8 Indoor House Plant Care Tips
If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, you are probably looking for some indoor house plant care tips. Welcome, babe! Stay a while.
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I became a new plant mom this year and became quickly obsessed with houseplants and indoor plants. If you don’t know where to get started, here is my blog post for my top 10 easy plants houseplants.
I cannot even tell you how many indoor house plant care tips I’ve watched and researched, but I have absorbed so much info, and want to share everything I have learned.
These tips are specific to people are just starting their plant parenthood journey. I hope plants make you as happy as they make me.
This post contains affiliate links to the products that I use and trust. This means that I might receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase using any of my links below.
I noticed that a lot of people go into plant care without even thinking if the plants they are about to buy will thrive in their space. If you live in a house with small windows or live in a dark basement, you should probably rethink things.
Plants need some sort of light in order to grow and thrive.
Figure out the direction of your windows and observe how much light you get from each of them. Use the compass app to see if you have east, west, north, or south facing windows. The type of plant will depend on that.
North facing windows give weakest sunlight, west and east give you indirect bright light, and south facing windows provide lots of strong direct sunlight. Understanding lighting is the most important indoor house plant care tips I could give you.
Be Honest with Yourself
Before getting into houseplants, it’s important to understand your own life situation. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have time to care for plants?
- Do I have the space?
- Are the plants I’m getting safe for the pets I have?
- How many plants can I handle?
- Do I travel often?
- Am I forgetful?
- Do I even like plants?
Repeat after me, underwatering is better than overwatering. Not sure why when I got started with houseplants, I thought every plant needed to be watered every day. I was so wrong.
It’s so tempting but most plants don’t need that much water or else you’ll drown them.
If you are someone who likes to be able to water plants often, then I would suggest getting a tomato plant, prayer plant, peace lily, or polka dot plant. They’re thirsty plants.
Watering is one of the indoor house plant care tips that can really make or break you when you’re just starting. The more you deal with houseplants, the more you’ll get to know your plants and notice when they are happy or sad.
I never understood this before, but a lot of plants are quite “vocal.” They will droop, leaves will curl or turn yellow. Some plants give you obvious signs.
Also, don’t forget that some plants are total drama queens that require purified water or filtered water. Some people even collect rainwater.
Bottom watering is a method of watering where the plant absorbs the water from the bottom. It ensures that the roots get sufficient water, prevents overwatering, and prevents fungus gnats.
The way I do it is I fill up a bucket with about 1-2 inches of water. I let my plants sit in it for 15 mins to an hour depending on the size of the plant. You can tell it’s done drinking once you feel the top 1 inch to be wet.
I only bottom water my smaller plants (plants in 2”-8” pots) and top water the larger ones. It’s difficult to bottom water larger plants because it could take 24 hours until they’re done drinking, and I found that it’s really hard to tell when to stop.
Check for Pests and Problems
If you buy your plants in person from nurseries, big box stores, or specialty plant places, always make sure to inspect the plants you are bringing home.
What to look for?
- Crawling bugs
- Root rot
It’s a bit harder to do this when you buy online, but you can always check once you get plants from the mail. If you see any of the problems mentioned above, make sure to contact customer service to get a refund or a new plant.
I’ve personally had a great experience with buying plants online, but some damage can be expected since you are transporting a living thing in a box for a couple of days which can cause some stress to the plant.
I’m all for saving struggling plants and attempting rehab them. But if you are just starting out, bringing home and starting out with healthy plants will be a more pleasant experience.
I didn’t learn this until later in my plant parenthood, but quarantine your new plants! Sometimes, you can only inspect so much, but some bugs come out after a couple of days or weeks after bringing them home.
If you accidentally bring home an infested plant, you don’t want to risk spreading it to your other plants. Quarantine your plants in a separate room or a space that’s pretty far from your other plants. I suggest 2-4 weeks.
For the longest time, I thought it was a requirement to repot your plants right away, but you have to understand that plants need to get acclimated to their new surroundings.
They get stressed and can get shocked. You have to remember that they are alive, so be gentle.
Unless the plant is super rootbound, meaning the roots are coming out of the bottom, you do not have to repot right away.
Some plants go into shock after repotting and start to drop leaves and eventually die. Don’t repot unless necessary.
If you do choose to repot directly into a new pot, make sure it has drainage holes! When watering plants, the water needs to be able to drain, so the soil doesn’t sit in water for too long to avoid root rot.
Choosing a pot is one of the most exciting things when it comes to houseplants and indoor plants. It helps tie everything together.
One of the important indoor house plant care tips that I don’t see a lot is that you don’t have to repot your plants directly into their new pot. Keep them in their nursery plant and put them inside the nicer pot that you buy.
When it’s time for watering, you can just take the nursery pot in and out. Super helpful if you bottom water.
Terracotta (Clay) vs Ceramic
Terracotta pots absorb water and moisture more while ceramic doesn’t. Make sure that you research your plant’s needs before putting them in either pots (you don’t necessarily have to worry about this if you follow the tip above and keep them in nursery pots).
Plants that don’t like to stay wet or moist should ideally be placed in a terracotta and vice versa.
A lot of people go from 0 to 100, and that just sounds overwhelming. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people are hoarding plants, and I worry that when things go back to normal, lots of plants will end up being neglected.
When I had started buying plants, I wanted all the plants. All the different kinds, sizes, textures, weird ones, basic ones, etc. After a while, I realized that I really did not care for some of them.
For example, I bought this yellow cactus because it looked kinda cute, but I just found it so boring (no offense to cacti lovers). I realized that I don’t like cactus, and I love foliage plants. I also don’t really care for colored plants. I want everything to be green.
Start small, so you don’t end up with plants that you don’t like or can’t handle.
I’m so excited for your plant journey! I can’t end this indoor house plant care tips blog without telling you to have fun! There are so many possibilities and so many choices with plants. So many colors, ways to arrange and decorate your home, things to learn, and things to discover.
Don’t forget to give yourself some grace if you do lose a couple. Keep trying and happy planting.
Check out my Easy Indoor Plants and How to Care for Them blog post!
Comment below with any of your plant tips! I want to keep learning.