House plants bring nature into your home or apartment, adding decor and natural beauty. While a thriving house plant accents your home, frail plants can frustrate gardeners. If your plant displays yellowed leaves, dropped leaves or bears no new growth, chances are the plant is not receiving proper care. All house plants have different watering, fertilizer and light needs, and understanding the needs of each plant is the key to house plant growth.
Place your house plant in an area where it receives sufficient light. If your house plant is failing to thrive, it may not be receiving adequate light to stimulate new growth. If you're not sure how much light your plant needs, consult Texas A & M's chart of light requirements for common house plants. Add extra light with an incandescent or fluorescent plant light if you don't have enough natural light.
Ensure your house plants are in a draft free room with a temperature from 58 to 86 F, advises the University of Georgia. Colder or hotter temperatures can stunt plant growth.
Water most house plants regularly, with the exception of cactus and succulents, which need less water. To determine if it's time to water, stick your finger down into the plant's soil to test the moisture about 1/3 of the way down. If the soil feels cold, moist or wet and particles stick to your finger, withhold water. If the soil feels crumbly and dusty and no soil sticks to your fingers, it's time to water. Add water until liquid flows out of the drainage holes in the bottom of your container.
Fertilize house plants during their growing season using 20-20-20 fertilizer. Do not fertilize them during the winter since this is their dormant season. Apply the fertilizer following the manufacturer's recommendations based upon the size and type of plant.
Move plants outside during the summer months to expose them to natural sunlight and air, which can be beneficial to plant growth. Do not keep plants outside if temperatures fall below 40 F.