Houseplants take in CO2 and release pure oxygen for you to breathe. They scrub out toxins, keep the air around you clean and look great while they’re at it. Home really is where your plants are.
Houseplants don’t require high amounts of sunlight, but they do require some sunlight. Most will thrive in a bright room or near a window.
The following are symptoms of a houseplant that isn’t getting enough light:
- Spindly growth as if the stems and leaves are stretching for light.
- Small new leaves.
- Lower leaves turn yellow and fall off.
- No growth or slow growth.
- Variegated leaves turn solid green.
- Flowering plants fail to bloom or bloom poorly.
If you see any of these symptoms, move the plant to a location with higher light and see if it recovers. Indoor plants can get too much light as well. Most prefer sunlight to be bright, but indirect.
The number one reason that houseplants die? Over-watering.
Houseplants need a good soaking and then want to dry out. Only water once the soil is completely dry to the touch. This may only be once or twice a week. Keep in mind that symptoms of being too wet are similar to being too dry. If the plant is wilting, check the soil before you water to make sure it isn’t already wet.
Many houseplants come from humid climates and aren't used to dry indoor environments. To increase the humidity for your houseplants, try setting plants on a tray filled with pebbles that is about half full of water. As the water in the tray evaporates, it will increase the moisture in the air around the plant’s leaves and make them happy.
Houseplants will thrive and grow with regular feedings. A controlled-release fertilizer such as 14-14-14 with Osmocote is our favorite. It delivers the nutrients a plant needs, and you only have to use it every 4 months. For more regular applications you can use Espoma's Organic House Plant Fertilizer.
Cleaning House Plants
You dust the dressers and tables in your home on a regular basis, and the same dust that settles on furniture can also block precious sunlight from getting to the leaves of your houseplants. Occasionally wipe smooth leaves clean with a damp cloth or sponge to remove dust and dirt. It will keep the plants healthier and prettier.