How Well Do You Know
Your House Plants?

Have you ever despaired over crispy ivy? Or wondered what it takes to get a cactus to bloom?

House plants can seem like a mystery if you don't know how to care for them.

With information now at your fingertips, it's easy to find out about your plant, discover what it needs, and get the most out of it. I promise you'll be rewarded with a healthy, thriving houseplant that's a source of pride and joy for years to come.

flowering houseplantCyclamen only blooms for a season, but those gorgeous upswept flowers are worth it.

Everything you need is here in this user-friendly house plant guide:

  • Check out pests and diseases and find out what to do about spider mites, fungus, aphids and other things that are bugging your houseplants.
  • Take a look at this list of poisonous plants and keep your family and pets safe.

string of pearls plant, succulent houseplantString of Pearls is a delightful houseplant. Plenty of sunlight will make it bloom.

Success with Succulents

Desert-dwellers store water in their fleshy leaves, making them drought-tolerant and easy to grow in a warm, dry environment.

Their unusual and varied colors and textures make them beautiful accents. Display a few together to show off their dramatic shapes.

Echeveria, Tiger's Jaw and String of Pearls (shown here) offer a variety that make excellent indoor plants. Place them in bright light and they'll feel right at home.

Succulents are growing in popularity as indoor's easy to see why.

Take Indoor Plants to New Heights

Put them on a pedestal. Indoor plantstands are a simple solution for displaying several small plants together. With a multi-level stand, you can easily transform a jungle into an eye-catching arrangement.

Hang 'em high. Pot them up in indoor plant hangers and they'll be at eye level for all to admire.

Drive them up a wall. Vertical gardens are perhaps the newest trend in indoor gardening. Check out these planters that make hanging them a breeze.

Spring Checklist

  1. Prune. Pruning long vines will help them to branch out, creating a fuller plant. Got a plant that's getting too big? Some can be lopped off without harming them, some can't. Look up your plant in the house plants encyclopedia to find out if, when and how to prune your plant.

  2. Clean leaves. Give plants the light they need to grow by removing built-up dust on foliage. Cleaning also helps to get rid of insect eggs. Use a damp cloth to gently wipe off leaves, top and bottom. Fine foliage (like Boston fern fronds) are difficult to wipe clean, so just spray them with tepid water to remove dust.

  3. Repot. Spring is the best time to repot most plants because they're starting their most vigorous time of growth. If roots are growing out of the container's drainage holes, give them a bit more space. Follow these steps for repotting house plants.

  4. Check for bugs. Look over plant stems and leaves at least once a week. Check under leaves, too (a favorite hiding place for tiny critters). Take a look at house plant pests to identify common insects and find out how to get rid of them.

  5. Tidy up. Cut off any dead leaves or flowers. They not only look unsightly, they can attract mold and insects. Cutting off spent flowers encourages more blooms.

  6. Flush out salts. Get rid of white, crusty build-up on the potting mix by slowly pouring tepid water over the potting mix. Allow water to run through the pot, then pour more water. Empty drainage tray. You can skip this task if you're repotting.

  7. Feed your plant. Increased daylight will make indoor plants grow faster. If you stopped fertilizing your plants for the winter, it's time to start again.

Growing Basil

Indoor Herb Garden

A dash of oregano and a pinch of parsley is only an armslength away when you grow fresh culinary herbs in your kitchen.

Herbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, making them ideal for a sunny kitchen window.

Don't have a sunny spot? Set pots under a grow light, keeping the light 6 inches above the tops of the plants for about 14 hours a day.

Take a look at indoor herb gardens for ideas on what to grow, plus all the how-tos for successfully growing herbs. Make it easy on yourself with an herb kit that takes away all the guesswork.

Office Plants

office plants, cactus house plant

Did you know that office plants are good for you?

Okay, they won't bring your coffee, but they will boost your mood and create an instant garden ambiance right there on your desk.

Check these out. It's never been easier to find a few good candidates to share your office space.

Here's what others are saying about!

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Stay Up to Date is all about getting to know your indoor plants so you can bring out their best.

My hope is that it will give you an easy-to-use resource -- a place to turn when you need quick solutions, helpful how-tos, and maybe inspiration to grow something new.

Pages and tips are added all the time. Subscribe to my blog and you'll always be the first to know about new features, articles and updates.

Enjoy your visit!