Caring for indoor plants requires simulating, to a certain degree, the elements that the plant would experience growing in the wild. Proper light, water, temperatures and potting will allow a plant living indoors to flourish and live a healthy life just as it would in a appropriate outdoor setting. Follow a few basic guidelines when caring for a plant inside your house.
Learn about the specific light requirements of your plants and be sure you are confident that the place you want to place the plant will allow sufficient light. Plants will bend toward the light. Rotate your plants from time to time to allow them to grow in an upright position. You may also want to take advantage of summer sun and move the plants outdoors to soak up some direct sunlight for a boost when you can. If your plant's leaves are taking on a pale color, it is a good indicator that it needs more light.
When placing a new plant in your home, use supplemental lights such as fluorescents to help it adjust to the light it will have to become used to. Gradually reduce the amount of light the plant gets until it is accustomed to growing in your home's naturally available light level.
When watering, make sure you thoroughly wet the soil. Use pots with working drainage systems so water does not pool in the pot and make a muddy mess. Plants will drown in these conditions and leaves will begin turning yellow to indicate a lack of oxygen to the roots.
Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant. Use distilled water if possible to avoid the addition of mineral deposits to your soil.
While plants of different types grow well in different climates, you do not have to settle for one kind of plant that grows at the temperature consistent with its natural habitat. A rule of thumb is to keep temperatures where indoor plants live between 65 and 75 degrees F. Set your thermostat within the acceptable range to give your plants a comfortable growing temperature. Luckily, this same range is comfortable for most homes as well. Allowing the temperature to fall around 10 degrees at night is also good for the plants.
Temperatures that are too hot can cause some plants to be weak and small, and cold temperatures will cause leaves to turn yellow and possibly fall off.
Don't Overgrow in a Pot
When you plant's root system outgrows the pot it is in, re-pot the plant as soon as possible. The roots will become a tangled mass when they do not have proper room to grow and the plant will suffer as a result. Plants in pots that are too small will have restricted growth and will likely die.