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How to Take Care of Plants

Whether you have outdoor or indoor plants, there are some common things to consider when taking care of them. Without the proper care, plants will die or become diseased. You must be aware of what a plant needs regarding where to place it for the right amount of light and how often to water it. Caring for a plant is not just about watering it when it is dry because some plants need moisture all the time.

Choose a place with the right amount of light for the plant. A plant that needs light with no direct sunlight will do well on the north side of the house. The south side is the brightest and can be the hottest in the summer. The east side of the house offers a cooler sun in the morning and is perfect for plants that need partial sun. The west side of the house gives a lot of sunlight and is good for tropical plants that need the hot sun.

Place plants in a room or outdoors when the temperature is right. Most plants do well in day temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees F and night temperatures between 55 to 65 degrees F. With proper care, most indoor plants will adapt to temperatures of about 70 degrees F.

Water the plants according to the plant’s needs. Some plants need to have a constant moist soil while others need to dry out between waterings. When you water the plants, don't water half way up the plant or get the flowers wet, water the soil at the base of the plant. Use a drainage tray under each houseplant to catch the water and to provide the necessary humidity indoors, while outdoor plants will have the humidity of the season.

Fertilize the plants according to their needs. The three ingredients in a fertilizer are potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Read the fertilizer package to determine what amount of fertilizer your specific plant needs and how often.


Purely green plants require more sunlight than variegated plants.

Many plants will do most of the growing at night, so the area should be dark after the sun goes down.

Plants that have flowers usually require more light.

Foliage plants usually require less light than flowering plants.

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