Taking Care of House Plants for Dummies

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



By no means do I claim to be a house plant expert! This is a topic I’ve been wanting to learn more about for a long time and I bet some of you have too! If you are like me and have a grey thumb instead of a green one, you’ve most likely also decided it would look beautiful to have a plant in your house, but you couldn’t keep it alive for longer than a week.

Here are some of the best resources I’ve found for becoming a plant mom or dad. I found a lot of helpful tips in the following articles, which are outlined below.


How Not to Kill Your Houseplants


  1. Only buy plants that are healthy and in good condition to begin with.
  2. Buy the right kind of potting soil for your specific plant.
  3. Know how big your plant will eventually become.
  4. Put your plant in a pot that will give it enough room to grow. Repot it if the roots are growing to the edges so it has more room to spread out.
  5. Get a pot with a hole in the bottom for drainage and a plate to put under it.
  6. Look up how much light your plant needs.
  7. Place it closer or farther away from a window according to its needs.
  8. Find out where your plant originates and determine what temperature in your home is ideal for its growth.
  9. Avoid keeping your plant next to an open window if it’s too cold or hot outside.
  10. Research how much water your plant needs. Don’t over or under water it.
  11. Determine what type of fertilizer will best nourish your plant, and how often you should apply it.
  12. Prune your plants regularly. This means taking away any dead flowers or leaves to make room for new ones to grow.
  13. Research what kind of pests your plants attract, and use a pesticide that won’t harm your plant.
  14. Taking good care of your plant will help you avoid pests or disease. Make sure to check regularly for both. There are things you can do to help save them, but if you take good care of your plants, you wont have to worry about possibly throwing it away.


How to Keep Potted Plants Alive


  1. Put your plant in a place that your pet cannot reach it.
  2. If you have a cat, put it on a high, isolated shelf that it can’t jump up to.
  3. If you have a dog, keep it up on a kitchen counter or somewhere it cannot reach by jumping.
  4. No matter what pet you have, its important to keep your houseplant away from it. Certain flowers and houseplants are poisonous to cats, dogs, and other species. Even if they aren’t toxic, your pet could still tear up and ruin your plant.


My personal tip: If you know you’re going to forget to water your plant, I suggest investing I one of these water dispensers. You just fill it with water and put it into your plant’s soil, and it automatically dispenses the amount of water needed until it runs out. How many days will your water supply last (without having to refill it)? It simply depends on how large of a dispenser you buy.


Plant Watering Device

Plant Watering Globe-Glass-Automatic Water System

Self Watering Spikes System


Find more articles on gardening on Fill Your Plate’s blog!


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