Whether you have just one houseplant or you have several (or nearer to 80 like me!), or have plans to grow your jungle, then this is going to be a useful read for you today. As I have a fair few houseplants now, I do use a few things to help me to stay organised and take good care of them all. Today I thought it would be helpful to share just how I do that, from basic care tips through to the house plant apps that I wouldn’t be without, in this my 5 tips for looking after your house plants.
Looking After House Plants
How Do You Take Care Of House Plants?
We will start here as you do need to get this one right!
As a general and very basic rule, house plants need light, water, food and space to breathe and grow.
Every plant will be different in terms of just how much of each of these things it needs to really grow and be happy with you, so my first tip would be to look up care tips for each plant when you get it so that you have an idea of what it’s going to need from you.
By doing this, you will then be able to pop your new house plant in the best place in your home, be that a bright and sunny spot or a more humid space such as your bathroom.
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It is worth a quick Google every time you bring a new plant home and then I would recommend this book as a handy guide to get you started and to dip in and out of.
As a very general rule of thumb, during the warmer months, you’ll probably be watering weekly, and then more like fortnightly during the winter. This is a very rough guide and you will soon get to know your plants and work out which ones need more than this and which ones need less. You will also want to feed them, again more during the summer than the winter, and do take care to follow the instructions on the feed to get the right balance.
As to the things I use, there’s actually very few things needed. I have this watering can, which I love more than is really natural for a watering can…
It holds just the right amount and has a good pouring action. I like the way it looks so I’m happy to leave it out, always filled with water so that I can water with room temperature water.
I use these secateurs indoors
These are great and handy for removing any tatty leaves and I use them when I am taking cuttings.
And I tend to pick up plant food whenever I am out and about or with my weekly shopping. I usually use shop’s own brand or Baby Bio.
Choose Easy House Plants
If you are starting out, it helps to choose easy house plants to care for initially. Then as you find your feet and that passion for house plants starts to take root, you can move onto looking after more challenging indoor plants.
Easy to care for indoor plants tend to be those that don’t mind if you miss the odd watering, and are not too fussy with their light. There are plenty of plants like this around, and many of them are often great at filtering your air for you.
Get House Plant Apps
I love my house plant apps! I am sure that there are plenty of them out there, but the two that I use are Vera and LeafSnap.
Vera is a place for me to keep a record of every house plant that I own. As a new one arrives, I photograph it, name it and identify it. This enables me to remember the names of all of my plants and track their growth. I find both features to be really useful, and there is also the option to set up watering and feeding schedules and reminders in the app, although I don’t use it for that myself.
I like to see how much a plant has grown, and this app is a great way to see that, by adding in photos whenever I want to update them. If ever I forget the name of a plant, where it is or when I got it, it’s all stored here for me.
LeafSnap helps me to identify my plants. There has been many a time when I have bought a plant because I liked the look of it or it was reduced because it needed some TLC, yet I hadn’t a clue what it was! LeafSnap is simple to use, as you take a photo of the plant and it returns suggestions of what your new plant might be, with plenty of photos so you can narrow it down and work out what you have just added to your collection.
Organising Your Indoor Plants
It’s helpful to organise your house plants, and for me, this means writing things down.
I make a note of plants that need my attention, any that need re-potting, and any plants that I am currently propagating. It helps me to stay on top and you know me, I like to jot things down!
I do have a house plant organiser printable, you’re welcome to download it and use it too, just click here for that:
I then find it useful to watch YouTube house plant vlogs for suggestions around the plants that I want to get next (surely I need a round 100?!), how to propagate certain plants and ideas for displaying plants, DIY plant decor, plant care routines and more.
Propagation and Re-potting House Plants
This is quite a big subject, and I will share another post devoted to this soon, but in the meantime, you just need to be aware that sometimes you will need to re-pot your house plants to keep them happy and thriving and sometimes it can be enjoyable to propagate them.
As a quick guide, if you turn your plant over and the roots are starting to poke out of its pot, it’s probably going to need re-potting. You can also tell if a plant is very thirsty and seems to need watering every couple of days. This is likely to mean that there is not enough soil and sustenance for the size of the roots and plant. Some plants quite clearly outgrow their pots too, you will be able to tell from looking at some of them.
Propagating plants can be very rewarding and a good way to add to your collection or swap with family and friends. Again, books and YouTube will help you out here and I do share tips from time to time on my InstaStories and here on the blog.
My biggest tip here would be not to be afraid of trying it. Get yourself a small glass, fill it with water and pop it into a warm and sunny spot. Next time you accidentally break some of your plant off, stick it into water and see if it takes root. You can also try cutting it, just underneath a plant node, and see if that takes. There is more to it than this, and you can propagate with a variety of methods, but this might just get you started and enjoying it. You will be researching to do more in no time!
To sum up, I love house plants!
So there you have it, my top 5 tips for looking after house plants. As you can probably tell, I not only enjoy looking after mine, I also enjoy learning as much as I possibly can about caring for them. I know that not everyone likes to do this, but don’t worry, I will do it for you and break it all down for you right here!
Have you got many house plants? What tips would you add, or is there anything you’d like to know more about?
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