How to Take Care of Indoor Plants

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By: Chelsea Lipford Wolf

Most indoor plants don’t require much to keep them alive and thriving. Usually, it’s a balancing act between water and sunlight.

Of course, every plant is different. But start by watering your indoor plant once a week. If it helps, choose a day in the week and always water on that day. Some plants can go longer between waterings, like a philodendron in a mild climate. Others might need watering more often, like a peace lily. They’ll let you know by looking droopy and dry. Yellow leaves can also let you know when you need to water more often.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to watering, even though they’re inside, houseplants may require more frequent waterings when it’s hot outside. To prevent overwatering, try a container with an attached saucer. The water will drain away from the roots and overflow into the saucer, protecting your plant and your furniture.

To prevent overwatering, try a container with an attached saucer.

To determine your plant’s sun needs, do a search online if you don’t have the tag that came with it. Most houseplants fit under the “bright light” category. That means keep it in a sunny, well-lit room. But don’t put it where it will be getting rays directly from the sun through a window or door. If you see sun streaking in and a plant in its path, you’d be wise to find another home for your plant.

Scorched leaves signal your plant is receiving too much direct sunlight, while sparse leaves and/or flowers indicates more light is needed. Try your plant in a different spot for a few days to see if it improves.

Just like outdoor plants, indoor plants can benefit from fertilizer. However, unlike outdoor plants, indoor plants don’t like to be fertilized very frequently. During growing season (March-September for most plants) you can fertilize every 1-3 months, but no more. Only plan to fertilize once, at most, during the offseason and follow the directions on your particular fertilize to determine how much is needed at a time.

Once you have your watering schedule figured out, taking care of houseplants and having them around your home can be a joy!

Only plan to fertilize once, at most, during the offseason.

Check out these other Container Gardening 101 lessons:

Growing Herbs Indoors in Containers

The Dos and Don’ts of Container Gardening