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10 Common Questions About Houseplants Answered

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

One of the latest home interior design trends is houseplants. The truth is that it doesn't only allow you to improve the decor of a specific room as you're also bringing nature to your home. If you are looking to start an indoor garden or just have a question, keep reading. You're about to know the answer to the most asked questions about houseplants!



1. What are the best houseplants to get started?

There's no question that there are easier and more difficult houseplants to take care off. And this should definitely be a point to consider when you are deciding on the best houseplants to get started.


While most people would immediately turn into succulents and cacti, the reality is that they can be a bit boring. So, some of the best houseplants to get started may include: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant), Yucca, Aegagropila Linnaei (Marimo Moss Ball), Pilea peperomioides, Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Monstera deliciosa, Epipremnum aureum (Golden Pothos), and Fittonia (Nerve Plant).




2. Can I take good care of a houseplant if I run a busy schedule?

If you're one of the many people who already tried to have houseplants, but they end up to die at some point, you just need to be wiser regarding the plants that you pick.


The reality is that there are many different types of houseplants and while can be very affordable at first, they do demand a lot of your time.


On the other hand, you also have a lot of options when you're looking for a houseplant that doesn't require a lot of maintenance. Some houseplants to consider include Mint, Ivy, Cacti, Spider plants, and Aloe.



3. When should I water houseplants?

Ultimately, this varies depending on the houseplant that you are growing. As a rule of thumb, it is essential to keep in mind that most houseplants shouldn't dry out completely. Some exceptions to this rule include cacti and succulents.


Now that we straightened that out, it is also important to understand is that most houseplants die not because of the lack of water but because of its excess.

One of the things to keep in mind is that you shouldn't have a schedule to water your plants. Instead, you should determine if the houseplant needs water by checking its soil. While most people only look at the surface, this isn't a good method since it will always look as if it needs to be watered. Instead, just tap on the side of the pot. If it sounds hollow, your houseplant is probably dry.

Last but not least, you should water your houseplants with lukewarm water instead of cold water, better if filtered.



4. Are there restrictions to the location I determine for my houseplants?

A simple Google search should allow you to determine if a specific location is a good spot for your houseplant or not.

Generally speaking, windowsills tend to be the best places for most houseplants. Besides, between having some orchids in your bathroom or some greenery in your bedroom, which can even enhance your sleep by regulating the moisture, the options are endless.


5. Why are my houseplant's leaves drooping or yellowing?

When something like this is happening to your houseplant, you have different scenarios.

Just take a look at your houseplant. If you see that there are some leaves yellowing, but there are new ones still growing, then this is just the natural process of aging.


On the other hand, when you don't see any signs of new growth and the leaves are getting brown and drooping, this may mean that you are overwatering. To ensure this is the problem, you need to check its soil. If it is damp or soggy, just let it dry and see how it goes.


In case overwatering is not the problem, then you may need to move your houseplant to a different location. Maybe you just placed it in a dark or too sunny spot for it.

In case you notice that elongated and it doesn't have any blooms, then your plant needs more light. On the other hand, if you see that its leaves have a washed-out appearance and are scorched or brown, your plant may need a darker location.




6. Why are the leaves turning brown?

In most cases, when you see that your houseplant leaves are turning brown, especially around the edges, this is usually related to not getting enough water. However, simply watering it more may not be the solution. The reality is that this may be happening for many different reasons.

The plant may be root bound and, therefore, the roots just don't take up enough water. In this case, you need to repot the houseplant.


Another reason might be that you are using the wrong soil for your plant, and may not be able to hold water as it should.


Finally, the roots may be suffering from tip burn. This may be the result of the soil having too many salts. If this is the case, you just need to flush the pot with lots of water.



7. Why is water dripping from my houseplant leaves?

While this can be a sign of pest infestation, the most probable cause for this to be happening is just the natural plant process.


To ensure the plant can catch water and nutrients, its roots need to create a vacuum. So, they allow moisture to evaporate out through the leaves. When the air at your home is humid, there will be less moisture evaporation, and it will simply transform into drops of condensation. And this is exactly what you are seeing.




8. How can I take care of my plants in the winter?

The most important aspect to keep in mind is that not all plants are the same.


While some plants simply go dormant during the winter, others keep growing, and you will need to ensure that they get enough light.


In terms of watering, there should also be some changes. During winter, your houseplants won't probably need as much water as they need during the summer.


9. How can I prevent or deal with flies and fungus gnats?

Truth needs to be said: you won't be able to prevent flies and fungus gnats completely. Nevertheless, there are things that you can do to deal with them in the best way.


One of the things you can do is to simply use a fork to rake the top level of the soil once or twice a week. In case you notice that you have an infestation, spray your plant with some Neem Oil.



10. What type of soil should I use for repotting?

Most houseplants grow perfectly fine in regular potting soil.


However, and depending on your plant, you may need to add some organic matter such as compost. On other occasions, you may want to add some grit such as perlite or sand for extra drainage.

One of the key points to have in mind is that you should avoid those "garden soil" products as well as soil that you dug straight out of the ground.




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