Do you like plants but think you have no green thumb? Are you afraid you might kill the plants after a week of having them in your house? If you are struggling to keep even a single indoor pot plant, now is the time to start learning about it. With a bit of information, practice, and time, you will be able to succeed in your indoor plant-care journey.
In general, the rules for potted plants are relatively similar. But, they slightly differ in the environment that the plants are going to live in. For your indoor plants, here are top tips to keep them alive for longer:
Choose a pot that is proportional to the size of your plant
It is extremely important for your plant to have correct drainage. A pot should have a bottom hole so that the tray can collect theextra water beneath the pot as it drains out of the soil. A pot without a hole will only trap all the excess water, resulting in plant drowning. If you see that the soil in your pot is quite damp but your plant is droopy and wilted, then you likely have a drainage problem.
In addition, potted plants need room to grow. If there is not enough space for the roots to stretch out, the roots are unable to support the foliage on the plant, as the entire plant becomes too heavy. You may find yourself with a withering and dying plant.
Once the indoor pot plant outgrows its current home, it is time to transplant it into a bigger one.
Use a high-qualitysoil for your pot
Look for potting soil that is light and fluffy. A high-quality soil helps the roots grow well by giving the plant the right balance of aeration, nutrition, and water absorption.
Here are the main functions of a good potting mix:
- Provide sufficient air for the roots to grow.Once you have your plant inside a pot, its roots should be able to breathe easily. It is essential to have enough air in the soil to prevent rotting. An incorrect amount of air will cause the roots to have difficulty surviving.
- Retain nutrients and moisture around the roots.A good potting soil works as a reservoir for these vital components of life within your pot.
- Give anchorage for the roots.A potting mix has to settle around the roots and help the roots hold the plant in place, preventing the wind to blow it over. At the same time, the soil should be light so that air and water can penetrate underneath the soil surface, creating a balanced atmosphere for the roots to grow in.
Keep in mind that the potting soil you use should be suitable for your specific indoor pot plant. For example, succulents grow best in sandy, porous soil, while orchids require fast-draining soil.
Feed your potted plants
A bit of extra fertilizer is beneficial to all plants, particularly potted plants. For this, make sure to use the best potting mix there is, which usually consists of water crystals and slow-release fertilizer. If you are potting citrus, orchids, cactuses, or other specific plants, buy a mix that is specifically designed for these species.
It is recommended to fertilize once every month when your houseplants are growing or flowering. You may withhold adding fertilizer during the winter because this is the time when plants are generally dormant.
Note that potting mixes can go stale in the long run, which means you need to re-pot your indoor plants every 1-2 years. Slow-release fertilizers often last up to 6-9 months, so top your mix up if it has one included as soon as it has worn out. Also, consider adding a liquid fertilizer once or twice a month.
Make sure your plants receive plenty of light
The main requirement for indoor plant care is sunlight. The amount of light that each plant needs varies substantially. The majority of plants need less intense, more moderate light, except for succulents and cactus which need bright sunlight.
Bright, indirect light is beneficial to many plants, and you can usually get it from an east-facing window. If your window faces south or west, you need to soften the intensity of the light penetrating inside such as mounting flimsy curtains or sheer drapes. You may move the indoor pot plant away from the window.
If you prefer to put houseplants in a room with low light, there are a variety of species ideal for this such as the Lucky Bamboo, Prayer plant, Snake plant, Maidenhair Fern, and Pothos.
Water the plants accordingly
If you are new to caring for an indoor pot plant, watering can get a bit tricky. If you water too little, the plant will wither and die. On the other hand, you will drown the plant if you water it too much. Healthy and happy plants receive the perfect balance between the two extremes.
You can tell whether your potted plant needs water by touching the soil near the edge of your pot. If it feels damp, it does not need water yet. If it feels crumbly and dry, it is time for some watering. There are other visible signs that can tell you that the indoor pot plants are dying of thirst such as the leaves turning shriveled, dry, and brown.
When giving your indoor pot plant water, do it until the water starts to run out the pot hole. Stop watering when the water begins to pool on top of the soil.
Keep your houseplants clean
Plants depend on their foliage to make food through photosynthesis. The leaves have tiny little vents that can get clogged with dust, preventing it to open and close properly during the day. Since they are indoors, they do not get washed by rain. But, you can clean the leaves by wiping them with a damp cloth.
You may take your plants outside, especially those with more intricate leaves, and hose them off for some cleaning. Also, you may take your houseplants outside when it is raining, so they can get the benefits of rainwater.