You Found Your Dream Houseplant, Now What?

The houseplant feeding frenzy has passed and you have found the plant you desired so much. It would be an awful shame to allow it to endure a slow death. Sometimes death would be preferable than having your darling plant continue to hang on by a thread.

Even with the best intentions, a lack of specific information is usually the downfall of many an indoor gardener. However there is a remedy.

Anytime you bring home a new addition, find out everything you can about the variety you have. Not all plants in the same genus have the same requirements. The goal is to have your plant adapt to what is less than ideal conditions. You need to the best of your ability, duplicate the plant’s natural environment.

If your plant is an undercover species, it could be used to lower light, moist and humid conditions. A succulent on the other hand, came from a sunnier more arid environment. There are also hybrids that have been developed that are more tolerant of the conditions found in the home. You can’t assume if your comfortable, so will the plants.

Water requirements have got to be the specification that seems to be the most elusive. Beginners almost always overwater. So many water by the calendar. This rarely works. The variables around the amount of water a plant uses are too diverse. Temperature, humidity, light, drainage, these thing all come into play.

Watering Practices

I try to check watering twice a week, more often if I have I plant I know has a higher need for water. You can use a meter, I use my finger. It does take experience for use of the finger method but I find it the most accurate.

Water the plants that need it. Take note of the ones that will need it soon. Do not water the individuals that are satisfactory. You will get a feel for the watering needs of each plant and you can develop a system that works for the both of you.

Some would suggest not to use tap water. In a perfect world or when you have a water softener, this is true. Should you find you have a plant with special needs, you may need filtered or distilled water.

Let’s be practical. I figure, if I can drink it so can my plants. I fill milk jugs with water and set it aside to let it assume room temperature and allow it to dechlorinate. It works for me.

Let Google and FaceBook Houseplants Groups help you navigate the houseplant learning curve. No reason to be afraid.