How to Keep House Plants Healthy


Keeping houseplants healthy all year round means considering factors like light, water, temperature and nutrient needs, advises Deborah L. Brown of the University of Minnesota Extension service. Contact your local university extension office for a list of houseplants suited for your area. Houseplants thrive more easily if grown in proper conditions. Once you choose your houseplants, give them the best care by looking after their most basic needs.

Step 1

Provide your plant with plenty of sunshine. Place it near a door or open window. Plants love the sun, and its rays encourage growth, a result of photosynthesis, the process responsible for creating plant food. Follow houseplant care tags; keep certain plants out of direct sunlight in summer months to protect these plants from sunburn.

Step 2

Maintain a consistent temperature of between 65 and 75 degrees, advises the University of Minnesota Extension service. Most plants like this temperature and can handle a drop of 10 degrees at night. Keep plants away from cooler areas such as entryways or warmer areas like heat ducts.

Step 3

Water plants until water drains through the pot's bottom holes. Pour water collected in the bottom saucer. Determine when the plant needs watering by touching the soil with your fingertip. Water plants when the soil feels dry.

Step 4

Fertilize plants during active growth times, in spring and summer months. Choose a houseplant fertilizer, but use half the recommended strength to avoid overfertilizing. Water the plant with plain water before applying the fertilizer solution.

Step 5

Repot houseplants when roots grow through the bottom of the pot, soil dries quickly, when plants grow slowly or when the plant becomes top heavy. These signs indicate the plant has outgrown its pot. Select a pot no bigger than a size up from the plant's current pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Caring for Houseplants in Northern Climates
  • Dallas Morning News: Repot Houseplants to Keep Them Healthy
Keywords: keep plants healthy, healthy house plants, growing house plants

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.