With cooler days right around the corner, many gardeners are starting to think about bringing some of their favourite green babies indoors to enjoy during the winter months. However, if you’re like many people, indoor gardens can be a challenge to keep healthy and thriving (be honest, how many dead indoor ferns have you tossed away over the years?).
While it’s no secret that keeping indoor plants alive and healthy can be tricky, especially if you’re an amateur gardener, with a little bit of knowledge and some insider tips you can keep your indoor plants thriving for months on end. Here are six of our TOP tips on how to keep your indoor plants healthy and thriving all year long:
- Choose the right plants for your home and climate
- Water your plants regularly, but don’t overwater them
- Give your plants plenty of sunlight – but not too much, or they’ll get burned
- Fertilize your plants every few weeks to keep them healthy
- Prune dead leaves and branches off your plants to keep them looking neat and tidy
- Repot your plants when they start to grow too big for their current pot
1. Choose the right plants for your home and climate
Indoor plants can add both beauty and function to your home, but it’s important to choose the right plants for your climate and care routine. Not all plants are well suited to life indoors, so it’s important to do your research before you buy. If you live in a colder climate, opt for indoor plants that can tolerate lower temperatures and less light, such as snake plants or succulents. If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll have more options to choose from, but be sure to select plants that can thrive in high temperatures and indirect sunlight, such as fiddle-leaf figs or philodendrons. You should also take into account the amount of care that each plant needs. Some plants are very low maintenance, while others require regular pruning and watering.
Once you’ve selected the right indoor plants for your climate, make sure to pay attention to their individual needs – some plants are very low maintenance, while others require regular pruning, sunlight, or watering. At this point, it’s important to also consider your own routines and how much time you have to care for your plants. Do you travel a lot, are you busy with work, or are you home most days? While you don’t have to stand by their side 24/7, thinking about how much time you reasonably have to care for your plant is a genuine consideration when choosing which plants to make part of your indoor garden.
2. Water your plants regularly, but don’t overwater them
One of the most important things you can do for your indoor plants is to water them regularly. However, it’s also important not to overwater them. How often you need to water your plants will depend on a number of factors, including the type of plant, the size of the pot, and the temperature and humidity of the room. Generally speaking, most indoor plants need to be watered once a week. To check if your plant needs watering, stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist, wait a few days before watering. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make when caring for indoor plants. When plants are overwatered, their roots can’t access the oxygen they need to function properly. This can lead to root rot, which can kill a plant. So be sure to water your plants regularly, but don’t overwater them.
3. Give your plants plenty of sunlight – but not too much, or they’ll get burned
Unless they are shade loving, most indoor plants still need plenty of sunlight to thrive and will not flower or grow without at least some access to direct sunlight each day. Many indoor plants will be happy if you place them near a window where they can get plenty of natural light. Just like people, however, too much sun can damage leaves, cause root burn, and make indoor plants more susceptible to disease. When it comes to light, the best rule of thumb is to give plants only as much as they can handle.
In general, plants that originate in tropical or subtropical regions will need more sun than those from temperate or polar regions. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, so it’s always best to consult a plant expert before placing a new plant in a sunny spot. With a little trial and error, you can find the perfect balance of light and darkness for your indoor garden.
4. Fertilize your indoor plants during their main growing season to keep them healthy
Indoor plants are often seen as low-maintenance decor that can survive on neglect, but the reality is that they need our help to thrive. Just like any other living thing, plants need food and water to survive but are especially vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies as they are cut off from natural sources of food and water. As a result, it’s important to fertilize your indoor plants during their primary growing season (some grow the most in the summer while others grow in the fall, for example). By adding key nutrients to the soil at the same time they would naturally get them outdoors, you can ensure that they are receiving the food they need to thrive.
There are a variety of fertilizers available on the market, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for indoor use. If you’re unsure what type or how often to fertilize your plants, ask a knowledgeable friend or visit your local nursery for advice. There are also a few different ways to fertilize indoor plants, so be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully. Over-fertilizing can actually damage your plants, so it’s important to be careful. With a little bit of care, you can keep your indoor plants looking great all year long.
5. Prune dead leaves and branches off your plants to keep them looking neat and tidy
One of the most important things you can do for keeping your indoor plants healthy is to regularly prune dead leaves and branches. Not only does this help to keep them looking neat and tidy, but it also allows them to direct their energy towards new growth. Dead leaves and branches can also provide a breeding ground for pests and diseases, so by removing them you can help to keep your plants healthy. When pruning, always use sharp, clean tools and make sure to disinfect them between cuts. This will help to prevent the spread of disease. In addition, be sure to dispose of any dead leaves and branches in a safe manner, as they can still harbour pests and diseases.
6. Repot your plants when they start to grow too big for their current pot
Not repotting your plants is one of the main reasons why your favourite greenery eventually dies off. It has nowhere to grow! the good news is that repotting a plant is actually quite simple and even those with little experience can do it.
The most important thing is to choose the right pot. The new pot should only be a few inches wider than the current one, as you don’t want the roots to have too much room to spread out. This can lead to problems with the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. In terms of materials, any type of pot will do as long as it has drainage holes in the bottom so that the roots don’t sit in a puddle of water which can lead to root rot.
Once you’ve selected a pot, fill it with fresh potting soil as nutrients from the previous soil will have been depleted over time. Think of it as giving your plant lots of fresh new food to enjoy! Be sure to also water your plant well after repotting it, as this will help it recover from any transplant shock. With a little bit of care, your plant will soon be thriving in its new home.
Following these tips should help you to keep your indoor plants healthy and happy for months on end. Just remember to be patient, as some trial and error may be necessary to find what works best for your particular plants. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy the beauty of indoor plants all year round!