House Plant Basics

There are two key factors involved in raising healthy house plants:

  1. Water
  2. Light

1. The main reason that house plants die is from being over-watered.

The soil in the pot should have the chance to thoroughly dry in between waterings. If the plant is perepetually soggy, it can cause rotting, fungus and disease.

The best trick to keep from overwatering your plants is to stick your finger in the soil up to about your knuckle and feel for moisture. If the soil sticks to your finger, it is still too wet to be watered again. If the soil falls like dust off your finger, it is ready to be watered. Most house plants don’t need to be watered more than twice a week.

Another problem people have with watering their plants is that they water too little at a time. Ideally, every bit of soil should get moisture during watering. If you put only a small amount of water each time, only the top layer of soil is being thoroughly moistened. This encourages shallow root growth, since the majority of roots needing water are deep toward the bottom of the pot.

In Sum: water your plants thoroughly and not too often.

2.The second most common reason that houseplants die is that they don’t get enough light.

Many plants that are suitable for the indoors are plants that, in nature, grow in rainforest undergrowth. This means they are used to intense, highly filtered light. Light through a window can be a very good substitiute for the light these plants are used to. You will have best results if you place the plant where it receives strong light through the window, without being right next to the window, since it can get too hot there sometimes.