Most of us, at one time or another, have tried our hand at owning a house plant or two. Some thumbs are naturally a little greener than others, however, you can easily learn how to better care for your potted companions if you haven't been successful in the past. There are several common mistakes people make when it come to caring for houseplants - the following should help you along nicely.
The first important requirement is adequate light. Without it, you'll have very little luck keeping your plants alive. Think ahead of time and determine where you'll put your plants so they can enjoy as much sunlight as possible. You may even have to move some around throughout the day as the sun moves around your home but the effort will pay off in the long run.
Next comes water. This in itself sounds simple enough, but the key is to strike a balance. Next is fertilizer, and then good soil. Fertilizer for nutrients, and good soil for a healthy root system and a decrease in disease.
Many plants have died many horrible deaths at our hands, preventable ones at that. We usually end up killing them with kindness, or neglect. We'll now dig a little deeper into how to stop killing your houseplants.
Over-watering is the most common problem for houseplants. It's often just a case of not knowing the specific plants water requirements. It pays to find out which species need and how often. Most plants only need to be watered once every five days or so. Always feel the soil to make sure it actually needs water.
Under-watering is another offender. The fact that we live busy lives is usually the reason. If you can write yourself a note, or even delegate the task, even if it's just checked every few days or so. You can even keep a vessel of water near the plants for convenience.
Poor soil quality, or the wrong type of soil is the next problem usually encountered. Some plants need different soil types then others. For instance, consider a cactus vs. a fern. A commercial potting soil is best to use for indoor planting. Stay away from soil from your garden, recycled soil and top soil. The main reason is a lack of proper nutrients, and potential disease lingering in the soil, especially garden soil. If you suspect a fungus problem, seek treatment immediately or it could spread.
Having your plants exposed to extreme temperatures can be a problem too. Never keep your plants on or close to heat sources, including vents and stoves. The same applies to cold extremes, so plants in window sills where frost lurks or in front of a fan are no-no's. Some plants do well in the moisture of a bathroom though, such as a fern - so there are rare exceptions.
Lastly, over fertilizing your plants will surely kill them. In fact they're better off not being fertilized at all. Always use a houseplant appropriate fertilizer too.
It's relatively easy to take note of these plant saving tips. Adopt them into your routine, and you'll have a house full of healthy, happy plants!
Glenn Cutforth is a writer, graphic designer and publisher of quality eBooks at
Maxx Publishing http://www.MaxxPublishing.com
If you're interested in getting started with your own Garden, visit his website
Lawn and Garden Magic at http://www.LawnandGardenMagic.com , where you'll find a wealth of information, tips and resources.