Inspired Design

Houseplant Dos and Don’ts

August 10, 2017 0 comments

Are you still nursing a leggy spider plant left over from college? Some people seem to have the magic touch, most of us don’t know when to call it. Healthy plants provide better air quality inside our homes, as well as beauty. But know when to say when. Here are our favorite tips.DON’T be afraid to throw out a house plant once it’s past its prime. Unless it’s a jade plant, a very well-tended bonsai, most indoor plants are not something you’ll pass along to the next generation unless you have that magic green thumb. Once a plant loses its shape or dries out, don’t bother trying to resurrect it. Dying plants aren’t pretty or helping with air quality.

draining salt, plant drainage

To flush salt build up in the soil, place your house plant in a sink or take it outdoors on a warm day. Slowly pour tepid water over the potting mix. Allow water to drain out the drainage holes of the pot. Pour more water through the pot, then empty the drainage tray.

DO go big: buy the largest house plants you can afford. You want to make a statement and have the plants to be a part of the room. Small plants in tiny pots can become messy clutter. A large palm or ficus can fill an awkward corner or create a canopy over a seating area.

plant lighting

Proper lighting is essential to give plants the energy they need to grow and thrive. Each plant has different requirements so familiarize yourself with what your plants need.

DO treat the plants like accessories. It’s easy to fall in love with them, but they require careful planning and attention to look right. A row of small snake plants or succulents in matching pots make a lovely architectural centerpiece on a dining table. In a corner, use three sizes of the same plant – one large, one medium and one small – for more impact.

when to water, plant pots,

A plant in a porous pot will need watering more frequently than one in a plastic or glazed pot.

DO put smaller plants on pedestals to make them look taller or for a more dynamic grouping.

when to water, tea substitute, ferns, acid plants

Schedule an occasional teatime for your ferns, gardenias, and other acid-loving houseplants. Substituting brewed tea for water once a month will give your plants a lush, luxurious look.

houseplant humidity, pebble drainage

Increase the humidity levels around your plants by using pebble toppers.

moss toppers

The soil around your plants doesn’t always give you the attractive look you’re going for. Using moss is a stylish solution.

DO your research – choose only plants that suit your house. Most of our houses are dry and don’t have great light because our windows are coated to protect from the sun. A lot of house plants like humidity, even a bathroom isn’t enough to keep some plants happy. And if you have pets, some plants are poisonous! Check out the ASPCA’s printable list here.

For more tips, see our articles here and here.

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