Taking Good Care of Your Houseplants

When bringing a new houseplant into your home, be sure to learn a few tips for keeping it healthy. (Image: Jim, the Photograher via Flickr)

Have you decided to buy a houseplant for your home? If so, do you know how to take good care of it? Without proper care, your houseplants can wither and die off quickly. To avoid this, some basic knowledge of plant care is necessary.

Overwatering houseplants

Houseplants need timely and proper watering to grow and thrive. You should ideally wet the entire root ball and allow the extra water to settle at the bottom of the pot. Unfortunately, many people end up overwatering their plants. “Nine times out of 10, it’s better to underwater than to overwater… Overwatering is one of the easiest ways to kill a houseplant. You may be tempted to water your plants on a strict schedule, but the best bet is to only water when needed. Always check the soil before watering. If it’s still moist, wait to water,” Eliza Blank, founder of The Sill, said to Glamour.

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You can identify whether you are overwatering or underwatering your houseplant by checking the color of its leaves. If you are overwatering your houseplant, the leaves will turn yellow. Reduce the watering for a week and let the plant dry out. This should bring the color of the leaves back to normal. If you underwater the plant, you will see that the leaves have become brownish in color, especially at the tips. If that’s the case, then increase the water provided to the plant until its color returns to normal.

(Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)
It is best to let plants dry out before watering them again. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Location and light

A simple rule of thumb is that plants love direct sunlight. Just check the label on the plant and you should find what its light requirements are. If the label mentions that the plant needs high amounts of light, place it near a sunny window facing southwest or south. For low light plants, dark rooms and north-facing windows are ideal. If the plant needs medium or indirect light, place it on windows facing the east. If the plant gets too much sunlight, the foliage will turn yellowish and the leaves might start to wilt. In contrast, plants that have received little sunlight will get leggy, meaning that the stem or petioles can become abnormally long as the plant reaches for more light.


Houseplants generally tend to like humidity, especially if the indoor air is dry. You can increase the humidity by grouping multiple plants together, misting the plant with water, or by using a humidifier. You can also place plants on a tray filled with pebbles and water. As far as possible, keep the plants away from doorways, vents, and drafty windows. During winter, indoor humidity can drop significantly. It is better to place the plants in the kitchen or a humid bathroom during such times. When winter passes and spring arrives, you can move the plant back to its original location.

You can increase the humidity for houseplants by grouping multiple plants together.
You can increase the humidity by grouping multiple plants together. (Image: via Screenshot / YouTube)


On average, people tend to buy tropical plants as houseplants. Hence, it is critical that such conditions are maintained in the room where the plants are located. The temperature during daytime should ideally be 65°F to 75°F. During the night, reduce the temperature by about 10 degrees. However, night temperature should not fall below 55°F or the plant will start to suffer. Make sure that houseplants are kept away from fireplaces, heat registers, and so on. The room should not experience sudden or frequent temperature changes.

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