Houseplant Care with Kim Rucker

Today is National Houseplant Appreciation Day, and while we don't need an excuse to enjoy all things horticulture at the Dixon, we decided to ask Cutting Garden and Greenhouse Manager Kim Rucker for some tips for beginners. 

Do your research….introducing new plants into a home with pets requires some initial planning. Many plants are toxic to pets and children. Cats especially will chew on foliage if they are stressed or left alone. The most reliable source for accurate information on pet-safe plants for indoor spaces is the ASPCA. Their website is up to date and includes additional information.

Hang it up! If you are getting a large collection of indoor plants with no more floor or shelf space, use wall hangers or macrame’ hangers. These are particularly great with trailing plants. Hangers are readily available on interior plant websites or make a great craft project.

Match your plant to your interior light conditions. Many plants thrive in low light conditions while others need bright indirect light. Again, do your research! Take care placing plants near a southern exposure window as the afternoon sun, even in the winter may scorch or burn the leaves. Also avoid vents for heat or air conditioning blowing directly on your plants.

The #1 killer of indoor plants is overwatering! Check your plants for moisture on a schedule but don’t water on a schedule. Generally the top inch or so should dry out between each watering. The time this takes will vary for plant size, pot size, and your indoor growing conditions. You may keep your house very cool even in the winter so your plants may not dry out as often as someone who keeps a very warm, cozy temperature. When watering, water thoroughly. It should drain from the holes in your pot. Avoid giving just a little water.

A great plant for a beginning plant parent is the spider or airplane plant. It grows best in bright light conditions. It is pretty forgiving of occasional over or under-watering. Fertilize monthly with a half-strength liquid interior plant food. If happy, it will reward you with several baby plantlets that you can share with friends. Best of all, it is perfectly safe for pets and children.

Interested in building your houseplant collection? The Dixon Plant Sale is back in 2021 and will be a great opportunity to support local and find healthy plants for your home! Save the date for the Dixon Garden Fair on April 16-17, and become a Dixon member to enjoy the preview party on April 15! 

Posted by Kristen Rambo at 11:00 AM
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