Indoor Growing Instructions for Potted Plants


Potted plants can do quite well inside, as long as the growing environment is conducive to their needs. You can grow foliage plants or flowering plants, depending on what type you'd like as part of your decor. Each plant type has its own specific needs but you can follow general indoor growing instructions for potted plants. This includes paying close attention to sunlight, water and fertilization needs.

Step 1

Choose potted plants that have healthy foliage. Look at the leaves for signs of disease or insects such as spots, blotches or wilting. Pick plants that are clean and have many leaves. The best kind are those that have leaf buds and new flowers growing already.

Step 2

Give the potted plant as much light as it needs. According to Texas A&M University, this is the most important factor in house plant growth. If the plant requires sun, put it in a southern-facing window because this offers the most intense light. Northern exposure windows only get about 20 percent of the light. Take into account trees outside, curtains and the weather because all of them can affect the amount of sunlight the plant receives.

Step 3

Water potted plants when the bottom 2/3 of the container starts to dry out. Use your finger to feel for soil moisture. If the soil feels wet, do not add water.

Step 4

Add enough water to dry soil so it runs out of the drainage holes at the base of the pot. This guarantees you're watering deep enough for the roots to benefit, and it washes out excess salts. Don't leave the pot to sit in a pool of water, though, because this could cause root rot.

Step 5

Keep potted plants in areas with a normal indoor temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 68 degrees at night. Flowering potted plants like even cooler nighttime temperatures of 55 to 60 degrees.

Step 6

Keep indoor plants away from heating devices and drafty areas. Forced heating systems, for example, will dry out plants very quickly. They may lose all their flowers or refuse to bud.

Step 7

Buy a fertilizer that contains an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A solution with a 20-20-20 ratio is fine for most potted plants.

Step 8

Apply fertilizer depending on the growing habit of your plant. Some need to be fed every other week. Others can flower for months without the extra nutrients. A good rule of thumb is to apply fertilizer every two weeks from March to September. Do not use it during the winter because the plant isn't growing much.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Plant
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Texas A&M University: House Plants
  • Container Gardening Advantages
Keywords: pottedplants, indoor growing, house plants

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.