Do you have trouble keeping houseplants alive? It's a delicate job being an indoor gardener. True, keeping plants indoors does avoid issues with pests, disease, and harsh seasonal weather conditions, but they are still prone to other environmental challenges.
Problems with watering, light exposure, and other issues can all turn a happy house plant into a brown on. What is the best way to water your houseplants? What pots should you use? If that kitchen window giving your herb garden enough light? Perfectly the environment for your indoor plants takes a bit of tinkering. If you need some pointers, check out these five tips on keeping healthy, happy houseplants.
1.Never Forget to Water Again with Blumat Automatic Watering System
Never overwater (or underwater again)! Everyone's favorite automatic watering system is now available for houseplants. Blumat is a simple automatic irrigation system that requires no electricity. While you can always get a complete kit for raised garden beds or a larger grow room, Blumat has now created individual Blumat watering spikes for indoor use.
It's an ingenious system of terracotta 'carrots' tucked into houseplant pots, connected with hoses to water reservoirs. The Blumat system uses gravity-fed, capillary action to pull water upwards and ensure an ongoing supply of moisture to each pot. Each terracotta spike sits discreetly in the soil under the lip of the pot and is connected via a hose to the small reservoir, like a mason jar or decorative vessel. The larger the jar, the more plants it can water simultaneously.
Once you've adjusted the system following install, it functions seamlessly to maintain a constant and perfectly tailored soil moisture level. Blumat indoor watering spikes are suitable for most house plants with standard requirements (not succulents, cacti, or moisture-loving lady ferns).
Whether you are headed on vacation, or merely a forgetful waterer, the Blumat Houseplant spikes are an affordable irrigation system to keep your plants thriving.
2. It's Time to Dust, and That Means Your Plants
You have to dust your mantelpiece, hard to reach shelves, and your house plants. A good plant owner takes the time every few months to wipe down their dusty plants. It's an unfortunate truth many of us don't come to realize until well until our house plant ownership. But, for house plants, clean leaves help improve photosynthesis and a process called transpiration (evaporation of water through the plant's cells).
What's the best way to dust your plants? Using a damp cloth gently wipe down each leaf to remove the layer of dust, for more delicate plants (like ferns( you can use a spray bottle, to help with the removal. Do not add any soaps, detergents, or other ingredients into the water as this will likely only damage the plant and prevent transpiration.
3.Plastic, Metal, Terracotta? Pot Appropriately
What's the best material for potting houseplants? Some of this is aesthetics, of course, but it's not always about interior design. Some plants thrive in terracotta pots, while others may require a plastic, metal or coated ceramic solution. Whats the difference?
Terracotta is affordable and stylish. However, the pot naturally wicks moisture out of the soil. Terracotta potted houseplants need more frequent waterings. They tend to work best for growing plants from more arid climates (think peppers, cacti). If you are caring for moisture-loving houseplants, stay away from terracotta.
Metal, on the other hand, protects against soil moisture evaporation but can get searingly hot in a bright window. A cactus might survive, but a more sensitive plant root system may begin to show heat damage.
Plastics and coated ceramics retain moisture, while also staying relatively cool in hot environments. Just don't forget about the drainage! Many aesthetically pleasing houseplant pots, like the styles you'd pick up at a department store, don't have holes in the bottom. If you aren't careful, you can drown the rot system.
If you are gardening veggies or cannabis indoors, of course, there are better solutions than small decorative pots. Invest in a reusable Grassroots Living Soil Bed and tuck it inside an AC Infinity Grow Tent. These keep your indoor garden discreet and contained, and with the right approach will seriously improve yields.
4. Not All Windows are Created Equal
Many house plant owners run into issues with lighting. Not every window in your house is going to provide the correct amount of sun for the house plant in question. It's valuable to understand the lighting requirements for each indoor species and what kind of light exposure to your house or apartment receives.
South-facing windows receive the most light, and North facing windows the least. Place full sun-loving plants in unblocked south-facing window sills, and partly-shade loving plants on either an East or West ledge. North facing windows are technically only ideal for hard to kill species like snake plants.
Most importantly, don't be afraid to adjust. If you notice your succulents reaching for the sky, they aren't getting enough light. Or, if you see a fern starting to discolor and die off, it may be getting too much light. Shuffle around your house as needed to find the optimal lighting for each.
5. Don't Forget Feeding Time
Did you know that house plants require a routine feeding schedule, just like any other veggies or fruits? The tiny pots we keep our houseplants in eventually run out of nutrients to support a healthy plant. Ultimately, the health of your plant will deteriorate as the nutrients run dry.
While there are specific fertilizers for specialized species (cacti, succulents, bonsai, and orchids), most common house plants, do well on a general fertilizer. You may want to purchase an organic fertilizer, as this is for inside the home.
How often should you feed your plants? Ideally, every second watering in the warmer months, and once a month in the colder months. This will mimic a seasonal environment, that your plants might expect should they be outside.
5 Hacks for Happy, Healthy Houseplants
The first steps to a happy houseplant are selecting the right pot for the job and then placing it in a window with the most appropriate light exposure.
Watering is the next and perhaps the most challenging step to keeping houseplants healthy. Considering overwatering and underwatering are the two most common reasons why houseplants die, it's worth investing in an automatic irrigation system like the Blumat watering spikes. Why worry about a strict watering schedule when you don't have to?
With the right information and helpful tools, you, too, can grow a green thumb and keep a home filled with thriving greenery.