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6 tips to help your houseplants thrive

You may love having the natural elements in your home but just don’t have the green fingers to keep your plants alive. Here are a few tips

By House & Garden South Africa | September 30, 2021 | Gardens

The most disheartening thing for any plant-lover is to see their house plants wilt and wither away. You may love having the natural elements in your home but just don’t have the green fingers to keep your plants alive - even if you think you’re doing everything right.

Here are a few tips to help your house plants thrive:

Know your space and the time you’re willing to invest

All plants require different conditions. Things like natural light, temperature and humidity are important factors in helping your plants to survive. Thus, it’s important to know your space and choose plants that align with those conditions.

The next thing you should ask yourself is how much time and attention you’re willing to put in. If you’re someone who is usually very busy, a low maintenance plant such as a succulent or cactus would be your best bet.

Less H2O

Once you do acquire your plants it’s important to remember that most house plants require less water, particularly in winter.

A major cause of killing any kind of plant is over-watering. Air spaces in the soil get saturated with water. Plant roots need air as much as they need water and nutrients.

Before watering, check the soil. A rule of thumb is that the soil should be dry about 2 inches down. Then after watering thoroughly, let the water drain out the bottom of the pot. Do not let the pot sit in a saucer of water after watering.

Forgo the fertilizer

In winter, plants are dormant - which means they do not need an artificial boost of growing power. In summer, they will thrive in the right conditions.

Let light in

Plants need sunlight - this is a given. Thus, it’s important to keep your windows clean to allow as much light in as possible. Also, as the sun moves, the light from the windows will change. You can move your plants around to ensure they receive as much light as possible. Another tip is to keep plants away from heaters, drafts and cold windows.

Increase humidity

Indoor air can sometimes be quite dry. To increase humidity, put rocks or pebbles in saucers, and fill with water. You can also group plants together to create more humidity, while an actual humidifier or vaporizer will also do the job.


Before Spring, cut away brown, dry or dead leaves to prevent disease and encourage new growth.

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