how to take care of houseplants

7 Easy Tips for Keeping Houseplants Alive


Before moving outside to prep my beds for gardening season I decided to add a few houseplants after gaining inspiration from a few of my IG faves Shavonda and Carmeon. They have nailed the “junaglow style” that is becoming quite popular (search the hashtag on Instagram) . As always, I’m somehow finding myself returning to my roots. As a child there were always large plants around as my aunt has quite the green thumb as did my mother. If you followed my garden last year, based on the number of tomatoes I had that wouldn’t stop growing along with the kale that still won’t quit, you know I also have a bit of a green thumb, and frankly my plants bring me joy.

I added these babies last year and taking care of them and watching them bloom is a satisfaction I can’t explain.

The open shelves in my kitchen needed a little love for the spring and what better way than with houseplants. I’m proud to say I rescued some from a dry death that was the clearance rack at Walmart. With a little water, some light and love they came right back. The others came from Lowes and Home Depot.

 

I hear people say they would love to add plants to their home but aren’t quite sure how to keep them alive. Here are a few tips and tricks I use to care for my plants

Let the plant tell you when it needs water | Overwatering is a real thing. Some plants don’t need as much water as others. I watch the leaves, when they start to droop I give them water. If the leaves aren’t an indicator, when the top layer of soil is dry stick your finger in and if it’s still dry about a fingertip length down add water. If you still feel like you can’t be trusted, look into getting a Water Wick plant. They are available at Lowes and Home Depot. They have two strings hanging out of the bottom, and you simply put water in the bottom of a planter and stick the plant inside. The water wick will suck in the water as the plant needs it. You will need to remember to refill the planter at least once a week.

Soak your plants when watering | When you decide it is time to water, give it a good soaking, don’t just water enough to wet the top. Give a deep soaking until the water runs through and out  the bottom of the pot.

Add plant food | When a plant stops growing or the leaves start yellowing, add a little plant food. To keep it simple there are plant food stakes that you simply stick in the dirt and it will continuously feed the plant for months without you having to bother with it. Take the few minutes necessary to jot down the next date in which you’ll need to add more fertilizer or food at the time you feed it.

Read the instructions | Pay close attention to the care requirements for any plants you buy. Some need more light than others and no matter how pretty you think the plant is if it needs high light and you don’t have a window that is capable of supplying that leave it. Too much of or lack of light is just as important as water. If you don’t pay attention to the requirements the plant will die.

Only replant when necessary | It seems most houseplants have shallow roots and can live in the containers you bring them home in for some time. Just purchase a nice planter or basket to drop it in. When the plant seems to no longer be thriving despite proper light and watering it may be time to replant into something larger.

Ensure proper drainage | If your planter doesn’t have drainage holes when you replant, be sure to add some rocks to the bottom of the planter for proper drainage. One of the pots I’ve replanted in doesn’t have a drainage hole. I put larger rocks at the bottom to help pull the water away from the roots. I would recommend only using these types of planters when the plant doesn’t require a lot of water. This particular plant only requires watering every 2-3 weeks.

Consider buying plants with the same needs | Much like raising children and dealing with people certain types of plants need more attention than others. See “Read the instructions” above. If you don’t want to see about plants daily or every other day, buy plants that need the same care. I have a mix, because I have a passion for them. If you just want to water one specific day a week then be sure to only buy plants that require the same amount of care.

 

 

 

 

With these tips do you think you could add some plant babies to your home? Do you have a green thumb?

If you have a brown thumb and want houseplants. Here is a list of houseplants that are virtually impossible to kill. Like for real!

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About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"

12 Comments

  1. Thanks for these tips. I tried having live plants, but can’t seem to keep them alive. I took the alternative route and started buying fake plants.

  2. Thanks for these tips, Mimi! I have thee blackest of thumbs when it comes to keeping a plant alive. I’ve only had success with a peace lilly, and it lasted about a year. With Spring on the way, I want to try again.

  3. I want to buy plants for my home but I’m so afraid of attracting bugs. I remember a YouTube video where the The Style and Beauty Doc had that issue. Any tips for keeping bugs away from indoor plants?

    1. I haven’t had that issue, but I have read that if you give the leaves a light wipe off with dish soap and water that helps, or place a bowl of dish soap with vinegar in it around the plants.

  4. Beginner here. These are great tips! The bug question is one I’m curious about & quite frankly, freaked out about as well… any tips?! I literally JUST brought in a Monstera & ZZ from Home Depot thanks to your instastory & feed post… which brought me here.😉

    1. Hey there. OMG! You found a Monstera!!!! I’m still searching for one, my Home Depot didn’t have them. I love the ZZ. I’ve never had a problem with bugs with my indoor plants at all. I’ve read that a light wash of the leaves with dish soap will handle them. Thank you so much for coming by!

  5. I’m a plant fiend.. I love your babies and how you have them styled around your home! Your kitchen lighting is gorgeous! I’m new to your blog from the hop and glad I visited.. you’ve got a new follower

  6. Hey Mimi,
    Those are some lovely tips. Although bug-problem is pestering, yet I love to water them daily. My collection has few tulsi plants, money-plants (sorry dont know the scientific name) and few others. Plants around keeps the environment peaceful. Thanks for the great article.

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