How to keep indoor plants alive

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Indoor plants add a natural green touch to interior home landscapes. Houseplants such as English ivy, spider plants, peace lilies, elephant ear, lucky bamboo plants and others have even been recognized by NASA for their ability to remove toxins and improve indoor air quality. But because many of the most common types of indoor plants are technically tropical plants, it takes a bit of work to simulate the conditions of their natural environment. With the proper care techniques, you can keep your indoor plants alive for many years.


How to keep indoor plants alive

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Indoor plants add a natural green touch to interior home landscapes. Houseplants such as English ivy, spider plants, peace lilies, elephant ear, lucky bamboo plants and others have even been recognized by NASA for their ability to remove toxins and improve indoor air quality. But because many of the most common types of indoor plants are technically tropical plants, it takes a bit of work to simulate the conditions of their natural environment. With the proper care techniques, you can keep your indoor plants alive for many years.


Step One

Plant your indoor plants in clean planting containers using fresh, well-draining growing medium. Plant your plants at the same level they were planted in their nursery containers to discourage root rot and fungal diseases.


Step Two

Place your indoor plants in locations that will provide them with the appropriate amount of sunlight. Position houseplants marked "Full Sun" within 4 feet of windows where they can receive at least six hours of bright, direct sunlight per day. Situate "Partial Sun" plants 4 to 8 feet from windows that will provide them with a minimum of four hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. Place indoor plants marked "Shade" in locations where they will receive no more than four hours of indirect sunlight per day.


Step Three

Keep indoor plants at least 6 feet away from heaters, air conditioners or drafts to prevent them from sustaining heat or cold damage. Heaters, air conditioners and drafts also cause the growing medium for your houseplants to dry out more quickly.


Step Four

Water your indoor plants regularly to keep their growing medium evenly moist. Allow the top 1/4-inch of soil to dry slightly between watering to avoid over-watering your houseplants. For best results, water indoor plants using room temperature water.


Step Five

Place a cool mist humidifier in the room where you keep your indoor plants to provide them with much-needed humidity. In the absence of a cool mist humidifier, mist your houseplants daily with room temperature water from a spray bottle to provide the necessary humidity.


Step Six

Keep the temperature of your home between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime to provide a hospitable growing environment for your indoor plants. Reduce the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees at night to simulate the cooler nighttime temperatures that your plants would experience outdoors.


Step Seven

Fertilize your indoor plants with a half-strength dilution of balanced, water soluble fertilizer once a month while the plants are actively growing. Use the houseplant fertilizer according to label directives to avoid over-fertilization and chemical burns


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