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Have you killed an embarrassing amount of houseplants? Are you sad to come home and see one of your houseplants crusty, dried up, and dead as a door nail?
*who gets that reference? (true story of the three little pigs)
A lot of people tell me, text me, or comment on social media that they have problems keeping houseplants alive. I have over 30 healthy houseplants and I want everyone to be able to say the same.
One of the biggest reasons houseplants die is because we kill-them-with-kindness by overwatering them, or because we’re afraid of overwatering, they get left alone to long and dry out.
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My 3 Biggest Tips for Watering Your Houseplants
1) Watch the Weather
For my houseplants, the amount of weekly watering can fluctuate depending on if we’ve had a lot of continuous sunny days or if the weather has been consistently overcast.
2) Get to Know Your Plant
Paying attention to your plant’s coloring, soil dampness, new blossoms, the amount of new growth and leaf appearance will all help you know how to nurture them.
From my experiences, after I’ve “gotten to know” my plants’ growth patterns and hydration needs it is easy to regulate how much water you give them.
Tip! If you are one who has a tendency to over-water, I would highly recommend adding perlite to your plant’s soil. Perlite helps aerate the soil and when I am repotting my houseplants I always do a 80-20 ratio, soil to perlite.
3) Stay Consistent with your Watering
It’s not good for houseplants to go from extreme wetness to extreme dryness. This will not only shock the plant, but can also lead to root-rot.
My Watering Guide for 10 Popular Houseplants
To further help you on your houseplant success, I’ve rounded up 10 of my favorite Low-Maintenance & Low-light Houseplants and listed their common watering needs.
Low-maintenance, non-finicky houseplants are a great place to start for you if you are wanting to start or add to your houseplant collection.
Take a look at each plant and see if it’s watering regiment is doable for you! You can do it, I be-leaf in you!
For the snake plant, we recommend that you take it nice and easy with the watering. Water them every 2-6 weeks, and avoid excess water as too much water will cause a snake plant to drown. Ensure the soil is more or less entirely dry prior to watering.
The red prayer plant is a relatively easy plant to manage, but it requires you to keep the soil constantly moist and damp. This is especially true during spring and summer. During autumn and winter, though, you will want to hold back because they do not get as much sunlight and are not growing as much. My prayer plant lives in a wallscape planter in our foyer and gets decent diffused sunlight in the morning hours and I only water it once every week and a half.
The ZZ plant needs you to give it a frequent amount of water for it to survive. But, the watering is often down to lighting levels; the less light it gets, the less water it wants and needs. The more light that you can give it, the quicker it will grow, and that means it will need more water.
I have my ZZ plant in our gym next to a south facing window and I water him ~2-3 times a week.
The stunning peace lily is one that many people will want to bring into their homes, but beware of how much maintenance they need. Often, these are plants that are going to need constant moisture, so if you feel even slight dryness, then you should look to water them ASAP. They can go a period of dryness generally, but try to not neglect them too much! When we went to Iceland for our fourth time last November, our Peace Lily went without water for about a week and when we got home from the airport I noticed she was so droopy – I immediately watered her and then next morning she was back to her perky self. They are very resilient houseplants and I highly recommend them! They are also so pretty and bloom over and over again!
While not a choice for everyone, the areca palm tree is a great beginner plant. Despite the fact you can be quite liberal with the watering due to its love of moisture, it can become a bit worn out if you give it too much. It is quite tough to overwater here, so we recommend making sure that the soil drains well as build-ups of standing water will put the health of the plant at risk.
The spider plant tends to be quite a picky plant when it comes to watering it. Get the soil drainage perfect, though, and it should not be much of an issue for you. Avoid excess water as this can cause root rot, but too little water will see it die out quickly. If you notice browning of the leaves, it likely means that fluoride has gotten into the water. Drain the water, though, and your spider plant should be fine.
The bromeliad is a popular form of plant, and one that we definitely recommend that you keep one at home. We gifted one to Caleb’s mom for her birthday this year! Watering them is quite easy: simply use your finger to check for dry soil and if it is quite dry then moisten it up a bit. Be sure to water the central point of the bromeliad as much as you can. Ensure your pot has plenty of drainage so that mold and rot doesn’t build up at the base of the planter.
Which of these easy houseplants sound most suited to your lifestyle based on their watering needs?
The most common pitfall with houseplant parents is that they either kill their plant with too much love (overwatering) or too little (under watering.)
I hope this round-up was helpful!