I used to fear that I was destined to have a brown thumb. This is a fact I was not willing to accept, so despite all of our instincts, when Charles & I moved into our home at the beginning of 2019, we started buying plants for around our home. We luckily have improved our luck & while I wouldn’t quite say we have green thumbs, we’re definitely moving along the continuum. I get some questions here & there about where we got the plants in our home, because people often assume they are faux. They are in fact real, so I thought that instead of sharing sources, I’d share tips so you all can work to keep your own plants alive! Today, I’m sharing 7 indoor plant tips to help you work away from that brown thumb.
Indoor Plant Tips
I love the way plants bring life into a space. They help purify the air & they just make me really happy. I have tried to replicate with faux plants, but they just don’t have the same affect for me personally. I will always choose a live plant over a faux one if I can. This means we’ve had to keep them alive. Otherwise, that would become a big expense to keep buying live plants just to kill them. We’ve figured out which ones are easiest to keep alive & some tips & tricks to ensure that we do are best at keeping them happy.
Below I’m sharing 7 indoor plant tips so you can learn how to keep your indoor plants alive. These are a few things we’ve learned through trial & error, so I hope that they are helpful for you all & help you jump right in to find success. I’m also sharing some of the planters, products, & more we use for our plants at home at the bottom of this post. You can even order some plants online, so I am sharing a few of those options, too.
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1. Check Your Water
Overwatering is the most common reason people kill plants, which is why it’s the first of my indoor plant tips. We learned the hard way. We were watering almost all of our plants (except succulents) every Sunday to try to keep track. Now, we check them levels every Sunday, but have spaced out when we water them. You can easily tell when to water most of your plants by sticking your finger into the soil to about your first knuckle. If it’s dry, then it’s time to water. If not, then you can wait a few more days or even another week. It won’t be an exact science on number of days between because a few factors like light, humidity, time of year, etc. all come in to play!
Remember that plants like showers, not baths. This means that you should let water run through your plant. If you have a larger plant with a sauce underneath you can leave them on the floor to water, for smaller plants, it’s easy to do them over a sink. Water your plant until water comes out of the bottom. If it’s on the floor, let water come out of the saucer for about 30 minutes & then drain. We place our plants on a towel while we empty the saucer & then put the planter back on the saucer.
2. Use the Right Planter
You need to be sure you are using the right planter for your pots. They shouldn’t be too small so that your plants have room to grow. Your planter also needs good drainage. Some plants are okay to keep in their original plastic containers & then put those in a pretty planter for aesthetic purposes. Then, instead of a saucer you can let it drain into the bottom of the planter & empty as needed. If your plant can’t properly drain, it will sit in water (again, they don’t like baths) & it can cause root rot. Using pebbles at the bottom of a planter under the soil is another way you can help with drainage!
3. Find the Good Light
Light is key for plant health. Think about where you are going to put a plant before you purchase it to ensure it will grow there. Most plants will come with a little care guy or it’s super easy to google the plant & see what sort of light they need. I’ll also include some info on some common ones for you all below. Typically, plants like light. Some plants do well in low light, but as a general rule, consider putting your plants in a place where they will get good light. We open our blinds each morning when we get up as a part of our morning routine. I love natural light, but this is also to ensure our plants get what they need! It is common for plants to grow towards the light, so you’ll often need to rotate your plants so that it grows evenly. A good rule of thumb is to rotate your plants when you water them.
4. Splurge on Soil
I don’t literally mean to spend a bunch of money on soil, but rather that your soil is important. You shouldn’t just go grab dirt from the hole your dog dug up in the back yard. You should get potting soil for different plants. We have some we use for succulents & some we use for other plants. Good soil helps promote healthy roots & ensure your plant is getting the good nutrients it needs, which is essential for your plant’s survival.
Since houseplants need a lot of watering, that may cause a lot of nutrients from the plant to wash through. These can easily be replaced by fertilizing your plants. We have some for succulents & some for other plants that we mix into the water. How often you need to fertilize depends on the product you are using, but usually ever few months or seasonally is sufficient. You often don’t need to fertilize them in the winter. Check your plants often to ensure that there aren’t bugs or pests that shouldn’t be there. If this happens, just treat as needed!
6. Check Your Humidity
This is something we learned by experience. Our A/C has a humidity control. We had it adjusted to make the humidity inside basically nonexistent, which some of our plants didn’t like. We adjusted it so both us & our plants could be comfortable. It made such a difference in their health & how much water they needed. You have to think about what environment your plant comes from. Some plants like humidity (these tend to do well in bathrooms), but others do not so make sure you check the humidity on your air systems & consider it in the room you are putting your plants in. Also, most plants don’t want to be right under a vent because they’ll get blasted with A/C or heat. If you have older windows in your house, be sure to consider this as well! This can create a draft which your plants may not like depending on the climate of where you live. One option is mist your plant leaves to temporarily increase humidity. However, this doesn’t make a huge long-term difference.
7. Keep it Clean
Did you know you need to actually clean your plant’s leaves? Think about it, our health or your dog’s health is impacted by cleanliness. Your plants are no different. Make sure their leaves aren’t filled with dust by checking them once a month or so. I bought a leaf shiner & will use a light microfiber cloth to gently dust them off & shine them. This helps them stay healthy & happy. Plus, it is better for you to not have all that dust around your home.
If you all like these indoor plant tips, I will work on some other posts about plants. I was thinking of the best faux indoor house plants for those of you who don’t want to risk it with real ones & the best indoor house plants + some care tips for those of you who are willing to try to have a green thumb. We are definitely beginners here, so I am just sharing what we have learned over the last year & a half of having them in our home. A few places to buy indoor plants online are: West Elm (they have Bloomscape plants), The Sill, & Home Depot.
For more home content, be sure to check out my A Lo Abode mood board, our guest bedroom reveal, our hall bathroom remodel, my cloffice reveal, & our master bedroom reveal. I’ll have a post up on our formal living room & dining room soon, too. XO