Myths about Houseplants

Saturday, December 12, 2020

House plants can brighten up and bring life to any indoor space. They also require regular care and attention to be healthy and grow. You don't have to be a natural to have maintain houseplants. In this blog post, I debunk some common myths about indoor plants.

Myth #1: You can over water houseplants

With proper drainage, you can not over water a houseplant in one watering. Any excess water that the soil can not hold will drain out of the bottom of the pot. This is why you can set houseplants outside on a rainy day or place them in the shower for a deep watering. However, it is possible to water houseplants too frequently. After watering your plants, wait until the top inch of soil is dry before adding more water.

Myth #2: You need a “green thumb” to be a successful house plant parent

Anyone can grow indoor plants! Take some time to learn about each individual plant and find easy houseplants you can keep alive. Succulents are a popular plant but they are also very easy to kill (been there, done that). If you have struggled with succulents or cacti, try a tropical house plant or vice versa. No one is born knowing how to take care of plants better than anyone else. Over time, you will learn to recognize signs from your plants letting you know what they need.

Myth #3: Plants need bigger pots to grow

Most indoor plants prefer to be “root bound”, which means the roots of the plant reach to the pot walls. If the roots get too dense or you notice roots poking out of drainage holes, then it is time to repot your plant. You also will know to re-pot if growth slows (aside from winter dormancy), the plant is very top heavy or roots are pushing the plant up and out of its planter. Don’t rush to re-pot a plant, as it is very disturbing to their environment and the plant will need to adjust.

Myth #4: Indoor plants aren’t safe for pets

Some plants are toxic if consumed, but that does not mean you can not have plants in the same house as pets or kids. One way to keep your household safe is to place toxic plants on shelves or in hanging planters. Do your research on each type of plant and keep in mind that you (and your pets) typically need to consume a lot of a toxic plant to feel any effects. 

Some non-toxic house plants include:

  • Donkey’s Tail
  • Boston Fern
  • Spider Plant
  • Baby Rubber Plant
  • Hoya
  • Prayer Plant
  • Parlour Palm
  • Haworthia

Myth #6: Houseplants should be placed in direct sunlight

Keeping a plant inside means that you need to be intentional about monitoring light. It might seem like a good idea to set plants on a windowsill so they get plenty of light but this could be harmful. Bright, indirect light is usually preferred by houseplants. I break down light needs in this blog post! Too much direct sunlight can cause sunburns. Most house plants should be kept a few feet away from windows.

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