Help! My houseplants keep dying, how do I make it stop?


I am terrible at looking after plants. Whether they’re cacti or succulents or those spider plants, I just cannot seem to get them to grow or stay green. 

I water them and try to take care of them but maybe I’m not doing it often enough? Or too often? Or I just don’t show the plant enough attention? Maybe I’m not meant to have green things around me? 

But what would life be without a little bit of greenery? So I went in search of some advice to help me grow some green fingers.

I spoke to the lovely people at Stodels about indoor plants. This is what they had to say:

Give your plants plenty of light 

Putting them near a window is probably best but you also need to check how much natural light is needed for your plants.  

Or you could even try an indoor ‘grow light’ placed next to the plant.

Make sure you have a saucer or tray underneath the plants to catch the drops from watering and condensation which often occurs at night on the leaves.

Here’s a list of great plants that don’t need a lot of natural light.

READ MORE: Get rid of flies, mosquitoes, and roaches with these 5 plants

Water them just enough

When you water, water until it runs out of the bottom of the pot.

Never put plants in pots that don’t have at least one hole in the bottom.

Be realistic about how much attention you have to give to your house plants and shop/plan accordingly.

Larger plants in large pots need watering less often than plants in very small pots, which will dry out every couple of days. Cacti and succulents need less watering than thin-leaved or flowering plants.

Here's a list of great water-wise indoor plants.

Watch out for plant pests 

Not all your plants will be susceptible to insects but plants with thin leaves tend to get spider mites and white fly, while others get scale or mealy bugs.

Learn how to identify these pests and how to treat them. Mould and viruses can also affect plants, but they are less common.

Here’s a list of possible pests you could encounter and how to deal with them

READ MORE: Five useful plants to add to your garden or window sill

Use a good pot 

It helps the plant a lot if the pot or planter is on a tray with about an inch of aquarium gravel in it.

When you water the plant, the water goes into the saucer and evaporates around the plant, making the surrounding air a bit more humid.

This is especially helpful to the plant in winter. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, because if the pot ends up sitting in water, the plant’s roots will rot and the plant can die.

Here's an article on choosing a pot for your houseplant.

READ MORE: 5 tips for small gardens

And if all that doesn’t help you, Nick Stodel himself says “Look for hardy foliage plants such as succulents or a fiddle leaf fig which bring nature into your house which are easy to care for and are very rewarding.”

Do you suck at looking after your houseplants? Or are you a green fingered queen? Tell us about it on Facebook and Twitter or email us!

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