Indoor plants in different parts of the house are no different from the other living members of the home.
Choose the Best Soil for indoor plants
Most plants are happy in regular potting soil. The mix typically contains vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss plus nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Many indoor gardeners prefer to add organic ingredients to their growing mix.
These custom soil combinations often include finished compost, peat, leaf mold, and super-rich garden soil. A custom medium will help retain moisture better than soilless mixes and also introduces natural nutrients and healthy microorganisms.
Popular plants such as succulents, cactus, and rosemary require coarse soil for proper drainage and quick water absorption. If you like growing plants from seedlings, they root best in a lightweight, moist mix.
Regular sunning is essential
Most indoor plants do not require too much sun. However, they all do well if they are regularly exposed to the sun for a few days before bringing them back in. Not only is sunlight a crucial element for photosynthesis, but it also acts as an antibacterial and prevents the onset of diseases and insect attacks. Make a schedule of taking each plant out for a few days every 8 to 10 weeks.
Houseplants require just the right amount of light to stay healthy. Check with nursery plant experts to find out which ones like direct or diffused light. Some will quickly decline if they don’t get daily sunlight for at least 6–8 hours. Knowing the requirements for each plant will help you keep them fit and vigorous.
Most flowering plants love to sit in south-facing windows. During the winter months, you might need to move hardy, sun-loving plants closer to a sunny window or supplement with artificial plant lights. Experiment with different locations and relocate your plants as the sun shifts each season.
Avoid Heat Sources on indoor plants
Plants placed near a space heater, heat duct, radiator, or fireplace can cause wilting, dehydration and burns. These extremely hot locations are bad for all plants. A constant temperate environment is the best for most indoor plants.
It makes sense that most houseplants thrive in the same temperatures that we prefer. The ideal temperature is between 65–70 degrees Fahrenheit. Perching a plant on the windowsill during the hot summer days can create the same effect as winter heat sources.
Don’t overwater, Water Them Properly
Since we see indoor plants very often, sometimes there develops a pattern of watering them frequently even when the soil doesn’t require any extra moisture.
Believe it or not, overwatering is the number one cause of plants dying. Water only when the soil seems a bit dry. Also ensure that the soil is well-drained, as most plants hate wet feet.
The main cause of demise is over or under-watering. Research how often you should water each type of plant. If you go on vacation or forget to water them, they will eventually die. Without a consistent watering schedule, your plants will dry up or become over-saturated. Check with plant care instructions to find out how often to water and provide the right amount.
If you’re not sure, check the soil to make sure if it’s moist or dry. Some species like the closet plant will let you know when it needs water. It completely droops and looks like it’s dead but will perk right back up once you give it a good watering.
Check indoor plants placement
If you keep your plants near a glass window that is closed through the day, there is a chance that the glass gets excessively hot due to direct sun. This can increase the temperature near the glass, which might char the leaves or even burn out a delicate plant.
Similarly, some plants don’t like a direct draft of air from the fan or the AC. If you feel the plant is in distress, try moving it from its current position within the same room or move it to a different room.
Get Rid of Pests
Insects will quickly ruin a healthy plant. Look closely to identify a white powdery substance, black specks or brown edges, and holes in leaves. You can use an organic pesticide inside that won’t harm animals or humans. One way to keep the pests at bay is to use a sterile soilless potting mix, so there’s no chance of bringing in pests or disease.
The most common insects found on indoor plants are whiteflies, mealybugs, aphids, gnats, and spider mites. Move affected plants away from healthy ones. Wipe the leaves with a soap and water mixture or use natural remedies such as neem, seaweed mulch, diluted vinegar, and essential oils.
Remove any dead leaves of indoor plants
One advantage of keeping plants indoors is that we constantly keep an eye on them.
Take a close look at the state of the plant; this way you can catch any disease or distress early before it causes much harm. One of the easiest things to do is to pluck out any dead leaves or wilted flowers on a weekly basis. This prevents pests from settling on dead and decaying leaves and reserves the plant nutrition for optimal use by growing leaves. It is good for aesthetic reasons, as well.
Steer Clear of Cold
If you have an indoor plant such as a palm, orchid or other flowers any little chilly breeze can result can be the same as leaving the plant outside during a cold day. While plants always look lovely sitting near a window, icy drafts can harm them.
Even robust varieties don’t do well in cold locations. If you feel a frosty chill around windows and doors, apply weather stripping to stop the drafts. If you live in an extremely warm climate, your air conditioner can hurt your plants as well.
Add fertilizer regularly to indoor plants
Another way of expressing your love for your plants is to give them small, regular doses of plant food. Either homemade compost or store-bought fertilizer, just sprinkle a little bit on the topsoil to give shots of nutrition to your beautiful plants.
Repot Overgrown Plants
After several seasons your houseplants need space to maintain a healthy environment. Most plants end up outgrowing their pots within one to two years. When you notice yellowing leaves, a lack of nutrients, fast-flowing water through the soil, and roots coming out of the drainage holes, you’ll definitely know when to report.
A large plant in a small pot can harm the root system and stunt its growth which can lead to health problems. When you move it into the appropriate size container, give it fresh soil and avoid pulling the root ball apart to let it ease into the new home.
Remove infected indoor plants
After taking good care of the plants, if you still find that one of your precious plants has been hit by an insect or fungal attack, remove it and keep it away from other plants.
The most commonly occurring pest is the mealybug, a small, white and sticky creature. Your leaves turning scaly brown is a symptom, too. Sometimes the infection can spread and harm more plants than one. In the absence of direct sun and fresh breezes, the infection spreads quicker.
Pinch and Prune
To maintain the health of your indoor plants, it’s best to regularly remove dead leaves and stems. Prune extra foliage at the start of the growing season or right after they’ve flowered to give it a well-groomed look and encourage growth in bare spots.
Flowering plants also need to be deadheaded to remove spent blooms. As the flowers fade and turn brown, hold the stem with one hand and pinch off the old blooms right above the set of healthy leaves. Sometimes it might be quicker to clip them back rather than pinching off each wilted flower.
Lastly, choose your indoor plants wisely
There are certain plants that can do well in indoor conditions; it might be prudent to choose from amongst these plants. Any plant can survive indoors for a few days but if you want them to last longer indoors then choose your plants wisely, depending on the sunlight conditions in the room.
Adjust the Humidity
During the winter and homes located in the desert, climates are most likely too dry for many indoor plants to flourish. If you can, keep the humidity within 50–60 percent. Purchase a hydrometer and humidifier to help maintain proper levels.
Low humidity is bad for your skin and has the same effect on certain plants. Although many like ferns, spider plants and orchids do quite well in high humidity. If you enjoy cultivating indoor succulents and cacti, they prefer drier environments.
Keep a Plant in One Spot
Avoid moving delicate plants too often. If you have to reposition them handle them very gently. Specific plants like ficus Benjamina are overly sensitive to movement and vibration. Some become established in a certain location and aren’t happy when they are moved too much. In some cases, they’ll completely drop their leaves which might take a year or so to recover. If your plant seems to be content in one spot keep it in its happy place.