Spring is here, and many of us turn to outdoor activities and getting our hands in the dirt. If you aren’t outside doing yard work, you might want to have some plants inside your home. Here are a few tasks that new plant owners need to know for caring for them.
I have cats at home, so I don’t keep indoor plants anymore. There are plants that ARE safe for cats(or dogs), but I was more concerned about them knocking over the plants and getting dirt everywhere. They are mischievous like that.
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Watering Tips For New Plants Owners
Over-watering kills most houseplants. Looks can be deceptive, so to see if your soil is dry enough to water, try the finger test. Insert your index finger up to the first joint into the soil. If the soil is damp, don’t water it.
This may seem like a simple thing, but most people get over excited about caring for their plants. Take a step back, and be smart. It may be helpful to write in your planner to check your plants every few days. If you need to, make a check, and then you will know that you didn’t forget and you lessen the risk of over-watering.
What You Need To Know About Feeding Your Plants
Foliage plants usually have high nitrogen needs, while flowering plants need potassium. Slow release fertilizers can be mixed with the compost. However, certain plants like cacti and orchids need special fertilizer.
Feed plants during their most active growth period. Potassium is most needed during the flowering stage. Want to learn more about the stages of plant growth? This post on Safer Brand goes into more detail.
New Plant Owners Need To Understand Proper Lighting
Plants like Sanseveria and Aspidistra require no sun, they can be placed away from a window. Spider plants need semi-shade, so you can put plants like these near a window gets some indirect sunlight. Check the label to see what your plant needs.
My Mother always had a knack for this, and her plants always flourished. As for me, well, let’s just say that most of my plants are of the silk variety. We were never close, so I never got to pick her brain about her skills. She passed a while ago, so I will miss her beautiful plants.
What Is The Best Temperature For You Plants?
One of the struggles new plant owners may encounter is trying to figure out what temperature is best for their plants. Houseplants can survive in cool or warm temperatures, but drastic fluctuations of temperature may not be good for them.
One thing that most plants cannot survive is gas heating. If you have a plant that likes warm conditions, don’t put it near an air conditioner in the summer. It may seem like a basic concept, but during the change of seasons, you may not think of these things.
So, add a notation to your planner to check the positioning of your houseplants every few months, and move them as necessary.
New Plant Owners Need To Understand Humidity
Some houseplants require a humid environment. One tip to maximize humidity is to put the pot inside a larger pot and fill in the gaps with stones or compost to keep in the moisture. Grouping plants together often creates a microclimate that they will benefit from.
If you want, you can spray them with water once or twice a day depending on the temperature. A not thought of tip would be to have a humidifier in an area near, but not directly next to, your plants.
The best thing to do is check with your local home & garden center, to see what they might suggest. Every time I visit the gardening center, you can see the plants being misted at different times. The employees probably can help you come up with the ideal schedule, based on the plants you want to keep.
A Word About Re-Potting Your Plants
Some plants require re-potting for optimum growth but there are others that resent having their roots disturbed. Or their roots system may be small enough that they don’t require re-potting.
One way to check if your plant needs re-potting is to turn it upside down. Tap the pot to release the plant and check its roots. If roots are all you see, then re-pot. Sometimes the roots will come out of the pot. You should either cut them off or re-pot the plant.
Final Thoughts For New Plant Owners
You just need to have a little care for your plants and in turn, you’ll reap the benefits. Indoor plants not only add to the beauty of your decor, but also give much pleasure to the indoor gardener.
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