Indoor plants are a source of relaxation. These can increase your productivity and keep you healthy, along with beautifying your interior space. For all these favors, these plants ask for your attention and care in return. You should know how to keep them happy and thriving. You should know their basic needs and care routines.
If you are a beginner in indoor gardening, let us share some expert tips and tricks for keeping your plants alive. These will help you learn the basics of growing indoor plants.
1. Never overwater
Overwatering is the worst thing you can do to your plants. When you overwater a plant, the drainage hole gets clogged up, and water fills all the air pockets in the soil. This suffocates the roots and kills your plant in just a few days. It is one of the most common mistakes done by beginners.
So if you want to keep your plant alive, never ever overwater it. Always let the soil get dry between waterings.
Every plant has different watering needs, so you should water according to the requirements of each of your plants. If you cannot track when to water a certain plant, just follow the basic rule of thumb: water the plant when 1-2 inches of its topsoil gets dry.
2. Prune often
Keeping a plant alive also means keeping it in good shape. It is important to cut all the dead branches and leggy parts of your plant to encourage more growth.
If you do not prune your plant, it will try to save its dead leaves by supplying them with nutrients. These nutrients will totally go to waste as the leaves cannot come back to life. So it is better if you remove all the dead parts on time.
Pruning also helps prevent diseases from spreading. So if any part of your plant has been infected, cut it down immediately.
3. Use the ideal potting mix
You should use organic-rich and well-draining potting soil for your plants. This type of growing substrate makes sure your plants grow optimally and stay healthy.
If you have plain potting soil at home, you can increase its drainage or organic content by adding more ingredients.
To increase drainage, add perlite, vermiculite, or pumice to the soil. These also increase soil aeration.
You can increase the organic content of potting soil by adding compost or peat moss to it. Compost can be prepared at home using fallen leaves, grass clippings, eggshells, and banana peels.
4. Re-pot every spring
The roots of the plants need sufficient space to grow. Once they occupy all the available space in a pot, they ask for more room. It is why you should re-pot your plants whenever they get root-bound.
So how do you know if your plant is root-bound? If you notice any roots peeking out of the drainage hole, know that they are looking for more space to grow. It is when you should re-pot your plant.
If there are no overgrown roots after a year of planting, you should re-pot your plants anyway. It is because repotting also replenishes lost nutrients and minerals.
Early spring and midsummer are the best times for repotting your plant collection.
5. Choose the right spot
Houseplants need bright sunlight, but most of them burn in direct sun. You should carefully choose the right spot for each of your plants, depending on their light requirements.
For the placement of plants that need direct sun, a window sill or patio is the perfect spot. The plant species that enjoy indirect but bright light should be placed several feet away from a window. A shaded corner is ideal for those lovely plants that prefer to grow in low light.
Some plants thrive in dappled sunlight. You should place those near east-facing windows.
6. Fertilize them
If you are doing everything right but not fertilizing, you will end up with pale-leafy plants. Without proper fertilization, your green tropical indoor jungle will turn into a yellow-colored, dull, and dying plant group.
To keep your plants alive, fertilize each of them as per their needs. Some plants are heavy feeders that need to be fertilized bimonthly. While some are light feeders that need to be fertilized after 3 to 4 months only.
If you have too many plants at home and do not like the hassle of weekly fertilizations, try using slow-release fertilizers. These fertilizers are available to the plant for an extended period, so you won’t need to fertilize again for six months.
7. Make a separate schedule for every plant
No two plants have similar needs. Some need to be watered just once a month, while some need daily watering. Some stay healthy with bi-yearly fertilization, while others need to be fertilized every 2 weeks. So it is possible to forget a watering or fertilizing day.
The best way to stay consistent is to make a separate schedule for each of your plants. You should mark all the important days for each plant, so you never forget or miss them.