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Houseplant Care

Updated on May 29, 2010

Houseplant care

Houseplants are totally reliant on you for their survival. They cannot send roots down into the earth seeking nourishment or water. They can’t get a drink from a rain storm or rely on the wind to help with pollination.

While all gardening represents a commitment, taking care of houseplants demands that you accept that the plants you bring into your home are your responsibility.

Now do not let that frighten you off; for the most part houseplants are not that difficult to look after. If you remember to:

1-      Do develop the habit of visiting them several times a week and taking a close look at what is going on. Are there any changes? Are the leaves drooping or turning yellow? When you take this closer look you will be able to spot changes and get warning signals about potential problems. Forewarned is forearmed.

2-      Do rotate your plants. Plants will lean towards the light source, this is called phototropic. If you fail to rotate them, they will grow lopsided so about once a week rotate them.

You are well on the way to a successful experience. Most of the plants we call houseplants are semi-tropical and tropical plants; plants which in many areas, such as where I live would not be able to spend the winter outside. In fact, they probably will not appreciate fall or early spring for that matter, so keep them out of cool drafts.

There are three basic things that your houseplants will need to thrive; light, water and air. They also need good potting soil; however, you can buy that at most plant stores.

Some plants need to get sunlight so must be placed close to a window that lets enough sun in; others can handle darker areas in the home. Be sure to know the plant’s sun needs before placing it.

Water, the major cause of houseplant failure is too little or too much water. Homes can be dry and humid and the plant’s soil may dry up quickly. When you first bring a new houseplant home develop that habit of checking on it, check to see if the soil is wet or dry and add water if needed. In a short period you will get to know the plant’s water needs and on your regular plant visits will be able to give it a drink. If the leaves are wilting the plant is screaming for some water, try and avoid this situation.

You can also mist the plants’ leaves on a weekly basis and it might be a good idea to have a small fan located near the plants that you run, now and then, especially during the hot summer months.

Houseplants will add value to your home but it is up to you to keep them happy.

Comments

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  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Cheers!!!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Hi, start with a spider plant, easy to care for easy to propagate.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    I´ve just moved to a 1st floor apartment and don´t know where to start.There´s a communal garden which will have to wait until I´m more organised but could you advise me an indoor plant to begin with. Something I can´t easily kill.please? I love all your articles. Thank you,x

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome

  • Sa`ge profile image

    Sa`ge 

    8 years ago from Barefoot Island

    yes, houseplants are relatively easy to care for, people just have t remember they do need some love and they do get thirsty. thanks Bob :D ~aloha~

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • myweddingfavors profile image

    myweddingfavors 

    8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Great tips, thank you. I like your point about how our house plants are totally reliant on us. My indoor bromeliad is starting to show signs of poor health. I must tend to it.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for your tips to keep out beloved plants in good condition.

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