If houseplants could talk, chances are they’d be rocking out to Queen’s “Keep Yourself Alive.” But because your houseplants can’t talk, it’s up to you to know when they’re facing the brink of death.
Fortunately, even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are a few simple ways you can make sure you don’t outright kill your potted plants. Here are 5 tips you can use to keep your houseplants alive and thriving.
Choose native plants
You may have heard that the easiest plants to take care of include cacti and snake plants. But ultimately, the easiest plants to take care of are those native to your local climate. Even if you don’t plan on transferring your plants from the pot to the garden, native plants are still used to your location’s average temperature and amount of sunlight.
Consider choosing native plants for sale at your local farms and plant nurseries. The American Farm Bureau Federation reports that farm bankruptcies are up 24%, so buying locally can help keep farmers and nurseries in business.
Know your plants’ water needs
No two plants are alike. Different species have different water needs. Even if the little instruction paper that came with your plant says how often to water your plant, make sure to do your own research. For instance, succulents and cacti don’t need to be watered as much as palm plants.
Avoid salt water and distilled water
About 97% of all water on earth is non-consumable saltwater. While some trendy gardeners may try to convince you to give your plants “special” water like saltwater and distilled water, these water types aren’t ideal.
Most plants can tolerate saltwater on their stems and leaves but can dehydrate when they soak up saltwater through their roots. Distilled water doesn’t harm your plants, but they won’t grow as quickly. The best possible water for your plants is bottled spring water and rainwater.
Choose the right pot
In a perfect world, you’d be able to plop your plants into whichever pots you like best. But different pots provide different drainage solutions. It’s essential for pots to have drain holes to release excess water from the soil. Without proper drainage, your plants can suffer from root rot caused by the roots sitting in still water.
Know your plants’ sunlight needs
About one in every 10 households perform a kitchen remodel every year, but you don’t need to do anything major to your space to find an optimal area for your plants. If you have plants that need more direct sunlight, consider installing simple shelving along with your kitchen windows.
Some plants can even look great hanging from kitchen cabinets. Just be sure not to place a plant that prefers indirect sunlight directly in front of a window or you could end up cooking its leaves.
It might seem challenging to keep your potted plants alive when you don’t have the greenest of thumbs. But by following these tips, you can keep your potted plants thriving year-round.