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How to care for indoor plants: 10+ tips for beginners

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Are you one of those people who long to have plants in your home but lack a green thumb?

Or maybe you’ve got a few plants, but they’re not doing so well. Don’t worry; you’re not alone! This blog post is for beginners who want to learn how to care for indoor plants.

I’ll share some tips that will help your plants thrive.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to create a beautiful, eco-friendly home with thriving plants in no time!

how to care for indoor plants


My grandmother had a green thumb. She could grow anything. She had the most beautiful gardens and lush houseplants of anyone I’ve ever known, from rose gardens to succulents.

Grandma always shared her plant know-how and gifted plant cuttings to anyone who would take them-Which is so cool because many of her plants still live on today! (even though she left this earth over 25 years ago.)

Related article: How to propagate houseplants


All that said- I love, love, love me some houseplants! At my latest count-I’ve got 37 plant babies in my house. Just call me a crazy plant lady!  

It’s taken trial and error to learn how to keep these babies alive and thriving.

Some plants are more challenging to grow than others, and you can, without a doubt, love your plants to death if you’re not careful. #overwatering

10+ Tips: How to care for indoor plants for beginners

how care for indoor plants (tips for beginners)

 1. Choose indoor plants wisely

When purchasing your new indoor plant, be super picky. If they don’t look like they are perfect, then don’t bring them home.

Here are the things to look for:

 -Leaves.
Look for healthy green leaves. Better yet-new, growth is always a good sign. Afford plants with brown edges or yellowing leaves.  

-Insects. Look for bugs and signs of bugs. I have brought plants home that had tiny fungus gnats, and before I knew it, all of my plants had bugs. Not good.

-Choose plants that fit your space. Then, take a peek at the light recommendations on the plant to see if you’ve got the right amount of light available for that particular plant.

how to take care of indoor plants

2. Beautiful houseplants need the right light  

Most houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight.

As a general rule:

  • South-facing windows give bright light.
  • East/West-facing windows give moderate light.
  • North-facing windows give low light.  

If a plant doesn’t thrive in one spot-just move it.

You can also supplement light by adding a plant light if low light is an issue. Plant lights are inexpensive and even decorative these days.

3. Indoor plants don’t like drafts

I live in Arizona, and my plants DO NOT like the air conditioning! When I lived in Washington, the plants hated being close to a heater. Wherever you live, make sure they are not too close to a vent. Some plants are no more sensitive to drafts than others. My fiddle fig plants hate drafts, as does my peace lily.

how to take care of indoor plants

4. Get the Water Right: Tips on watering houseplants

Getting the water right for your houseplants is a big one.

The right amount of water is key to a healthy, happy plant, and this is where I’ve got it wrong a time or two.

When I was a newbie plant momma, I made the mistake of overwatering my plants.

The key is to follow a watering schedule. I water my plants once a week as a general rule of thumb. Of course, some need more water than others. But as a general rule, it works great. I put a timer on my phone. Every Monday is watering day. Pick a day that works best for you and try to stick to it.

Before watering, I do the finger test. If the soil feels moist under the surface, I skip it for the week. Remember: When all else fails, watering is better than overwatering.

Extra Tip: Water plants with Distilled Water!

how to take care of indoor plants

5. Make sure houseplants have good drainage

It took me a while to figure out that the plants needed proper drainage. Some of my plants were draining into a tray and then sitting in the water. As a result, they died of root rot. Oops.

Ensure your pot has good drainage, and whatever you do, don’t plant your plant in a pot with no drainage holes. Also, when repotting plants, be sure to add broken terracotta or gravel to the bottom of the pot before adding soil.

Related article: How to use Clay Pebbles to Propagate Plants

6. Fertilize your houseplants

I feed my plants every other week.

I discovered the best plant food for the fiddle figs that have made a massive difference in my fiddle figs.

I have heard that I could do better than miracle grow-but for me, it’s affordable, and my plants are all very healthy.

Whatever plant food you use, follow the directions and remember less is more for fertilizer.

Purchase on amazon >
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Related article: The best houseplant food

how to take care of indoor plants

7. Keep indoor plants clean

My indoor plants get super dusty because we live in an area with new construction, AND…we are in the middle of the desert. So! I clean the leaves on my plants a couple of times a month.  

For the large plants-I use a soft, damp cloth and wash the leaves. I also use leaf shine about once a month which makes them look amazing!

For the smaller plants-I water them in the kitchen sink with the handheld spray faucet. It’s great because the plants drain in the sink & the shower washes away the dust, and the plants love the increased humidity.

how to take care of indoor plants

8. Indoor plants love humidity

Most plants love, love, love humidity! And it’s great for your skin too!

I’ve got two humidifiers running in the house at all times. (if you live in a humid climate, then you can skip this step) Since I added increased the humidity in our home- my plants have flourished! It’s been a game-changer.

I got a super cool humidifier at Costco and this one on Amazon.

The one I purchased on Amazon has been running for over two years. I love these humidifiers because they are quiet and have large water tanks, so I don’t have to refill them often.   

how to take care of indoor plants

9. Re-pot your indoor plants only when necessary

There’s usually no rush to re-pot a new houseplant. Plants need time to acclimate to their new home.  

Repotting them can stress them out, so it’s better to put the plant into a decorative basket or inside a decorative planter than transplant them too soon.  

They should do fine in the nursery pot for at least three months or more.

 If the plant has stopped growing or has become root-bound, it’s time for both a new planter and some fresh soil.

Keep the size no more than 3″ larger in diameter for small pots and 6″ larger in diameter for larger pots.

how to take care of indoor plants

10. Keep houseplants free of Pests like Fungus Gnats!

I had a ton of trouble with fungus gnats! They were driving me crazy! Fungus gnats are not only a pain in the neck, but they are challenging to get rid of!

If you’ve got fungus gnats- hop over to my post: How to get rid of the pesky gnats forever!

So there you have it!

Related Article: How to get rid of fungus gnats forever!

Now you know how to care for indoor plants!

Having houseplants in your home will make your space more welcoming and homey, but the plants will also help clean the air in your home! BONUS! 

 I hope this encourages you to go out and get yourself some plants -who knows, before you know it, you too can be a crazy plant lady like me! 

Until next time,

XO, Christine

Houseplant Essentials


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6 Comments

  1. Very informative and engaging posting. I always struggle to keep my flowers alive. But with your tips I will try plant again this time

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