Houseplant Hacks for People Who Don’t Have a Green Thumb

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Did you know that mayonnaise and tea can improve the health of your plants? Check out these surprising strategies for keeping your houseplants healthy, growing, and flowering for years.

Look for a location that has the proper amount of light

Keep in mind that south-facing windows receive far more light than north-facing windows when determining where to put a plant. Before placing plants near east- or west-facing windows, check the amount of morning or afternoon sun they receive. Plants with vibrant leaves require more light than others. Because foliage naturally bends toward the light, a half-turn of the pot every day or two will maintain the development of your houseplant even. Because summer light is stronger than winter light, you may need to relocate sun-sensitive plants throughout the summer.

Make pots that can hold more water

If the soil in your potted houseplants is drying out too quickly after watering, try this simple approach to keep it moist for longer. Before filling the pot with dirt, insert a damp sponge into the bottom of the pot. It will act as a water reservoir, potentially preventing a gusher if you overwater.

Ensure that your ferns are well-fed

Tease your ferns, gardenias, and other acid-loving houseplants on a regular basis. To give the plants a lush, opulent appearance, use brewed tea instead of water or incorporate wet tea leaves into the soil.

For your plants, read the newspaper

Seriously. This has the potential to benefit them in two ways. One possibility is that the carbon dioxide in your breath will energize their gas exchange cycles. Second, if there is enough natural light for you to read by, you will know that the plants are receiving the bare minimum of light required for healthy growth.

Before going on vacation…

Water your houseplants thoroughly and place them, without saucers, in your sink or tub on a dampened plush towel; make sure the drain holes are in contact with the towel. Turn on the cold water and leave it running until the water drips slowly onto the towel; the moisture in the fabric will be drawn up by the roots.

Mist—but not for the reasons you may believe

Squirting water on leaves, contrary to popular belief, is not an effective approach to enhance humidity for houseplants. A humidifier is preferable, but you can instead place the plant in a pebble dish with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Misting, on the other hand, helps keep leaves clean and fresh, and it’s a wonderful technique to keep cuttings moist while they grow new roots. When misting, use soft water (water with few minerals) that is no cooler than room temperature. If at all feasible, mist plants in the morning, and never mist plants that are in direct sunlight.

Don’t throw away any remaining club soda or egg water

The minerals in soda water aid in the growth of green plants. Give your plants a soda drink once a week for optimal benefit. Allow the cooking water to cool before hydrating your houseplants with the nutrient-rich liquid.

To water, use ice cubes

Place them in a circle around the dirt, but don’t let them touch the stem. The ice will melt gradually and evenly, releasing water into the soil.

Use Mouse Pad

Set plant containers atop old computer mouse pads to keep them from scratching or ruining your furniture or floors. Your floor will be scratch-free for a long time. Large pots may necessitate the use of many mouse pads.

Bring out the best in your houseplants

Are your plants’ leaves looking drab? Use a soft cloth dipped in a half-and-half mixture of warm water and milk to wipe down each leaf. You’ll get a good shine, but there won’t be enough residue to clog the pores of the leaves. Another option is to use a paper towel to apply a small quantity of mayonnaise to the leaves. They’ll stay gleaming and beautiful for weeks, if not months.

Determine when it’s time to repot.

Repotting can be done at any time, but for most houseplants, the optimal period is immediately before growth begins, which is in the spring. Here are four indicators that a plant needs to be repotted: new leaves appear slowly and are small in comparison to older leaves; soil dries out quickly or water runs down the inside of the pot without soaking in; roots grow out of drainage holes or appear above the soil’s surface in the pots; or roots are so tightly coiled that when you pull the plant out of the pot, all you see are roots and no soil.

Consider using an ice cream scoop

When you’re replanting your houseplants, does dirt get everywhere? The perfect approach to add dirt to the new pot without making a mess is with an ice cream scoop.

Will you put these hacks to the test? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.