Houseplants are increasing in popularity as they can easily complement any interior design and bring positive energy to your home. Despite this, there can be some homeowners who jump into growing houseplants without the proper knowledge, only to see their plants die in a few weeks.
For example, you might think you’re doing the right thing by drowning your little green friends in water and sunlight every day. But, this practice could do them more harm than good. It can be as simple as knowing which plants are good for certain locations and environments to succeed in growing plants indoors.
From over watering to simply placing the wrong kind of plants in certain rooms and locations, our garden experts have created a practical list of the things you ought not to do when it comes to plant care!
1. Wrong choice of plants
Despite being placed inside the house, plants still require certain growing conditions. So, it’s best to opt for varieties that do well in your region. They would also need to be placed in interior spaces based on various ‘climate’ requirements: hot or cold, sunny or shady.
For shade-loving species, try growing the snake plant, Chinese evergreen, baby rubber plant, fern arum, and Philodendron houseplants. Varieties that require higher levels of light, on the other hand, include the thread agave, spider ivy, red echeveria, bead plant, jade plant and tropical hibiscus among others.
If you are planning on putting some up inside your bathroom, where the temperature can be cool and often humid, you can opt for the kangaroo vine, grape ivy, strawberry saxifrage, pink quill, Swiss cheese plant, and maidenhair fern.
Above all else, houseplants need a steady supply of water — it’s just a matter of knowing the species to determine how much. One of the most common mistakes people make is overwatering their plants, especially when it isn’t growing.
As a general rule for common houseplants, keep the compost moist but not wet. Specialist plants like orchids, succulents and cacti, however, need completely different conditions, so it’s best to check plant labels and do your research.
3. Applying the same watering schedule to all your plants
Houseplants vary in watering requirements. Your succulent does not need to be watered as often as your monstera. Your kitchen herbs will require different levels of moisture too.
So, whilst it’s easy to remember to water if you do it on the same day every week, it’s not always ideal for your plants. It can either lead them to getting over or under-watered.
One good test is to stick your finger into the soil. If it is dry an inch or so down, it needs to be watered, but if not, come back in a few days. This technique will help you know your plants’ needs individually, predicting when they need to be hydrated as time goes on.
4. Purchasing with no labels
It is particularly essential to buy properly labelled plants if you are a complete beginner in growing houseplants or have no ability in recognising various species. At the very least, you need to know the name of your plant so you can do your own research.
5. Putting plants near a radiator
No single houseplant species placed above or near a radiator would be happy. The relentless heat will dry a plant out and cause it to wilt, no matter how much water it receives.
6. Placing them in direct sunlight
It may sound a little surprising, but it is ideal to keep houseplants out of direct sunlight. If the plant keeps on wilting even with regular watering, you can try rotating it every few days. This can help avoid lasting damage as some plants can be considered shade-loving.
However, too little light will also stunt your indoor plants’ growth and damage its health, so make sure to find the best spot for individual species.
7. Giving up after your first casualty
It’s a bad decision to give up after your first houseplant dies. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad plant parent, but it could be that your home don’t have the right growing conditions, or that the plant was already dying when you bought it.
Plants die at times, but mistakes will teach you a lot of things. After all, a green thumb is a skill you earn, not something you’re born with.