How to care for indoor plants. Most people will spend time indoors rather than outdoors during the winter seasons. Here are some great ideas and tips to help you enjoy great looking indoor plants throughout the cold months.
First, here is a list of indoor plants that are easy care and not much water.
- Mother-in-laws-tongue (Sanseveria)
- Creeping Charlie (Tradescantia pallid)
- Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- ZZ Plant or Cardboard plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
- Succulents (All varieties)
- Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
- Marginata (Dracaena Marginata)
- Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
- Aloe Vera (Succulent)
- Click here to see photos of these plants
How to care for indoor plants
How much water? Typically once or twice per month should do for these types of plants. Too much water can damage or kill your plants. If you notice wrinkling, yellowing or both you are probably over watering!
How often do you fertilize these plants? Use cactus juice for succulents, Jade plants, and the Christmas cactus. Only once every 2 months or so. We do not recommend normal fertilizers with these type of plants.
What about lighting? The Sansevieria requires very little sun or man-made lighting. You can place it in a dark corner or a window without light and it will do just fine. The rest of these plants can be placed in low to medium-high light.
Indoor Plants that require more water but are still easy care.
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
- Ficus Plants (Ficus Benjamina)
- Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
- Peperomia (Peperomia Pellucida)
- Japanese Aralia Plant (Fatasia Japonica)
Let these plants dry out before watering again. Typically about 2-3 times per week. These plants are foliage plants and should be fertilized more often. If you want them to look good all year long I would recommend once per month. Use a good all purpose indoor fertilizer. It’s best to use Orchid food for orchids and African Violet food for African Violets, the rest should be the all purpose food.
Flowering indoor plants
Flowering plants that require more care. Here is a small list of the most common ones.
- African Violets
- Indoor Jasmine
- Gold Fish Plant
- Indoor Hibiscus
Information on indoor plant fertilizers.
Make sure to read the label on all fertilizer products as many of them will have high levels of Nitrogen which could damage the plant if too much is applied. A 20-20-20 analysis is an all purpose fertilizer and will work for plants with or without flowers. If your plants are not blooming we recommend a plant food with high phosphorous or the middle number. BR-61 works wonders for blooming plants.
What about organic fertilizers?
Organic fertilizers for indoor plants work extremely well. We recommend Happy Frog’s all purpose fertilizers. Bat Guano is a good Nitrogen rich fertilizer and is safe to use on almost any plant including vegetables. More info on these type of fertilizers right here. Organic Fertilizers.
Slow release fertilizers can be mixed with the potting soil. However, certain plants like cacti, succulents and orchids need their own special fertilizer and soil. Cactus soil mix will work wonders on these type of plants.
Houseplants can survive in cool or warm temperatures, but sudden changes in temperatures can stress them. If you have a plant that likes warm conditions, don’t place them near an air conditioner. Plants that like cooler conditions should no be placed near a heater vent. Pretty simple right?
Some houseplants like a humid environment. Especially Ferns ,Orchids, Spider plants and Oxalis. You can maximize humidity by putting a larger pot and fill in the gaps with stones and soil to keep in the moisture. Placing them in the bath or shower room is also a good idea.
Grouping plants together often creates a microclimate that will help them thrive. It’s also a good idea to spray them with bottle water once or twice a day depending on the temperature.
Some plants require re-potting for optimum growth but there are others that resent having their roots disturbed. Their root system may be small enough that they don’t need re-potting. One way to check if your plant needs re-potting is to turn it upside down. Tap the pot to release the plant and check its roots. If your plant container has nothing but roots then it’s time to re-pot. Sometimes the roots will come out of the pot. You should either cut them off or re-pot the plant. The exception to this rule are Orchids…as they love to have their roots exposed. Plant them in a larger Orchid container.
Another advantage of having indoor plants are the oxygen they provide humans and animals to breathe. Here is what Reference.com has to say abut this topic.
Plants provide several benefits to humans, including the filtration of carbon dioxide into oxygen and increasing the humidity of the environment. Plants also improve the mood and health of people who spend time near them. Continue reading here.
It’s amazing that plants can actually improve someone’s mood and health!
A little care, nutrients and the right amount of water and you’ll reap the benefits. Indoor plants not only add to the beauty of your décor but also give much pleasure to the indoor gardener.
Don’t forget to check out houseplant photos and descriptions right here.
How to care for indoor plants
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com