10 Mistakes You Can Make With Your Houseplants
Okay, you’re here and you’ve made it! You have brought home your very first houseplant. Of course you are excited. I mean houseplants are a staple in home décor style. Although your plant may be fresh and full of life at the moment there are common mistakes people make when take care of them. Maintaining your plant’s greenery and upkeep is vital. Here is our list of top 10 mistakes you can make with your houseplants.
1. Not considering your living environment before purchasing
Considering your living environment is really important to the survival of your houseplant. Often people make the mistake of not thinking about this element and then wonder why their plant is either dead or at a stand still with it’s growth process. When considering bringing a plant into your home doing some research on whether the plant needs low to medium or direct sunlight are huge factors. If you live in a studio apartment that does not receive a ton of sunlight then I would recommend getting a plant like a pothos or a fittonia.
Water is great for us humans and no amount is ever too much, except when it comes to watering houseplants. Most houseplants do not need the TLC you might think. If you make the mistake of watering your plants too much, the plant will not receive the nutrients it naturally needs and you may even invite pests into your home. Majority of houseplants on average should be watered every 7-10 days. Keep in mind that the less light a plant needs to survive the less water it will need also and vice versa. Some plants, like ZZ plants, actually thrive off of the neglect of severely infrequent watering's.
3. Too much light
It’s pretty common for a new plant owner to go back to basics. Since we were young we’ve learned that plants need three things to survive: the first being soil, the next water, and lastly sun. But too much sun could actually do more harm than good. Giving your plants too much sunlight could lead to scorching your plants leaves. You will see signs of this occurring through the discoloration. Yellow or browning means your plant is unhappy. It’s suggested if your plant is receiving too much light in its current location try moving it to a place where there isn’t so much direct light. If you have a home with extreme amounts of direct, bright sunlight, the Chinese Money Plant may be your best friend.
4. Watering from the top rather than at the soil.
Now let’s say you have mastered this list and are on a watering schedule. However, you’ve noticed that your plant has gnats and other pests surrounding it. Water is also very heavy and when poured from the top can cause the soil to become very compacted. Compacted soil will cause your plant to not receive an even amount of water and blockage. Also when watering from the top, water tends to land on top of the leaves. When this happens, any amount of sunlight can completely scorch the wet leaves, which is irreversible. Watering from the base of the plant prevents this from happening.
5. To pot or not to repot
Repotting your plant probably sounds like another tough task but, it really isn’t! Typically people assume that when it comes to repotting your plant it means you have to get a new pot for it and that is not true. In most cases it just means your plant could use some fresh soil. However, if your plants are root bound then it would be advised for you to get a new pot with fresh soil. Root-bound means that the roots of your plant has completely taken up the space in the pot. These plants have outgrown their pot and will not receive as much nutrients if you do not give them some more room.
On the other hand, repotting does add stress to the plant. A newly purchased, young plant that is just getting used to its new container SHOULD NOT be repotted. Only when your plant is showing the signs of needing to be repotted should you take this step, repotting too soon can add undue stress on a young plant that cannot handle it. Read our planting guide if you’re unsure. The number one, and most important rule when choosing a new pot is that it has drainage holes!!!
6. “Soil is Soil” No No No - Picking the right soil is important
Do not have this mindset that soil is just soil. That is like saying water is just water and we all know all bottled water does not taste the same. Your potting soil should be tailored to your particular plant. Some plants need sandy, fast draining soil, while others like moist soil and need a mix that will retain moisture for longer. However, if you are unsure your best bet is to go with a light and fluffy quality mix potting soil. Do not put garden soil into your pot!
7. Picking a plant that is trendy without knowing what it needs
Yes, plants are cute to look at and make even greater social media posts, but do not get caught up in what the trendiest houseplant is and forget you have to put in work to take care of it. For example, the trendiest houseplant of the year, the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is also the most killed houseplant of the year! They are gorgeous but take a lot of love and attention. Do your research before taking in a new plant and make sure you are making the right decision rather than trying to keep up with the joneses. Do not take on the challenge if you are not ready for it.
8. Not cleaning the leaves
Think of the leaves of your plant being your skin. Like your skin, plant leaves need to be kept clean and toxin free. Your plant leaves have grooves in them just as you have pores. If your pores or the leaves are congested, there will be blockage of the retrieval of sunlight reducing the plants ability to photosynthesize. Do not use oils or cleaners to clean the leaves; simply use a damp cloth with distilled water to the leaves gently to prevent cracking or ripping.
New plant owners are usually very eager to start their “plant parent” journey. However, they seem to be unaware of the slow process in which houseplants grow. With proper care your house plant will thrive. So be patient, take a breath, and just enjoy your plant!
10. Calling their time of death too soon
As mentioned earlier, houseplants are trending across social media platforms. Some plants show signs of dying after a few mistakes.. New plant owners may see this as a sign to dispose of their plant but, but in most cases there is always a chance for revival. Plants are extremely resilient. Do not call your plants time of death too soon because the leaves are brown or falling off. Take that time to do your research and assess why it is happening. Find a solution and continue on your plant care routine.