I am a crazy plant lady that adores anything green. I love the feeling of freshness that plants add to my home and the aesthetic pleasure they bring. Don't get me wrong, I have killed a few plants in my day but along the way I have adopted tips and tricks to keep them thriving.
1. Know which plants prefer which light. Look at the direction of the windows in your home and which way they are facing; South-facing windows give bright light, East/West-facing windows give moderate light and North-facing windows give low light. *Most houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight as direct sunlight can cause leaf scorch/sunburn.
2. How to know when your plant needs watering. Too little water can kill a plant meanwhile too much water can lead to root rot. Check the soil every 2-5 days to make sure it’s dry at least 2 inches below the surface. If your soil is dark in color, feels or looks moist, your plant is sufficient for now. Wilting leaves & soil that looks shrunken from the sides of the planter are both signs of a thirsty plant. *Ice cubes are a great way to hydrate your plants evenly throughout the soil, just be sure to never place them touching the stems.
Whenever possible, try to use warm water because soil absorbs it the best & don't forget about saucers! Saucers are not only great for the plant retaining moisture but also key points for under/over watering your plant!
3. Keep your plants' leaves free of dirt & dust. Plants breath through their leaves and having dirty leaves disables new or continuous growth. *Using a damp cloth or towel, wipe the surface area of your plants leaves removing any grime or soot. I have read people use mayonnaise to "shine" their leaves but I will stick with good old fashioned water.
4. Know which plants work best with your schedule. There is nothing more pathetic than a neglected house plant, especially when its due to your own schedule. This circles back to knowing when your plant needs watering but also which plants suit your schedule. *Succulents, Snake plants & Pothos are all relatively low maintenance plants - as long as they have adequate sunlight. Orchids, Air Plants & select ferns are relatively high maintenance.
5. When is the right time to re-pot a plant? Usually the right time is right before the root outgrows the container but how is one supposed to predict these things? Repotting a plant enables proper growth and nice planters can really change the feel of a room. The easiest way to repot is laying the plant on its side, on top of a few newspaper pages. Cut the plastic container from top to bottom and carefully slide the plant out, ensuring no new root grew in/around the container. Before placing the plant in a new container, be sure to break up the preexisting soil into the new soil so the roots can spread evenly throughout. *Be sure the new planter is 1-3 inches bigger than the potted plant for room to grow.
6. Just go with the Flow. Drainage for any plant is an important factor for keeping them alive and thriving. Make sure when purchasing pots & planters that they have holes in the bottom. This hole allows for water to drain away from the roots and prevents over-watering. *Always make sure to accompany with a saucer or tray to prevent leaks & spills.