A Green Home: House Plant Care Tips

Leica M9 Sample by bfishadow (CC BY 2.0)

I love the environment and a happy home. What’s an easy way to bring those two things together: get a house plant! Whether a giant ficus or small agave, bringing green into the house makes home feel natural. House plant care is easier than you might think! Here are a few house plant care tips to get you started:

One common house plant care mistake is not having proper knowledge about your plants. House plant care starts with knowledge! The house plant care encyclopedia has information for specific plants’ needs like when to water and what environment is best. It can also help you search for that perfect house plant to keep your furniture company.

When you keep the acronym WEST in mind, your green thumb will flourish:


House plant care is about balance. Usually plant death is due to too little or too much water. Most house plant care tips call for watering about once a week, but a schedule isn’t always best because soil moisture depends on factors besides time. Check soil moisture frequently by putting your hand just below the soil surface. It should feel saturated. If it’s not, then it’s time to water.

House Plant Care: Water (photo by zoetnet)


House plant care involves knowing the sunlight duration and intensity that your plant gets. Direct sunlight is usually best, artificial lighting can sometimes work. Check house plant care specifications to see where to best place it.

Soil and Fertilizer

House plant care depends on using the right soil and fertilizers. Most house plants need potting soil or compost instead of natural soil. Potting soil contains soil conditioners that help a house plant survive indoors, but soil nutrients can become depleted. If that’s the case, house plant care protocol calls for fertilizer. Some fertilizers can hurt certain plants, though, so read the label. And don’t over-fertilize!

House Plant Care: Grow (photo by Yandle)

Temperature and Humidity

House plant care involves knowing if your plant climate is just right. Most house plants are marketed as house plants because their native climates resemble a normal indoor setting. Room temperature settings (between 65-75 degrees) and a high humidity (around 80%) will help your plants to grow. Most households have a humidity of around 20-50% so a quick fix is to fill a pebble tray with water. The water will evaporate and increase the humidity of the air near your plant.

House Plant Care: Some TLC (photo by gailf548)

Also keep in mind what pots and containers your house plants live in. Your house plant care efforts should include using the “perfect” size pot. A too-small pot will restrict growth, while a too-large pot can lead to root disease. House plants will need a good drainage system as a part of their containers.

Have house plant care tips you want to share? Want to start a garden in the backyard? Tell us in the comments section!