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A person is holding and inspecting a healthy succulent in their hands above their indoor plant garden.

How to Keep Your Indoor Plants Alive & Thriving

Indoor plants may pose a frustrating dilemma for some. You take gentle care, yet their demise seems inevitable - no matter what you do.

You buy these plants with the best intentions. They bring a little bit of the outdoors inside (not to mention these plants clean your indoor air, providing various health benefits).

And I’m no stranger to this sad phenomenon. I’ve tried and tried again to be a ‘plant person.’ I even managed to accidentally kill an air plant (something which is really hard to do!).

Currently, I have an aloe plant hanging on for dear life. At first, I was sure it was a goner, but it’s making a slow comeback (fingers-crossed).

Plus, this time around I did some digging because I wanted this plant to have a real chance. So, how can we all make our indoor plants thrive as opposed to merely survive or potentially die?

Some plants are thriving on a shelf that someone has put in a sunny spot next to a pumpkin and a rocket ship figurine.

The Benefits of Indoor Plants

Ever notice how you just feel happier with plants in your space? There are reasons for this.

Plants cleanse your air, making every breath that much better for you. Plants can have amazing effects on our mind, body, and soul so unsurprisingly, adding them into your home may help improve your physical and mental health.

Indoor plant benefits also include:

  • Increased mood.
  • Enhanced productivity.
  • Improved concentration and creativity.
  • Decreased stress.
  • Reduced fatigue.
  • A lower incidence of sore throats or colds.
  • Reduced the noise level.
  • Increased privacy.

Plants bring us back to nature - something which many of us desperately need.

Your indoor plants don’t always have to be on the edge of death! There are ways you can prevent the anticipated decline of your indoor plants and obtain all the benefits they have to offer.

Related Article: Top 5 Benefits of Bringing Plants Into Your Home

How To Keep Your Indoor Plants Alive & Healthy

With the pandemic, many of us have brought more and more plants into our homes. It provides a past-time, as well as a dose of nature. If you’re one of the people that struggle with keeping your plants alive, I’ve got you! I did the research and put together the best tips for keeping plants alive.

1. Research Your Specific Plant Type

Not all plants are created equal in terms of how much you should water them and how much sunlight they need. I was sticking to the rule of watering my plants at least once a day. Little did I know, this was a huge mistake.

Unlike some other plants, aloe plants and air plants do not require daily waterings. In fact, that’s kind of the point. They are supposed to be low-maintenance plants that you can leave for weeks at a time.

So a word to the wise - know your plant. Read the label - if one is provided. Research care instructions before you think you know best. Websites like OurHouseplants.com can help you out with how much light and water your plant will need, and apps like PlantNet and PictureThis can help you identify your plant to get you started!

Some indoor plants are near a window-sill in a white and brown decorated dining area but are still covered in shade.

2. Match Your Plant Picks to the Light In Your Space

Does your balcony or living room receive a ton of light each day? Choose a plant that needs a lot of sunlight. If your space is darker, consider a plant that doesn’t require as much sunlight.

It’s also crucial to check if you have direct or indirect sunlight. This small aspect can be very important for some plants’ survival. Again, make sure you know your plant before you bring it home! This can save you heartache and frustration down the road.

3. Check the Humidity

This is particularly important for tropical plants that require high humidity to survive. Cacti and succulents may survive with less humidity. Meanwhile, other houseplants may require at least 50% humidity.

Do you have a really dry apartment or home? Consider bringing your plants that require a bit of humidity into your bathroom when you shower. You could also place a humidifier near your plants. There are ways around this!

4. Avoid Extreme Temperature or Climate Changes

Just like humans, plants have a tendency to suffer through extreme climate changes. Most plants are healthy at 10°C to 18°C (50°F to 65°F). Yet, extreme cold or heat can seriously stress them out.

In other words, it may be best to keep your plants away from areas where extreme temperature changes may occur, such as vents, open windows, doors, or radiators.

Before you bring your next plant baby home, consider where exactly the plant will go. This can help you narrow down your options and help you make the best decision.

5. Wait, Is Your Water the Culprit?

Maybe you have followed the instructions to a tee, but things are still amiss. Your plant definitely isn’t thriving and you aren’t sure why.

Get this: The water you are using might be the problem. Some tap waters contain high amounts of chlorine, and this can be very toxic to certain plants.

So, what can you do? The best scenario is to leave a bucket outside for rainwater and then use this to water your plants. If this isn’t possible, consider filtered water.

A woman is watering her plants and checking their water levels.

6. Check Water Levels

It’s not just the kind of water you use that could potentially be the problem. It’s also how much water you’re using.

For most plants, the instructions indicate whether or not the soil should be wet or dry, so this is something you want to monitor.

Note: Be careful with the fertilizer! Overdoing it with fertilizer may lead to slow water absorption which can hinder your plants’ growth.

7. Try Using Phone Apps for Help

Technology offers a ton of easy-to-reach-for resources that will make caring for your indoor plants simpler. Try these apps to help you with proper plant care:

Bring Back the Fun With Your Indoor Plants

Most of us hope our indoor plants will add to our life, not throw in more pain and frustration. The truth is when treated right, your indoor plants can bring so much into your life including more happiness and better health. The key is to treat them right. So it’s time to start that indoor garden/jungle, you got this.

So, here’s to your success with your indoor plants, and here’s to hoping my little aloe plant hangs in there.

Read Next: Mindful Gardening - How to Turn Gardening Into Meditation

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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