Plants and flowers add color and life to a home's exterior or interior. In 1989, NASA released the results of a study they did on common houseplants: In addition to adding beauty to a home, several houseplants also filter the air of toxins and impurities. Although exotic plants--such as orchids or lotus flowers--require very specific care, most plants thrive and grow with basic care.
Plant flowers and plants in high-quality potting soil. With the exception of succulents and cacti--which prefer quick-draining sandy soil--most plants prefer commercially-available potting soil. Avoid water-retaining potting soils unless you grow your plants outdoors in hot climates.
Provide adequate lighting for your plants. Indoors, plants prefer bright, indirect light. Place the plant on the window sill of a window filtered with a sheer curtain, or place the plant several feet away from a bright, unfiltered window. The exception to this are cacti and some succulents, which prefer bright, unfiltered, direct sunlight.
Water your plants and flowers regularly, but not too frequently. A general rule of watering is to let the top inch or two of the soil dry out between waterings. Withhold water during the dormant phase. In North America, most plants go dormant during fall and winter. Resume watering during the spring.
Fertilize your plants regularly with fertilizer made for houseplants. Houseplant fertilizer is recommended for a variety of plants, including herbs, ferns, flowering plants and pineapple plants. Mix the fertilizer according to the directions on the package, and feed your plants and flowers every two weeks.
Prune your plants at least once a year, to encourage new growth. On plants, pinch off spindly, sickly-looking stems and leaves, as well as stems that extend beyond the natural lines of the plant.
Dead head flowering plants by pinching or snipping off the flower heads after they have naturally died back.