Potted plants bring a touch of nature inside and create an inviting atmosphere to your home. As a focal point in the room, an attractive plant with interesting foliage or colorful blooms draws the eye away from less attractive features and provides a resting point for the eye. Fast growing plants with lush foliage hold interest and fill the area quickly.
Select potting soil that is designed for the type of plant you wish to grow. A visit to a home improvement center or plant nursery reveals a variety of planting mediums for houseplants. Succulents, cacti, African violets and orchids all require specific soil to promote healthy lush growth. Many plants grow well in all-purpose potting soil.
Check that the plant is not root bound. Check the drainage holes for signs of roots. Roots protruding through the holes indicate that the plant is root bound and requires a larger pot. If you are unsure, turn the pot over and tap gently to loosen the plant and the soil. Remove it from the pot and check the roots. Roots that are coiled around the bottom of the pot are an indication the plant is root bound. This slows the growth of the plant.
Repot into a larger sized pot by filling the pot one-half to three-quarters full with the appropriate soil mixture and positioning the plant to the original soil level. Spread out the roots and fill in with fresh soil. Firm the soil down with your hands to secure the plant. The new pot should be large enough to accommodate the root ball and allow room for root development.
Water plants regularly following the recommendations for your specific plant. Most require watering when the soil dries, but there are exceptions. Under watering and over watering both contribute to lack of growth and failing health in plants.
Provide fertilizer designed for your specific plant for best results. All-purpose plant fertilizer or fertilizer spikes may be used, but some plants such as African violets do better with fertilizer designed with their specific needs in mind. Follow the manufacturer's directions for application of fertilizer.
Select appropriate lighting for your plants. Even though your plant may look great on the top of that bookcase, if the location does not provide adequate light, your plant will not thrive and growth will be slowed.