Organize & Clean

How to: Not Kill Your Plants

updated Jul 16, 2020
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We’re on a plant kick recently. Maybe that’s because it’s near time to enjoy plants indoors rather than outdoors? Recently, we talked about hard-to-kill houseplants, and now we come at you with plant care. Here are the best ways not to kill your plant &mdash even if it’s near indestructible to begin with.

For plant care tips, our favorite plant expert, Debra Prinzing, recommends the following:

1. Water sparingly. Once a week should be sufficient if your plant has adequate drainage, a suitable saucer or trap beneath the container and isn’t root-bound.

2. Give it a rest. It’s OK to cut back a bit on watering and completely on feeding during the fall and winter. Allow your plant its natural dormant period.

3. See the light. If you have a bright, south-facing or west-facing window, choose your plants accordingly. Unfortunately, most home have lower light levels, so choose plants that grow well in indirect or filtered light conditions.

Debra notes that most of the best indoor plants are actually tropical plants, so it’s important to replicate their natural environment &mdash meaning, humidity. In the winter, when it’s dry, she suggests leave the plant in the bathroom for a week every now and then to soak up shower steam.

If you have questions about specific plants, Debra recommends, a comprehensive Web site of information about indoor houseplants, including an encyclopedia (if you’re not sure what you have), plant care tips, a shop, and a discussion form.

More on Apartment Therapy:
5 Questions and Answers About Interior Plants
How To: Prepare Your Plants for a Move
Escapes: Caring for Plants While You’re Away

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