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How to Care for Potted Flowers

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

While specific care depends on the type of plant, all potted flowers require proper moisture, nutrition and light to thrive. Unlike garden flowers, a potted plant depends on you for all of its needs to be met. Blooms take a lot of energy to produce, so flowering plants require more care than plants that are grown solely for their foliage.

Set your pot in a drip tray. Place small wooden blocks or rocks between the bottom of the pot and the tray so that the plant is not overabsorbing the water in the tray.

Keep the plant properly watered. Pots dry out faster than garden beds and hanging baskets dry out faster than pots. Water when the soil surface feels dry. Add enough water that it begins to flow from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

Provide enough light for the plant to thrive and flower. Place it in a south or east window where it will receive bright light. When blooming, place a translucent shade over the window or move the plant slightly so it isn't in direct sunlight.

Keep your potted plant in a room that averages 65 to 75 degrees F during the day and 10 degrees cooler at night. Moving the plant to a cooler room at night prolongs blooming.

Fertilize once monthly in spring, summer and fall with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing in winter or when the plant is dormant.

Check the plant regularly for bound roots. If roots are growing out of the drainage holes or the plant is lifting itself out of the soil, transplant it into a pot that is 2 to 4 inches larger in circumference. Avoid replanting when the plant is in bloom.


Things You Will Need

  • Wooden blocks
  • Window shades
  • Fertilizer
  • Pots


  • Pinch off spent blooms 1/4 inch beneath the flower head to encourage further blooming.
  • Remove dead leaves where they join the stem or at the base of the plant to improve its appearance and prevent disease from spreading.


  • Avoid getting water on the leaves, especially the undersides. This leads to mold and other diseases.
  • Spider mites and mealybugs are the most common pests for houseplants. Kill spider mites with warm, soapy water and apply rubbing alcohol to mealybugs to kill them.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.