Dabl at Home
5 Simple Tips to Care for Indoor Plants
Caring for indoor plants is not as hard as you may think!
Indoor plants can make your home feel warmer and more inviting. They have been shown to reduce stress and they can even help purify your air. If you’re one of those people who swears they have a black thumb, think again. Even you can care for a house plant if you just follow our five simple tips.
Don’t overwater your plants.
If you have memories of growing plants in grade school, you probably remember learning that water is very important. However, not all plants require constant watering. If you choose a succulent, it may survive on as little as only being watered once a month. The thicker the leaves, the less water a plant needs. A good rule of thumb -- go by the soil. If the soil an inch or two deep is dry and dusty, it’s time for some water. If you don’t feel like actually using your thumb (or pointer finger) you can use a soil moisture meter to gauge if water is needed.
Always use warm water when watering your plants. Mimic nature and think about rainfall. Use a watering can like this one from MyLifeUNIT that has a detachable standard shower head. All plants are different so check when purchasing the plant how much water it will need.
Pick the proper pot.
Along the same lines of not wanting to drown your plant in water, we recommend choosing a pot that contains drainage holes. Don’t forget a saucer to catch the excess water. Remove your plant from the original plastic container it came in and plant it in a pot that allows for growth. It should be an inch or two larger than the plastic one. There are tons of gorgeous pots that can elevate your home decor. We love this marbleized one found on Amazon.
Give your plants the right light.
Different plants require more or less light than others, but all of them use light as food. Consider the region your plant originated from. Succulents and cacti do well in direct sunlight, but for other plants, indirect sunlight is likely better. Read up about your plant or ask questions at the nursery to understand how much light is needed. Also, as plants grow, they may require more light. So your plant may start out okay with indirect sunlight but as it gets larger, you may want to move it to a windowsill.
Make charcoal your goal.
We love a good rhyme…and charcoal is the trick that we use all the time! Activated charcoal can safeguard against overwatering by absorbing extra water from the plant's roots. You can buy charcoal at the nursery or on Amazon, and then just add a layer to the bottom of the pot. Charcoal is naturally antimicrobial, so it helps to absorb impurities and other toxins, helping protect soil and roots from bacterial and fungal growth.
Watch out for bugs.
Bugs are pesky both indoors and out! Inspect your plants every so often to make sure they don’t show signs of pests. Look at the top and bottom of your leaves and check around the stems. Some bugs can simply be shooed away with a spray of water, but if they persist, you’ll most likely have to use insecticide. Use an insecticide soap like this one by Bonide Products. Also, wash the plant and pot out with warm soapy water. Use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol to pick up any dead bugs. Lastly, treat the plant with neem oil, which is a naturally occurring pesticide. Use this often to prevent the bugs from returning. You could also use these sticky fruit fly and fungus gnat traps to stop flying insects in their tracks! The trap can be inserted directly into the soil for easy use.