Plant Care Instructions

Overview

Plants come in a number of sizes, a variety of shapes and an array of colors to fit any location. Plants provide a natural beauty to the surroundings, and many improve the air quality as well. Caring for plants properly will ensure the plants receive every thing required to not only grow, but to flourish for years to come. Plant care differs among the various species, but if you provide a few basic elements, most varieties will thrive.

Step 1

Place the plants in locations providing the proper amount of sunlight indoor or outside. Most plants do well in direct sunlight, but some varieties prefer shadier areas. Study or read details on your specific plants needs, if you are not sure of the requirements. Put indoor plants near windows or other light sources, and turn the pots weekly to provide light evenly.

Step 2

Try to maintain indoor temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for indoor plants. Do not place the plants close to any drafts, electrical devices or gas appliances. The majority of plants prefers 80 percent humidity, but will survive with less. Increase the indoor humidity with humidifiers or placing rock-filled trays with water, under or near the plants.

Step 3

Water the plants weekly (or as needed) through saturating the soil, until water drains from the bottom of the pot. Check to see if the soil around the plant is dry 1/4 inch deep, and only water when it is. Most outdoor plants need 1 inch of water weekly, when rainfall is less. Never let the plants sit in water for long periods.

Step 4

Use good quality potting soil or potting compost, especially for plants growing in containers. The soil supplies vital nutrients to the growing plants, and needs to drain well. Combine peat moss, vermiculite and perlite, instead of using natural soil. Outside plants benefit from adding organic matter or aged compost to the planting areas.

Step 5

Supply the plants with fertilizer, but only during the growing season. Use basic fertilizers (as directed on the label) monthly or slow-release granules for longer periods. Keep the fertilizer from touching the plants, and water after applying.

Step 6

Check any potted plants yearly in the spring to see if repotting is needed. Carefully turn the plant upside down to take it out of the container. Repot the plant in a larger pot, if the roots are crowded. Another sign to look for in potted plants to know if it has outgrown the container is if any roots are seen coming from the bottom of the pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service: Indoor Plant Care
  • PlantCare.com: House Plants Care and Maintenance

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides
  • North Dakota State University: Houseplants
  • PlantCare: Plant Encyclopedia Database
Keywords: caring for plants, indoor plant care, outdoor plant care, houseplant

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.