This is a basic guide for those who love houseplants, and want to be a better plant parent. We will cover repotting, feeding, watering, and more so that you can feel better about caring for your new plants!
- Choosing a plant:
- Do some research and learn about your plant including its light needs, watering needs, its bloom cycle, and how hardy or delicate it is for your home. Every plant is different so getting to know your new variety is an important first step!
- For newer plant parents, we recommend a Pothos, Sansaveria (Snake Plant), or ZZ Plant. Starting off with a fussy plant such as a Ficus or Calathea may not be the greatest or easiest introduction into caring for plants!
2. Transplanting & Repotting:
- Most indoor plants don’t mind being slightly root bound. A good indicator that it’s time to repot is if you see roots coming out of the top or bottom of the pot.
- When repotting, try to stick with a pot only 2” to 4” larger than it’s current size pot. Too large of a size jump may cause the plant to go into shock or create root rot problems.
- A mixture of SuperThrive and Liquid Seaweed can cut down on planting shock and get roots growing again.
- Houseplants need to eat in order to grow strong stems, roots, and prolific greenery!
- Be sure to follow the application instructions on your specific brand of fertilizer to ensure optimal results.
4. Fungus Gnat Infestation:
- Fungus Gnats happen to anyone with houseplants. They are typically a sign of soil staying too moist.
- When watering, make sure to let the plant dry out some between watering. Moisture Meters can help you tell when to water!
- To kill the life cycle of gnats, use Mosquito Bits. Sprinkle on top the soil and water in. The bits will take around 7 to 14 days to become effective.
- To kill the adults buzzing around, try Neem Oil or mixture of Neem and Pyrethrin. Yellow Sticky Traps can also be used.
- A final way to rid your home of these pests is to cover the top layer of soil with sand. Sand actually works to keep existing gnats from re-entering the soil, and for gnats and larvae in the soil, prevents them from being able to climb out. We regularly carry a few different colors of sand in store!
- The term overwatering refers to the frequency at which you are watering your plants, not the quantity of water you are giving them.
- Two great ways of checking to see if your plant needs water are to simply pick it up or stick a finger into the soil. If the plant feels heavy when lifted or damp to the touch, wait a few more days. If it feels light and dry, go ahead and water.
- Water plants evenly and until water drains out the bottom. By only giving your plant a cup or two of water, the rootball may still be completely dry while the outer soil feels damp.
6. Common Pests:
- Mealy Bugs, Aphids, Spider Mites, and Scale are just some of the common houseplant pests. Sometimes we don’t realize we have pests until there’s a serious infestation.
- If you do notice an infestation, isolate that plant from other surrounding plants and treat with an insecticide spray or granules. It is wise to treat surrounding plants as well because it does not take long for pests to spread.
- It is good practice to check your plants for pests, especially in those hard to reach cracks and the undersides of leaves. Doing this once a week (or even once a month) can help you catch and stop pests at an early stage.
- Another good practice is to spray your plants monthly with a pesticide. We recommend Neem or End All. This will help by getting rid of existing pests, and making it hard for new ones to reappear and stick around. Spray plants in the evening to prevent foliage issues with the sun!
Garden Seventeen is here to help you have a wonderful relationship with your houseplants. We have lots of options for products to help eliminate your problem! Don’t hesitate to email or call us with questions about your green friends, or bring in photos and we can help diagnose issues and give you insight on how to treat your plant right here in store.