The Tillandsia& Ultimate Plant Care Guide for
Growing Indoor Plants
Indoor plants add so much value to the style of our homes and quality of our lives. Houseplants bring texture and color to any room. They improve indoor air quality. And caring for plants can be a meaningful practice in your life. What’s not to love? If you have ever been left with falling leaves, lack-luster color, or plants that just don’t seem to thrive, you may be convinced that no houseplant will be happy in your home. We’ve compiled this indoor plant care guide to help you discover the beauty of growing indoor plants. You’ll find solutions to our most asked questions and tips you can use in your own home.
Whether you are growing indoor plants for the first time or mending your green thumb, we’re here to help! Let’s get growing!
Indoor Plant Care Guide
Mankind domesticated houseplants long ago, after discovering their charm and healing benefits. While most plants are content to root and grow in their pots, they are still wild beings at heart designed to thrive in their native conditions.
Understanding the origin and indigenous climate of your indoor plant will go a long way in helping it to stay comfortable in your home. Most plants include a basic care tag outlining the optimal levels of sunlight and water that the plant requires. Some will also include a temperature range if the plant is sensitive to climate changes. This information is designed to help you recreate an ideal “home away from home,” where your indoor plant will thrive.
Choosing the Perfect Plant
We like to think there’s a perfect plant for everyone! If you haven’t had success caring for houseplants in the past, it might just be that you haven’t found your right match yet. When determining if you and your potential plant will click, keep these things in mind:
Light is essential for all plants – even the shade-loving varieties. Maintaining an optimal level of sunlight is necessary for plants to convert water and minerals into the nutrients they need to survive. Understanding the light preferences of your plant, and what your home can provide will greatly impact your success. Plants that require full sun will typically prefer bright, direct sun exposure from southern or western facing windows. Sunlight from east facing windows, or placing your plant in a location slightly away from a window, can often fulfill partial light preferences. Low light can be achieved with north facing windows or if the exterior of your home is abundantly shaded.
Your indoor plants like a little air from time to time! Maintaining airflow regulates humidity and CO2 build-up. It also helps to reduce mold growth and deter pests. Ensure your plants have plenty of room to branch out and that they are not too close to other plants, walls, or furniture. Opening a window in your home to provide a slight breeze is an ideal way to maintain airflow, just be sure that the outdoor temperature isn’t too cold. If natural air is not an option, try running a fan on low a few times per month to circulate the air around your plant.
Sometimes no level of expertise or information found in a plant care guide can make a plant grow. Just as with people, there are many reasons why you and your indoor plant may not be compatible. There’s nothing wrong with either of you. You’re just simply not the right for each other.
It’s easy to be charmed by the Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree but if your schedule doesn’t allow you to offer regular care this finnicky plant may perish. The ZZ Plant may seem like the ultimate low-maintenance option but it can be irritating if ingested by young children or pets.
When choosing your houseplant, think about where your new friend will live and what that environment will feel like. Then ask yourself how often you are available to water and care for your plant. Consider other areas of your life that may impact your plant: do you have a notorious leave-nibbling cat, a curious puppy, or a toddler who loves to dig in the dirt? Don’t let these factors deter you. We can work together to find a plant that will thrive in your home!
Start with the Right Soil
Soil quality directly impacts your plant’s root system and its ability to receive vital nutrients. Different houseplants have different soil needs. Using a blend that is nutrient rich and specifically designed for your plant type helps to regulate drainage and maintain moisture levels. Too much moisture can lead to root rot, fungus growth, and encourage pests. Too little moisture will prevent your plant from receiving enough water – even if you are maintaining an ideal watering schedule.
A few of our favorites include:
- Espoma Organic Potting Mix
- Hoffman Cactus & Succulent Mix
- Fox Farms Happy Frog Potting Soil
- Fox Farms Ocean Forest Potting Soil
When to Water Plants
Over or under watering are the most common reasons why our friends bring their distressed plants in to see us. Over time you may develop a regular watering schedule, however we typically recommend determining what your plant needs based on what it is telling you.
There are a few telltale signs of both over and under-watering that you can look for:
Signs of Overwatering
- Wilting or mushy leaves
- Muddy appearance to the soil
- Presence of gnats or other moisture-loving pests
- Mold growth on the top layer of the soil
- Falling or dropping leaves
- Yellowing leaves
Signs of Underwatering
- Soil that is dry to the touch or pulling away from the pot
- Leaves with browning or dried edges
- Curling leaves
- Slow growth
- Yellowing leaves
Grooming and Maintenance
The level of maintenance required for your houseplant will vary by type. Some varieties can thrive with only simple watering, while others require regular care. Just like people, a little self-care can go a long way in maintaining the health and appearance of your plant. We often find that these simple acts of plant care provide a calming and satisfying break in your day and may become something you look forward to. Add these maintenance steps into your plant care routine as needed:
Gently remove dust from leaves using a soft cloth damp with water. This not only enhances at plant’s beauty; it helps with light absorption and allows your plant to breath better. Never use household cleaning solutions on your plants.
Inspect your plant and use sharp scissors to remove any dead leaves or stems. Vining plants need to be cut back periodically to maintain their shape and to ensure they fit within your space.
Most houseplants go dormant in the colder months. Monthly fertilization can be added in spring and summer to support your plant’s active growth cycle but can usually be skipped during winter.
Houseplants become a part of our home’s décor and can influence the overall look and feel of a room. Choosing the perfect plant for your home is as much about finding a plant that speaks to your style as it is about function. Keep these design notes in mind when choosing a houseplant:
Know Your Style
Do you lean toward a beachy feel? A palm or Split Leaf Philodendron may be right for you! Do you have a modern aesthetic? Try a collection of air plants or a Snake Plant. Do you love the farmhouse look? Try a Spider Plant or Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree. Plants come in many varieties, shapes, and colors that can complement your style. Once you find a frond that meets your style, be sure to review the plant care guide to understand the necessary growing conditions and maintenance requirements.
Don’t Overlook Planters
Most plants are sold in plastic tubs, but you’ll want to choose a more substantial vessel as your plant’s permanent home. Approach this element of growing indoor plants as you would styling a room. Consider where your new plant will live and how it can enhance the look of this space.
Do you have an odd corner that always seems out of place, or would you love to bring more interest to high ceilings or windows? Use a plant to perk up these areas! A unique plant stand not only adds height – it creates a grander statement. Look for interesting textures and materials in your planting décor such as a macramé hanger to add a hint of color and softness. Try grouping a few plants of various height, color, or texture together to create visual interest. Or create a terrarium to arrange plants into a living work of art.
Plant Care Resources
Just like any relationship, getting to know your new plant will take a little time. Pay attention to how your plant changes when you adjust how much light or water you are providing. Try placing your plant in different areas throughout your home to determine where it likes to spend its time.
At Tillandsia&, we’re passionate about plants and we’re always here to help! We hope this plant care guide will be a valuable resource for you as you cultivate your indoor garden. Visit us in the shop to find stylish potting solutions and plant hangers and join us at our Build-Your-Own Air Plant & Terrarium Bar to create a unique plant arrangement.
We can’t wait to grow something beautiful with you!