- Brighten up a room with color
- They improve air quality by reducing dust, mold, pollution, and CO2 levels.
- Make people feel calmer and more optimistic along with being pleasing to the eye.
- Studies have shown that houseplants can help to lower blood pressure and normalize heart rate.
- Learn how to check the soil moisture level
- Best way is to stick finger in the soil
- Other method is to tip the pot on its side and check the drainage holes for moisture
- If possible, lift up the plant and check its weight, if the plant feels light, the soil is dry.
- Most plants appreciate having top 2-3 inches dry out before watering
- Top water your plants (except African violets and plants with fuzzy leaves)
- Let water drain through to the dish below and discard any extra water that is not absorbed by the plant within half an hour. (leaving water in dish might encourage flying insects)
- Do not bottom water the plants (except African violet and plants with fuzzy leaves)
- Use room temperature water and let it stand for a day or longer to let chemicals like chlorine evaporate before you use it.
- Do not make the plant adapt to your watering schedule.
- Bend to your plant’s schedule instead
- Light will determine how well a houseplant will grow.
- Each house plant requires different amounts of light; check the tag on the plant and place the plant under the recommended amount of light.
- Direct sunlight is different than bright light. For example, orchids thrive in areas with bright light but direct sun light will damage them.
- Some plants such as Ficus (fig) Sansevieria (snake plant) will adapt to different amounts of light. Sometimes when a plant is moved and exposed to a different amount of light, the plant might drop its leaves, flowers and/or fruits.
- Plants depend on light to live so they grow or bend towards the light. If you want a plant to grow evenly, rotate the plant towards the light source.
- During winter, do not put plants next to a heat source or draft
- During the summer, do not put plants next to an air conditioning vent
- Most house plants thrive in temperatures between 65º and 75º Fahrenheit.
- Do not repot a plant prior to bringing it indoors for the winter
- Many houseplants grow naturally in tropical areas, consequently these plants will thrive in areas with high humidity. During wintertime, houses in Chicagoland tend to be very dry due to heating units, so using a humidifier or misting them will help to promote humidity. This does not apply to many succulents; read the tag to make sure.
- There are exceptions, but generally you do not need to fertilize houseplants between September and February.
- Always water houseplants right after fertilizing them.
- Plants will absorb fertilizers only when they are exposed to the right amount of light.
- Best time to repot is between late March and late August
- Repot houseplants into the next pot size. Avoid overpotting (do not put it into a pot that is much larger than the root ball). Doing so creates a ring of soil around the plant that will retain more water than the plant can use, because the roots have not grown into that area yet.
- Usually when the roots from a plant are coming out the drainage holes it is a good time to repot it.
- Most importantly, do your homework.
- Each plant is different and has different requirements for light, humidity, moisture and fertilization.
- When taking care of house plants, read the labels that come with the plants; if there are not labels, find out the plant name and search for its care using a reliable source such as universities, botanic gardens, and garden centers websites.
Friendly Houseplants for cats and dogs
African violet (Saintpaulia)
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum)
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera)
Phalaenopsis Orchids (Phalaenopsis)
Aluminum plant (Pilea)
Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus verticilatus)
Prayer plant (Maranta)
Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans)
Bamboo (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Parlor (Chamaedorea elegans)
Ponytail (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Areca (Dypsis lutescens)
Boston (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Sage (Salvia offinalis)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Houseplant that are dangerous or toxic to cats and dogs
Aloe plant (Aloe vera)
Elephant ear (Alocasia and Calocasia)
Flamingo flower (Anthurium)
Asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans)
Cyclamen plant (Cycleman)
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Hawaiian ti plant (Cordyline fruticose)
Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)
Mother in law tongue plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Ornamental pepper plant (Capsicum annum)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
Rubber plant (Hevea brasiliensis)
Sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
Arrowhead philodendron (Syngonium podophyllum)
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)
Golden pathos (Epipremnum aureum)
Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Wandering Jew plant (Tradescantia zebrina)
Zz plant (Zamioculcas)
Clivia plant (Clivia)