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How to keep potted plants alive

Garden advice
How to keep potted plants alive
All Green
All Green
February 2, 2021
minute read

Six tips to keep house plants alive

Plants that live inside add life and vibrancy to a room. However, depending on the type of indoor plants you have, too much or too little water, sunlight or incorrect drainage can shorten the lifespan of your plant.

To help keep your inside plants alive and thriving, try these proven tips.

Bring life to your home with indoor plants. All Green Nursery & Garden has everything you need — and we can help you select the best plant for any room in your house.  

How to keep indoor plants alive

You can keep an indoor plant alive, even if you don't have a green thumb. By selecting the right plant and following the advice of our experienced horticulturalists, you can confidently bring a little bit of nature into your home.

Consider natural light

Natural light and plants

First of all, you'll want to select the right plant for the temperature, sunlight and airflow in the room.  There are potted plants that will thrive even without much natural light. Others can live inside but benefit from spending time outdoors occasionally.

Asking for expert advice, and taking a picture of where you want to place the plant at different times of day, can help you to choose an indoor plant that is most likely to grow well.

Know when to water indoor plants

Each indoor plant has a preferred watering schedule. Most plants will indicate to you when they need water, so be sure to learn the signs for your indoor plant.

Prevent rot with better drainage

When plants are waterlogged, the roots can rot. Choose a pot with drainage holes if possible, and place a few centimetres of pebbles at the base of the container before filling it with soil.

If your house plant likes humidity, having water in the pebbles will help to provide a humid environment without drowning the roots.

Prune or trim your potted plant

For flowering plants, remove the bloom once it dies to encourage a second flowering. As the temperature changes with the season, succulents and other house plants may develop brown tips or drop leaves. Trimming brown leaf ends and removing dead foliage will encourage new growth.

Most plants will benefit from seasonal pruning, so find out the best approach for your potted plants.

Prevent pests from eating your plant

Coffee grounds or eggshell can form a protective barrier that deters pests like snails, slugs and other pests from eating your plant.

Know when to repot indoor plants

Most plants will require repotting every 12 to 18 months, depending on their rate of growth. Plants that grow slowly, such as certain species of succulents, can remain in the same pot, with fresh soil added.

Early in spring, around September, is generally the best time to repot plants. A larger pot gives the plant enough room to expand through the growing seasons of spring and summer.

Low maintenance indoor plants

Peace lily

peace lily

This flowering plant grows up to a metre high, so it is perfect for placing on the floor. Recognised by NASA as one of the top air-cleaning plants, it will thrive in a dark corner in a bedroom or home office.

When the leaves droop a little, that's the sign it's time to water. Keep the soil a little moist, but if you forget to water it for a while, the resilient peace lily will bounce back with the next watering. It's not safe for all pets, so find out where to place it safely if you do have pets at home.

Zanzibar gem

This plant is easy to care for when given adequate light. The Zanzibar gem features hardy, deep green leaves. It grows from 'rhizomes', a type of horizontal underground root that stores water. This plant is extremely drought-tolerant, so if you forget to water it, it survives for months on end.

Monstera Deliciosa

Also known as the "Swiss Cheese Plant", this plant grows best in a larger pot and requires trimming only every few years. If the leaves yellow, this is a sign of too much water. Allow the plant to dry out, and it should recover.

This plant prefers humidity, so spraying it regularly with mist will help to prevent brown edges or leaf tips. Like the peace lily, Monstera is unsafe for pets, so it needs to be out of reach.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is easy to care for and can be used to soothe sunburnt skin. It thrives in bright but indirect sunlight and requires deep watering once every few weeks in summer.

In winter or autumn, this plant needs even less water. As a guide, about a third of the soil should be allowed to dry out between watering.

If you specifically want to grow plants that have medicinal properties, there are plenty more you can choose from.

With indoor plants, failure is never final

If you've had a plant die in the past, it doesn't mean you can't successfully grow indoor plants. Learn from your mistakes and find out what to do next time. You can start small with one or two plants, and as you gain confidence, add more to your collection.

At All Green, we do more than sell plants. Any time you have a question about caring for your plants after you take them home, you can call us or come into the nursery for advice on keeping your plants healthy and vibrant.

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