I’m a firm believer in the power of houseplants to brighten up any interior, bringing a bit of nature inside. Many gardeners, though (even veteran ones), often say they can’t grow houseplants. “I always kill them,” they moan. When I hear people say they have a black thumb with houseplants, I immediate know that they are probably killing the plants with too much love.
First, it’s worth noting that no plant was created to grow anyplace but outside. That being said, there are many plants that adapt to indoor conditions quite well as long as you understand their growing requirements. And while they do need adequate care, doting on them too much often does them in quicker than you can bat an eye. So let’s go over 3 tips for growing houseplants — I know you can do it!
1. Light: The vast majority of houseplants prefer what is called “bright indirect” light, which means they thrive when placed by a bright window or in a sunny room without direct sunlight on them. Some houseplants (sansevieria and peace lily, for example) grow well in more dimly lit interior rooms, so be sure to know what kind of light your particular houseplant likes.
2. Water: A once-a-week watering is usually the way to go, although there are some houseplants that prefer a once every-other-week watering or even a monthly watering. For plants that like consistent watering, aim for moist but not wet soil. For those who like going a bit longer between waterings, let them dry out a bit before watering them again. And never let a plant sit in a tray or saucer of water — that’s the kiss of death for houseplants.
3. Fertilizing: Regular fertilizing is helpful for most houseplants, but be careful about overdoing it. Follow the package directions, and omit winter fertilizing when your houseplants are resting and not actively growing. I fertilize mine monthly with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, but consider a specialty fertilizer for plants like orchids, cacti, or succulents.
Still unsure? Check out this article with the 5 easiest houseplants to grow!