7 Ways to Keep Your Houseplant Alive

Although some find it next to impossible to keep their indoor plants alive and healthy, these 7 tips will help keep your houseplant alive and successful throughout the winter months!

1. The amount of light a plant receives inside a home is almost always the single greatest reason why a plant does not grow.

Since we live in the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing windows let the most light in, so place your plants there. A good rule of thumb to remember: 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness! Click here to learn more about houseplant lighting!

2. Stick your finger into the soil to determine if the plant needs more water.

If your finger pulls up soil with water in it, then your plant is fine. If it comes up dry, pour water slowly to saturate the soil! Watering it once a week should be good enough, but make sure to check it every so often based on different plant types.

3. Try not to water your plants while the sun is shining on them.

Any water droplets that get on the leaves will act like magnifying glasses and may actually burn the leaves.

4. As much as they need water, there must be some sort of drainage system in the pot to not drown the roots.

Try to use pots that have a hole in the bottom of them with a saucer to catch the water that may come out. If your pot does not have a hole in the bottom use 1-11/2 inches of pebbles in the bottom of the container.

5. A good potting soil is very important for the survival of your plant.

Soils found at your local garden center are a much better choice than soil from the natural environment. Once soil is taken out of its original landscape, the natural soil profile becomes destroyed, and water will not flow through it properly.

6. To check if it is time to re-pot your plants, gently wiggle the plant out of the pot (soil still on roots).

If the roots are wrapping around the pot or if the pot has become deformed by the roots, then it is time to re-pot! Make sure to choose pots that are a bit larger than the original root ball. To help alleviate the stresses of choosing the right pot and soil, Barlow's can re-pot your plants for you at our Potting Bench.

7. Your plants also need air to be able to stay alive!

Air flow also helps to prevent disease. To keep plants alive and sturdy, plug in a small computer fan next to them. Plants in windy conditions will grow sturdier than plants grown in complete absence of wind.

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