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How to Stop Killing Your Houseplants

Dead Peace Lily in Houston BathroomOn the off chance that you are like many people, you do not have a good track record when it comes to keeping houseplants alive. For those who are a bit foliage-challenged, caring for houseplants can feel like a difficult and mysterious task. But it doesn’t have to be. By adhering a few simple steps, you can stop killing your houseplants and start enjoying their natural beauty in your Houston rental home.

Step 1: Choose Hardy Plants

To grow healthy houseplants, start with the right kind of plant. There are many different houseplant varieties, most of which are relatively sturdy and can withstand a little neglect. When buying a plant, look for one that is healthy, green, and bushy. Avoid plants that look dry, wilted, or spotted. When you get your plant home, do a little research and make sure that you have the correct size and style of pot, in addition to some excellent quality potting soil. Most plants need just the right room to grow, so choose a pot slightly larger than your plant currently needs. Also, choose a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage. Remember to place something to catch the drainage, though, to avoid damage to your furnishings or property.

Step 2: Get the Light Just Right

Just like in real estate, when dealing with houseplants, location matters. Select a spot that gets the kind of light your houseplant needs. A lot of indoor plants thrive well in indirect sunlight, but the rest needs a little direct sun every day to thrive. Make sure that you know what kind of sunlight your plant needs, and pick a spot that will fit the bill.

Other than finding the right sunlit spot for your houseplant, make sure to avoid exposing your plant to any other environmental factors that might damage it. It’s always good to keep your plant away from cold drafts, hot air blowing on it from your furnace, too much moisture or humidity, or too little moisture. If that sounds like a challenge, it most likely is. However, with a bit of planning and creativity, it is not impossible to locate the right spot for your plant to thrive.

Step 3: Water Correctly

Watering a houseplant incorrectly is the primary reason that they wither. It can be a challenge to know how much water to give your plant, how often to water it, and so on. A general guideline is to keep the soil around your houseplant moist but not soaked. Too much water can lead to unwanted pests, plant diseases, and, ultimately, the death of your houseplant. To test the dryness of the soil, stick a finger into it about an inch deep. If the soil feels dry, add water. Use a watering can with a long spout to pour the water directly onto the earth (never water a plant on the leaves), and go gradually until the soil is moist, but water is not pooling on top.

If you have a hard time remembering to water your houseplants, numerous different classes of watering devices can help. Simply setting a reminder on your calendar or another device might help you remember to check your houseplant regularly. Additionally, there are both high-tech and low-tech options that can help you manage the moisture levels in your houseplant’s soil, ensuring a long and healthy life.

Step 4: Groom and Feed

All plants need extra nourishment once in a while and likewise need to be pruned or trimmed. Different plants have different nutrient needs, so be sure to research what kind of plant food is recommended for your specific plant. You may also find helpful advice at your local nursery or garden center. To keep your plant looking its best, trim off any yellow or dying leaves, dry flowers, and so on. This will encourage your houseplant to create new leaves or blooms and keep your plant looking and feeling healthy, too.

Although caring for a houseplant can be a challenge, it is not impossible to do. With some cautious planning and research, you can surely manage your houseplant and enjoy its natural beauty for many years to come.

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