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Tips to Keep Indoor Plants Alive and Thriving

By Annette Demeny

Indoor plants provide a daily sense of grounding and makes us feel more at ease with our surroundings. We experience less stress when there are plants around us. Consider filling your space with copious amount of succulents and beautiful giant tropical leaves. Below are a few tips to help you get started with your own interior garden and how to keep them alive and thriving!

 

Repotting

When you get a plant, it’s usually good to repot it from its nursery pot. That’s because nursery plants are normally pot-bound, meaning their roots have reached the extent of growth possible in that pot. Repotting allows your plant to grow faster and get more nutrients. It’s best to choose a planter with drainage holes. Drainage holes allow excess water to seep out of pots after watering, ensuring that water does not pool at the base of a pot, helping to protect sensitive roots from rot, fungus and bacteria.  If you don’t have a planter with the drainage hole, you can substitute rocks, but be sure to use lava rocks that can absorb some of that excess water so the roots aren’t sitting in water. The most absorbent lava rocks are the ones used for grilling. Make sure that your new pot is at least two inches wider and deeper than your current one.

 

Consistent Care

One essential aspect of plant care is consistency. Every plant requires different frequencies and styles of watering, and you can learn those through researching your plant and observing them in practice. Once you really observe your plants, you’ll learn the signs that they give you when they’re thirsty. If you notice droopy leaves or yellow tips and rims, that’s a good indicator, but the best determiner is the soil. Normally, if the top inch of the soil is moist, you can hold off from watering. Fertilizer can help your plant grow stronger and faster, but be careful. For indoor plants, fertilize in the spring and summer.

 

Pruning

Plants are a lot more resilient than we think they are. We sometimes think plants are dying when they might just be under a little stress. By observing your plant, you can figure out what’s going on with it. Yellow leaves and wrinkled succulents, for example, are an indicator that your plant might be thirsty. But if you notice a spotty pattern, you might want to check for pests. None of those things mean your plant is dying. They just mean you need to take action. It can be as simple as watering, pruning, repotting, or it can mean de-pesting. The most common pests are mealy bugs and spider mites, and you’ll find further evidence on the underside of the leaf.  If you see any pests, you want to get an insecticide and spray the leaf, wipe off any bugs or pests you might see with a paper towel, and then spray it again, and let it sit on the leaf. Use a safe insecticide. Click here to read more about natural insecticides.

 

Natural Light

 

Lighting is one of the most important factors for growing houseplants. All plants require light for photosynthesis, the process within a plant that converts light, oxygen and water into carbohydrates (energy). This much-needed energy is required by a plant in order to grow, bloom and produce seed.  Place your plant near a window that provides the amount of light they need to survive. Not all plants require the same amount of light, and some will need different types of light, such as indirect or direct. It’s important to do your research on your particular plant. I don’t recommend placing plants where there’s no natural lighting, but if you do, I would suggest purchasing a snake plant, ZZ plant or English Ivy. They are very adaptable and able to make do with a variety of lighting situations.

 

 

What’s your favorite indoor plant? Let me know below…

 

 

 

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