My Best Houseplant Advice

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Houseplants are my favorite thing, and I have over 100 of them! But I get asked a lot of the same questions about houseplants so I figured I'd put a quick post together of my best advice for anyone who wants to be a houseplant mom.

Make a care card. 
Whenever you get a new plant, make sure you know the name of it and then look it up online to see what kind of care it needs.  Get a little plastic tag that you can stick in the soil and use a sharpie to write the following information on it: Name of plant, whether it's pet toxic or not, lighting needs, watering needs, repotting schedule, any other care advice.  This makes it SO easy to care for your plants.  Trust me!
Keep it in the nursery pot.
When you bring a new plant home, don't repot it right away.  Some plants like to be rootbound and it can also shock the plant if you do too much too soon.  But the real benefit is that keeping the plant in the nursery pot and using a cache pot on the outside makes watering a breeze. You can always dump extra water out of the cache pot.  This eliminates the chance of your plants sitting in water and getting root rot. I save all my nursery pots and when I move plants into bigger spaces, I actually move them into a new nursery pot as well! 
Use a water meter AND your finger. 
Don't just go water all your plants on the same schedule. They are not the same.  Use your care card to see when you are to water a specific plant (when top 2 inches dry, when totally dry, etc.) and use a moisture meter to see how dry the soil is.  But also use your finger to feel how the soil is.  It's better to err on the side of caution and skip a watering than it is to drowned your plant. 
Choose one day a week to check every plant. 
I have Friday as my weekly time that I go around and cut off dead leaves, check for pests, and check if my plants need watered. This ensures I won't give my plants too much attention if I make sure to always space it out by a week.  

Back off.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your houseplants is to give them space and not fuss over them too much. It's always better to take a step back and wait another week than to do too much, I promise you! 

Know your space and light. 
Before bringing a plant into your home, think if you have enough space for it in a place it will thrive.  If you are limited on natural light, you should think carefully before getting a plant that needs a lot of light. You can also invest in grow lights to supplement the light they need. 

Rootbound is okay. 
Sometimes plants like to be rootbound, so again, don't repot your plants the second you get home! I used to come home and immediately plant them in a much bigger pot so they had room to grow. WRONG! They ended up getting root rot and it was just not a fun experience so SLOW DOWN! 

Check for pests. 
A pest infestation can wreak havoc on your indoor jungle so always inspect your plants, especially new ones and keep the new ones isolated for about 2 weeks before you place them near your other plants, in case you missed some pests. Check the soil and leaves to ensure there's no sign of disease or any kind of bugs.  Do research on pest control products and methods. 

Hopefully these help you become a better houseplant parents!

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