4) Temperature & Humidity: Houseplants will normally adjust to average household temperatures of 70 degrees or higher during the daytime and 60 degrees and above at night. Heat sources, such as hot air vents or wood-burning stoves cause low humidity. Using a humidifier or placing plants together on a tray filled with pebbles and water may be necessary. Just grouping plants together will increase the humidity around them.
5) Fertilizer: Organic fertilizers are best, as plants enjoy good health just like humans do. Fish emulsion is really good for plants, and yes, for a minute you may think you are at the ocean due to the fishy aroma, but your houseplants will love you for it. There is no need to fertilize in the winter months, but the rest of the year, fertilizing every 3-4 weeks is recommended to keep your plants looking lovely. Always dilute according to package instructions. You may find products at your local garden center. Follow the instructions on the package.
6) Repotting: If you find that you are watering a certain plant way more than normal, and it looks a bit wilted, look at the bottom of the pot to see if the roots have become bound in the pot. If so, it will need a larger pot – preferably only the next size up. Don’t over-pot! When repotting into a new pot, place some soil in the bottom of the pot. Take the root ball of the plant and sort of squeeze the roots to loosen them up a bit. Place it into the new pot, ensuring that the root ball is about an inch from the top of the pot; then fill in the sides with more soil, packing it in. Water the plant and you are good to go.
7) Pruning: If your plant begins to look a bit leggy, don’t be afraid to prune as cutting the stems will actually encourage them to grow.
8) Grooming: I check my plants as I water them for brown or blemished leaves and if I find some, I remove them to keep my plants looking beautiful.
9) Pests: Healthy houseplants are rarely affected by pests. Insects attack when plants are in their weakest moment. When buying plants from any plant shop, inspect them closely for pests. Just to be safe, keeping it away from your other plants for a week or two after bringing home a new one isn’t a bad idea. If you do have to use an insecticide, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the label. Spider mites are a common pest and form webs on the underside of the leaves. Spider mites do not like cold water, so a real cold shower will work splendidly to rid them.
10) Diseases: Keeping your plants clean does wonders! Remove any leaves that do not look right. Soggy plants are prone to disease. Look at the roots to make sure they are healthy too. Brown roots are a sign of trouble.