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Houseplant Tips and Tricks

Min An

Houseplants have gotten more popular recently, which is really fun for us to see!  Here are houseplant tips and tricks from Jen M., one of our Good Earth team members.  If you visited our Hothouse over the winter and saw the HUGE Birds Nest Fern, that was one of her many indoor gardening successes.  She clearly knows of what she speaks!

  1. Spin your plants around so they grow evenly and not lopsided. Every week.
  2. Don’t fertilize in the winter. Only in the spring and summer.  Try Lady bug brand–John’s recipe, fertilizer 3-1.5-2.
  3. Use pots with holes in them. Very helpful and necessary if you are a gardening newbie.
  4. Try taking your houseplants outside for the summer and grow them in the shade. It is amazing how much they grow!
  5. If you are prone to giving to watering too much, buy a moisture meter. It will help you learn how much water your plant needs.
  6. Speaking of watering, saucers are great for catching excess water, but water sitting in the saucer all the time helps keep the roots too soggy. Try this if possible: take your plant to the sink, water well.  Let water drain for a bit then put back in the saucer. It will help keep your surfaces drip free.
  7. Use a systemic insecticide. This product is sprinkled on the surface of the soil, and the insecticide gets absorbed into the plant, helping keep bugs away.  It really does work, and an ounce of prevention keeps you from having the headache of spraying insecticide inside your home later.
  8. Cutting off the browned bits off your leaves is a great way to tidy up. Follow the natural leaf shape, if the leaf shape comes to a point, don’t cut it back straight across.  It just won’t look natural, and defeats the tidying up you were trying to do.
  9. Dusting the leaves can be don’t the easy way or the hard way. Yes, you can wet a cloth and wipe each leaf. This can grow old if you have more than a dozen or so leaves.  I take mine to the shower in the winter and let the overhead water wet all the leaves down, cleaning off the dust.  Leave to dry before taking back to their regular spot.  If you take your plants outside in the summer, a garden hose does the trick.
  10. Knowing when to let go. We see lots of sick houseplants come in, some are just too far gone to keep as is, however there are many plants that you can pinch of the ends or tips (we call that propagating) to make a new plant. IE: Spider plant or also called Airplane plant. The main plant puts new starts off of a hanging stem, and each “baby” can make a new plant.