Houseplants are often the bane of busy people. Unlike pets, they have no voice to plead for a drink of water or food. They cannot crawl out of their crowded pots or move to a sunny spot. Completely dependent on our care, they seemingly thrive for a week or two before suddenly dying.
So what can you do to keep your houseplants alive and growing? Follow these simple tips that will make your plants happy enough to produce chlorophyll (the green pigment), stand up straight, and maybe even force out some flower buds.
Put Your Plants on a Watering Schedule
Write it on a calendar in advance. Dedicate a day each week to checking the moisture level in your houseplants’ soil and watering when necessary.
Do Not Overfeed
Using plant food too aggressively can burn a plant’s roots, killing it from the ground up. Feed every couple of months—and that’s only if you remember to water regularly!
Re-Pot When Necessary
Houseplants that have survived the years are often forgotten in their too-tight planters. Keep a bag of potting soil handy so that you can re-pot when their roots are straining against the terracotta bowl or peering over the porcelain planter.
Follow the Care Instructions
Some plants love to bask in the sunlight, while others hide in the shade. Still, others are somewhere in the middle. Find the proper window for your little beauties, and they will be more willing to blossom under your care. If they seem to be adjusting poorly to one location, move to another less-extreme spot (but don’t go from direct sun to full shade—this will shock the poor thing!).
Dust Your Plants
That’s right—even if you don’t dust the furniture. Take a damp cloth to the leaves. This will keep them shiny and allow them to “breathe.” After all, if they’re under a layer of grime, you can’t see that they’re alive and green!
Taking care of houseplants shouldn’t be a chore, even though it may seem like one. Following these few simple guidelines will help you keep your plants green and growing—at least until you go on vacation.