Q:

What is the best way to care for an indoor houseplant?

A:

Quick Answer

Indoor plants thrive when they are provided with a pot that allows for sufficient drainage and then placed in a location with the recommended amount of sunlight. Indoor plants also require adequate water and nutrients, as well as enough room to grow, in order to flourish.

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Full Answer

Indoor plants can be watered daily during the spring and summer months by pouring water directly onto the soil, rather than onto the leaves, until water drains out the bottom of the container. During winter months, indoor plants should be watered when the top layer of soil is dry. Saucers or other drainage containers under plants need to be emptied daily to ensure the root systems remain healthy.

Indoor plants require water-soluble fertilizer approximately every two weeks. After blooming, plants with small flowers should be deadheaded, or cut back to one-third their current sizes, to promote growth. When growing indoor plants, gardeners should refer to the specific type of plant to determine the best growing environment. Shade-tolerant plants, for instance, belong in darker rooms rather than sunny windows, and self-cleaning plants do not need to be deadheaded.

When repotting, plants should be placed in a container that is no greater than 2 inches larger than the current container, and the roots should be trimmed to remove any damaged or diseased portions. The root ball can be covered lightly with potting mix, and the plant should be watered thoroughly.

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