Top Tips for Keeping House Plants

As temperatures continue to plummet, lockdown restrictions aren’t the only thing keeping us holed up in our homes. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the outside in. Bring some life into your home and invest in house plants.

When they’re not adorning Pinterest boards, or adding effortless chic to Instagram, they’re improving the mental and physical wellbeing of their owners. Known to reduce stress levels and provide better air quality, it really does pay to pamper your plants – but remember, with great (plant) power comes great responsibility.

If you’re not sure how often to water your plants or what temperature is best suited to their needs, then worry no more! Our social media communities have come together to give their top tips on looking after house plants.

Which house plants should I choose?

While it is easy to just choose the prettiest plant at a garden centre, it pays to be mindful of where it’s going to live. For instance, is your home draughty? Will your house plant spend its time in a conservatory or in a cold corridor?

Once you’ve worked out where you want your new addition to go, the next step is choosing the right plant. Unfortunately, as there is no one-size-fits-all for plants, you will need to do a little bit of research beforehand.

Some tropical plants, such as jade plants, prefer sunny, humid areas, whereas plants like kangaroo vines thrive in shaded areas. A full list of house plants and their preferred conditions can be found on the RHS site.

We wanted to know which house plants you had in your home. Here’s what our social followers said…

“I have three Yuccas and about five Money Trees. I also have an Anthurium; it is now in its third year and flowers every year. It has three beautiful red flowers now I spray it with orchid spray”. Maureen Duffy on Facebook
“I have two Anthuriums in red & white. I split the red into another 2 plants and they are gorgeous”. Anne Wall on Facebook
“Best plants are orchids – just when you think they have died more new shoots appear. Never throw them out”. Pamela Martin on Facebook

How often should I water house plants?

It may be tempting to water house plants at every opportunity, but try not to over-do it; watering too often can lead to root death and cause the plant to collapse.

One of the best ways to monitor your plants is by getting green-fingers: feel the compost and if it is still wet, don’t water it. The roots need to breathe in order for them to consume nutrients in the soil; too much water will stress the roots, which can lead to premature rot.

Take a look at how our Facebook and Twitter followers keep their plants looking lush…

“Water sparingly and give it lots of light. Feed it now and again with a liquid feed. Also water at night”. Liz Tee on Facebook
“Too many people kill them with kindness, they over water and this can literally drown the plants, only use enough to keep soil moist and dont leave the pot standing in water”. Christine Wallace on Facebook
“Stand the plant pot inside a bigger pot and stand the plant on pebbles if required. Put the water in the outside pot and the plant will drink when it requires”. Therese Hopwood-Mellor on Facebook

How do I maintain healthy house plants?

Knowing when your house plant is likely to flower and how big it is going to grow are just some of the things you should prepare for.

Here are our top tips for looking after your house plants:

  • Buy some liquid feed if you have flowering plants, as this will promote buds.
  • When you need to move a plant to a bigger pot, you may need to add some slow-release fertiliser to the compost to disperse nutrients around the plant.
  • Prune dying flowers, remove wayward branches and discard any damaged or yellowing leaves.
  • Clean leaves with cotton wool dipped in water; dust prevents plants from growing properly.

For more advice, read what our Facebook and Twitter followers do to maintain their beautiful house plants…

“Water from the bottom, or stand in a clear bowl so you can see it taking water. Leave for 20 minutes, then put the plant back in its own pot”. Eve Thompson on Facebook.
“Prune the weaker areas, not the bushy bits; pruning helps to stimulate growth hormones in plant”. Liz Tee on Facebook

Are your plants not growing as quickly as you’d like? Try these awesome DIY feeding tips…

“I use ground coffee, banana skins and shells of eggs in a blender. Put mixture on to the soil of the plants, then water it”. Julie Gale on Facebook
“Put some sliced banana on orchids. Mine is flowering for the 2nd time this year and there are 20 buds on it”. Wendy Calimer on Facebook.


How do you look after your house plants? Do you have any tips or tricks we haven’t mentioned? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter!