There are endless reasons why we enjoy having luscious houseplants scattered around our homes. Perhaps you needed something to help with better air quality, or you simply just needed that splash of colour in an otherwise boring corner. Whatever the reason may be, the popularity of houseplants is on the rise. However, with any new hobby comes lots of new questions. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions we at Anna’s get about houseplants.
When should I transplant my new plant?
Believe it or not, most houseplants don’t mind a tight root system. Often they prefer staying in their grower’s pot for months to come without needing to be planted into something larger. It is often recommended that newly purchased houseplants stay in their grower’s pot and be placed into a more decorative pot for aesthetic purposes. When it comes to watering simply remove the plant from the decorative pot, place it in the tub or outside and give it good water until it is completely drained. Then simply place your plant back into its decorative pot until it’s time to be watered again.
4″ rubber plant 14.99
One sign that your plant may need to be transplanted is if it is breaking through the grower’s pot. If you see roots escaping the bottom, top or sides of its pot, that is a good sign that your plant has outgrown its surroundings. Also, if the soil is no longer absorbing water. If the root system is dense enough water will have nowhere to go other than out. You need enough soil to absorb the water so the roots have a chance to soak it up. Never transplant into a pot any larger than 2-3 inches bigger than it already is in.
I have a black thumb, which houseplants can’t I kill?
Believe it or not, even though I have been working with plants most of my working career, I have a long list of plants I have killed over the years. It’s not because I’m unsure of the care instructions or signs to look out for, life simply gets busy and I admit I tend to neglect my plant babies.
Finally, I gave up purchasing high maintenance plants and I’ve narrowed down my list to only a few low maintenance plants that I know I won’t kill.
- Sanseveria (snake plant)
- ZZ plant
- Rubber tree
- Bird of Paradise
How do I remove pests?
Sometimes we may notice small, unwanted signs of pests on our plants. Perhaps you have little, fuzzy, white mealy bugs, or tiny holes being chewed through your leaves. You must check your plant regularly and as soon as you notice any signs of pests, isolate your plant immediately. Isolating your plant will ensure the pests will not spread to other nearby plants. Once your plant is alone, there are a few different things you could do. There are lots of different chemicals and sprays you can purchase to help combat those pesky bugs. You can also use things around your home.
First, give your plant a good bath. With the hose or wand in your sink, wash away any trail of bugs or bug residue. Once your plant is washed, spray it down with a mixture of dish soap and water in a spray bottle and let it sit. This should kill off any bugs hanging around.
6″ alocasia polly 29.99 | 6″ terracotta pot 29.99
Another household ingredient is rubbing alcohol. Simply dampen a rag and wash down all the leaves with alcohol. This can even be done in advance to detour any bugs or fungi from landing on your plants.
Which houseplants are safe for pets?
Anything we consume too much of can cause negative side effects. This is the same when it comes to any plant we purchase, so it is always best to be cautious. If your pet eats the entire plant, chances are they’ll get sick, and throw it up. There are plants however that are deemed “safe” to be around our furry friends.
Here’s a list of plants that are safe to be around our pets:
- Rubber plant
- Ponytail Palm
- Money Tree
- Air Plants
Plants to avoid would be:
- Sago palm
- Lily of the valley
My leaves are turning brown or yellow, what AM I doing wrong?
Leaves turning brown or yellow are a sign of two different things. If you’re noticing the outer edge of your leaves turning brown, chances are your plant isn’t getting enough water. This could be for multiple different reasons such as the soil isn’t holding moisture, the plant is root bound, your home is dry or your plant is near a fireplace, or simply your forgetting to water. Be sure to check for all these signs and make the appropriate changes to ensure your plant is getting enough water. Prune off any dead leaves, up your watering schedule and your plant should soon shoot off new buds.
If your plant is yellowing, this is typically a sign of overwatering. Essentially it means the plant is rotting. This can also be caused by many different factors. Perhaps your pot doesn’t have enough drainage, you aren’t using the right type of soil to allow your plant to drain properly, or you’re simply watering too frequently. As much as we want to baby our plants, most plants thrive on neglect. Follow the recommended watering schedule and make sure your plant is potted correctly and you should be able to avoid those yellowing leaves.
Owning houseplants is easy. If we follow the proper care instructions and give them a little love, they’ll be sure to stay happy and continue to thrive. There are so many reasons houseplants have proven to be essential for our mental and physical health, so finding the proper plants for your home and taking the necessary care needed, is an easy way to liven up our homes and our hearts.