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LOVING YOUR HOUSE PLANT (BUT NOT TO DEATH)

Studies have found that the color green has a calming effect, while plants themselves can help reduce stress and mental fatigue.
All plants need air, light, and water. The best first step in…

…maintaining your soil-bound buddy is to learn what type of plant it is and what it requires. Indoor plants help beautify your home, purify toxins in the air, and reduce stress. They enrich our lives by slowing us down to observe the ritual of care and add lush green accents that brighten the home.

Here are some tried and true tips from our annuals team at Kemora Landscapes to help keep your indoor plants thriving all year round.

  • First thing is to get to know your plant! Is it deep shade loving, requires bright shade, or basks in the light of full sun? Is it a thirsty plant like a fern, or drought-tolerant like a succulent or cactus? As long as you know the name of the plant, a quick web search will provide a wealth of plant care knowledge.

“Over or under watering can be the difference between monthly plant replacements and a lush home…”


Credit: Dingee & Conard Co.; John Lewis Childs (Firm); Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection via Wikimedia Commons [Public domain].
  • Proper drainage is essential for a plant and can save it from the dreaded death-by-overwatering. If there is none, the plant can be left in the plastic pot then inserted into a decorative container. Always make sure water is not collecting in the bottom of the pot.
  • Some signs of overwatering are yellowing, soft foliage, and moist soil. Always check the soil before watering. If it is still moist, wait a couple of days. Water thoroughly and make sure water is coming out the bottom of the container to ensure a deep drink.
  • Before you go on that needed vacation, make sure whoever is taking care of your plants knows how to do so. Set the thermostat at an optimal temperature for your plants and leave the blinds open. Be sure to also keep a lookout for signs of drying such as crunchy or drooping leaves and dry soil.
  • Learn your watering regiment as over or under watering can be the difference between monthly plant replacements and a lush green home. Watering once a week satiates the average indoor plant—just make sure to water less during winter months due to a decrease in sunlight.
  • Variegated plants—cultivars or varieties with different colored leaf edging—usually need more light, even if the individual species requires less. Make sure your online plant research is always of the exact plant you own. If they do need more light, keep close to the window for a better chance of survival.
  • When establishing in their environment, plants will change their leaf structure and orientation to maximize nutritional input. Fiddleleaf figs are a perfect example of plants that do not like to be moved as their leaves can’t rotate to the light source. Tropicals, like large leaf Alocasia, like to be rotated as their foliage will move towards the sun. Rotating them periodically helps keep an even growth habit.
10 Shade Loving House Plants

Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant)
Zanzibar zamiifolia (ZZ plant)
Phalaenopsis spp. (Moth orchids)
Spathiphyllum spp. (Peace lilies)
Caryota mitis (Burmese fishtail palm)
Maranta leuconeura (Prayer plant)
Dieffenbachia amoena (Dumbcane plant)
Philodendron x ‘Winterbourn’ (Xanadu philodendron)
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myers’ (Foxtail fern)
Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern maidenhair fern)

10 Sun Loving House Plants

Ficus elastica (Rubber plant)
Strelitzia reginae (Bird of paradise)
Crassula ovata (Jade plant)
Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant)
Dracaena reflexa (Song of India)
Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail palm)
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (Areca / Butterfly palm)
Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine)
Aechmea x ‘Blue Rain’ (Blue Rain bromeliad)
Epipremnum aureum (Pothos / Devil’s Ivy)

Indoor plants are a great way to bring the outside indoors. Credit: FORTEPAN / Lencse Zoltán [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Kemora Landscapes is a full-service design, build, and maintenance company based in Chicago.

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