Soils and Repotting
Houseplants can be grown in a great variety of soil mixes but are easier to care for if planted in soils containing high levels of peat moss. These soils retain water and fertilizer and provide good aeration if peat moss is mixed with perlite. You can ﬁnd prepackaged soils with these ingredients or try doing your own blend. We recommend starting with 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite. Repotting is necessary when the plant top outgrows the pot and there is not enough room for new root growth.
The most accurate assessment of a plant’s need for water is accomplished by testing its weight. Pick up the container of the plant and see how much it weighs; the lighter it is, the more it needs a drink. You can also use your ﬁnger to feel how dry the ﬁrst few inches of soil are. Most houseplants would prefer being slightly dry than soaking wet. When it is time to water your plant, slowly poor water onto the soil until water starts escaping from the drainage holes. Containers without drainage should have a layer of lava rocks placed in the bottom to allow a space for excess water.
Most house plants do not like full sun and many of them will not survive long when they receive too much direct sunlight. Most houseplants prefer bright indirect sunlight. Do not forget to occasionally rotate your plants for even growth.
The food can be delivered via a granule that breaks down over time, or it can be added more directly via a water-soluble fertilizer. Granules generally need to be applied once every few months, while water soluble fertilizers should be applied every two weeks or so. Read the directions on a speciﬁc fertilizer to see what is recommended.
Temperature and Air Flow
Aim to keep the plant in a warm environment with some air circulation. Almost all houseplants need a minimum temperature of 55ºF to survive. Keep plants away from areas of cold drafts in the winter.
LEGGY GROWTH – Too little light
BROWN LEAF TIPS – Inconsistent watering, low humidity
YELLOWING LEAVES - Over-watering, poor lighting conditions
PALE LEAVES – Too much light
WILTING – Too much or too little water, Root Rot
SPOTTY LEAVES - Indicative of a bacterial, fungal, or viral disease