When you send a plant as a gift, you’re not just sending someone a decoration, but also a new friend! These plant pals provide company and enliven any space – from a traditional office to your new home workspace. Plants make excellent housewarming gifts. But, like any friend, plants require a bit of attention. So before you send or receive a plant, it’s good to know how much care you’ll need to provide. That’s why we’re sharing some of our best tips for keeping your indoor plants happy and healthy.
Each room has its own unique natural lighting situation and temperature swings, and each plant owner has their own care-taking style. Some like to keep a hawk-eye vigilance on their #PlantsFam to make sure they’re getting the exact amount of water that they need every few days, while most prefer to select a self-sustaining houseplant that can survive just a little bit of neglect every now and then (hey, we’re guilty of this too).
Know Your Plants
Before we dive into the details of taking care of your plants, let’s get one thing straight. Just because all of these green guys thrive indoors, it doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
Each type of plant has its own likes and dislikes. Some can survive weeks without water while others are happiest when you give them a weekly drink.
While the following tips are a good starting point, it’s smart to research how to best care for your specific plant.
Lighting is key when it comes to making sure your plants can thrive. After all, plants rely on light to make their food! Photosynthesis, anyone?
Luckily, most houseplants grow best in bright, indirect sunlight – as this mimics light filtering through the forest canopy. We know that providing this type of light can be a bit tricky, especially for those with windows that are a bit too bright.
If that’s the case, then try hanging up sheer curtains. This way, you won’t have to stress about rearranging your entire space. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into what works best for your potted friends. Make sure you’re aware of whether your plant should be soaking in a lot of sun, a bit of sun, or none at all!
We’ve all had that plant we forgot to water for a bit too long. Wilting and brown leaves, as well as a good case of plant owner’s guilt are some common symptoms.
But, plants are just as susceptible to overwatering!
While this may seem confusing, lots of indoor plants require similar moisture conditions. Plants like snake plants and anthurium do best when their soil dries out between waterings. So before you give your plants another drink, check to see if the top inch of soil is moist. If it is, wait to water. If it feels dry, water away!
If you or a friend travel frequently or are just the forgetful type, the ZZ plant is your pal. These plants can survive multiple weeks without water.
Temperature and Humidity
Since a lot of indoor plants are native to the tropics, they thrive in warmer temperatures. We’re not saying that your space has to be 90ºF, but it should be at least 50ºF.
Plants also perform best when the temperature stays consistent. So avoid putting your plants in drafty areas like near exterior doors or next to a heating vent.
Placing your plant on top of your desk or hanging next to your couch is typically a good choice.
While you might not prefer humid conditions, many indoor plants do. With that said, most plants can survive just fine in low humidity environments as long as they receive enough water.
If your space is super dry, try placing plants like orchids or gardenias in rooms like the bathroom or the kitchen. These spots tend to be the most humid areas of the house.
When you send flowers to someone, you’re sending a few weeks of smiles. When you send a plant, you’re sending potential years of smiles.
Since indoor plants can live so long, they’ll eventually use up all the nutrients in the potting soil they arrive in. Therefore, you’ll need to fertilize your plants to keep them thriving. Remember, plants get hungry too!
While you may think feeding your plant a lot of fertilizer will only boost its growth, it can actually cause harm. Most houseplants require a dose of fertilizer only a few times a year.
Look for a fertilizer that is recommended for indoor plants and apply according to product directions.
It’s easy to think that the pot you initially raised your precious plant in would end up becoming its forever home, but it turns out that’s not always the case. Over time, you’ll need to repot your houseplant as it starts to outgrow its original home.
Here are some signs your plant is ready for a new pot:
- The soil is drying out much faster than usual.
- The plant’s roots are pushing through the holes in the bottom of its planter.
- You can see roots emerging from the top of the soil.
- There’s a buildup of salts/minerals on the soil surface.
Even if you don’t see any of these signs, you can also repot if you’re looking to spice up your office with a new planter.
When you’re searching for a new pot, make sure to select one that contains drainage holes. If a pot doesn’t have holes, your plant will end up sitting in water…and you’ll know it’s not happy about that.
After selecting a new pot, the next step is to find the proper potting mix. Look for a mix that can hold moisture yet also drains well. Mixes labeled for indoor plants fit the bill.
The final step is to remove your plant from its original pot and brush off old potting soil. Place your plant in its new home, fill it in with potting soil, and it’s good to go!
You’re not the only one who enjoys your plants – pests like them too. Here are some of the most common pests of indoor plants.
Spider mites are teeny tiny critters that love to suck the life from your plants. Since they’re so small, you might not be able to see them. But, you’ll notice the small white spots they cause. If you don’t take action, the spider mites will turn your plants yellow.
To get rid of this pest, spray your plants with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Aphids are small insects that suck the juices out of plants. They can rapidly reproduce and create an infestation in no time. So if you see even just a few aphids, act fast.
If you see only a couple of aphids, you can spray them off with water. If your plant is infested, you’ll want to fight back against the aphids by spraying them with neem oil. Another option is to invite ladybugs into your space since these beetles love devouring aphids.
Mealy bugs are yet another pest that loves to rob the plant of its juices. While you can see these critters, they don’t look like bugs. Rather, they look like pieces of white lint or fuzz.
You can spray these bugs off with water if you see only a few. If you’re dealing with larger numbers, spray your plants with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
To keep your plant happy, you might need to prune it. This involves removing dead or diseased leaves and branches. While you may be sad to cut back your plant, think of pruning like a necessary haircut.
When you’re pruning, it’s important to not go overboard. Make sure to remove no more than 25% of the plant’s original foliage. You don’t want a haircut gone wrong!
Plant Care Infographic
This infographic shows you just the right amount of sunlight, water, and indoor temperature that your houseplant needs in order to really thrive in your home environment. Do you have a south-facing window that gets lots of light throughout the day?
Take Care of Your New Plant Pal
All-in-all, it all comes down to choosing the right plants for you! If you’re a busy bee and think you won’t have time to water your plants as often as they need, don’t fret; there are plenty of low-maintenance options.
The Bouqs Co. wants to provide you with only the best there is when it comes to new #PlantsFam additions! Check out our collection today and find the right fit for you.Shop All