How to keep your houseplants healthy
Do your houseplants rarely survive? Before blaming your lack of green thumbs, keep in mind that plant care is a skill you can cultivate. Here are some practical, easy-to-apply tips to keep your indoor plants healthy.
Do you love the look plants give your home? Can you seldom resist buying new varieties to complement your decor? This could be your first mistake! Choosing the right indoor plants will help you keep them alive for longer. When you only buy your favourites, your plants suffer the consequences. The second mistake you can make is treating them all the same. Every species of plant has specific needs and requires different care.
Here are a few tips to make your life easier…and save your plants’ lives!
Get to know them
Always read the plant tag, ask the seller questions, or research the plant online or in a book.
Choose the right spot for them
Plants aren’t just for decoration. The place where a plant adds the biggest “wow” factor to your home may not be its ideal location. Remember that while houseplants like light, they don’t do well with drafts or direct heat.
Find them a good first home
Their first home isn’t your house—it’s their pot! The pot shouldn’t be too narrow or too large and should have holes to let excess water drain out. Otherwise, it can cause the roots to rot, which sometimes happens with succulents.
Give them the right amount of light
All indoor plants need light, but some—such as snake plants—can tolerate less light. As a general rule, the more
colourful a plant’s leaves, the more light it needs. However, avoid direct
sunlight, which can burn the leaves.
Water as needed
How often you water your plants depends on their needs and location. Plants that don’t get much light grow more slowly, which means they need to be watered less often. Water your plants when the top of the soil is dry, but don’t overdo it: the soil should be damp, not soggy.
Keep an eye on them…
There are various ways to see if your plant is healthy, such as their leaf colour, flowers, soil, spots and leaf texture. These will give you clues on how to keep them healthy. Here are a couple books to read:
- Plantes vertes — une jungle entre 4 murs by Mélanie Grégoire (Québec Amérique)
- How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless (DK)
Finally, start a logbook to record each plants’ specific characteristics and schedule when to care for them—your plants will love you for it! You can also set reminders on your phone for certain care tasks or even for watering.By getting into these good habits, you can ensure your plants keep filling your home with colour!