Let’s be honest. Most of us bought indoor plants because they’re all the rage right now. And because they’re nice to look at. But not all of us know the first thing about caring for indoor plants.
How much water do they need? Do they need plenty of sunlight? What should you do if the leaves look droopy or brown?
But don’t worry! You don’t need to be a green thumb to keep your beloved plants happy and alive.
Growing a healthy indoor plant isn’t rocket science. You just need to understand the basics of plant care. Here, we’ve listed essential tips for caring for indoor plants.
Ready to get started?
Caring For Indoor Plants Tip #1: Watering
Not all plants are created equal. Houseplants, for example, don’t need to be watered regularly.
For example, cacti and succulents thrive when the soil is dry. This means they can survive a month or two without watering. But watering them daily or weekly will kill them.
Not sure how often you should water your indoor plants?
Here’s a handy tip: Water your plants when the soil is dry. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to succulents.
So first, learn what your houseplants prefer. Does it love wet conditions? Does it prefer dry soil?
Some plants can withstand dry soil before wilting while others need a moist environment. Doing some research will give you an idea of how to care for your houseplants.
Next, watch out for these signs:
- Soil dryness: The soil will let you know the best time to water your plants. Consider poking your index finger an inch or two into the pot. If the top layer is still moist, then you can wait a few more days before watering. But if the soil feels bone dry and almost dusty, then it’s time to water your plant.
- Wilting: Are the leaves wilting? Are they drooping? If your plants look like they need some TLC, they probably need to hydrate. But before you shower them with water, check the soil first. Overwatering can also cause wilting. So it’s best to assess if the soil is dry.
- The plant pot is lighter: When the soil is wet or moist, the plant pot will be a bit heavier. But if the soil is dry, then it will be lighter. There will be a significant weight difference so you can’t miss it.
When you notice these signs, it’s time to water your indoor plants. But don’t just dump water!
Why? If the soil is too dry, the water will simply go around the sides of the pot and into the bottom. It won’t reach the roots at all.
The best thing to do is to mimic a rainstorm. Completely saturate the soil. As a tip, place a tray under the pot for catching drain water. Leave it for a day. If the excess water hasn’t been absorbed, then throw it out.
Caring For Indoor Plants Tip #2: Light
Just like any other living thing, plants need water and food. For plants, light is equivalent to food.
But again, the amount of light each plant needs is different. For example, Begonias or Oxalis prefer intense, bright light for fast growth. Cacti and other succulents, on the other hand, have a high tolerance for direct sunlight. Unfortunately, for some plants, direct sunlight must be avoided.
That said, caring for indoor plants entail understanding whether your plant wants direct, intense, or low light.
Here’s a tip: bring your indoor plant outside while there’s light.
Are your indoor plants near a light source like a window? A window reduces the impact of light. This also means the plant receives medium to low light.
So if you’re bringing a plant indoors, make sure that it can survive medium to low light. It’s best to choose houseplants that don’t need direct sunlight.
Do you prefer plants that need direct sunlight? You can still place them indoors. Simply bring the plant out when there’s still sunlight. Then bring it back inside when it’s evening.
What Type of Light Does Your Indoor Plant Need?
Bright Light or Full Sun
These types of plants want direct sunlight. This means no barrier like a curtain, blinds, or tree. Plants that need bright light include aloe vera, succulents, and palm trees.
If you have any of these plants, place them in direct sunlight throughout the day.
Need Medium Light or “Filtered Light”?
Medium light means the plants need sunlight that is diffused by curtains. Ferns, Monstera, and Algaonema are just a few plants that require medium light. Do not place these plants in direct sunlight.
Low light means your plant will survive without direct sunlight. These plants need to be placed away from a sunny window or artificial light source. They also require less food and energy. Plants that require low light include Ivy, Snake Plants, and Staghorn Fern.
Caring for indoor plants is easy when you know the basics. In fact, it’s pretty hard to kill most indoor plants. What’s important is to have a good understanding of your houseplants. Know what they need, how much water they prefer, and the kind of lighting they require to grow.