Tips can vary based on your specific plant, but here are general tips on houseplant care.
If you purchase an air plant, cacti, or succulent, this will not be your best resource!
1. Re-pot right away?
Our plants arrive to you in plastic pots with adequate drainage holes. Some people choose to slip this into a nicer looking pot for a period of time, or may consider to re-pot right away. Re-potting immediately is often not advised and we recommend it’s best to wait 2-4 weeks. This gives the plant time to acclimate to it's new space and reduces any additional stress on the plant. When you do re-pot, it is best to not disturb the roots.
2. Root-bound is not always bad!?
Some house plants prefer to be root-bound/pot-bound. This includes our spider plants, peace lily, snake plants, some of our ferns, to name a few. It’s worth doing a little research on your particular plants’ preference before jumping into re-potting into larger sizes for fear that the plant is root bound. Some want to be!
When choosing a new pot consider the material and the size. It's normal to size-up the new pot about 2 inches larger than the current size. Sometimes people ask if they can go bigger than 2 inches and our response is that it's potentially doing a disservice to the plant to do this. Planting into a pot too large can hold too much water and can result in mold and root-rot.
The type of material for the pot is less important, but may be worth considering the options if you're in the market for a new one. Glass, plastic and metal don’t absorb water as much as ceramic and clay. Which is fine! Just that it is different absorption. Plants can thrive in various materials but the type should be considered if, say, your plant wants very dry soil (so a ceramic would be better to wick the water away and help prevent over-watering).
3. Where is the best space to keep the plant?
Finding the best spot for light is important; some do best in many hours of indirect light while others do well in less. Flowering and leafy foliage plants typically prefer more light. It is good to research this before purchasing a plant – or at least to have some flexibility to move your plant to a different permanent location, to promote the right amount of light. Be aware that direct sunlight can be too harsh for your plant.
AVOID changing the location of your plant often. It takes time for a house plant to acclimate to "their spot" and moving it to different location is “confusing” for the plant and can lead to negative results. If you desire a new location than it’s recommended to wean the plant by slowly moving it to the new location a few hours at a time per day and increase over time. This is different than turning your pot for proper symmetry. If you find your plant is moving towards the light and you like it more rounded in appearance, you can 1/4 turn the pot every few weeks to encourage symmetry.
4. How do I water it properly?
We recommend to know what your particular plant prefers, but a general rule of thumb for typical houseplants is to keep the soil lightly damp, but not wet/soaked. More leafy plants usually need more water than waxy leaves, while most cacti or succulents only desire a misting.
Most house plants are fine to dry between watering, but not to a point that the leaves are wilting or shrinking, or new growth isn’t promoted.
5. Fertilizers and/or new soil needed?
In general – nearly all houseplants eventually require nutrients from new potting soil and/or fertilizers. Some plants are particular about their needs – like leafy plants may need more nitrogen, or a succulent may need some fresh potting mix once each year (or two). The recommendation is find out what your houseplant needs for nutrient replacements. We have quite a few spray fertilizers for sale and some are specific to certain plants while others are for general houseplants.
We also recommend for the best nourishment, some new soil is added/replaced annually.
Dust decreases sunlight and photosynthesis! So it's additionally valuable to keep the leaves wiped clean on a regular basis.
6. Can I move my plant outside for the day(s)?
Sometimes you can – but it’s definitely not recommended! This easily invites pests and bugs, which will not only be bad for that plant and other plants in your home, but it’s a mess to clean up window sills and to treat them to rid the pests!
It's normal to prune about once a year, often in the Spring. This reduces the chance for the plant to grow out of control or for the roots to outgrow it's space. Beyond this annual pruning we tend to remove dead stems/leaves as we see them; it looks nicer, is less energy for the plant to decompose, and reduces the chance of hosting pests. Prune carefully up to the next stalk/stem with healthy growth. Use sharp shears and best to cut at an angle which encourages re-growth.
Other common houseplant problems:
Often it’s due to over-watering, but there are other reasons too. It may not be getting the right/enough light. And actually, under-watering a plant can also delay nutrients needed and create yellow coloring.
Usually due to too much water. Anytime there is water standing in the pot, don’t let the plant sit in it and instead, tip the water out of the pot to assist in draining. (This may be time for a new pot with better drainage). There should be holes at the bottom of the pot. Some people choose to place rocks in the bottom of closed pots a portion of the height – we do not recommend this method for a novice indoor planter.
Browning Leaf Tips:
This is often due to too dry of a space. Can try to mist the leaves with room-temperature water to help moisten the leaves up. If this is too much work or non effective, may need to try a difference space or room.
It can be difficult detective work to figure out what pest is on your leaves. Try to examine and take pictures then hop to the internet or a local nursery to assist. (You could try to email us, but pest control is not our forte').
There are several home remedy ideas as well as chemical options. Buy the spray which targets the pest you have, or is proactive in eliminating pests that target your plant species. Certain houseplants are susceptible to specific pests.