You’ve heard of “green thumbs,” but the truth is, anyone can learn how to care for house plants. It just takes some research and dedication. Sometimes, determining what *not* to do is an easy place to start. Here are some common house plant mistakes to avoid making when caring for your plants.
Buying Whatever Looks Cool
House plants come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, and their looks are a large part of their appeal. But if you buy a plant because you like the way it looks, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Some house plants are trickier to care for than other plants, and certain plants have special needs, such as humid air or lots of bright light. Start with easy plants, and develop your gardening skills a bit to set yourself up for success.
Doing Too Much
When you’re learning to care for house plants, you’ll be tempted to give them lots of care and attention. But plants don’t usually need constant tending. Depending on the house plant, you may only need to water or prune on occasion—particularly during the winter months, when plants are less thirsty. Provide its basic needs, and then give your plant room to grow and thrive on its own.
Watering Your Plants at the Same Time
Watering all of your plants at the same time is not recommended. Instead, determine a schedule that works for each plant separately. We highly recommend using the Planta app to help keep track of your waterings. Writing your schedule down in a notebook will work just fine, too. Many plants don’t need more water until their soil is dry. Stick a digit in the soil to test it out, and if it is damp, wait to water the plant.
Forgetting to Prune Your Plants
When a limb or leaf of your house plant dies, it’s important to prune it. Otherwise, your plant will get stressed trying to salvage the dead leaves or distressed steams, leaving less energy for the parts that are still thriving. In general, it’s best to snip a dead steam off at the base.
Allowing Dust to Collect on Your Plants
Finally, another common house plant mistake is failing to dust off your plant’s leaves. Plants photosynthesize by absorbing sunlight through their leaves, so if your plants get too dusty, they won’t be able to soak up sunlight effectively. Use a damp cloth and gently wipe down your plant’s leaves once a week so your plant can catch some rays.