Raise your hand if you like house plants but can’t keep one alive.
Succulents may be popular right now, but there are still a few people who opt for humble house plants. But just like with any plant, it’s not easy to take care of one. Miss just one watering session or do something wrong, and you might see it wilting. Cue heartbreak.
Don’t fret, though. We have some tips courtesy of NoliSoli.ph‘s plant enthusiast Oliver Emocling on how to care for your house plant. So you don’t have to worry about them wilting on you when you least expect it.
#1 Light is key
“House plants, especially foliage plants, are tropical. So they thrive in sunny places,” Oliver said. So if you placed your plants in shaded areas of your house, it’s best to relocate them next to a window or any area with direct sunlight. And no, fluorescent light is not enough to keep them alive.
If you’re worried about your plants getting too much sunlight, Oliver added that you can train them to withstand strong sunlight. “It doesn’t happen overnight. You can do an hour of sunlight one day, then the next you can do two hours.”
#2 When to water them
There’s no definite time to water any plant. The best and easy way to determine when to water your house plant is to check the soil. “You have to stick your finger in the soil, at least two inches deep to check if it’s dry or not,” Oliver said. “If you don’t water it, the roots might rot.”
#3 Check on the roots
“It’s important to aerate the roots. Just poke a stick in the soil once a month,” Oliver said. “The roots need air also so it gets oxygen and won’t rot.” He added that when you’re buying house plants at stores, you should clean the roots first before placing the plant in another pot so it can thrive properly.
#4 Fertilizer isn’t just for veggies
Oliver suggested that the best fertilizer to use are pellet-type ones. “Just leave it in the soil. It will last for two to six months, and will release nutrients to the plant.” He also said that this is more effective than the ones you mix in water.
#5 Don’t immediately put in a big pot
“People have this mindset that they expect a plant to grow big immediately, so they put it in a big pot. But what will happen is you might overwater it because the ratio of the soil is not proportionate. You should put it in a pot with at least one inch space for the roots. Also, it’s important that you replant it in a bigger pot once a year.”
#6 Telltale signs the plant needs care
Wilting isn’t the only sign that you need to water your plant. Oliver noted that there are other ways to know when the roots are starting to rot. “The edges of the leaves will start turning black. That sign can also mean that it’s under or overwatered, or it needs humidity.”
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