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How to Care for Indoor Foliage Plants

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

Indoor foliage plants come in many shapes and sizes, and are generally easy to care for. They brighten up any room or décor. There’s a seemingly endless variety of indoor foliage plants, so you’re sure to find one that fits into your lifestyle and home decorating needs.

Provide your indoor foliage plants with an appropriately-sized container. Don’t repot indoor foliage plants too often. They don’t need to be repotted until there are more roots than soil in the pot. If you notice roots in the top 2 inches of the soil, it’s time to repot. When choosing a new pot for your plant, choose one that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than the one in which the plant is currently growing.

Use only indoor potting soil for growing indoor foliage plants. Do not dig up and use soil from your garden. It will compact in the pot and smother the plant’s roots.

Provide indoor foliage plants with bright, indirect light. Most indoor plants are native to the tropical jungles and grow in the dappled shade of trees. They don’t require intense direct sunlight to grow and thrive.

Water your indoor foliage plants regularly. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch on the surface, but don’t let it completely dry out.

Mist your plants occasionally. Use a plastic spray bottle and spray them several times a week, especially in winter. The extra humidity will help them stay healthy and happy.

Fertilize your plants regularly. When your indoor foliage plants are in active growth, fertilize every other week with a water-soluble fertilizer specially formulated for house plants. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the mixture's strength and quantity. When the days grow shorter in late fall, stop feeding the plants until late February or early March, then resume regularly-scheduled feedings.

 

Tip

  • To get rid of insects on your houseplants, spray with horticultural oil to smother the pests.

About the Author

 

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.