Indoor Fern Plant Care

How to care for indoor plants

Last Updated on August 30, 2021 by Paul Guzman

How to care for indoor plants
How to care for indoor plants.  Most people will spend time indoors rather than outdoors during the winter or hot seasons.  Here are some great ideas and tips to help you enjoy great-looking indoor plants throughout the cold or hot summer months.

First, here is a list of indoor plants that are easy to care for and do not require alot of 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 succulent indoor plants

How much water?  What about fertilizer? and where do we place them?  These are questions the novice indoor gardener asks.  So, I will try to answer these questions in this post.

Watering typically once or twice per month should do well for these types of plants. Too much water can damage or kill your plants. If you notice wrinkling, yellowing, or both you are probably overwatering! One thing to remember is this it is hard to overwater a plant if you have good drainage.  It’s important to have a hole or holes in all your container plants.

Fertilizing indoor succulent plants

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 types of plants.  Non-succulent plants need water about 2-4 times per week.

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.

How to care for indoor plants
Cozy Interior Wooden Sofa and Fireplace with Sansevieria by the couch.

Indoor Plants require more water but are still easy to care for.

  • 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 them 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 all-purpose food.

Flowering indoor plants

Flowering plants that require more care. Here is a small list of the most common ones.

  • African Violets
  • Anthurium
  • Orchids
  • Indoor Jasmine
  • Goldfish Plant
  • Oxalis
  • Indoor Hibiscus
  • Guzmania
  • Cassandra

Information on indoor 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.  Kelp meal and Crab meal are excellent choices for organic fertilizers.  It’s important to note horse and cow manure are good organic fertilizers but you will have to deal with the smell.  More info on these types of fertilizers is 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 types 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 plants love humidity

Some houseplants like a humid environment. Especially Ferns, Orchids, Spider plants, Calathea, 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. You can also mist them with a handheld sprayer.  Do this every time you fertilize them.

Grouping plants together often creates a microclimate that will help them thrive. It’s also a good idea to spray them with bottled water once or twice a day depending on the temperature.

A typical Orchid pot.

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 is Orchids…as they love to have their roots exposed. Plant them in a larger Orchid container that lets the roots go through the holes on the sides of pots.

How to care for indoor plants
Orchids in pots without holes.

Another advantage of having indoor plants is the oxygen they provide humans and animals to breathe.  Here is what has to say about 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

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    • irvin gershowitz
    • June 20, 2018

    is it ok to fertilize my aglaonema plant with fish fertilizer?

    1. Reply

      Yes, it is. Fish fertilizer is normally a low nitrogen fertilizer this is safe for all plants. The Aglaonema plant is also called a Chinese evergreen.

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