Caring for indoor plants is a great way to keep your green thumb active throughout the year. Modern Gardener visited Thyme and Place, a botanical boutique in Salt Lake City, to learn about some great indoor plant options and get tips about great ways to keep your houseplants happy and healthy.
Indoor Plant Varieties
General Rules for Houseplants
With regard to plant care, the goal is to mimic the plant's indigenous environment. So rather than following a regimented schedule, keep an eye on how the plant looks and the soil feels. If it's drooping, it's probably thirsty.
Too much water will kill most plants faster than not enough water.
Watering until water drains through the bottom of the grow pot doesn't always mean the plant has had enough. Once soil completely dries out, then it takes a little time to rehydrate. You might need to let water drain through the pot a few times. Make sure to empty drainage pots that collect excess water, or you risk root rot and fungus gnats.
When watering, apply stream at the base of the plant, directly at the soil level. Succulents and cacti don't like getting water on their leaves.
All plants need light to photosynthesize, but many will adjust to and tolerate less than ideal light.
Be aware that direct sun in the winter can be very different from direct sun in the summer (especially in Utah where we have four seasons). The same foes for morning sun vs. afternoon sun.
The best way to see how a plant is doing is to watch how it responds to its environment and watering schedule. Checking the leaves is a good way to see what's going on. Look for drooping, yellowing, leaf damage, and (worse) and tiny pests, which can attack any plant.
Bugs and Infections
Control bugs and fungal infections through light pruning (removing damaged, yellow or brown leaves), and keeping the leaves clean. Clean leaves help them breathe in carbon dioxide and fill the air with oxygen.
Use a solution of water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid to clean the leaves, drying the top and bottom of each with a soft cloth. Wipe down the stems too. This organic approach helps control everything from bugs to fungal infections.
Shop Owner, Thyme and Place
Melinda Meservy owns Thyme and Place, a botanical boutique in Salt Lake City focused on connecting people with plants and each other. After 20+ years in the corporate world, Melinda chose to align her passion for plants with an awareness of and commitment to ethical sourcing - locally and globally....Read more