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Houseplant Care

by Lazy Flora 31 Mar 2024

Caring for houseplants can transform any indoor space, not just by beautifying it but also by enhancing air quality and creating a calming atmosphere. Whether you are a seasoned plant parent or a beginner, understanding the basics of houseplant care is essential for fostering a thriving indoor garden. This blog post will guide you through the essentials of houseplant care, covering light, water, humidity, temperature, soil, fertilisation, potting, and troubleshooting common problems.

Light: The Foundation of Plant Health

Light is crucial for photosynthesis, the process through which plants produce food. Different plants require varying amounts of light, categorised into low, medium, and high light requirements. Identify the direction your windows face and the quality of light in your home to choose plants that will thrive in your environment. A south-facing window provides high light, ideal for succulents and cacti, while north-facing windows offer low light, suitable for species like snake plants and pothos.

Water: The Balancing Act

Overwatering is one of the most common pitfalls in houseplant care. To avoid this, water your plants only when the top inch of soil feels dry. The frequency will vary depending on the plant species, pot size, and environmental conditions. Always use pots with drainage holes to prevent water from sitting at the bottom and causing root rot.

Humidity and Temperature: Creating a Comfortable Environment

Most houseplants originate from tropical regions, preferring environments with higher humidity. If your home is dry, especially during winter, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your plants to increase humidity. Temperature is equally important; most houseplants prefer temperatures between 18-24°C (65-75°F). Avoid placing your plants near drafts or heat sources that can cause temperature fluctuations.

Soil: The Support System

Good quality potting soil is essential for healthy plants. It should be well-draining yet retain enough moisture to support plant growth. Specialised potting mixes are available for different types of plants, such as succulents or orchids, which have specific soil requirements.

Fertilisation: Providing Nutrients

Plants need various nutrients to grow, which they absorb through their roots. During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilise your houseplants every 4-6 weeks using a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser. Reduce fertilisation in autumn and winter when plant growth naturally slows.

Potting and Repotting: Giving Room to Grow

Potting is crucial for plant health. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball and ensure it has adequate drainage holes. Repotting is typically needed every 1-2 years when a plant outgrows its pot or the soil becomes compacted. Spring is the best time for repotting, as plants are entering their active growth phase.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Houseplant care often involves diagnosing and solving problems such as yellow leaves, drooping, or pest infestations. Yellow leaves can indicate overwatering, underfeeding, or lack of light. Drooping may be a sign of underwatering or root damage. Keep an eye out for pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs, and treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.


Caring for houseplants is a rewarding activity that enhances your living space and well-being. By understanding and meeting the specific needs of your plants, you can ensure they remain healthy and vibrant. Remember, each plant is unique, so observe your plants closely and adjust care routines as needed. With patience and attention, you'll cultivate a lush indoor garden that thrives all year round.

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