Indoor plants can bring life to your home and add natural beauty. They add oxygen to the air, absorb toxins, and liven up your space. So what can you do if you aren’t blessed with a green thumb? These tips identify the common mistakes made when purchasing and caring for houseplants.

Woman watering a row of various houseplants.

Choose the Right Type of Plant

Start your research by looking for plants that thrive indoors. Typically, these plants only require indirect sunlight and can survive in humidity. If you don’t entirely trust yourself with plant care, choose low maintenance plants that don’t require frequent watering and attention. Ferns, palms, and succulents are all common houseplants that can thrive indoors.

A person repotting a houseplant.

Give Your Plant a Good Pot to Live In

If you choose a plant that requires plenty of moisture, a plastic pot is a good choice that will keep the soil saturated. Plastic pots are adept at regulating temperature if you keep your plant in an area that heats up from the sun. You can fit the plastic pot inside a more decorative display if you desire. Keep in mind that plastic pots need replacement more frequently than stronger materials. Clay pots can regulate overwatering due to their porous nature, but that means they also require more frequent watering. Clay pots are also more environmentally friendly than plastic and can be reused. Just be careful not to break them when transferring plants.

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A man adding coffee grounds to a potted houseplant.

Coffee Grinds as Fertilizer

If you find yourself tossing out coffee grinds every day, consider adding some to your houseplants as fertilizer. This can improve their health and enrich them with nutrients. You only need to sprinkle a thin layer into the soil as you want to avoid trapping fungus beneath the grinds and causing an overgrowth. Another option is to mix the grinds into your watering can for an occasional boost. Be sure to research your plant beforehand to determine if this is safe. If you already compost, this is an even better option to improve the health of your plants.

A woman inspecting the foliage and flowers of one of her many houseplants.

Identifying Problems

Keep an eye on your plants and look out for leaves that look unhealthy. Dying leaves should be cut off at the root to prevent damage to the rest of the plant. Yellowing leaves are a sign that you have been giving your plant too much water or your pot isn’t adequately draining. If your plant leaves are dry and brittle, you need to increase the frequency of watering. Faded, droopy leaves signify that your plant requires more sunlight than it has been receiving. Try moving your plant near a south-facing window.

Choosing the right plant for indoor life and a good pot are the most important steps to give your new additions the best chance. Remember to water, but not too much, and keep an eye out for signs of poor health. Using these tips, overcome your lack of a green thumb and add freshness to your living space with thriving plants.