How to care for houseplants

How to care for houseplants

Houseplants add beauty to our homes, and they’re good for us too, helping to reduce stress and boost our moods. To help you keep your houseplants looking their best, we’ve put together some tips on basic houseplant care.

The right temperature for houseplants

Many of our favourite indoor plants come from tropical or subtropical areas of the world, so they prefer a warm environment. However, there are a few things to remember when trying to find a warm spot for your plant.

Don’t put plants near radiators, as the heat will dry them out and burn their leaves. Sunny windowsills are a good option, but be aware that direct, hot sunlight through glass can scorch even tropical plants' leaves.  Windowsills can also get very cold on winter nights. Place your houseplant somewhere with a reasonably steady temperature, typically between 18-22°C (64-71°F).

Light levels for houseplants

All plants need light, but too much bright light can damage houseplants. Most houseplants do best in bright but indirect light, shaded by blinds or placed on an east- or west-facing windowsill. A south-facing windowsill that gets full sun is best suited to desert plants such as cacti and other succulents.

Flowering plants need more light than foliage plants and may need to be moved to a brighter spot in winter when light levels are lower.

Yellowing and dropping leaves, elongated stems and small leaves are all signs that your plant is not getting enough light. On the other hand, too much light can cause brown leaf tips or brown scorched patches on leaves. Keep an eye on your plants and move them if you see signs of too much or too little light.

Houseplants and humidity

Houseplants that originate from the tropics like humidity. Central heating can dry out the atmosphere in our homes, so to increase the humidity around your plant, follow these tips:

  • Stand pots on trays of pebbles covered with water.
  • Mist plants regularly.
  • Group plants together to create a microclimate.

Watering houseplants

Watering houseplants can be tricky – in fact, overwatering is probably the most common cause of death for houseplants.  Here’s how to spot the signs of over-and under-watering.

Signs that your plant needs watering:

  • Wilting leaves
  • Brown leaf edges
  • Dropping leaves
  • Pot feels light when picked up

Signs that your plant is being overwatered:

  • Dropping leaves
  • Brown, mushy roots
  • Standing water in the drip tray

Test the moisture level in your plants’ pots by pushing your finger into the compost to feel whether it is damp below the surface. Most houseplants do best in slightly moist compost, but not wet. For large, deep pots, you may find it easier to use a soil moisture meter with a probe that can be pushed into the compost without damaging plant roots.

With a bit of care and attention, you can have a home filled with beautiful, healthy houseplants. Why not visit our centre and choose yourself a new houseplant today?

You might also be interested in:

Maintaining an aquarium

Maintaining an aquarium is easy with these tips to make sure your water, plants and fish are kept healthy, well and in good shape. Especially if you are new to keeping an aquarium there are a few elements to take into account when planning how you will keep it looking great. Aquariums can bring so much joy to a home, from fascinating fish and lush green plants to mesmerising lighting and calming water ripples. Here is how to take care of your aquarium.

Create an easy ...

5 beautiful indoor hanging plants

Indoor hanging plants add an extra dimension to a room, with their foliage cascading elegantly from baskets or spilling down from shelves and ledges. And despite their exotic appearance, many hanging plants are straightforward to grow and take care of. Here are five of our favourite indoor hanging plants.

1. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant gets its name from its shape, forming a tuft of slender, arching green and white-striped leaves. In s...

Prepare your spring garden

Wondering how to prepare your spring garden? As your bulbs pop up through the soil, you will know that spring is definitely in the air. The birds will be singing and beginning to search for nesting spaces, and there will be more days with blue skies and warmer sunshine than we’ve seen over the winter months. Spring is truly food for the soul as we each feel like we are coming out of hibernation and getting ready for the months ahead. Here is how to prepare your spring garden....

How to grow potatoes

Fancy eating your own home-grown potatoes this summer? Now’s the time to start planting. And if you don’t have a big garden, you can still grow early potatoes in a pot or grow bag on a sunny patio. Here are our top tips on growing potatoes.

Which potatoes to grow

Potatoes are grouped into first early, second early, and maincrop potatoes. 

  • First and early potatoes are planted in early spring, and second early potatoes a couple of weeks lat...


Opening hours

  • Monday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday
    10:30 - 16:30
Show all opening hours