Whether you are a beginner or an avid indoor gardener it is likely that a few (or more) of these mistakes will occur at least once.
Much like ourselves, houseplants are living breathing organisms that need proper sunlight, water, and food (fertilization) to thrive and grow.
Prior to plant shopping consider the environment in which the plant will reside. Does it have a lot of natural light from the sun? What is the temperature? Is there a draft? Is there enough space for it to flourish without banging into anything? The conditions will help you decide which house plant will be a successful match for your home.
Here are 4 common mistakes and how to avoid them:
4. Not watering properly
It is important to check the soil prior to watering in order to prevent over or underwatering.
Underwatering a houseplant will be noticeable in its overall appearance. Over time the plant will wilt, with the ends of the leaves eventually becoming dry and crispy. Underwatering will lead to little or no growth.
Give it a soak and let the water drip down into the container below (there should always be a hole for drainage in the pot). Promptly discard accumulated water to prevent "wet feet" which causes rot.
Overwatering a houseplant not suited to it can cause the roots to rot or simply die. For example, plants found in the desert (like a cactus or succulent for example) naturally live in climates where there is very little water. Overwatering does not allow the soil to dry out which may cause detrimental effects. If in doubt a quick Google search will provide links to the answer.
3. Not enough sunlight
Light is necessary for most plants as they create food from the photosynthesis that happens naturally (hello grade 6 science).
It is true that some plants can last with less than optimal sunlight however it’s important for houseplant owners to provide an adequate amount of light for plant health.
Consider the location you put the plant in - does it get morning or evening sun? Another idea is to rotate the plant every couple of weeks so that each side of the houseplant gets its moment in the sun (pun intended). Light bulbs that provide light similar to the sunlight spectrum are readily available at garden centers and big-box stores.
2. Nutrient Deficit
Fertilizing is oftentimes overlooked by houseplant owners. At Sunready Landscaping we discuss many types of plant care techniques for the exterior plant, lawn, tree, and shrub health Top 10 Tips to protect your yard this Fall. Likewise, feeding with store-bought or compost is a crucial part of plant care promoting healthy foliage, strong roots, and flowers in your house plants. Give us a call if you have questions about the type of fertilizer you should be using.
1. Clean the plant foliage.
Plant owners forget that indoor plants need help to remove dirt and dust that builds up inside from the foliage of the plant. Dead leaves that shrivel and fall off are a normal part of your houseplant’s life cycle.
Unlike outdoor plants that are assisted by the wind, rain, and sun to clean up, indoor plants need their owners to help keep them clean and prevent build up. This helps it to breathe thereby increasing oxygen in the indoor environment.
It’s a good idea to consider the relationship you’re building with your houseplant. They need you to survive and you will enjoy the benefits it brings to your space. Staying mindful of their growth requirements and incorporate their care into your schedule will be best for you to maintain houseplants all year round.