Basic Houseplant Care 101

The houseplant cemetery. We've all been there. Let us help you avoid it! 

Here are 5 things all houseplants need to stay thriving (and out of the cemetery):


Most plants can survive being watered once a week--how great is that! Just pick one day of the week (maybe Tuesday) to water your plants and mark it on your calendar! See how easy that was?

During the winter months, almost all houseplants slow down their growth and therefore need less frequent watering! To find out if your plant needs water, look for these signs:

  • Curled leaves
  • Overall color of the plant looks faded (not bright)
  • Actual plant feels very light (weight)

It's very important to make sure you do not OVER-WATER your houseplants, as this can cause root rot. Here are tell-tale signs that your roots are drowning:

  • If the leaves turn yellow
  • Leaves that are falling off
  • If the water drains immediately from the bottom, it’s time to replace the soil & re-pot


When it comes to the sun, many plants require different amounts of light throughout the day! The 3 main types of light are: low light, indirect light and bright light.

Low Light is found in rooms with windows that are partially shaded by outdoor trees, with little windows that let only a small amount of light in or rooms with no windows at all. Even a table that is in the middle of a room, far from any window, can count as "low light."

  • Low Light Plants: Aglaonema, Snake Plant, Pothos, Peace Lily, ZZ Plant

Indirect Light is found in rooms with an eastern facing, bright window (hint hint: eastern facing means that the window is facing the beach). East-facing windows get tons of bright morning light and slowly get less over the course of the day--makes sense since the sun rises in the east! These plants require 5-6 hours of sun.

  • Indirect Light Plants: Asparagus Fern, Spider Plant, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Dracaena, Snake Plant

Bright Light is found in rooms with bright, sun-facing windows (southern or western) that get direct sun all day long--from mid-morning to late afternoon. These plants require a minimum of 5-6 hours of sunlight each day!

  • Bright Light Plants: Succulents, English ivy, Cacti, Croton

Key: If the leaves start to look faded and droopy, place it in a brighter location. It's also important to turn your plant periodically to prevent it from leaning to one side.


Plants get hungry too! We recommend feeding your houseplants with Espoma Houseplant Food every 2-4 weeks to promote growth and greening. During the winter months, feed it every month and then start feeding it every 2 weeks come Spring time.


Plants need haircuts too! Trim your plant when needed by removing dead or yellow leaves. It also is a good idea to cut stems that have lost their leaves as this will give the plant energy to send up new shoots!


Plants gain weight too! 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!

Be sure to choose a pot that is a bit larger than the plant so that it has room to keep growing.

If you aren't sure if your pot needs a new home or how to re-pot it, have one of our expert horticulturalists do it for you! We offer re-potting services year-round.

We hope this basic houseplant care 101 blog will keep your houseplants thriving! 

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