Houseplants want to live, and they’ll survive really well with little attention, as long as you get a couple of things right.
The most common reason that houseplants die is because of watering. Incorrect watering (usually overwatering) is because people fuss their plants to death. Under-watering is also a real killer.
Watering your houseplants every day is a quick way to send them to their grave. So here are a couple of rules for houseplant novices:
- Learn to be patient, houseplants aren’t like dogs or cats – they don’t need watering many times a day. Give plants time between watering – days when the weather is warm and even weeks when the weather is cool. Always empty any water out of the saucer beneath the plant about an hour after you water, leaving it can cause root-rot and death to many houseplants.
- Under-watering is the next biggest killer. Don’t be oblivious to your houseplants. When the leaves start to go crisp maybe it’s time to add water and cross your fingers. If you’re guilty of completely neglecting your plants and forgetting to water – maybe indoor plants aren’t for you, sad but true.
Other issues you need to consider before buying houseplants or placing them in your home are temperature, light and fertilising. Many plants sold as indoor plants are not capable of surviving really cold temperatures, careful placement is important. All plants need light, but most houseplants will burn or even die if they get too much direct sun. Too little light causes leaves to drop and new leaves produced are few and yellowish in colour, if the plant’s location in your home looks dark then the plant probably isn’t getting the light it needs.
When it comes to fertilising, underfeeding houseplants isn’t likely to kill. However overfeeding your plants can be a killer. Always read the label of the fertiliser.
Read the labels on your plants, they will tell you what the plant needs to survive.