5 Simple Tips To Turn Your Brown Thumb Green

Hello friends! Today’s question is: Do you struggle to keep your houseplants alive?

A few months ago, I’d be right there with you. Yup, I confess, I’ve killed a houseplant! Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t on purpose. There IS such a thing as “over loving” your houseplants. So if you answered yes, don’t panic. 

After tons of research, and plenty of trial and error, I have finally learn to care for my house plants. Let me share with you 5 simple tips to help you turn your brown thumb green!

{Note: this post contains affiliate links. This means that I will make a small commission – at no additional cost to you – if you make a purchase using my links.}

Thanks you for supporting my blog!

WATERING

To water or not to water… that IS really always the question! How do you know when to water your plant?

There are so many recommendations out there on how and when to water your plants. Of course, if you read it on the the internet , it must be true right? Let talk about some of the most common recommendations.

Myth #1: The first misleading recommendation I’ve read out there is using your finger to assess the moisture level of the soil. “Just stick your finger in the dirt. If it’s dry, water it!” I struggled with this. Was it wet, dry, in-between? What do I do now?

But seriously, your plants roots don’t live on the top of your soil. Not ever 1-2 inches deep. The rootball lives deeply submerged which means we don’t really know what’s going on deep in our soil. While the top layers may be bone dry, the deeper soil that doesn’t get as much air circulation may still be sufficiently moist.

Myth #2: The second misleading recommendation I’ve seen is to follow a watering schedule to prevent under/over watering. Trust me, I tried it. It simply doesn’t work! You plants water demands depend on many factors such as the amount of sunlight they recieve, the humidity level in your home, the type of soil your plants are potted in, the type of pot your plant is potted in, etc… In the winter, your plants could be very dormant and need very little water. In the growing months they may double their normal water consumption. So sticking to a weekly schedule does not allow for those factors. Most likely, you will overwater your plants. Trust me.

 

Confession: I haven’t watered my plants in 3 weeks.
Guess what, they are thriving!

So how do I know when to water my plants? I have the solution….use a moisture meter!

Using a moisture meter allows me to assess what is actually going on deep in the soil of each plant I test. If the meter reads below the appropriate moisture level, water it. If the meter says the soil is appropriately moist, don’t. Now that answers the question…. to water or not? #itsthateasy

 

I snagged this SmartChoice Moisture Meter off Amazon, and it was the best thing I’ve done for my plants! I really like this specific model because it does not require a batteries! It also comes with a reference table for the most common house plants. 

This is the most important change I made in caring for my plants!  So stop guessing when to water your plants!

FERTILIZER

Now, this seems rather simple right… we must feed out house plants the right nutrition for them to grow. Fertilization of indoor plants is often forgotten among plant owners. Often, we believe our overpriced potting soil will provide the right amount of nutrients and feed our plants. Unfortunately, this is just not true. Most house plants need fertilized during their growing months (usually Spring through Summer) and minimal fertilization during their more dormant months (Fall and Winter.) 

What’s the right type of fertilizer for houseplants? I used to use granular slow feeding food. Convenient and simple. Just sprinkle it on the soil around the plant and water! However, with changing my watering “schedule” and noticing the uneven and inconsistent distribution, I decided to change to liquid fertilizer. Wow! What a difference. My plants began to grow rapidly after I established a fertilization schedule. Depending on my moisture levels, I will fertilize every 2-3 weeks. I also don’t mix the fertilizer at full strength. I dilute it to half strength. This prevents any risk of burning my plants. 

What fertilizer should I use? I had a local master gardener recommend Fox Farm’s “Big Bloom” Organic Liquid Fertilizer to me a few years ago, and it’s been my go to ever since! It’s relatively inexpensive and all organic. Now, I know the label reads for fruits and vegetables, but trust me this stuff works wonders on all my houseplants! 

(Note: I’m just offering you what I feed my plants. Make sure you learn what you can about the types of plants you have and their special feeding needs.)

HUMIDITY

Most of the house plants I have are tropical in origin. This means they love humidity! Some people recommend placing the pot on a plant with pebbles and water to increase humidity or houseplants. Every plant I have would need a plate and pebbles under it. That’s a little much #aintnobodygottimeforthat. So a few months back I purchased a pressurized watering mister. This was the best purchase!

The watering mister allows me to “love” my plants daily by providing them the moisture they need to thrive without the risk of overwatering. Almost daily, I give my plants a quick mist (except my succulents, they don’t need the moisture.) I’ve noticed a huge turnaround in my humidity loving plants since adding this to my routine. 

LIGHT

Finding the right amount of light can be difficult with caring for houseplants. For my home, I don’t have a lot of bright light to offer my plants so I own a lot of “low light” plants.

Please don’t be fooled, low light plants will survive in low light. However, rarely will they thrive without getting some light.

If you’re like me and have a house with less than optimal lighting, or you want to give your plants a boost, there’s a simple solution. Go purchase a grow light! Most portable grow lights are relatively inexpensive and not obtrusive to your decor. Grow lights can help enhance your natural lighting situation if your plants need a little boost, especially during their growing months.

REPOTTING

Now this may sound like a shock, but when you bring your precious house plant home from the nursery, don’t repot it. Yup, I said AVOID repotting your new family member into that pretty new pot you bought! At least not right away.

Moving your plant from the nursery to your home can be a shock to your plant. It’s best to give them a few days to settle into their new spot in your home before introducing them to new soil as well.

Once you know the plant has adjusted, only then should you repot it.

With that said, established plants need to be repotted every 2-3 years. Repotting allows you to check on the root health of your plants, replenishing key nutrients, and to upgrade your plants pot if necessary. Every plant has different preferences in the soil so I use this time to check and see if I need to make any soil adjustments.

Again, do your research to make sure you’re using the best soil for your plants. For example, ferns love moist soil but well draining. Succulents prefer more granular soil with plenty of rocks, pumice, and perlite. Make sure you do a little research before you buying soil for your new family member. It will prevent future problems (i.e. that dreaded root rot!)

Well there you have it, my 5 simple tips to help you turn your brown thumb green!

Hopefully, this helps open your eyes to your plant care routine. I wish you much success loving your green family members! I’m love for you to share your own favorite plant care tips below or on social media!

Till next time. 

XO,

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on print

SHOP THIS POST

PIN IT FOR LATER

RELATED POSTS:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like What You See?

Join the newsletter and stay updated on all the DIYs, recipes, crafts, renovations and much more!