By Elaine George

Believe it or not, plants need the same amount of attention and commitment as most other living beings on this planet! They add beauty, interest, and even cleaner air to your home, but caring for your house plants, window boxes, or perhaps a garden comes with responsibility. 

Taking care of them, nurturing them, and giving them a high quality of life allows them to grow into healthy and happy plants and may extend their lifespan. But, the level of care required varies depending on the type you own. Some need lots of water, sun, and pruning, while others, such as succulents, are pretty independent and can thrive with minimal intervention.  

Keeping this in mind, here is a generalised “how to” for keeping your plant babies alive! 

The Water Of Life

Over and under-watering are two common issues when it comes to the responsibility of plant care!

To avoid overwatering, only water when necessary during the plant’s specific growing season. Make sure that the soil has dried between waterings to avoid oversaturation, and also avoid wetting the foliage; instead, add the water directly into the soil. In addition, it is important to know your plants’ specific watering schedule; some plants need to be watered daily, while others may only require biweekly or monthly thirst-quenching.

Overwatering causes rotting, fungus, and mould, leading to a dying plant. If you notice that it is wilting, dried out, or discoloured, you may be underwatering it. Researching the type of plants you have should let you know how frequently and how much they need to be watered. 

It is beneficial to all plant owners to water wisely!

Sunshine And Happy Plants 

Just like humans, plants need sunlight to thrive! The most common reason plants die is a lack of or too much sunlight. The beams from that big yellow sky ball are fuel for plants; on average, they need four to six hours of sunlight per day. 

Some plants need “partial sunlight” (two to three hours per day), while others may crave “shade” (or about one hour of sunlight a day). Becoming skilled in your specific plants’ requirements will allow them to live a long and healthy life!

Location, Location, Location! 

The placement of the plants in your home will influence their lifespans greatly. Temperature plays a valuable role, and ultimately, humidity is key here. Humidity is made up of the percentage of water vapour in the air, affecting the environment in which the plant grows. 

Learning about the humidity levels your plant needs and how much vapour it gives off will help you find the optimal location. Sunlight and location go hand in hand, as both vary depending on the type of plant you own. Rotating them often is vital for their upkeep as all sides of your plants need access to sunlight. The best location for most plants is in front of a window or clear door, which also means they are accessible for you to rotate and water.

Primping And Pruning

Cleaning your plants is a crucial part of looking after them. Removing any dust and grime that may build up over time is vital for keeping them healthy. Wiping shiny, large leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel is a great way to clean larger plants. Use a soft paintbrush to remove dirt and debris from fuzzy leaves.

If you need to remove insects from an indoor plant, rinse the leaves under warm water or dunk smaller plants into a bowl or sink. Removing dead or wilted leaves and branches allows the plant to stay healthy and live longer.

Give Them Room To Grow

The size of a plant’s pot greatly impacts Its growth. If the pot is too large or small, the plant may not receive the nutrients needed for it to survive. Plants need to absorb their nutrients from the soil; without them, their growth is stunted, and they may not live long and prosper! 

Drooping, rotting roots, and discolouration are all signs that your plant baby’s bed is too large or small. All plant parents want their babies to look and feel their best, so researching the correct pot size and repotting if necessary can ultimately save a plant. 

Whether you are looking for indoor or outdoor plants or perhaps to take your green finger levels up a notch by starting a garden, you need to do your research first. Taking care of plants, like parenting any living thing, is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly! 

If you are starting out on this journey, the most popular plants to consider include spiders, aspidistras’, monsteras, hoyas, and rubber plants. Growing and caring for plants can be great for your mental health and bring colour and fragrance to your home, but only do it if you can give the plant the attention and care it needs.