Indoor houseplants are used for the decoration of the home, adding color and foliage to windows and bare corners. Although houseplants are often treated as pieces of furniture, they require regular care to keep their color and make them thrive. Regular watering, fertilization, proper light and temperature conditions are important to the plants' health. Disease, wilting, discoloration and invasion by pests are some of the signs of improper plant care.
Place your plant in a well-draining commercial potting soil or media to create the right environment for your plant roots. According to the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, peat-lite mixtures containing peat moss, vermiculite and perlite provide the right kind of drainage for houseplants. 1 bushel shredded peat moss, 2 bushels perlite, 1/2 cup of 8-8-8 fertilizer and 1 level tablespoon of chelated iron will make two bushels of potting soil for a houseplant.
Research you houseplant's light requirements and place it in a window that gives it enough light to thrive. According to the Purdue University Cooperative Extension service, some plants require full light intensities, while others require an indirect sunlight. Discover your plant requirements to keep it healthy.
Choose a container for your plant that will accommodate the roots of the houseplant and has drainage holes at the bottom. Check the specification of the plant to find the final size of the plant, and place it in the appropriate pot. If reusing a pot, wash it using a 10 percent bleach solution mixed with water and rinse the pot well, says the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension service.
Remove dust from the leaves of the houseplant as they accumulate. Purdue University recommends giving the plant a short shower using a spray bottle, or setting the plant in the shower.
Repot the plant when the roots of the plant are exposed at the bottom of the pot. The Texas Agricultural Extension Service recommends potting the plant in a new pot that is only 2 inches larger in diameter than the previous pot to reduce shock to the plant. Remove the plant from the pot by gently pulling on the stem of the plant, removing the entire chunk of dirt form the pot. Cut the roots back so that they are even with the dirt and place it in the new pot, filling the extra space with fresh potting soil.
Fertilize the plant with a water soluble fertilizer every two weeks between March and September, says the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. A water soluble fertilizer at a 20-20-20 strength works for most plants.