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Houseplants add a wonderful natural addition to any interior environment. They add a softening touch to your décor, and they clean the air in closed indoor spaces. But your kitchen or living room is an alien environment to any plant, so knowing how to help the plant adapt will increase your success and enjoyment of these beautiful living things.

Most “indoor” plants are happy with the same temperatures that make us comfortable, so getting the LIGHT and WATERING right are the main factors to consider. Knowing the orientation of your windows is very helpful when selecting a houseplant. Some plants require some direct sun, so an east- or west-facing window is a great location, especially for flowering plants like begonias or African violets. Many succulents are also happy in a sunny window, even a strong south-facing exposure. There is great pleasure in picking a lemon or lime from a citrus tree on your sunny window

Once away from the window, you will need to consider moderate to lower-light tolerant plants like the popular Peace Lily or Chinese Evergreen. There are many houseplants suited to a north-facing window, office fluorescent lights, or the filtered light of most interior spaces.

  • The fastest way to kill a houseplant is by over- or under-watering. Here are a few tips to help you keep your plant happy and thriving.
  • Feel the soil to determine when it is dry enough to water—don’t guess!
  • If possible, use day-old, room temperature water…it is more easily absorbed by the root ball.
  • Water thorough, pouring the water slowly and evenly around the surface of the root ball so that it is distributed evenly to all of the roots.
  • Discard the excess water that collects in the drainage saucer, so that oxygen is available to the bottom roots.

The degree to which a plant needs to dry depends upon the species. Ask the salesperson, or do a little online research on your plants, so that you can better meet the plant’s water requirements, keeping it attractive and stress-free.


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