Plant care isn’t always the easiest when you’re unsure of where to start. Once you learn plant care basics and find a routine, you’ll notice all the wonderful benefits of being a plant parent. Research has shown that plants can help improve mental health and boost your productivity just by having them around. Whether you’re decking out your entire apartment with houseplants or adding just an odd few, we’ve highlighted some top plant care tips to assist you in taking care of your plant babies.
Following these easy plant care instructions will come to you as second nature very soon!
1. Check your light source
Which direction are your windows facing? North-facing windows provide the most sunlight, east-facing windows provide moderate sunlight and south-facing windows provide the least amount of sunlight. Most houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. You don’t want to overexpose or underexpose any plant. They need the right amount of light to live.
2. Less (Water) Is More
It’s better to underwater plants than to overwater. Too much water can lead to root rot. Ditch your water schedule and water your plants only when they need it. Check the soil first to make sure it’s dry at least 2 inches deep below the surface. If your soil looks dark in colour, feels moist, and sticks to your finger, your plant has enough water to do its thing for now.
3. Water Deeply
When you water lightly and frequently, only the top roots are able to drink the water, and your plant may not receive the fuel it needs to survive. Watering deeply to fully saturate all the soil so all the roots can grab a drink.
4. Dust Your Plants
Plants that collect too much dust on their leaves can’t get the sunlight they may need to survive and may attract pests - especially plants with big leaves. A few times per year, use a wet cloth and lightly wipe down the leaves of your plants on both sides.
5. Prune Your Plants
Getting rid of old-growth on your plants will help your plants grow again. Towards the end of winter or the start of spring, give your plants a haircut to remove any brown leaves and you'll soon see them bursting with fresh leaves!
6. Skip the Fertiliser
It’s fine to skip the fertiliser. Too much fertilizer can do more harm than good. Houseplants don't need fertilizer as often as outdoor plants do. If you do choose to fertilize your plant, it’s best to do so during the growing season (early spring to early autumn) and follow the general rule of thumb: ‘less is more'.
7. Don’t Be Scared to Repot
A common misconception – repotting does not necessarily mean putting your plant in a new or bigger planter, but rather, changing out your plant’s soil with fresh potting mix. New plants should be repotted at some point and given fresh soil, as they are not meant to live in the plastic containers that they are usually sold in and are often overgrown, plus a new planter could really tie the room together.
8. Show A Little TLC
Friendships are fragile. You and your plant need time to adjust co-existing. Show your plant a little extra attention starting out. Observing your plant will tell you when to water and when to not, if the temperature is too high or too low, and if it’s getting enough sun. Plus, they’re so pleasing to look at.