How to Care for Your Houseplants
It's great having houseplants to liven up the rooms of your home. The trouble is, they
sometimes turn yellow or wilt, and you have no idea why. The most common problem for
houseplants is over-watering. Follow a few easy procedures and your houseplants will stay green
and strong for a long time.
Make Your Houseplants Feel at Home with the Right Environment
A healthy houseplant has the right combination of light, soil, and moisture. In other words,
it lives in a place that's just like home. Make your plants comfortable by imitating their
native environments. For instance, cactus plants like soil that stays dry for days or even
weeks. African Violets like an acidic soil. It's worth researching where your houseplants come
from and what makes them thrive.
Follow Your Plants' Changing Water Needs
Plants vary their water needs over the seasons. When they're actively growing, they need
more water. Watch what your plant is doing and increase or decrease its water accordingly.
For Proper Watering, Think of Your Plant as a Sponge
There's no need to let your plant completely dry out before you flood it. That can be
stressful. If you think of your plant as a sponge, you want to keep it moist enough to be able
get a drop or two of water with a gentle squeeze.
Maintain Moisture in Your Plants' Mix
Place a little moss, mulch, or even some pebbles around the base of your plants to retain
moisture in the container. If your schedule is a little hectic, and watering becomes an issue,
try using a moisture-retention soil, such as
Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix.
Why Over-watering Can Hurt Your Plants
Even though your plants' roots are in dirt, they need air. Over-watering blocks the air and
allows bacteria to grow out of control, leading to root rot and plant failure.
Oops, You've Been Over-watering. Now What?
Make sure your plant is okay. Look for dropping or yellowed leaves, wilting, or drooping. If
you see those signs, try drying out your plant or repotting it in fresh soil.
The Best Way to Water Your Houseplants
Before watering, do a moisture check by dipping your finger at least one inch deep into the
Water your plant with a longneck watering can that reaches all sides. Be sure your water is
Pour on enough water so that some seeps out of the pot's drainage holes into the saucer or tray
underneath. Your plant containers should have drainage holes.
An hour later, pour out any water in the saucer so the plant is not oversaturated.
For best results, water your plants in the morning so moistened foliage has a chance to dry out
during the day.