Bulloch County Extension

Caring for Indoor House Plants

A good rule of thumb for keeping your house plants healthy is to try to match the same environment from which they originated.  You may not be able to match every criteria for your house plant, but every small step  you take to ensure the plants comfort will be a giant step towards keeping them healthy. The most important elements needed for indoor plant health are water, light and fresh air.   Most plants have dormant and active cycles, and their watering and  fertilizing requirements will differ greatly from season to season.  A little research should be done for each of your house plants to understand their individual needs.

Dust on the foliage can clog the leaf pores, so clean them up a little with a damp cloth, or a quick shower under the tap.

There are no hard and fast rules to watering, because every situation is different,
due to temperature variations, humidity and soil types etc.  It is better to keep an indoor plant on a slightly dry side than over watered.  More houseplants die from over watering than any other cause! Never allow your house plant to stand in a saucer of water for more than an hour or two!

City water is treated with chemicals for your safety, however most House Plants don’t like chlorine or fluoride, so it’s a very good idea to allow the water to sit in an open container for at least 24 hours prior to using it for watering.  This is enough time for the chemicals to dissipate and evaporate from the water

Always use room temperature water when watering or misting your house plants!

Actively growing house plants will benefit from a half strength shot of liquid house plant fertilizer.

On cold nights, it is a good idea to close the curtains or blinds between the window and your house plants.  NEVER place your house plants between the curtain and the window!

Make sure that your plants have sufficient humidity, by setting them on a tray filled with moistened, clean pebbles, or by simply setting a cup of water nearby.

Keep a close eye open for insects on your house plants.
If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, be sure to check those plants carefully too.