How Not to Kill Your Houseplants

Even a “brown thumb” can successfully raise a ficus! Houseplants are an affordable and attractive way to decorate and personalize your Davis apartment. And happily, most plants are pretty low-maintenance.

But unless you want to be buying replacements every month, they do require some care. Whether you have one or two strategically placed potted plants, or a jungle hothouse of a bathroom, you’ll want to check out’s great tips:

  • Watering: Most folks tend to water their plants when they remember. The watering schedule you should stick to depends on your lighting and your humidity level. Just watering once a week and crossing your fingers just won’t cut it. So what do you do? Google. Just make sure that when you do, you include your location and look at actual greenhouse or growers’ websites. A general rule of thumb is that many plants like to go slightly dry to the touch before being watered again.
  • Humidity: For the most part, the water that is applied to the surface of your soil is only helping strengthen the roots and stems. The leaves, however, could really use a spritz or two of water every day or two. 
  • Drainage, Drainage Drainage: “But my pot has holes in the bottom! Isn’t that good enough?” Not even a little bit! In addition to your container having holes, you need actual rocks or drainage material at the bottom. It gives water a place to go so it doesn’t rot your roots. Remember, most plants prefer wet feet and dry ankles!
  • Know Your Windows: When you walk into a plant store, the little tags will usually tell you full sun, partial sun or shade. Full sun is only considered to be unblocked or unfiltered southern light, with western sunlight as a runner-up. If you have northern or eastern light, stick with things that like shade or partial sun. Remember, the light needs to be bright enough to read a book by with the lights off for a plant to survive. 

If you have pets or small children, bear in mind that some plants are poisonous. Be sure to check with your local nursery before you buy any greenery.

Want more advice on the best way to care for your indoor plants? Click on the link above.


Image credit: