As we talked about last week, most tropical houseplants like bright to medium indirect light. Think about where your plant grows in its native habitat and try to replicate that but remember, without UV or sunlight, the room will need to be a bit brighter. 

Now that you’ve got your lighting set, it’s time to figure out your watering techniques. 

That starts with two things: 

  1. Making sure that your pot/planter has proper drainage holes 
  2. Knowing that no houseplant can be watered on a fixed schedule. 

Old green watering can
All plants need to be checked prior to watering, both visually and using your index finger, especially until you get to know the plant. The way most people kill their houseplants is by overwatering. Many don’t even check the plant before they pour water on it. The key to most houseplants is to check them regularly and err on the side of under watering.

Each plant is different. Some plants like to be dry an inch or so from the surface, others ¾ dry from the top before watering. Read about your plant’s needs. Speak to us at Modern Foliage and get all the information you can.  Some plants like to stay moist such as ferns. The label might say something like ‘moderately moist’. What that means, is it should feel like a damp sponge that has been wrung out when you touch it. 

Most of the time you water just the soil, not the plant. Water can get into the nooks and crannies of the crown (center of the plant) and cause it to rot, as in African Violets. A better practice is to water the entire soil surface just till it begins to seep out of the drainage holes. We want to wet all the roots at the bottom of the pot. 

Next week we’ll discuss humidity!


Missi Lackas, blog writer for Modern Foliage Designs.

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