4 Simple Steps to Take Care of Your Houseplants
At Spruce Street Commons, we pride ourselves on our historic architecture and ability to preserve and restore the beautiful building we and many others call home. When renovating or decorating an apartment, not only do we like to source local art and furniture from the community, but we aspire to bring new life into these spaces through plants and vegetation of all sizes and colors. The best way to make an apartment feel like home is to have texture, warmth, and various tones throughout the space.
If you’ve seen our travel apartments, you know we love to use plants in almost every room—from the kitchen to the bathroom. Whether you’re looking to redecorate your space or bring your plants back to life, we’re sharing 4 simple steps you can follow to care for your houseplants year-round.
When adding plants to your home, there are many things to consider such as the lighting in the room, (is there ample light coming through) your lifestyle (do you have pets, kids, or live a busy life), and your budget (what is the maximum amount of money you’d like to spend). Once you’ve decided on a budget, it’s time to do some research. If you live a busy lifestyle, you’re better off going with succulents and plants that require minimal maintenance such as an Aloe Vera or Snake Plant. Some plants can be toxic to animals so make sure to do your research before on pet-friendly plants such as the Spider Plant and Ponytail Palm. And finally, you want to place your plants in areas that get plenty of natural sunlight such as your kitchen or living room.
Step 1: Less is More
When it comes to watering your plants, always follow the notion that less is more. Depending on the plant, some require watering weekly compared to others that can go weeks without water. Take for example a Golden Pothos, these plants love bright, indirect sunlight, and require weekly watering versus a Snake Plant that can go up to 2 months without water in colder months.
To decide whether or not your plant needs water, stick your index finger 1-2 inches into the soil and if the soil is dry, water your plant. If your index finger comes out with bits of soil on it, the soil is still moist and the plant does not require watering. If you’re unsure about how much water to give your plant, remember less is more. Give it just a little, knowing that it will have enough water and nutrients until the next watering. If you overwater your plant, it could fall susceptible to root rot. The best way to avoid this is to ensure your plant’s pot has adequate drainage holes and is watered every once in a while.
Step 2: Rotate Your Plants
While plants do not like to be moved often, we suggest rotating the plant every month or so to ensure all sides of the plant and soil are getting enough sunlight. What we see happen often is a plant gets placed in a corner or on a bookshelf where almost half of the plant isn’t seeing any light. This will then cause the plant to “reach” or “tip over” as it’s heavily favoring the direction in which the light is coming from.
When you rotate your plant, you’re giving it an opportunity to grow equally from all angles—making it appear fuller and healthier. Set yourself a reminder at the end of each month to rotate your plant or adjust accordingly to how your plant is growing.
Step 3: Fertilize Often
Many indoor plants will naturally thrive in warmer temperatures and months such as spring and summer. If you’ve noticed that your plant growth has decreased significantly or is starting to look a bit lackluster, it may be time to fertilize it and give it the additional nutrients it might be lacking. To encourage plant growth and healthy leaves and roots, we suggest fertilizing your plant every so often. Now, this does not mean you should fertilize every time you water, but maybe once a month in the warmer months. It’s suggested to not fertilize your plants during the winter time as little growth is happening during this time. Being that there are thousands of different plants out there, fertilizers will also vary.
Check out this helpful resource with the best 10 fertilizers for houseplants.
Step 4: Monthly TLC
Many house plants are not that hard to take care of so long as you give them water and adequate sunlight. Some plants such as the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Montera Deliciosa require a little extra TLC every month as they have very large leaves. Due to the surface area of their leaves, they collect dust and dirt over time. This may slow down growth as photosynthesis cannot fully take place when there is a layer of dirt and dust on the leaves. We suggest taking a warm washcloth and cleaning your plants every month to ensure they not only look healthy but can get as much sunlight as possible. If you’d like to clean all your plants at once, place them all in the bathtub and use a handheld shower head to clean the leaves and give them proper watering.
Check Out Our Plants Online
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