How to keep my indoor plants alive and alive
I’m not going to say that I’m the world’s most knowledgeable indoor plant keeper. I live in Florida, and since we have a lot of humidity and low light, we end up with all kinds of fun stuff growing in our house. However, I know a lot of people who don’t have as many issues, and I have talked to quite a few gardeners who’ve been giving me tips on how to keep my indoor plants alive. Here’s some of what I’ve learned.
The most important thing is that you should buy your plants from a reputable, outdoor garden center. I’m not going to bother telling you why this is good advice, so I’ll leave that to someone else.
While you’re at the garden center, you can also get some extra tips and advice. For example, it’s very helpful if you know the height at which they like to be repotted. Also, if you want to get a plant you know will be very potted up, it’s helpful to know how much of the pot they’re currently growing in.
If you know your plant will get watered every 2 to 3 days, you can ask how much of a gap in time between waterings is okay. Also, if your plant has any specific disease needs (which may vary from plant to plant), you can ask the gardeners what they recommend. You can also ask for advice on how often to fertilize, how often to use a spray bottle, how often to trim the leaves and whether you should remove spider mites or not.
I got some tips from my friend, who has a green thumb and a lot of plant-related knowledge. I’m not as versed in plant care, but this is what I learned.
Water every 2 to 3 days. If you live in a dry climate, water when you notice the soil is dry and if you live in a wet climate, water when it’s very wet. Do not over water!
Fertilize in Spring. Wait for the soil to warm up and the plants have at least one good growth cycle to really benefit from fertilizing. Water the plants thoroughly after fertilizing.
Water the pot if it has at least a third of the pot filled. Wait for the soil to warm up, then water to get rid of the excess. I water the plant pot when the top inch of soil is wet.
It’s best to use fresh garden soil for your plants. If you use compost, it will dry out more quickly.
Keep it well-ventilated and out of the sun. Plants lose water through the leaves, which is why it’s important to keep the leaves dry. If you live in a hot climate, they also need some shade.
I planted my little plant in a 5 gallon bucket so I could water it more easily.
You can also buy plastic plant pots that come with holes in the bottom for drainage.
The only bad part of starting your own garden is you will have lots of weeds. I tried to get rid of them but they kept coming back. I’m glad that mine are not a nuisance, but I have to keep them around or they would just choke out the other plants.
And just like people, plants get thirsty too! If you don’t have a garden, make your own!
My plants do really well on a sunny deck. We try to water when we notice the pot soil is about the level of our finger tips. However, it’s a bit hard to judge because we have some very large pots with lots of dirt. We don’t have any big pots on the deck.
I use the small containers to grow some herbs and vegetables. My favorite is basil which I just love to smell. There are a lot of herbs I want to grow but don’t have enough room to grow in the space I have. I grow two kinds of basil and some oregano and basil. It smells wonderful when I walk outside. I only water them with a drip-on every couple of weeks and they just keep producing!
Love this post! I am growing a few of my own herbs and have also started trying to grow the veggies this year. I think your post is a great overview to start off with and I will definitely be referring to it!
I love your herb garden in the pots! I have a little garden area off to the side of the house and I’ve never thought to try growing my own herbs, but yours are so cute and colorful!
I love the idea of growing herbs – I have lots of herb pots sitting on my windowsill, but I never use them. It might be time for a fresh start.
We grow a lot of veggies in our backyard but we just moved, so we’ve not had any herbs to plant yet. We’re trying to plant basil this weekend. My husband and I just finished reading the “Aromatherapy and You” book. It’s a great book with lots of tips for growing and using herbs in your home. I know I’m a major fan of it!
Hi Susan! I’m a huge fan of your site. I recently picked up the book The Herbal Home Cure and LOVE it! I’m on pg. 11 at the moment. It has all sorts of information on food and how to create your own “herbal home cure” and I’ve learned a lot so far. I thought you’d find it helpful. Keep up the great blog!
Wow, these are great. I too have to find all these. I’m lucky to have a huge garden and am going to start growing and using herbs too. I was going to start with something simple like basil, but now I think it’s time to branch out. I am always looking for recipes too.
I’ve been growing herbs in my pots for years. I love the beauty and flavor of freshly picked herbs. Our house plant store is out of stock and the new year is around the corner. I am thinking about making my own.
I just can’t grow them in pots. I always end up just digging the soil up to the root and then put them back in and it’s just too much work for me. I have been doing research on growing them indoors. I’m trying to plant some at home but it’s difficult in our high wind area. I live in the desert. The one thing I’ve found works for me is to plant in pots then just bring them inside when it gets warm. I can grow a lot of herbs like rosemary, oregano and basil that way.
Hi, I have seen that you did the same with your lavender and basil which I love. I want to use lavender in all my cooking. I just want to know do you dry it to use it for tea? Thank you.
I use lavender in my own tea, and other people in my household often do as well. It is easy to dry your own, and it is a great thing to be able to use a few of the dried herbs, even if they aren’t what you want right then. It is good for other times as well!
I am just about to plant my first ever herbs (tomato and mint). My mother was telling me to get some basil seeds for