How to Care for Indoor Plants

Jezaniah Aquino

October 17, 2022

how to care indoor plants cover image for the For Plants brand

Some plants like to be left alone and absolutely thrive on neglect. Others need to be nurtured and pruned daily. Pick plants that suit your willingness to work in a garden and those that suit your tastes. Also, pay attention to how much light is necessary for the plants you pick so you can make sure to have a suitable place in your apartment or home for them.


Several houseplants are easy to grow, provided they are given appropriate care in order to thrive. Proper watering and lighting are the most important components of indoor plants care, for some type of indoor plants humidity and temperatures also play a key role. Tropical plants thrive in warm, humid environments, while cacti and succulents prefer hot, dry climates. Of course, home can’t be everything to every plant, but you can take plant needs into consideration when choosing plants.


We listed the 6 important tips to grow your houseplants:



Space is the first thing to consider when selecting a houseplant. In a smaller home or apartment, you probably don’t have room for a big palm tree. But an African violet produces colorful blooms, is easy to maintain, and takes up little space. Do you have a big spot by a sunny window or a small space with moderate light? Next ask yourself if you are looking for a plant with beautiful green leaves or would prefer a flowering plant? Third consideration is how much time you can devote to a particular plant?


Best of all, many are easy to maintain with very little effort. Since you control the environment, you can choose almost anything to grow indoors. As long as you provide the plant with the moisture, potting soil, plant food and light it requires.



Even though watering seems like a simple task, this is where a lot of people can go wrong when caring for houseplants, by either over-watering or leaving them to become dehydrated. In general, houseplants’ potting soil should be kept moist, but not wet. If the soil is kept too dry or too damp the plant’s roots will begin to die, which can lead to inadequate growth or even death of the plant.


Most houseplants need to be watered every 1-3 weeks. You should monitor your houseplants and water when they need it, rather than on a schedule. Plants can be watered from the top down or bottom up. When watering from the top, try not to wet the foliage, while ensuring the entire soil mass is moistened. Water should be coming out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Frequency of watering will depend on the size and type of plant, size and type of pot, temperature, humidity and rate of growth.



Overwatering is one of the more common causes of plant problem. Heavy and poorly drained soils are susceptible to becoming waterlogged. Roots growing in waterlogged soil may die because they cannot absorb the oxygen needed to function normally. Frequent watering forces air from the soil and opens the door for root-killing bacteria and fungus to move in. The longer the air is cut off, the greater the root damage. 

Overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants. Signs of overwatering include: Fungus or mold on the soil surface
, Mushy brown (maybe stinky) roots at the bottom of the pot, Wilted or yellowing leaves
, Young and old leaves falling off at the same time, Leaves with brown rotten patches. Risks of overwatering can be reduced with good drainage. Whether your potted plants are indoors or outdoors, proper drainage is an essential element to ensure they stay healthy.


Start with a good, organic potting soil (not regular soil) that has been mixed specifically for indoor gardening. Perlite is a soil amendment that improves drainage and encourages root growth. It can also help keep the soil from getting compacted in a container. Some potting soil already includes perlite, but it can be purchased separately and then mixed into soil. 


Choose a container with drainage holes, or put a layer of pebbles in the bottom of a container without holes. The point is to not let the plant stand in water. From time to time, check that the drainage holes have not been clogged. And always empty standing water (don’t run it back through the plant’s soil).



Humidity is an essential factor for plants as they can dehydrate quickly if they cannot replace the lost water at the same speed they are losing it. Ideal humidity levels for plants depend on the type of plant and your plant’s development stage. The weather or your home environment can also affect humidity requirements. 40% – 60%: This is the ideal humidity level for most houses during summer and the perfect humidity level for most plants to flourish.

With specific ways to increase humidity, such as misting, other plants can also easily survive.



Every time a plant is watered nutrients leach out of the soil. Even if that didn’t happen, plants would quickly deplete the nutrients in their soil. Unlike plants living outside, houseplants don’t have a regular source of nutrient replenishment unless you fertilize them regularly. If you’re not fertilizing your plants, they likely won’t grow as well or bloom as much as you want.


Besides sunlight and water, all plants require certain nutrients to thrive, and if you don’t occasionally replenish their supply, they can end up having health issues. Choose an organic fertilizer specific to houseplants and read the instructions carefully.

While natural fertilizers are less likely to burn or harm your plants than a synthetic fertilizer, it is important to apply the correct amount. In general, plants grown in low light will not require as much fertilizer as plants grown outside or in bright light.


If your plants are thriving and growing the way you want them to, eventually they will need a bigger pot — or some fresh potting mix. When a plant overgrown its container, with crowded roots that have nowhere to expand, the plant can be stunted and stressed out. It can suffer from getting too little water and/or nutrients and it could drop leaves – or even die. 


Repot plants in the spring when they are just starting to grow. Vigorous root growth will allow the plant to adjust to its new container quickly. When it comes time to repot, choose an organic soilless medium made specifically for potting houseplants (maybe even specific to your species of houseplant). 


Choose a pot that is bigger than the current container, but not huge. A pot that is too-big can encourage root rot and other problems because the soil will remain wet for days, or even weeks before it can be used by the plant. Take care with the root system when repotting to avoid damage. Carefully firm the soil around the root ball without compacting the soil. Leave enough space at the top of the new container for water and water thoroughly.


By following these tips on how to grow and take care of indoor plants, you can impress your family and friends and beautify your home. Remember, the best indoor plants are the ones you love to grow and enjoy.

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