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Houseplant care: grow green fingers and learn to keep plants alive
In the home

Houseplant care: grow green fingers and learn to keep plants alive

A guide to good plant maintenance including a handy daily and weekly plant care checklist.

A bit of houseplant greenery is a real asset to your home: not only do they look nice, but they can help to clean your air and some can even be used in cooking! However, houseplants do require regular care. If you’re cultivating a little kitchen-based jungle or are looking to grow your own herbs for dinner, here’s how to do good house plant maintenance and make sure you do indoor plant care exactly as you should.

First of all, buy plants that are going to suit the environment you have at home. Ask experts at your local garden centre and consider the temperature, moisture levels and access to sunlight in your home. Plus, if a holiday is coming up, considering how to water plants when away should be part of the decision process. Once you’ve got your houseplants all set up, here are a few chores to do daily and weekly to keep them in good health:

House plant care: A daily checklist

  1. Make sure they are hydrated. Watering indoor plants is of course a regular activity, but knowing how often to water indoor plants can be tricky. Generally, plants like ferns need watering a few times a week, while succulents and cacti can sometimes go a month between watering. Have a look at the leaves and soil first. If the soil is dry and cracking, give them a drink; if it’s wet and clogged, hold off for today.
  2. Do a quick dusting as part of your regular plant maintenance. This prevents dust particles gathering on the leaves, which can make them look dull and even get in the way of respiration and photosynthesis.

Houseplant care: A weekly checklist

  1. Inspect each houseplant for signs of disease or animals. Remove any bugs immediately and consult experts on indoor plant care about treatment options if you think there’s an infection.
  2. Look closely at the leaves. Check for signs of yellowing or any decay. This can indicate that your plant isn’t happy and might need a change in its plant maintenance regime.
  3. Check plants for repotting needs. You should repot a plant when it looks like it has overgrown its container. Roots are generally the same size as leaves so if the leaves are much bigger than the pot it’s usually time to upgrade.

The dos and don’ts of good houseplant care

Do:

  • Label your plants so you remember what they are and can tailor your care accordingly.
  • Make sure plants have enough light. It’s no good sticking them in the darkest corner. Opt for window-sills and balconies so they can soak up the sun’s rays.
  • Be sure to keep them hydrated while you’re away. If you’re wondering how to water plants when away, you could try some smart technology or just ask a neighbour to pop in now and then.

Don’t:

  • Over-water. Being too eager when it comes to watering houseplants is the number one reason why they die. If in doubt, leave them be.
  • Use non-water liquids to water your plants. Humans may enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee, but houseplants aren’t so keen. The sugars in these drinks attract flies to plants which can be harmful, so stick to only the kind of liquid that comes straight from the tap.
  • Move plants around too much. Just like humans, plants adapt to their surroundings, so constantly changing their location doesn’t go down too well.

Plants can do so much for a home, from purifying the air to making a space instantly feel refreshed. Show your domestic forest some love by watering houseplants just the right amount and making sure your plant care is done right.

  • Key steps:
  • Research how often to water the indoor plants you’ve chosen and check them daily to see if they need watering.
  • Get rid of any insects immediately
  • Make sure plants are placed in bright, well-lit spaces

Top Tip

Over-watering indoor plants is the most common plant mistake. If in doubt, only water when the soil is dry to the touch.