5 Reasons You’re Killing Your Indoor Plants

updated May 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Sarah Rae Smith)

Most people think that having a green thumb is just something you’re born with. Little do they know all it takes to keep your household foliage alive is a little 411. Are you chronically killing your leafy friends? Here are a few reasons why another one might be biting the dust. 

  1. Watering: Most folks tend to water their plants when they remember. The watering schedule you should stick to depends on your lighting and your humidity level. Just watering once a week and crossing your fingers just won’t cut it. So what do you do? Google. Just make sure that when you do, you include your location and look at actual greenhouse or growers’ websites. A general rule of thumb is that many plants like to go slightly dry to the touch before being watered again.
  2. Humidity: For the most part, the water that is applied to the surface of your soil is only helping strengthen the roots and stems. The leaves, however, could really use a spritz or two of water every day or two. 
  3. Drainage, Drainage Drainage: “But my pot has holes in the bottom! Isn’t that good enough?” Not even a little bit! In addition to your container having holes, you need actual rocks or drainage material at the bottom. It gives water a place to go so it doesn’t rot your roots. Remember, most plants prefer wet feet and dry ankles!
  4. Know Your Windows: When you walk into a plant store, the little tags will usually tell you full sun, partial sun or shade. Full sun is only considered to be unblocked or unfiltered southern light, with western sunlight as a runner-up. If you have northern or eastern light, stick with things that like shade or partial sun. Remember, the light needs to be bright enough to read a book by with the lights off for a plant to survive. 
  5. Shock: Although it’s easy to rearrange your furniture on a whim, plants, for the most part would like a permanent home. You obviously have to move them when you switch living quarters, but to keep them happy, let them love the light they’re in and stay put.