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  • 3/9/2011

Indoor Plant Care Tips

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Soil

For plants to thrive, their soil must be porous enough to allow the roots of the plants to get air. Outdoor or garden soils are not good for indoor plants, as they often become rock hard and are not porous enough. Instead, use a soil that is specifically made for indoor plants. The soil should be able to retain moisture and air, but still properly drain water from the plants. If you opt to use a soil-less potting mix, you will need to use fertilizer. Adding water-retaining crystals can prevent your potting soil from becoming too wet, which can kill plants and encourage the growth of fungi.

 

Containers

When potting indoor plants, makes sure the containers you use are thoroughly cleaned and have adequate drainage. To ensure that your potting containers are clean, wash them with a mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water, and thoroughly rinse them.

When choosing a container for your indoor plants, size is important. Indoor plants that grow tall or have longer roots should be placed in a container that is both deep and wide enough to allow them to grow properly. Likewise, smaller plants should not be placed in huge containers since this could lead to them being over-watered as a result of being in too much damp soil.

 

Watering

The watering needs of indoor plants depends upon the type of plant, whether they are dry-soil or moist-soil plants, the amount of light they are receiving, the humidity in the room they are placed in, and the temperature of the room they are placed in. Some plants, such as those in shallow containers, may need to be watered daily, while other plants, such as those in large tubs and containers, can go for weeks without being watered.

Soft water is superior to hard water---or water with high amounts of salts in it---as far as watering plants is concerned. If you do not have access to soft water, rain water or melted snow are suitable alternatives. Avoid over-watering your plants, as too much water can kill them. To keep your plants from becoming over-watered, ensure they are properly drained.

At times, your indoor plants may only need to be misted with a spray bottle instead of watered. It is always best to research the needs of your plant, as the amount of water they need differs by plants species and type.

 

Feeding

Many outside fertilizers and plant foods can be used on indoor plants as well, but you can use a plant food specifically made for indoor plants. The important thing to remember is to never overfeed plants, and adhere to the feeding guidelines on the fertilizer or plant food package.

Also remember that using fertilizers and plant foods does not take the place of proper watering or soil drainage, nor can it reverse the effects of improper watering or poor soil drainage.

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