Indoor plants can cause a love/hate relationship with their growers. Some plants can be very finicky and some can take some lack of care every now and again and they will still bounce back. I wrote a Houseplant Guide for Beginners and wanted to add to that with these indoor plant tips. These tips will help with plant care, pot size, and what to do if you think your plant is dying.
The first is to set a timer on your phone or post some kind of reminder in the house to water the plants at least once each week or according to the plant’s recommended watering.
If you are the one buying the plant make sure to keep the tag that comes with the plant that lists to the best care instructions as this can come in very helpful. Keep these tags in a binder or just stuck in the pot itself.
Know what type of light your plants do well in. There have been times I had a plant that I thought would do well in an unlit area but really it was too dark and needed more light. Don’t be afraid to change a plant’s location if it is not doing well.
Now, this next tip is one that I need to be better at and that is fertilizing. I have indoor plant fertilizer but I never remember to use it. I have now set a reminder on my phone to use it once a week or month (or according to each plant’s specific recommendations.) There are also several apps out there that will help with this and help with identifying plants. I have not used them so I can’t recommend a specific one but just know that this is an option.
If a plant is starting to look sick, don’t give up on it yet! Ask yourself if it needs more/less water or if it needs to move to another location in the house. The pathos pictured below is one that had some yellowing leaves that I needed to be better about watering.
Don’t be afraid to re-pot a plant if it starts looking crowded in its current pot or looks stunted in its growth. Use new potting soil when re-potting to give the plant fresh dirt to grow in. The Christmas cactus pictured below was just re-potted last summer but into the same pot because there was at least a quarter of potting soil missing.
If you don’t have the plant’s name or care instructions, do some online research to find out what type of plant it is. One site that I find most helpful is Houseplant 411. This site is especially helpful if you are given starts from a family member or friend and you aren’t exactly sure about the care instructions.
One very important indoor plant tip if you have animals or young children in your house is to check if the plant is poisonous. There are a lot of indoor plants that can be poisonous if eaten by animals or people. I have a peace lily that is one of these plants and I do have children and animals. My kids were older though so they have not bothered the plant and we keep an eye on the cat and dog but have not had any issues.