Your ultimate indoor plant survival guide

Indoor plants are fickle things. One minute they’re thriving, and another minute they’re crying out for help. However, with plenty of research out there to support the health benefits of indoor plants, they’re definitely worth keeping around!

The good news is that there are lots of simple things you can do to keep your indoor plants healthy all year round. In this guide, we’ve compiled some of our best plant care tips, so that you’ll never have to throw out a dead houseplant again.

 

How to water indoor plants

One of our most frequently asked questions about indoor plant maintenance is: how often should you water a plant indoors?

The truth is, watering requirements vary greatly depending on the variety of plant. The best way to gauge how much you need to water your plant is to look at the plant’s region of origin. For example, bird of paradise plants hail from tropical regions, meaning that these plants will require higher levels of humidity and moisture than plants from dry regions (for example, cacti and succulents). Since watering needs vary greatly from variety-to-variety, it’s always a good idea to read about your plants’ origins and to let their natural habitats guide you in your watering schedule.

Overwatering your plants is a trap that many plant-owners – both new and experienced – can fall into from time to time if they’re not careful. It might be hard to believe, but you’re much more likely to kill your plant by overwatering it than underwatering it. Too much water will literally drown your plants, and once it happens, they’re practically impossible to save. 

One of the best ways to tell if a plant is overwatered is by looking at its leaves. If the leaves are yellowing or dropping off and wilting, then it could very well mean that the plant is taking too much water. You can also easily test water levels by sticking your finger a few centimetres into the soil: if the soil is wet, then you can leave it alone, and if it’s dry, then you can water it. It’s as simple as that! 

 

Do indoor plants need sunlight or just light?

Think of sunlight as food for your plants. All plants – even low-light varieties – require some level of sunlight in order to survive. But do plants need sunlight every day? 

The answer is: it depends. Some indoor plants do better without light than others. Other varieties of plants require light on the daily. With that being said, it is possible to use artificial lights to grow and sustain your houseplants, but whether or not this is a realistic option will depend greatly on a plant owner’s lifestyle. We always recommend picking a houseplant that can live comfortably in the space that you already have. This means taking into account the amount of natural light your home receives, as well as the humidity levels throughout the year. At the end of the day, it’s always better to pick a plant that can adapt to your existing space, as opposed to trying to adapt your space to suit a plant. 

You can tell that a plant isn’t receiving enough light if you notice a change in the colour of the leaves from green to yellow to white. On the other hand, a plant that is receiving too much light will often result in scorched or bleached leaves. Like everything else that comes with being indoor plant care, figuring out the exact light requirements of your houseplants will come down to some trial and error and careful observance. 

Low maintenance indoor plants

The best indoor plants to buy are the ones that you can realistically maintain over a long period of time. After all, indoor plants are supposed to be cultivated over the course of several years, so you want to make sure that the plants you pick are well suited to your lifestyle and schedule. 

 

Some of the best indoor plant varieties for beginners include:

  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant) -These plants can tolerate low light conditions and can also go a long time without watering;
  • Spathiphyllum spp (Peace Lily) – These plants also do well in low light conditions, and can also tolerate air-conditioning and heating throughout the year;
  • Epipremnum aureum (Devil’s Ivy) – These plants are a great beginners’ plant due to their low maintenance. They’re even considered a weed in tropical areas because they’re notoriously difficult to kill;
  • Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig) – A highly popular variety, this plant requires regular watering and light, but is extremely easy to grow and propagate; 
  • Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) – This popular variety does well across all seasons and grows well in indoor conditions.

If you’d like to learn more about indoor plant care tips from a professional, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Jim’s Mowing franchisees today. With thousands of plant and garden experts working across Australia and New Zealand, we can provide you with best practice tips on keeping your indoor oasis fresh and lush all year round. Get in touch with us today on 131 546 (Australia) or 0800 454 654 (New Zealand).