Adding plants to an indoor space is a great way to inject a bit of life and vitality into a room. However, do the words indoor plant and dead ever go together for you?
It did for me until I followed these simple steps and now (fingers crossed), everyone's thriving here in the household, so it must be working!
SO, Let's find out how NOT to kill your plants
1. Water - How to tell whether your plant is thirstaaayy
What's the right amount of water?
Every plant is different (helpful right?).
So, to check if your plant is in need of a drink, pop your finger into the soil about 2cm deep, close to the rim of the pot and check to see whether the soil's damp. If it is then it's doing fine, if it's dry, then yep, it means it's time to give it a drink.
I highly suggest Googling your type of plant and reading up on how often you should be watering it as a guide. From there you can make adjustments to suit your plant's environment.
When watering your plants, pour the water in slowly so that it can seep through the soil rather than flooding it. There shouldn't be a large amount of leftover water sitting in the pot saucer, if there is, leave it for 30 mins to soak back up and then tip the rest out. If you don't have a saucer then layer the bottom of your pot with stones, this helps the roots to slowly reabsorb the water that remains at the bottom without drowning them.
All the plants that are on the same water cycle, I like to water on the same day. We all know what happens to that one plant that gets forgotten......😬Check out this in-depth plant watering guide we created if you want to dig deep on the basis on indoor plant watering.
2. Sunlight - Sunbaker or Shade Dweller?
A lot of people think because plants are from outside they require LOTS of sunlight.....
However, this is a common misconception and one of the leading causes of death for many plants. Again, always trust in Dr Google to get some basic info about your plant's needs and then adapt as you go.
Some plants are sun dwellers, take the ol Cacti, for example, it loves a good sunbake. However, this doesn't suit all plants. Too much direct light can be harsh and dry out the plant quickly. I like to put my plants in a well-lit area but where they are not sitting in direct sunlight. Remember, you may need to alter this throughout the year as the seasons change.
For example, one of my plants was looking droopy the other day, so I ran through my checklist. First, on the list - check the soil, yep still damp! Then I realised because it's winter here it hadn't seen much sun. I popped it on a table where (still there was not a lot of sun) but definitely more light and it perked right up! Before I learnt about the finger dab trick I probably would have watered it again. Just be aware of direct heat sources too, such as heat pumps or fireplaces, this was also contributing to its droopiness.
If you're keen on understanding houseplant lighting requirements, then let this Indoor Planting Guide illuminate you on the basics of lighting and the factors of light that affect plants.
3. It's difficult for a plant to clean itself, so give it a hand
Who doesn't love to be pampered?
Neglecting your plant is one reason for it to check on out. Removing dead leaves and pruning it back to its glorious self works wonders. It's like that feeling you get after you've been to the hair salon -Bliss!
Wiping your plant's leaves can also help. Not only does it make them look shim shiny but being an indoor plant it may already battle to get the right amount of sunlight. Now I won't go into the science around how plants grow, but we've all heard about photosynthesis and if your leaves are layered in dust, then we're just not giving it its best shot.
4. Moving your plants around too much
I actually like the idea of moving my plants around.
It often gives a room a new feel and can ALMOST be as good as buying a new one! Although, I would keep their movements to a minimum. If you're moving them constantly they don't have time to adapt to their surroundings which in turn can hinder their growth. Remember some plants like lo-light, others like lots of lights, so it's best to choose a posi' for your plant that best suits its needs.
5. Neglecting their roots
You want your plant to shine and you want your plant to be strong and tall.
In order for it to do this, it needs to have good foundations - so let's not forget their roots! Far too often we pop a plant in a pot and then NEVER check on the growth that is going on in the soil. Check your plant at least twice a year and if you notice the roots dying or curling up due to there being no room left, then pull it out of its pot, trim up the dead roots and move it into a larger pot with some potting mix and some fertilizer if necessary.
If you want to be sure you're giving your plants the right home aka pot, check this Plant Pot Guide for tips on how to choose the correct pots depending on the needs of your plants.
So it's pretty simple stuff really.
- Don't deprive it of water... but don't flood it at the same time - Check with your finger.
- Look around for the best place for it to sit. Check Google whether it's a sun dweller or not
- Clean your plant regularly
- Don't move it too often
- Check its roots
Free Indoor Planting Mini Course
👉 Printable Plant Care Tracker
👉 Plant Care Tips (E-Guide)
👉Taking Care of Common Indoor Plants (E-Guide)
👉Busting Myths About Indoor Planting (E-Guide)
Now, let's see if you can keep that plant alive!