How To Grow Healthy Plants In Your Indoor Space
Nothing can make a space feel more fresh and luxurious than a host of well-groomed, thriving houseplants. Of course, if you’re struggling to keep your plants alive, and they’re wilted and brown or otherwise unseemly, the effect is drastically lessened.
The following will explore some useful tips you can apply to help you grow healthy, luscious plants indoors. Before diving in, it is worth noting that every plant has its own native habitat where it is most comfortable. Because of this, every plant species is going to have slightly different needs.
It’s a good idea to read up on the plants you’re thinking about buying to determine whether your location, temperature, and humidity levels are ideal. Of course, you can work around plant needs by providing extra care, but even so, it’s probably ideal that you know the extra work you’re getting into before you make the decision to include the plant in your roster.
It’s no secret that plants need light to thrive, but what a lot of people don’t know is that each type of plant needs a different amount of light. First and foremost, you’re going to want to orient yourself in your space. Some plants prefer to be in south-facing windows as they’re going to get most of their light in the afternoon; these plants will also receive the most light
overall. Other plants prefer a north-facing window where they can get that early morning light, but things will cool down by the afternoon.
Figure out the dynamics of light in your home and adjust your plant placement to suit that.
Feel free to get creative. If a room has a very small window, why not include a mirror opposite the window to increase the light? You might also want to bring in artificial lights to give you the best results possible. This is also an excellent option for plants that do fine in the summer but need a little extra light during the winter months to stay vibrant.
Of course, you know that your plants need water, but maybe you weren’t aware that all water is not equal in the eyes of plants. First, avoid using unfiltered tap water if your water is provided by the city you live in. Often water of this nature is highly treated to prevent diseases or bacteria, which is a good thing for people, but not for plants. The same chlorine that kills bacteria in the water can be hard on your plants. Well water or rainwater is optimal.
If those aren’t options where you live, at least leave a big jug of tap water uncovered for a few hours before giving it to your plants. Some of the chlorine will evaporate out of the water during this time, making it gentler on plants.
You also want to think about water temperature and storage. If water is too warm or cold, plants might have an issue with it. Room temperature or a little colder is ideal. You also want to avoid storing water in plastic containers left out in the sun or in warm areas, as this causes the plastic to leech into the water.
Over time, the build-up of microplastics can take a toll on your plants. (The same applies to you and your health; stop drinking out of plastic bottles that have been left in your car or in the heat or sun. Microplastics wreak havoc on human hormones.)
Plants also need nutrients to live a healthy and full life. Nutrition begins with high-quality potting soil and ends with regular nutrient top-ups. You should be able to find plant food mixes at any local store that has a garden section.
You can also find test strips that can help you determine the pH level of the soil you’re using. pH levels can make a big difference in how comfortable a plant is. If you need a little boost in acidity, you can sprinkle a few used coffee grinds into the soil to help balance things out.
Sometimes plants are just on the edge of thriving, but they need a little help strengthening their limbs if they’re going to continue to reach and grow. You can use sticks, bamboo, or really anything else that’s sturdy and will sit in your pots to offer support for a growing plant. This is a particularly useful tip for vines or plants that tend to grow tall and then lean over a little.
The above tips should help you tend to your plant’s basic needs. Again, all plants are a little different, and so you want to be sure that you’ve read up on your particular species before you aimlessly apply gardening tips. Some plants like a ton of sun and no water; some plants like a little shade in the afternoon. Some need their leaves to be misted with a spray bottle every so often.