Water your plants mindfully.
It is better to underwater your plants than to overwater them. Too much water can lead to root rot. Get rid of your watering schedule and water your plant only when it needs it. Check the potting mix or soil beforehand to make sure it is dry at least 2 inches deep below the surface. If your soil looks dark in color, feels moist, and sticks to your finger, your plant has enough water to do its thing for now. How often you water will also change throughout the year. Plants need less water in the winter months, when they are growing slower, the days are shorter and sunlight is less intense. If the heat is on and their soil is drying out quicker, they may need a bit more water. Wilting leaves or soil that looks pulled away from the planter's sides are signs of a thirsty plant. Always use warm water because it absorbs best. Pour water directly on the soil around the base of the plant, because plants absorb water from their roots. The only exception here is Epiphytes, like air plants, who absorb water through their leaves. You can also place a saucer under your planter if it has a drainage hole. After you water, let your plant soak up in access water that fills the saucer for a few hours before emptying it.
Choose plants that will thrive in the light conditions you have.
The best way to get an idea of how much light your space gets is to spend some time in it throughout the day and observe. The amount of light in a room can also change seasonally, as the sun’s path changes.
To get an idea of how much light your space gets, spend some time in it throughout the day and observe. The amount of light in a room can also change seasonally, as the sun’s path changes.
Choose plants based on the amount of light your space gets. If the sun is intense through your windows, you may want to add a sheer curtain to diffuse the light. Cacti and some succulents like aloe can handle brighter, direct sunlight. Most houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight, but many can tolerate lower light levels. You don’t want to overexpose or underexpose any plant so keep an eye on them if they're in very bright or very low light.
Choose plants that fit your lifestyle.
As a new plant parent, you may be worried about neglecting your plants. A busy work schedule, social life, and general forgetfulness can lead to unintentional plant neglect. It’s okay. Some plants can handle that kind of lifestyle. A jet-setter like yourself will enjoy the resilience of low-maintenance and drought-tolerant succulents, ZZ plants, or snake plants, all pretty low key, as long as they have enough light (bright and low light). These should keep looking their best when you return from your next trip.
If you’ve got more time, you can try a few attention-loving air plants, orchids, or ferns. Like a mist for the face, an extra spritz of filtered water daily between waterings keeps humidity levels nice and balanced for these delicate plants.
Increase the humidity when necessary.
To help your plant thrive indoors, try to recreate its natural environment as closely as possible. Most tropical plants prefer high humidity and bright to moderate, indirect light. During the dry months of winter, grouping similar plants together help to create a more humid microclimate. A humidifier can help too and it’s great for humans (find more ways to increase humidity levels here). On the other hand, most desert dwellers like cacti and succulents prefer dry air and bright, direct light with no shade at all. They don’t much care for humidity.
Maintain consistent temperatures.
To keep your plant healthy, it is important to maintain a stable environment. Large changes in temperature can be harmful to your plant. It is best to keep the temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, you should keep your plant away from radiators, air conditioners, and vents as they can cause drafts of hot or cold air.
When should you skip the fertilizer?
Be careful when using fertilizer on your houseplants. Too much fertilizer can damage your plant. Houseplants don't need fertilizer as often as outdoor plants. If you do choose to fertilize your plant, it's best to do so during the growing season (early spring to early fall). Most store-bought fertilizers should be diluted with water before use. If you have had your plant for at least a year, you can fertilize it. We suggest using an all-purpose fertilizer. Always follow the instructions. If you’ve just changed the soil, don't fertilize your plant! Fresh soil has enough new nutrients.
Buy from a trustworthy source.
Get your plants from a reliable nursery, your neighbourhood plant store, or from specialist retailers or florists. Buying from a place that employs plant experts means they will be able to answer any of your questions. Many people who sell or work with plants really enjoy talking about them - we certainly do. If you have never owned plants before, avoid big department stores and supermarkets where they are often kept in dim basements or warehouses. Inspect your plant for yellow leaves, powdery mildew, unusual spots, brown tips and limp stems, as these are all signs that it is not healthy.
Have extra care in the beginning ❤️
Once you have received your plant or brought it home from the store, it will need a few weeks to adjust to its new environment. Give your plant some extra attention in the beginning. By observing your plant, you will be able to tell when to water it, when not to water it, if the temperature is too high or too low, and if it is getting enough sun. Plus, they are pleasing to look at.
Don’t hesitate to repot
A common misunderstanding is that "repotting" means putting your plant in a new planter, when it really just means changing out the plant's soil with fresh potting mix to provide new nutrients. Plants typically need to be repotted every 12 to 18 months, depending on how actively they are growing. If your plant has outgrown its current planter, you can also use this as an opportunity to size up. Choose a planter only 1 to 3 inches larger than its current container. The idea is that your plant is not swimming in soil, which may lead you to overwater, but has a little extra space to grow.
Drainage is important
When watering your plants, be aware of drainage. You can choose a planter with a drainage hole and saucer, keep your plant in a grow pot inside a planter, or add lava rocks to the bottom of a planter without a hole (to create crevices for excess water to flow to). Do what works best for you! Try different methods for different plants.