When you are selecting as indoor plant with dark-green leaves, check for damage, wilting and pests. Be sure you bring home a strong, healthy plant. Avoid purchasing plants that have been treated with chemicals to make the leaves shine unnaturally. Look for young growth and new buds. Care at home is as important as starting with a healthy plant.
Light intensity, duration and quality can affect the color of the leaves and health of the plant. Be aware of the type of light your plant desires. Some indoor plants require direct, full sun, while others thrive in shade. Position sun-loving plants near windows so they can receive adequate amount of light. Do not place them close enough to touch the windowpane, because this can cause damage to the plants when the temperature drops in the winter. Add artificial light to increase light duration if your plants are not receiving enough natural light; however, do not keep them lit more than 16 hours per day.
Do not over or under water your plants. Water them thoroughly until water pours out the bottom into a tray. After 10 minutes, remove the tray and dump the water out, so the plant is not sitting in water. Do not water the plant again until the top 1 inch of soil is dry. Add a humidifier if the leaves begin to brown on the edges. Place several plants on a tray with rocks in it and leave a little bit of water in the tray to increase humidity, if needed. Some plants need to have their leaves misted. If the tips of the leaves are persistently brown, mist the plant with water in a squirt bottle, once per week.
Pests, Pruning and Airflow
If you notice pests on your plants, treat the plant immediately with insecticidal soap, following the directions on the package. Treat weekly until the pests are eliminated. Pinch dead or damaged leaves off your green-leafed plants. If your plant outgrows its container, and you do not wish to transplant it into a larger one, prune the plant by pinching the leaves off with your fingers during dormant periods when the plant is not growing. Finally, watch your airflow. Extreme hot and cold temperatures significantly affect green-leaf plants. Do not place them near doors or too close to air vents where they receive sudden bursts of hot or cold air.