6 Mistakes People Make With Their Companion Houseplants
Are you famous for killing your house plants? We all love having companion houseplants around, but only the most dedicated keep their plants alive for more than a week or so.
If you’ve experienced those sad moments, when the wilting starts and the green hues go, then you need a few pointers on how to properly care for your house plants. In this post, I will specifically be going over some of the most common mistakes that people make with their indoor plants.
Most plants don’t need too much to flourish, but each one is a little bit different when it comes to eating and drinking, so keep reading to figure out what you’re doing wrong.
1. Watering Mistakes
Just like us, our plants need water to stay alive. There are two big mistakes that you can make when watering. You guessed it – watering too much or watering too little.
If you’re not a plant expert, it’s hard to know exactly how much water to give any given plant. What’s certainly true is that every plant is a little bit different and the amount of watering you need to do depends on the type of plant and the conditions in your plant.
More people actually overwater than underwater their plants.
This is the fastest way to kill a houseplant. If you’re watering without looking at the soil first, then you need to stop immediately.
When the soil is wet, wait to water it. If it’s dry, go ahead and water your plant. It’s as simple as this, but make sure to do your research because some plants like more moisture, others less.
On watering days, don’t be afraid to give your plants lots of water. Some people are so afraid of overwatering that they end up being too stingy with the water.
If your plants are droopy and sad-looking, they need more H2O.
2. Giving Companion Houseplants The Same Amount Of Light
The other main source of vitality for plants is, of course, light. We all know that plants use light as a valuable source of energy, but you’re probably wondering, can plants get too much light? The answer is…sometimes.
Some plants really prefer being in the shade most of the time, while others are going to need every bit of daylight that you can scrounge. One of the best ways to figure out how much light plants need is just by looking at the growing conditions for that species.
If you’ve got companion houseplants – plants that work well together – don’t assume that they need the same amount of light energy. When you’re shopping for your houseplants, it’s always a good idea to consider what your living space offers the plants.
If you’re living in a basement apartment, you shouldn’t buy lots of light-loving plants, as you’ll condemn them to certain death.
3. Kept Near A Drafty Window Or Heater
There’s no better way to kill a plant than by putting it near a drafty window or a radiator. In those cold winter months, your plants still need to get water and sunlight.
If you’re keeping them near poorly insulated windows that let even a small draft in, it could be enough to kill many plant species. The same thing will happen if you keep the plant near a door that you frequently go in and outside of.
When it comes to radiators or other household heaters, you’re going to kill your plant in no time. The unrelenting heat that those things give off will dry out your plant before you get a chance to water it.
In general, houseplants enjoy temperatures between 65-80 Fahrenheit. Any extreme fluctuations will stress them out and eventually be their demise.
4. Not Cleaning The Foilage
When plants are outside in their natural habitat, the rain would typically washes the foliage clear of dust and dirt. Since it’s (hopefully) not raining in your apartment, you should give your plants a hand and give them a spray of water or dust on their leaves from time to time.
If dirt and dust are left to accumulate on the leaves and flowers, it makes it much harder for the plants to breathe. This weakens them and makes them extremely vulnerable to pests and fungi. There are also fungicides that you can make or buy to give your plants a fighting chance against those harmful creatures.
Fungal infection can attack as soon as a plant’s vitality is threatened, but bi-weekly spraying of fungicide can help.
5. Forgetting About Repotting
Most of us repot plants when they outgrow their current pot, but there’s a timing to repotting that you need to pay attention to. Repotting too soon or too late can really put your houseplants under a lot of stress. Sometimes, it’s just about knowing how often to change the soil in indoor plants.
A new potting mix can often work wonders for an old houseplant. When repotting, only upsize gradually. You don’t want your plant surrounded by far too much potting soil. A good rule of thumb for potted plant parenting is that if your plant is looking healthy, it’s better to prune than to re-pot.
If you’re wondering, how to move large potted plants, repotting only needs to occur if you see stunted growth during a new growing season or if roots are growing out the bottom of the planter.
6. Not Rotating The Plants
A lot of people ask, “should you rotate indoor plants?”, and the answer is “yes, of course.” When you’ve got too many houseplants for the amount of space you have, it’s easy to forget about a few of them.
You get them into a place that’s aesthetically pleasing for you – and that’s it, that’s where they live now. You need to rotate your plants because it’s not healthy for a houseplant to get sunlight in only one spot all of the time.
Both sunlight and water should be distributed equally around the plant to give it well-rounded growth.
Potted Plant Parenting 101
Now that you know what not to do with your indoor companion houseplants, you can better take care of your plant babies. Having lots of indoor plants is a great way to spruce up your living space, not to mention the many benefits to your physical and mental health.