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6 Ways to Care for Your Houseplants

Happy houseplants add an atmosphere of life and vigor to your home. But how many times have you fallen in love with a plant at the store, only to watch it die a slow and painful death in your home? When bringing a bit of nature into your home, it pays to remember that most every plant has several basic needs. 

Jeff Cook Real Estate routinely offers real estate tips for buying and selling a home, but we also like to help improve your life wherever you live. Here’s six ways to care for your houseplants that will help your plants live their best life — and contribute materially to yours. 

Provide the Best Light 

Everyone knows that plants need sunlight to perform vital functions. But the right kind of light, and the right amount, are essential. Common real estate tips will recommend placing plants near sources of natural light and turning them every few days so each part of the plant receives adequate sunlight. 

South-facing windows tend to get the most natural sunlight. Be careful not to place plants in direct sunlight. Most houseplants will thrive with medium indirect natural light or even low light. For specialty plants, you may wish to consult with an experienced gardener. 

Provide Adequate Care for Roots 

Keep an eye on the roots of your houseplants. Keeping them moist but not soaking wet will prevent root rot. Pull out your plant periodically when the soil is dry and examine the roots. If they seem bunched together, growing around the pot or pushing out the pot’s drain holes, it’s time to move the plant to a larger pot with more room. 

You may also want to prune the plant at this time, ridding it of any dead leaves or growth. Large plants can often be separated at the roots to make additional plants for repotting. Some plants adjust to this better at certain times of the year. Consult with a local gardener or plant specialist for your particular houseplants. 

Provide Just Enough Water 

Enough is enough when it comes to how much water your houseplants need. Most real estate tips say you should add water when the soil is dry for about an inch to two inches into the pot. Water all around until just a trickle is visible at the pot’s drain holes. Then put your watering can away and leave it alone. Over watering is just as bad as a lack of water. Check your houseplants every two or three days for soil moisture and only water when the above guideline is true. 

Provide Extra Nutrients 

Houseplants can use some occasional fertilizing, but as with water, don’t overdo it. Spring and summer are the typical seasons for plants to experience growth spurts, so a little extra nutrients are warranted. Choose a light fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. An equal distribution will see a proportionate growth of both green leaves and flowers. 

Provide Enough Space 

Not only do your plants need adequate space in their own pot, but they need room around the pot for adequate air and light. Avoid crowding many plants together in a sunroom or bright spot of a room. Sparingly spread your houseplants around in many rooms. This adds life to other areas of your home and allows the plants to grow freely without competing for space. 

Provide Occasional Baths 

Houseplants get dusty, too. Dust your plants with a soft cloth or rinse the leaves periodically during watering. A coating of dust prevents the plants from absorbing enough sunlight; not to mention it makes your plants look old and dirty. Clean, healthy plants are attractive and add life and color to your home. 

Want more real estate tips for how to care for your home or learn more about buying and selling real estate in South Carolina? Follow the Jeff Cook Real Estate blog for regular updates. 

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