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Top 4 Tips for Healthy Houseplants

Top 4 Tips for Healthy Houseplants

Houseplants make a home complete. They add the finishing touches to your décor and give your home that cozy and homey feeling everyone loves. If you've tried growing houseplants in the past with little luck, don't get discouraged. You don't need a 'green thumb' to have beautiful houseplants; just follow these 4 tips.

Tip 1 - Know your light level

Light is obviously very important to plants. Keep your plants from dying, and choose the right plants for the lighting conditions in your home. When buying houseplants, look on the label and see what lighting conditions they need.

Bright light means they need bright, direct light all day. Choose a window that faces south or west for this plant.

Plants that need indirect light will be happy in the middle of a room with bright southern or western light. Or place these plants near a bright eastern facing window.

Consider rooms in your home shaded by large trees or that face north, low light. Most of the rooms in your home provide low light in the wintertime.

With these guidelines in mind, plants that need very low levels of light are Lucky Bamboo, Spider plants, Golden Pothos, ferns, Snake or Mother-in-law's Tongue, Dracaena, Aechmea Bromeliads.

Plants that love indirect light are the Cast Iron plant, Christmas cactus, and Dragon Tree. The Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Pothos, and Lucky Bamboo do fine with in indirect light too.

Some plants that like bright light are Cyclamen, Geraniums, Peace Lily, and Bromeliads.

Tip 2 - Know your temperature

Houseplants aren't that picky about room temperature. In fact, most of them are happy at the same temperature you are. What plants don't like are drafts. Tropical plants and flowering plants won't do well if you place them near doors that are opened often or near un-insulated windows.

Tip 3 - Know when to water

Gardeners love to water plants. This could be why the number one cause of death among houseplants is overwatering. To keep your houseplant from becoming a statistic, only water them when the soil feels dry one inch below the surface.

Plants breathe through their roots. If the roots stay soaked in water all the time, they can't breathe and the roots rot.

Tip 4 - Know when to fertilize

By planting your houseplant in good quality potting soil, avoid having to fertilize the plant at all. Most potting soil contains time-release fertilizer. By the time the plant uses up the fertilizer, it's time to replant.

If you do fertilize your plants, be sure to use fertilizer specifically made for houseplants. Other fertilizer is too strong for houseplants and burns them.

Once you consider all these things, think about the look and feel of your house. If your house is decorated in a modern theme, you won't want to overfill it with plants. However, if you're going for a cottage look, loads of flowering plants complements it perfectly. For a Midwestern theme, choose cacti and other succulents.

Whatever the 'theme' of your home or the lighting conditions, plenty of plants will thrive. Start by adding just a few plants at a time and learn what they like. Over time, add to your indoor garden and your home will come alive with all the beautiful houseplants.

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