All Women's Talk

7 Tips for Caring for Houseplants ...

By Jennifer

My mother has a green thumb. She can take any dried up stick and two weeks later, it’s a lush, happy houseplant. Me, I’m not so talented, but with these tips from my mother, I can keep most of them alive. Here are my mother’s tips for caring for houseplants… thanks, mom!

1 Don’t over-water

Don’t over-water Photo Credit: floridapfe

According to mom, the biggest mistake people make when caring for their houseplants is that they over-water. She says to only water the plant when you see the soil is dry. If you can’t tell, and are afraid to over-water, there are little sticks that will tell you exactly when you need to add water — just stick them in the soil, and wait til they tell you what to do!

2 Follow Sunlight Instructions

Follow Sunlight Instructions Photo Credit: Mullenkedheim

Some plants love sunlight, others will shrivel. Read the sunlight instructions when you buy a new plant, and observe them carefully. If the instructions say “low light,” then don’t put the plant in a sunny window, no matter how pretty it looks there!

3 Keep Them Dusted!

Keep Them Dusted! Photo Credit: NeelySpice

Outdoor plants don’t gather dust because of the wind and rain, but indoor plants need a little help keeping dust-free. A quick, gentle swipe with a feather duster or Swiffer ought to do the trick, but once in a while, on watering day, my mother actually carries each one to the tub to give it a quick shower, too.

4 Mind the Roots

Mind the Roots Photo Credit: Gardening in a Minute

Some plants flourish when they’re root-bound, but others will wither if their roots get too tight for the pot they’re in. If that happens, you’ll need to re-pot into a larger container. Luckily, there are containers in all sizes, colors, and designs!

5 Change the Soil

Change the Soil Photo Credit: brightspark567

Another maintenance step to be aware of is that once in a great while, you’ll need to replace the plant’s soil. Most greenhouses or home centers carry bags of indoor plant soil. Make sure to put down newspapers, or better yet, go outside, when you’re changing the soil, because it can get messier than you think!

6 Snip and Start

Snip and Start Photo Credit: Lavender and Pearls

Snip a baby off of a spider plant or a long stalk off a philodendron, place it in a cup of water, and you’ll see roots form in a few weeks! Once the roots are established enough, you have a new houseplant. You do have a green thumb, too!

7 Beware the Cat!

Beware the Cat! Photo Credit: genesee_metcalfs

Did you know cats love to eat, or at least chew on, houseplants? Not all cats, of course, and not all plants, but be aware that those scrawny leaves may not be caused by your inattention… your cat may be chewing on them! Better put the houseplant where kitty can’t reach it…

Follow my mother’s tips on caring for your houseplants, and before you know it, you’ll have an indoor jungle! Do you have a green thumb, and maybe some other tips to share? Please let me know!

Top Photo Credit: °Giulietta° (Giulia Torra)

Please rate this article

Popular

Related

Recent

Readers questions answered