Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Importance of Proper Houseplant Care

Many times I have had people ask me why their houseplant isn't doing well or even died. I'll ask them how they cared for the houseplant and they'll say something like, I did the same thing as for such and such a plant.

Each houseplant has its own care guidelines. Houseplants come from different environments from locations all over the world. Many people forget that you can't expect a houseplant originating from a desert climate to have the same care instructions as a palm from a tropical environment.

Not only does following each houseplants care guidelines keep the plant alive, it helps bring the plant to its full potential. Some plants will yes, survive and look pretty good by providing it with water and almost the right amount of light. But give that houseplant the care it properly needs and your so-so plant, becomes full, lush and gorgeous.

Houseplants care instructions vary dramatically. Some require little to no water while others it seems like you're watering every other day. Then when trying to meet the lighting requirement, it gets even trickier.

For example, I had a philodendron that was on our old apartments walls. There was only a patio door in that room and the plant was all the way across it, at least 15 feet. The philodendron did great. In our new home, I placed some cuttings I had grown from the main plant on a ledge draping down about 10 feet from the main light source. It looked horrid. I finally moved it closer to the light and it sparked right back up. So lighting can be tough to get right, but always start with the general requirements for that specific plant.

I try to provide information for a variety of plants, and by far I am not even close to being complete. However, if there is a plant you'd like information about that hasn't been included on the site yet, place a comment on this page and I will move it up on the list.


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Anonymous RosaCityofLeeds said...

An absolutely brilliant, no-care houseplant is Zamioculcas zamifolia. When we bought ours, the stall-holder said it would grow in a cellar - which is just about right, as we did live in a basement flat and placed it in the hall which had no windows! It also doesn't seem to need much watering - I do water it from time to time just to make sure it has some moisture but it never looks "thirsty".
The plant is very unusual in that what look like individual stems coming up from the soil are actually its leaves, which in turn have have lovely dark glossy "leaves" sprouting off them.
Just a basic description - is there any way to upload photos?
I don't know if the plant has a common name - i'd love to find out!

7:18 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

zamioculcas zamifolia is known as "fat boy," "zz plant," "eternity plant," and "money tree." Those are the only ones I know of, I wouldn't be surprised if there are more!

9:26 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

I got most of those names. Check out the care information for ZZ Plants.


11:35 AM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

I bought three very small houseplants (about 7 inches tall from soil to top) from Ikea a couple months ago with no label as to what kind they were (but hey, they're pretty). As near as I can figure out, they are Neanthe Bella Palms.
Unfortunately, my cat decided they looked pretty good as well and nibbled off some of tips. I'm not sure how to treat these leaves now, if they should be removed or not.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your articles.
I haven't seen any for Azaleas. I'd really appreciate it if you'll post some care tips.

8:58 AM  
Blogger 2horselegs said...

WOW!!! This site is loaded with info.. I have a few terra cotta pots that have healthy plants in them. The pots themselves have mildew growing on the outside though. Any ides on how to get rid of this? Thanks ;)

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Website, it's the first site I visit when I'm looking for an answer. I fell in love with houseplants somewhat by accident. I bought a rubber plant from Wal-Mart on a whim one day because I just moved into a new apartment. I ended up completely neglecting the plant, and finally remembered it maybe 8 months later. 80% of its leaves had fallen off, but I nurtured it back to health, and was amazed at all the new growth day after day. And I was hooked. I now have a small apartment, with 14different plants, ranging from Corn Plants, to Lucky Bamboo, to Yucca Palms. I mist them every couple of days, and I'm constantly checking the soil. I just love them, and I always want to add more to my collection.
I would just like to say that I would appreciate a section on the different varieties of Dracaena. I have a Corn Plant (Florens) and what I believe is called a Lemon-Lime, but it could be a Janet Craig, and I'm not sure if they fall under the Deremensis category. I've just found a lot of conflicting information on the subject.
Thanks, Jeff

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about something on Chamaedorea and Nepenthes? Maybe even Calliandra, cacti or rabbit-foot-fern?

2:39 AM  

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