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How to Stop Killing Your Houseplants

Dead Peace Lily in Rio Rancho BathroomIf you are like many people, you do not have a good track record when it comes to keeping houseplants alive. For those who are a bit foliage-challenged, caring for houseplants can feel like a difficult and mysterious task. But it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple steps, you can stop killing your houseplants and start enjoying their natural beauty in your Rio Rancho rental home.

Step 1: Choose Hardy Plants

To grow healthy houseplants, start with the right kind of plant. There are many different houseplant varieties, most of which are moderately sturdy and can withstand a little neglect. When buying a plant, look for one that is healthy, green, and bushy. Avoid plants that look dry, wilted, or spotted. When you get your plant home, do a little research and make sure that you have the correct size and style of pot, together with some decent quality potting soil. Most plantsneed a small room to grow, so choose a pot slightly larger than your plant currently needs. Also, choose a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage. Don’t forget to place something to catch the drainage, though, to avoid damage to your furnishings or property.

Step 2: Get the Light Just Right

Just like in real estate, when it comes to houseplants, location matters. Choose a spot that gets the kind of light your houseplant needs. Most indoor plants fare well in indirect sunlight, but others need a little direct sun every day to thrive. Ensure you know what kind of sunlight your plant needs, and pick a spot that will fit the bill.

Besides finding the right sunlit spot for your houseplant, try to avoid exposing your plant to any other environmental factors that might damage it. It’s best to keep your plant away from cold drafts, hot air blowing on it from your furnace, too much moisture or humidity, or too little moisture. If that sounds like a challenge, it probably is. But with a bit of planning and creativity, it is possible to find the right spot for your plant to thrive.

Step 3: Water Correctly

Watering a houseplant incorrectly is the top reason that they die. It can be a challenge to know how much water to give your plant, how often to water it, and so on. A general guideline is to keep the soil around your houseplant moist but not soaked. Too much water can lead to unwanted pests, plant diseases, and, eventually, the death of your houseplant. To test the dryness of the soil, stick a finger into it about an inch deep. If the soil feels dry, add water. Use a watering can with a long spout to pour the water directly onto the earth (never water a plant on the leaves), and go slowly until the soil is moist, but water is not pooling on top.

If you have a hard time remembering to water your houseplants, many different kinds of watering devices can help. Simply setting a reminder on your calendar or another device might help you remember to check your houseplant regularly. Additionally, there are both high-tech and low-tech options that can help you manage the moisture levels in your houseplant’s soil, ensuring a long and healthy life.

Step 4: Groom and Feed

All plants need extra nourishment from time to time and also need to be pruned or trimmed. Different plants have different nutrient needs, so be sure to research what kind of plant food is recommended for your specific plant. You may also find helpful advice at your local nursery or garden center. To keep your plant looking its best, trim off any yellow or dying leaves, dry flowers, and so on. This will encourage your houseplant to create new leaves or bloomsand keep your plant looking and feeling healthy, too.

Although caring for a houseplant can be a challenge, it is not impossible to do. With some careful planning and research, you can confidently manage your houseplant and enjoy its natural beauty for many years to come.

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