Houseplants are an inexpensive way to provide a decorative element to any room in the house, providing a warm, homey atmosphere while bringing a touch of nature indoors. The benefits of houseplants go beyond aesthetics, and it's now believed that they actually make a home healthier by removing toxins from the air. Although houseplants have varying needs, following several general guidelines ensures that your indoor plants will stay green and healthy.
Be sure your indoor plant is getting the proper amount of light. While all plants need sunlight, some thrive in partial shade while others prefer full sun, and it can be difficult to tell what level of light your plant requires. If a plant's leaves are dull and yellowish, it's a clue that the plant may be getting too much light. Try moving it to an area where it gets filtered light or indirect sunlight. If the plant is getting leggy and the stem is growing too tall and thin, try moving it to a sunny window.
Use high-quality commercial potting soil and never use regular garden soil for planting indoor plants. Garden soil will become compacted and won't provide proper air circulation. Commercial potting soil will hold moisture, provide aeration and will help to provide the plant with the proper nutrients.
Water indoor plants with distilled water; tap water often contains minerals that aren't healthy for plants. Don't water indoor plants until the top 2 inches of soil are dry, and then water them until water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, but never let the bottom of the pot sit in water. Proper drainage is one of the most important factors in raising healthy indoor plants.
Feed your indoor plants a quality fertilizer on a regular basis. Read the label carefully, since some fertilizers should be used weekly and others monthly. Don't feed indoor plants during the winter.
Pinch off any yellowing or dead leaves. They are not only unsightly, but also they divert energy from the plant. Clean the leaves as needed and keep dust from accumulating.