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How to Stop Killing Your Houseplants

Dead Peace Lily in West Point BathroomIf you are similar to others, you do not have an outstanding track record in terms of keeping houseplants alive. For those who are a bit foliage-challenged, caring for houseplants can seem like a complicated and mysterious task. Yet this is not the way it should be. By adopting one or two of these easy guidelines, you can stop killing your houseplants and start enjoying their natural beauty in your West Point 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. Before you bring your plant home, do some research first and ensure that you have the correct size and style of pot, as well as good quality potting soil. Almost all plants need a tiny area to grow, so choose a pot slightly larger than your plant currently needs. Also, choose a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage. Don’t forget to place something to catch the drainage, to avoid damage to your furnishings or property.

Step 2: Get the Light Just Right

Similar to real estate, when it comes to houseplants, location matters. Go for a location that gets the kind of light your houseplant needs. Nearly all indoor plants turn out well in indirect sunlight, while some require a little direct sun every day to thrive. Ensure you recognize what kind of sunlight your plant needs, and pick a spot that is applicable for them.

In addition to finding the right sunlit spot for your houseplant, try to avoid exposing your plant to any other environmental factors that might adversely affect them. It’s imperative to keep your plant away from cold drafts, hot air blowing on it from your furnace, too much moisture or humidity, or insufficient moisture. If this seems like a tough job, it probably is. But with a bit of planning and creativity, you can easily locate the proper location for your plant to prosper.

Step 3: Water Correctly

Watering a houseplant incorrectly is the major cause of their death. It can be a challenge to know how much water to give your plant, how often to water it, and so on. A universal 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 identify the dryness of the soil, stick a finger into it about an inch deep. If the soil looks 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 move gently until the soil is moist, but the water does not pool on top.

If you have a hard time remembering to water your houseplants, many different watering devices can help. Simply setting a reminder on your calendar or another device might help you remember to check your houseplant consistently. Furthermore, 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 every now and then and also need to be pruned or trimmed. Different plants have unique nutrient needs, so it is advisable to investigate what kind of plant food is recommended for your specific plant. You can also get helpful tips at your local nursery or garden center. To keep your plant looking good, trim off any yellow or dying leaves, dry flowers, etc. This will encourage your houseplant to create new leaves or blooms and keep your plant in good condition, as well.

Even though caring for a houseplant can be a tough job, it is not impossible to do. With some careful planning and research, you can easily manage your houseplant and adore its natural beauty for many years to come.

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