A Guide to Houseplants: 10 Tips to Grow Healthy Indoor Plants

Indoor plants against a wall

Indoor plants have a huge fan following. Whether on social media or in magazines, be it for potted plants or indoor plant hangers, they send nurseries in a frenzy. Plants destress an individual and calm his psychology.

Indoor plants sharpen memory, help concentration, and thus, persuade the dweller to perform better. These plants work as horticultural therapy to relieve patients of depression, anxiety, and dementia. Hence, they help decrease medication.

However, indoor plants require attention, especially when it comes to light and, many families have a bit of hard luck raising these plants. Plant growth decreases in winter due to dryness and short days. Hence, beginners should begin planting in summer. In this blog, let us look at a few tips to grow a healthy and blooming plant.

1. Light

Cleaning the plant with a rag

Light, without any doubt, is a crucial element for the solar panel mimicking leaves that catch the sunlight. Even if a plant is low-light tolerant, it still needs light for photosynthesis. Plants cannot grow in the dark and, if tried, will portray weak, lifeless stems. However, some plants like Dracaenas, African violets, and Sansevierias grow well in artificial light, fluorescent and LED lights, and incandescent bulbs, specially crafted for a purpose.

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Light requirements depend on the plant species. Though some plants prefer a strong south-facing window, some grow well in the soft east light. If your plant receives too much light, its foliage may turn to a dull green or yellowish tinge, and the leaves wilt. On the other hand, if your plant receives less light than the requirement, it will scatter and not stay in place.

To keep your plants healthy in low light, consider cleaning them as dust obstructs photosynthesis. Clean the plant with a rag and lukewarm water. Cleaning will not only remove dust but even prevent fungi attacks and bugs. Remove the brown and dead leaves to refreshen the plant again. Moreover, keep your windows clean to allow for maximum light and heat. Align your indoor plants to the light direction and away from heaters and coolers.

2. Water

Another equally important component, even a cactus, needs water. Similar to trees and herbs, all indoor plant hangers and containers need frequent watering. Dampen the roots and allow the excess water to flow out of the container through the drain holes. Moreover, do not leave water in the plant dish for more than two days and accelerate root rotting. Let the soil dry up before you water again. Remember to check the top two inches of soil for dryness before watering again.

Moreover, if a plant pot feels lighter after picking it up, know that it’s time for watering. Water the plant heavily once a month to remove the excess salts in the soil and nourish the plant. Water them less during winters as overwatering might kill the plant. Remember that plant roots need air for nutrient absorption and let them breathe.

3. Ventilation

A woman ensuring ventilation for her plant.

Tight glass boxes and a continuous supply of air-conditioned ventilation can make the plant thirsty for fresh air and affect its exhalation and transpiration. Moreover, good airflow removes excess moisture from the soil and prevents root rot. Hence, for healthy indoor plants, it is crucial to maintain good air circulation within the room.

4. Humidity

Remember that many plants love a warm, moist, and humid setting, in stark contrast to ideal temperatures for humans. A non-humid environment will dry the plant out or make the stem lifeless. You can choose mid-range humid plants that go well with indoor humidifiers and are easy to maintain. Moreover, let plants stay away from doors and vents.

You can increase humidity by placing pebbles on trays or placing the plants in humid areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Though spraying water is a quick fixture for dryness, it doesn’t provide long-term effects and increases diseases.

5. Warm settings

Place the plant in warm settings as plants love higher temperatures for photosynthesis. A colder, whitish, or bluish light will directly halt the process of food making and harm the plant.

6. Fertilize

Fertilizer is a crucial element for healthy and blooming plants. During the plantation process, always mix in a good quality fertilizer in the soil. Each plant requires a specially crafted fertilizer that enhances its growth. Most of the houseplants thrive on mild-level fertilizers. High-maintenance flowering plants need a bloom fertilizer and citrus plants, a premium fertilizer.

7. Check for insects

House pests and insects will infect your plant and create holes in the foliage. Insect attacks require immediate attention and the use of insecticides. Alternatively, you can place it in full sun for a couple of hours to eliminate the insect attacks.

8. Trim and Repot

Repotting an indoor plant

Trim overgrown foliage and check the plant for signs of repotting. Slow growth, roots sticking out of drain holes, and a little stunt indicate that the plant needs a bigger pot.

9. Dormancy

Similar to humans, plants require a dormant state to bloom again from the beginning. Growth stops at this stage, and hence, one should not add heavy fertilizers to grow the plant height.

10. Refresh

Refresh and change the soil annually to aid ventilation and improve soil fertility. Moreover, remove any white soil worms or snails that do nothing but gobble up the plant.

Asher Pollan
Asher Pollan, with a Master’s in Botany from the University of Chicago, has been a plant enthusiast and educator for 16 years at a university. He joined our editorial team as a freelancer, sharing his knowledge of plant physiology, indoor gardening, and botanical science. His background includes roles in public gardens, as a horticultural therapist, and researcher, and taught the skills of everyday gardening to people in weekend workshops. He enjoys botanical illustration and participates in plant conservation initiatives.

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