Houseplants- Dos & Don'ts
Dos & Donts
Houseplants bring year round gardening right into your living room. You do not have to wait until spring to get out into the garden you can live in it all through the four seasons.
You have chosen to be an indoor garden so that you can enjoy the benefits of gardening inside. So the first do for the houseplant gardener is- get to know your plants and be comfortable with them.
What do I mean by comfortable, think of them as friends, welcome additions to your home. If this sounds strange then you are really going to wonder about the next do- do talk with them. I am not suggesting that you sit down and have a lengthy political or philosophical discussion with them but when you approach them say hello.
A kind word or two can’t hurt and it will help you accept the plants as a living member of your home; one that needs your care and attention. Once you have broken the ice you will find it more difficult to forget to water them.
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.
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.
Do water with warm water at room temperature.
Do clean your plants, outside nature will take care of the plant’s hygiene but indoors it is all on you. Remove any yellow leaves, fallen leaves and flowers. Wash the plants leaves once a month with arm water and a drop or two of an environmentally friendly dish soap.
Don’t water with ice cold water as the sudden shock, think how you react when cold water is poured on you, can cause leaves to drop and the roots will not soak up the cold water.
Don’t fertilize if soil is dry, first water.
Don’t let the plants stand in drafts, like us , they become chilled, plants will also lose moisture and wilt.
Don’t, in winter let plant leaves touch a cold or icy windowsill.
If you move your plants outside during the heat of the summer, do remember that outside they will dry out faster than they do inside. You may need to water them daily. Do not take them out until after the threat of the last frost of the season ahs passed and do not leave them out overnight for the first three weeks.
You already know the light requirements of your houseplants so do place them where they will get what they need.
If you follow these basic dos and don’t’s your indoor garden will reward you with brilliant foliage and flowers for many years. Remember you have brought them into yoru home and by doing so have accepted much of the responsibility for their care.
They will pay you back many times over for the attention you provide.