Indoor plants are really having a moment. Lovely foliage is all around social media right now! This plant craze is not without reason though; studies have shown that indoor plants boost productivity, purify the air, and are natural stress busters. Many people have added plants to their homes during this time, but who hasn’t brought home a beautiful, thriving plant only to have it later, droop, turn yellow, dry up and die? We’ve amalgamated a series of tips on keeping your plant alive and thriving, and some tricks for repotting plants.
Steps to turn our thumbs green:
- Buy the Right Plant for the Right Place! – Buying plants with your eyes is the worst thing you can do when shopping for plants. Of course, you should make sure you like the look of a plant, but what is most important is that the plant fits in with your home. Make sure you know where the plant is going and what type of light that area has. Another common mistake is buying plants for your living room that are actually meant to be outdoor plants! The long and short is: when it comes to plants, looks aren’t everything.
- Watering Woes – When a plant is looking sick or unhappy, often one of the first things we do is reach for the watering can. While it is of course important to make sure your plant is adequately watered, it’s also important to let your plant dry out in between waterings. If a plant is overwatered, it’s roots don’t grow and become thicker like they normally would. A healthy root system is crucial for a plant, so be sure that you know what the right amount of water is for your foliage.
- Use the Right Soil – Did you know there’s different soil types for indoor and outdoor plants? Well now you do, and it’s an important difference! Outdoor soil is far more dense, and holds water longer. Like we just mentioned, that’s not always the best for indoor plants. Be sure to seek out an indoor soil, preferably one with peat moss, vermiculite and perlite, for the best results.
- Pot with Drainage – Humans don’t like wet feet, so why would plants? Having pots with no drainage can be a recipe for disaster for your foliage. Since there is nowhere for the water to go, the effect is essentially a plant sitting in a tub. Be sure to get pots with drainage, or add stones or holes to the bottom of an existing pot to make drainage. Remember that the prettiest pot might not be the pot that makes your plant happiest.
So, how do we keep plants alive?
- Buy plants with your eyes…what looks good not what will grow good!
- Be sure you’re watering your plant the correct amount. Too much or too little water can be catastrophic for a plant.
- In the same vein, be sure you’re getting the right soil for your plant as well, as plants have differing nutrient needs.
- Get pots that have drainage. Some pretty pots without drainage might kill your plants!
- Let your plants rest. Yes, plants need sleep too. Be sure to give your plants a warm environment that they can thrive.
What about repotting?
Repotting is an essential part of being a good plant parent. If your plant is in the wrong pot, it could fall over easily, or have roots coming out of the bottom. These are telltale signs that your plant needs repotting, as well as roots that peek out of the surface of the soil.
What do we need to repot?
To repot a plant, you’ll need:
- A Pot
- Potting Soil
- Watering Can
Here’s how to properly repot a plant:
The first step of repotting is to water your plant before you even get it out of it’s original pot! This will not only make the plant easier to remove, but will also reduce the stress that the plant experiences during repotting.
When you take a plant out of a too-small pot, you’ll likely see a system of roots that is dense and starting to grow upwards. We want the roots to spread out once in the new pot, so the first step is using a knife or shears to cut the outer layer of the roots, allowing the inside roots to spread out in their new home.
Next, take the pot you want to move the plant to and add some potting soil to the base. Create an indent to set you plant in. when you put your plant in, it should be sitting level with the rest of the soil. Ad a it of soil to the sides and pack it gently against the plant to add some support. This might be a messy process, so maybe do this outside or over an old towel.
Lastly, add a bit of fertilizer to further reduce the shock that the plant experiences. This will help it get growing quickly!
We hope this tutorial helped get your plants happy and healthy. For a more in-depth guide, see our video with expert Frank Ferragine!
Join the conversation