full of life. It is essential to check the roots of potted plants to see if they are circling inside their pots, which is a sign that the plant needs more space to grow. You can simply take the plant out if this happens and repot it into a larger planter. If you want to reuse the same pot, you should replace the soil and trim the roots so the plant would fit better inside its container. Dividing your plants and grafting them at other places in your house might be a great idea to create new plants. The periods of enhanced plant growth, especially the summer and spring seasons are ideal if you want to repot your plants.
Despite maintaining a clean environment in your house, your house plants can collect dust over time. If you see it happening, you should gently dust them off or wash their leaves with room-temperature water. While plants with normal leaves might not require regular dusting, those with hairy leaves can latch onto moisture which can result in damage if washed instead of being dusted. Regular cleaning of houseplants improves their look and allows them to absorb more sunlight, resulting in better growth.
Plants that grow fast might require periodic trimming to remove dead leaves or faded flowers. Trimming these parts can improve the appearance of your houseplants and prevent disease. It is important to clean your pruning shears or blades before moving from one plant to the next. Using the same scissors without cleaning them before pruning can result in the spread of disease or pests between different houseplants.
Despite our best efforts, insects can attack our houseplants and adversely impact their health and longevity. While pressured water can help knock down these insects, the better approach is to treat the pest-infested plants with insecticidal measures that best suit the plant. You can also use rubbing alcohol for some insect populations. When it comes to pest control, consistency is the key. Once weekly or monthly treatment might be necessary for plants depending on their species and the types of insects.
Like water and fertilizer, sunlight is also very important for a plant’s growth. While outdoor plants might get the optimal sunlight needed for their survival, indoor plants need better care and periodic shifting to areas that suit their sunlight requirements. In general, the full sun is damaging to plants, and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause more harm than good. Bright light without direct sun is the optimal requirement for most houseplants, which can be accomplished through the proper positioning of their pots or using garden shading accessories.
Plants that come from different habitats have varying requirements for humidity. Many common houseplants that are kept indoors tend to adapt well to changing humidity in the environment, with a selection of species that require regular spraying with water to maintain optimal humidity. On the contrary, some species might have higher requirements, for which tools like electric humidifiers can be used besides techniques like grouping different plants together or misting, etc.
Keeping a houseplant is a great way to maintain a healthy environment in your house and bring a slice of nature indoors. Being a new plant parent can be confusing, but with the help of this guide, you can ensure that your plants will receive the care they need and deserve. Now that you know the best ways to take care of your plants, you can use a plant delivery service such as FTD.com to order your favorite houseplant.