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Plant parenting 101: Common houseplant mistakes and how to avoid them


a small, round terracotta pot filled with brown dirt, with a wooden trellis placed in the center.

 As a houseplant parent, you want to ensure that your plants grow healthy and strong. However, there are common mistakes that plant parents make that can hinder the growth and well-being of their plants. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the common mistakes that plant parents make and how to avoid them.

  1. Overwatering

Overwatering is the most common mistake that plant parents make. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can kill your plant. You should water your plants only when the top inch of soil is dry. Make sure that your pots have drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating in the pot.

  1. Underwatering

Underwatering is just as bad as overwatering. Plants need water to survive, and if they don’t get enough water, they will wilt and eventually die. You should water your plants regularly, but make sure not to overwater them.

  1. Lack of Light

All plants need light to survive, but different plants have different light requirements. Some plants require bright, direct light, while others prefer low light. Make sure you research your plant’s light requirements and place it in a suitable location.

  1. Not Enough Humidity

Plants that are native to tropical regions require higher humidity levels. If the humidity in your home is low, you may need to provide your plant with a humidifier or mist it regularly.

  1. Not Enough Nutrients

Plants need nutrients to grow, and if they don’t get enough nutrients, they won’t grow as well. Make sure you fertilize your plants regularly, and use a suitable fertilizer for your plant. There are many houseplant fertilizers available and any one could work. I use Jack's in my houseplants and they are thriving.

  1. Using the Wrong Soil

Different plants require different types of soil. Make sure you use a suitable soil for your plant. For example, cacti require well-draining soil, while ferns require moist soil.

  1. Not Pruning Your Plants

Pruning is essential to promote growth and maintain the shape of your plant. Make sure you prune your plants regularly, and remove any dead or diseased leaves.

  1. Not Repotting Your Plants

As your plant grows, it will outgrow its pot. Make sure you repot your plants in a larger pot to provide more space for the roots to grow.

  1. Not Providing Support

Some plants require support to grow, such as trellises or stakes. Make sure you provide support for your plants if they require it. If you want to learn more about the benefits of plant supports, read my blog post here: The Benefits of using a housplant trellis: Why your plants will love it.

Transcendia plant weaved through a honeycomb trellis

  1. Using the Wrong Pot

Different plants require different types of pots. Make sure you use a suitable pot for your plant. For example, plants that require well-draining soil should be placed in a pot with drainage holes.

To avoid making these common mistakes, make sure you research your plant’s specific needs and requirements. By providing your plants with the right conditions, you can help them grow healthy and strong. Remember, plant parenting is a learning experience, and it’s okay to make mistakes. With time and practice, you’ll become a pro at caring for your plants!


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