TIPS FOR HEALTHY HOUSEPLANTS

Houseplants provide beauty, serenity, even oxygen as they go about their daily growth and flowering. They not only give your fresh air to breathe but also make your home look good! It’s actually not that difficult to keep houseplants happy, but you do need to pay attention to their basic needs, and take care of any pest problems right away. Here are some suggestions to help you have a green thumb indoors as well as out!

TIPS FOR HEALTHY HOUSEPLANTSPROPER WATERING

Most plants like having their roots consistently moist, but not wet. Some plants prefer to dry out a bit between watering. For new plants, check the care label or consult a good indoor plant book. This will help you determine the right watering routine.

RIGHT LOCATION

Keep house plants healthy by choosing the right room for each plant to call home. Gather those moisture-loving plants in your humid bathroom. Group your inside plants that prefer life on the dry side on the same sunny sill. That way you won’t harm some as you try to keep others alive.

POTTING SOIL QUALITY

Use good-quality potting soil. Good potting soil (never use regular garden soil in containers) promotes healthy roots by providing a balance of proper aeration, nutrition and moisture-holding capability. Nurseries and garden centres carry an excellent selection of packaged potting soils.

FERTILIZATION AND PEST CONTROL

The frequent watering required by most houseplants leaches nutrients out of the soil. These must be replaced by regular fertilization. And insects, such as aphids, scale and whiteflies, can be problematic indoors. Regularly inspect your houseplants for signs of insect pests and treat when necessary.

SODA AND EGG WATER TRICK

The minerals in the soda water help green plants grow. For maximum benefit, give your plants a drink of soda once a week. After boiling eggs, let the cooking water cool and hydrate your houseplants with the nutrient-filled liquid.

RE-POTTING

Winter isn’t really the time to be re-potting, but we can’t help it when we find the perfect pot! Remember that the plant is resting during the winter and you don’t want to encourage new growth when the light requirements can’t be met. Don’t hesitate to buy the new pot, just set the plant in the container until you can re-pot it in the spring

REGULAR CLEANING

Keep foliage clean. Dust that accumulates on the leaves of houseplants will block light and harbour insects. Clean leaves by wiping them with a moist towel or, in mild-winter areas, take plants outdoors and hose them off.

MISTING

Misting help keep leaves clean and fresh, and it’s a good way to provide moisture to cuttings that are slowly developing new roots. Use soft water (water low in minerals) when misting, and make sure it’s no cooler than room temperature. Mist in the morning whenever possible, and never mist plants that are exposed to full sun.

PROPER LIGHT

When deciding where to place a plant, keep in mind that south-facing windows receive much more light than north-facing ones. Plants with brightly coloured foliage need more light than others. A half-turn of the pot every day or two will keep the growth of your houseplant even, since foliage automatically bends toward the light. Because light is more intense in summer than in winter, you may need to move sun-sensitive plants in hot months.

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