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Mariah's avatar

What's your tip for keeping your house plants happy?

Asked by Mariah (19224 points ) June 27th, 2011

I’ve got myself a beautiful Hawaiian ti plant, a little spider plant, and some sort of little succulent. I’m new to house plants and don’t want to kill these little guys! What’s your insider tip? I particularly want to try and bring out the best color possible in the ti plant!

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12 Answers

creative1's avatar

Give the the lighting, water and fertilizer that they need. Every plant needs different things, I have many many different plants from a simple christmas catus to a banana tree and pomegrante. I go to this exotic plants greenhouse all the time and pick up all different odd plants you wouldn’t normally find indoors. I recently aquired a blueberry bush that can be grown indoor where you have blueberries in the winter, a blood orange tree, and 2 mini cherry trees none of the new plants have produced yet but they are still small and growing.

Jeruba's avatar

I threaten them with extinction if they don’t smile.

Seriously, I am not a reliable keeper of houseplants, and so I tend to favor the sort that thrive on benign neglect. I train them not to expect watering too frequently or too regularly, and I relieve them of dead leaves in sudden massive purges. I also fertilize only once every couple of years, when I think of it. They must be hardy little things, resilient and eager to please, because they seem to do quite well with no more fussing than this.

And if they don’t—well, as Thalassa Cruso said, into the dustbin with the little ingrates.

Cruiser's avatar

My happiest indoor plants are the ones that have buddies. Proper light, planter size, and right amount of water and or drainage are cruicial.

I tend to garden by consensus so you did the right thing by asking…ask and yee shall receive! Good luck!

_zen_'s avatar

Sing to them. Really.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@creative1 how big are the fruit plants? Ive always been really interested in having fruit plants esspecially the more exotic ones and my climate sucks for that so indoor would be the way to go. I know of some dwarf plants but even then they can be pretty big.

lillycoyote's avatar

There’s really no insider tip I don’t think except that different plants require different conditions, different amounts and kinds of light, some need to be fertilized, some don’t or even should, they require different amounts of water and some plant’s soils should remain constantly moist, some should dry out first, before watering… anyway, it can get very complicated. The trick to caring for any plant indoors or out is understanding what conditions it need to live and to thrive and to bloom. Some plant will grow quite well under less than optimal conditions but will never bloom under those conditions. I’m not into all that fussing so I get plants that can survive, even possibly thrive with a certain level of neglect. If the plants agree not to die if I neglect them for a while, I agree not to kill them. Then I and the plants are both happy.

AmWiser's avatar

I keep all plants happy by not having any in my vicinity. They love me for it. :p

YARNLADY's avatar

Mine are all made out of silk.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I sing to them, talk to them and touch their leaves, especially if they are sad. It works. I learned this from Prince Charles the last time I was at Highgrove.

Bellatrix's avatar

Not buying them. I am a plant murderer!!!

creative1's avatar

I have the dwarf banana and it hasn’t even gotten half way to the ceiling yet. The pomegrante is also a dwarf and it is more like a bush than a tree and it got about shoulder height at maximum height. The blueberry bush can live happily in the pots. Check out Logee’s they do mail order and they are wonderful. If you are in the New England area its well worth the trip to Connecticut. Martha Stewart has had them on her show before but I have been going to them long before that. If for nothing else but to see the lemon tree that has been there over a 100 years that grows lemons that are as big as a grapefruit or bigger. They are huge!!! I love going there in the winter as a tropical get away since they have so many exoctic plant in the middle of a snowy place. They even have perfected a Banana Tree that grows inedible banana’s to grow outside in the New England Climate. Its the coolest thing!!! Another thing they do there is graft the plant so it can’t grow bigger than you want it to, that is how I have the blood orange tree, it is not a miniture but a full size blood orange its suppose to grow but the tree is suppose to remain small.

tranquilsea's avatar

I had to remember not to love them too much. My plants do better when I water them only when I see the first leaves starting to sag. I have 7 african violets. I started watering them from their drip pans and they love me for it.

I also have two christmas cacti that are 30 years old that were my mother’s plants. I am terrified of killing them.

My general rule is that even after watering if a plant is not looking any better then I re-pot it with new soil. That usually solves any problems.

All my problems have come from over watering….loving them too much.

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