8 tips for caring for houseplants

Houseplants don’t just look pretty, they can lift your mood and have a variety of health benefits for you and your family.


Researchers, for instance, have found that houseplants add moisture to the air – a convenient benefit during cold dry winters. Rooms with plants also have less dust and mold floating around, and leaves and other parts of plants filter allergens and other airborne particles like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Plus, other plants like mint and basil can help with digestion.


If you’re like a lot of people, however, like some on the Shop Talk team who shall remain nameless, you may have a tendency to kill houseplants in record time. So, here are a few basic tips to take care of them so they can take care of you:


1.     Feel the soil: For most plants, if the first inch of soil is dry, they need water. And if you notice leaves that are dry or discolored, a little more water is advisable.

2.     Under beats over: Plants can usually recover quickly from a little underwatering but overwatering can waterlog the roots, which may require repotting it if you have any hope of saving them.

3.     Pots with drainage holes: Make sure your plants have holes at the bottom so they can drain easily and avoid rotting or suffocating roots.

4.     Deep over surface: Light watering tends to only satisfy your plant’s top roots. To ensure all the roots are satiated, water deeply until you see it draining through the bottom – it’s best to do this over a sink.

5.     Dust: Dusty leaves make it harder for plants to soak up sunlight so make sure to gently wipe them with a wet cloth a couple of times a year.

6.     Be wary of fertilizer: Most houseplants don’t need fertilizing unless they’re not growing like they should. If you think fertilizer might help, ask a professional – too much can damage or kill your plants.

7.     Temperature tip: Most plants crave stable temperatures around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius). Choose a location without major fluctuations – for instance, avoid the front entrance.

8.     Bathroom greenery: You might think a bathroom without a window is a death sentence for a plant but it’s perfect for low light plants like Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema), Pothos, Aspidistra, Boston Fern and Peace Lily. They’ll usually thrive on the humidity from your shower but it’s still a good idea to check the soil regularly (see #1).


What are your secret houseplant tips? We hope you’ll share! Leave your thoughts and questions in our Shop Talk blog community forum.


Did you know: Plants and concentration


Studies suggest students in classrooms with potted plants performed better on math, spelling, reading and science. (Source)