A sansevieria trifasciata snake plant in the window of a modern home or apartment interior.

A houseplant, usually native to tropical climates, is grown indoors for decorative purposes. Houseplants also give a natural and economical method to clean indoor air. Based on a study, it’s suggested that at least one potted plant per 100 square feet of home or office space is necessary to work air cleaners.

The factors

The significant factors to consider when growing and caring for a houseplant are soil, water, light, temperature, pollutants, humidity, and pots. Most plants include a description tag that will direct you on how to take care of this particular plant. Below are a few basic guidelines for houseplant care.


      • Both under-watering and over-watering, can be detrimental to houseplants.
      • Check the soil moisture to find out whether a plant has to be watered.
      • Typically, a houseplant has to be watered about once a week. Avoid rigid watering schedules and water when required.
      • Be sure to completely saturate the soil when watering.


      • Use a good potting soil mix. Good potting soil mix provides the houseplant with nutrients, adequate drainage, and proper aeration. Most potting soil mixtures have a mix of soil, peat moss, and perlite or vermiculite.
      • A great potting soil mixture can typically be bought wherever garden and potted plants are sold.


      • Plants use light to make energy through the process of photosynthesis.
      • Windows are the most common light source for houseplants. Southern facing windows offer the most sunlight and light exposure. Western and eastern windows have not as much sunlight and light exposure.
      • Artificial lighting, such as fluorescent light, additionally provides excellent light quality for houseplants.
      • 8-16 hours of superior light is excellent for most houseplants.


      • Most houseplants grow in a tropical climate that ranges from 60-80 degrees.
      • Nearly all houses are stored around this temperature; thus, houseplants can flourish inside the home.
      • Night temperatures should be 10 levels lower to replicate nature.


      • Nearly all plants flourish in 80% relative humidity. Generally, most houses are kept approximately 20%-60% relative humidity.
      • Among the most popular procedures to improve relative humidity is to use a pebble tray under a houseplant. To earn a pebble tray, fill the drainage tray with small pebbles or stones. Then fill the tray with water as large as the pebbles or stone are and then place the potted houseplant on the pebble or rock tray. Make certain to keep the pebble or stone tray filled with water.
      • Another means to increase relative humidity is to buy and use an indoor humidifier.
      • Other straightforward ways to raise humidity would be to group plants together and avoid putting them in drafty places.


      • Adding fertilizer to houseplants supplies oxygen, phosphorous, and potassium which the plants will need to enhance growth.
      • Fertilizers are often marked with a number such as 20-20-20. These numbers represent the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
      • A 20-20-20 mix is excellent for green foliating plants.
      • A 10-20-10 mixture is excellent for blooming plants.
      • Be sure to carefully read the directions on the fertilizer container as a lot of fertilizer can be detrimental to plants.


      • Proper pot size is an important fact to take into account. A pot that’s too small may stop a plant’s development as a pot that’s too large may lead to root disease due to the extra moisture retained in the soil.
      • Generally a pot can remain in the same pot for around two decades.
      • Porous pots (usually clay) provide better aeration because air moves laterally through the sides of the kettle.
      • Non-porous pots (glazed or plastic) tend to hold moisture for a longer period of time and may limit airflow.
      • Be sure all pots have drainage holes. If a pot doesn’t have sufficient drainage the plant might wind up with root rot. A substitute drainage mechanism could be made for pots without drainage holes by putting clay shards or pebbles in the bottom of the pot before filling it with dirt. This will allow the excess water to pool at the bottom of the pot rather than the soil.

Easy Houseplants to Grow

      • Orchids
      • Spider Plant
      • English Ivy
      • Philodendron
      • Fishtail Palm
      • Rubber Plant
      • Calla Lily
      • Christmas Cactus
      • Butterfly Palm
      • Baby’s Tears

Many species of plants are suitable to grow inside. To find out more about caring for houseplants and finding the proper houseplants for your house, visit the Better Homes and Garden site.