Before I get into giving any type of advice on houseplant care, I just want to say that I have absolutely no qualification or certification or anything when it comes to plants. I'm not a botanist or practiced in plant science at all - I'm just a person who loves filling her home with plants because she loves them! So when I say this is a "Beginner's Guide to Houseplant Care" - this really is a beginner's guide (LOL). I will be making a plant tour & plant care video eventually - but I definitely want to do my thorough research before putting that out. Until then, hopefully these tips & tricks help you fill your home with new plant children!
1. Know your plants. I think this is probably the most important and helpful tip I can give. When I first starting adding plants to my home, I bought them purely based on the way they looked, kept them near the window, and watered them everyday. As you can imagine, most of those plants didn't last longer than a couple of weeks. Not wanting to give up, I decided to do something I should've done from the beginning - my research. Different plants need different amounts of water, sunlight & space to survive. Knowing all of that information before bringing a plant into your home is essential to a happy houseplant!
2. Mind your pets (if you have them). I have an indoor dog and cat, and while my dog doesn't mind all of the plants in my home, my cat likes to take a nibble or two whenever there is one in a place that she likes to hang out (primarily by the windowsill). It is EXTREMELY important that you know your pet's behavior and what types of plants you keep in your home, because there are several plants that are toxic to animals. I keep any toxic plants outside on my balcony or high up enough that my cat cannot get to them. You definitely don't want to come home to a sick pet that may have ingested a leaf or two from a poisonous houseplant.
3. Don't overwater. Something I used to worry about in the beginning was that my plants weren't getting enough water. Little did I know, one of the most common causes for dying houseplants is overwatering! Again, you should always do your research on how much water to give each and every plant you have, but I set aside one day a week where I water all of my plants and I can usually tell how much water my plant needs by looking at the leaves and the soil. If the leaves are yellowing/browning or wilting, that probably means you're giving your plant too much water. If the leaves are turning crispy or the soil is bone dry after a day or so, you might not be giving your plant enough water.
4. Make sure you have proper drainage by choosing the right pot. This kind of goes along with overwatering, but in case you didn't know, constantly wet soil is not a good thing for plants. If your soil is wet to the touch even after a week after watering, your plant is probably not getting enough drainage in its pot (which can cause the roots to rot). Sure, there are tons of cute pots out there, but if you're not a plant expert when it comes to the right amount of water (which I am definitely not), you'll probably want to use pots that have a drain hole in the bottom (which a lot of decorative plant pots do not). When I water my plants, I add enough water until it starts to leak out of the drain hole (and into a pot saucer or over the sink) - then allow the soil to dry before putting my plant back in its place in my home.
5. Pay attention. Having houseplants has become a bit of a passion of mine - I honestly think of them as the same as having pets or little plant children. If one of my plants is starting to wilt, I experiment by moving it to a sunnier location, giving it more water if it's looking dry, and putting it in a bigger pot if it's getting too big for the one that it's in. Keep in mind that your houseplant is a living thing that has needs - a dying plant is an indication that those needs aren't being met.
And that's it! These tips have really kept my plants looking healthy so far, so hopefully they work for you too. Happy houseplanting!