How to Grow Indoor Plants: Tips from Real Gardeners
Plant parents share their best advice on how to grow indoor plants with their tried-and-true tricks for healthy houseplant care.
Water Indoor Plants With Ice Cubes
Proper watering is an essential step in knowing how to grow indoor plants. “When my inside potted plants are dry, I put ice cubes on top of the soil to slowly melt and water the plant without flooding the pot,” says Lisa Sherman of Carlsbad, California. “It’s easy, there’s no mess, and I’m less likely to overwater this way.” Check out these easy plant waterer products we love.
Use The “10-10-10” Rule
Most houseplants do fine with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10). Limit or stop fertilizing your indoor houseplants in winter and start feeding them again in spring. As always, follow the directions on your specific package.
Check out the top 10 best houseplants for beginners to grow.
Choose Small Houseplants for Small Spaces
If you’re tight on space, most 3-inch pots ﬁt on even the narrowest window sills. Peperomia and small cactuses and succulents can both happily grow in containers that size.
Find out how often to water succulents.
Sharon Woodworth of Georgetown, Kentucky, says, “Collect rainwater and use it on your houseplants. I’ve been doing it for years!”
We asked the experts: Why does my plant have brown tips on the leaves?
Check Soil Before Watering
Sometimes it’s tricky to gauge when a plant needs moisture. Louis McVay of Waleska, Georgia suggests gardeners “always check with a moisture meter before watering.”
Follow these tips for watering container gardens.
Give Indoor Plants Extra Sun
“Move houseplants outside in summer. They love rain, heat and humidity. Bring them in before the first frost and spray any insects with an organic insecticide to prevent the bugs from moving into your home,” says Lynn Jones of Salem, Indiana.
Use Lights Right
When using artiﬁcial lights, the tips of the plants should be 6 to 12 inches from the light source to ensure the plant is receiving maximum beneﬁts.
Check out the best houseplants for low light.
Boost Humidity (as Necessary) for Houseplant Care
Ideal humidity for tropical houseplants is around 50%. If your home is drier, set your plants on a gravel tray ﬁlled with water.
Be Precise With Transplants
When transplanting a houseplant to a larger pot, an increase of 2 inches in container size is ideal, unless your plant is very large.
Provide Extra Nutrients
Sandy Lewis of Akron, Ohio, waters her houseplants with water she has boiled eggs in. She says, “It works better for me than any commercial plant food!”
Here’s why your indoor plant has yellow leaves.
To help maintain a symmetrical shape, give houseplants a quarter-turn occasionally, maybe even every time you water if it helps you to remember.
No green thumb? Try the top 10 hard to kill houseplants.
Kick Mildew to the Curb
“I read that sprinkling the dirt with cinnamon prevents powdery mildew, so I gave it a shot—it worked!” says Jeanine Buettner of Kalispell, Montana. She adds, “I no longer have a problem with the disease!”
Now that you know how to grow indoor plants, learn how to prevent and cure mold on houseplant soil.