Gardening

How To Improve Houseplant Health

By: Raffaele Di Lallo, Author and founder of Ohio Tropics houseplant care blog

Are you looking for ways to improve houseplant health? Here are top ways to boost your houseplants and help them thrive in your home.

How to Make Houseplants Thrive

  • Water your plants wisely. Always thoroughly soak your plants and let water escape the drainage hole. Never let your plant sit in water for extended periods of time. Wait until the top one to two inches (2.5-5 cm.) of the soil is dry before watering again. You want to have a happy medium between underwatering and overwatering.
  • Know when to fertilize. Be sure to regularly fertilize during the active growing season. When wintertime comes, with much less light and cooler temperatures, most of your plants will slow down or stop growing altogether. Unless your plants are growing under grow lights, you can stop fertilizing in the winter months in most cases.
  • Be sure to keep your plants away from any heating sources where your leaves and plants can burn. These areas can include heating ducts and fireplaces. 
  • Keep pests at bay. Regularly monitor your houseplants for pests and act early when it is easier to deal with pests. Look out for spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and other pests. Early detection and treatment are critical. If you notice any pests, wash your plants with warm water and use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or any other remedies recommended for specific pests. 
  • Increase humidity if your air is dry, especially during wintertime if you run forced air heat. Dry air is not only bad for your plants, but also for your skin. Set your plants on top of a tray with pebbles and water, making sure that the bottom of the pot doesn’t touch the water level. You can also run a humidifier.
  • Keep your leaves clean. Plant leaves can get very dusty and this can inhibit photosynthesis as well as attract pests. Regularly clean your plants off to keep the leaves clean. Wipe off any larger leaves with a damp rag or you can spray your plants down outside, in a sink, or in a bathtub. 
  • Periodically prune your houseplants, especially if they have gotten leggy. This will help encourage new growth and it will result in bushier, fuller plants.

This article was last updated on

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