Plant Basics for Beginners: Plant Care Tips to keep your Plant Alive!
Home buying can be tough- but sometimes keeping your plant alive can be tougher. Plants have recently garnered a lot of attention on social media for their ability to brighten up a space, improve indoor air quality, and add a decorative element like no other. They range anywhere from tropical to desert beauties and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors- and we’re not talking about the pots- although that can add a beautiful element of texture and design to an otherwise bland space. But what happens when you notice these once beautiful plants drooping? Or yellowing? In essence basically dying! Can they be salvaged? I’ve rounded up the top five troubleshooting plant care tips and problems and how to address them.
Over Watering vs. Underwatering
How do you know if you are watering too much or not enough? It might be as simple as sticking your finger in the soil and determining if it is dry or moist. The answer is in the leaves. Here comes the holy grail of plant care tips: watering.
If you notice your leaves are soft and limp with new growth yellowing/browning and dying- then overwatering can be a culprit. A rule of thumb is to allow the first top inch of soil to fully dry out before you water. The soil should always be moist- not wet! Another good tip for bigger plants- is to water every two weeks until the excess water drains from the drainage holes.
On the opposite side- if your soil is crusty, dry and pulling away from the pot with your leaves dry and crispy you are most likely underwatering.
Tip: Try to set a schedule for watering your plants to create consistency and routine. Less watering in the winter months and more consistent watering in the warmer months. Many plants go into a dormant period in the winter, so they don’t need as much watering.
Always do your research!
Before buying any plant or succulent always research the ideal environment- especially light that these plants are best acclimated too. Think about where you plan on placing your new plant friend and if they would be receiving sufficient light to meet their ideal growing and thriving requirements. Look at places around your home throughout the day. The best all day light and quality usually come from a south facing window- and filtered indirect light is key to avoid scorching your plant.
If you are looking for great low light plants check this helpful article HERE.
Plants love humidity- even if your hair doesn’t. Humidity can often breed other pests, plant diseases, and fungal growth- so be weary. You can often increase the amount of moisture in your home and keep your plant happy by grouping plants together or setting a humidifier in the room. Increased humidity allows for your plant to pull moisture from the air to stay supple and upright.
Tip: Keep your plants away from vents, as the forced and artificial air can dry out your plants.
Always choose soil that is aerating, properly drains, and contains some sort of slow releasing fertilizer. If you are making your own soil be sure to have the proper ratio of porous material and nutrient dense soil that best suits the type of plant you are potting. For best results- many gardening shops and nurseries carry pre-made soil that indicates the type of plants it is suited for. Properly draining soil can prevent over and underwatering thus keeping your plant thriving.
Wipe your plants leaves with a soft cloth to remove any dust. Plants rely on the sun’s rays to produce its food through photosynthesis- and dusty leaves can hinder this.
Another reason to clean your plants leaves is to remove and prevent any pests from infesting and killing your plants. To prevent common houseplant pests from infecting your plant be sure to add some neem oil to your plant cleaning routine. Neem oil is a natural pest deterrent and will shine your leaves while also killing any insects and larvae.
For common houseplant pests and remedies CLICK HERE.