Closeup of funny housewife peeping from bush of green plant and looking at camera with pleased smile, holding big flowerpot, loves gardening and nature. indoor studio shot isolated on pink background

Most of us, at one time or another, have tried our hand at having a house plant or two. Some thumbs are naturally somewhat greener than others, but it is easy to learn how to better care for your potted companions when you have not been successful before. There are many common mistakes people make in regards to caring for houseplants. The following should help you along well.

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The first important requirement is sufficient light. Without it, you will have hardly any chance keeping your plants alive. Think beforehand and determine where you will set your plants so that they can enjoy as much sun as possible. You might even need to move some around during the day as the sun moves around your house but the effort will pay off in the long term.


Next comes water. This in itself seems easy enough, but the trick is to strike a balance. Next is fertilizer, then very good soil. Fertilizer for nourishment, and great soil for a healthy root system and a reduction in disease.

Many plants have died many horrible deaths in our hands, preventable ones at that. We usually wind up killing them with kindness, or fail. We’ll now dig a bit deeper into how to prevent killing your houseplants.

Over-watering is the most frequent problem for houseplants. It’s often only a case of not understanding the particular plants water requirements. It pays to determine which species need and how frequently. Most plants only have to be watered once every five days or so. Always feel the dirt to be certain it really needs water.

Under-watering is another offender. The fact that we live busy lives is usually the reason. If you can write yourself a note, or even delegate the job, even if it’s just checked every couple of days or so. You can even maintain a vessel of water close to the plants for advantage.

Soil quality

Poor soil quality, or the wrong sort of soil is another problem usually encountered. Some crops need different soil types others. As an example, think about a cactus vs. a fern. A commercial potting soil is ideal to use for indoor planting. Stay away from dirt from the garden, recycled soil and top soil. The main reason is a lack of proper nourishment, and possible disease lingering in the soil, particularly garden soil. If you suspect a fungus problem, seek treatment immediately or it may spread.


Having your plants exposed to extreme temperatures could be an issue too. Never keep your plants close to heat sources, including stoves and vents. The same is true for cold extremes, so plants in window sills where frost lurks or in front of a fan are no-no’s. Some plants do well from the moisture of a toilet though, including a fern — so there are rare exceptions.


Lastly, over fertilizing your plants will certainly kill them. In reality they are better off not being fertilized in any respect. Always use a houseplant proper fertilizer also.

It’s relatively simple to take note of those plant saving tips. Adopt them into your routine, and you will have a house full of healthy, happy plants!