Hints for Healthy Houseplants: Keep some greenery in your life all throughout the year.

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We all know how to grow plants on a basic level. Shove a seed into some dirt, water it, give it some light, don’t let the cat eat it and you’re all set, right? Unfortunately, you need to invest a bit more effort when it comes to houseplants. It’s all up to you, not nature, to provide them with a hospitable environment. 

Thankfully, there’s a lot of incentive to do so. Houseplants bring a host of benefits to your residence, such as improved air quality and humidity. Their mere presence can even help with issues such as anxiety, depression and general mental health. If you decide to try and cultivate some houseplants, be sure to keep these details in mind:

Plant Type: Plants are like romantic partners in that you should pick one that suits your personality and needs. Succulents such as cactuses are great if you tend to forget about your plants for days at a time. Ivy is good for those who want to invest more effort and receive a larger, leafier plant for their trouble. Herbs and lettuce, meanwhile, are an excellent choice for those who want their hard work to pay off at the dinner table.

Light: A south-facing window will receive the most sunlight throughout the day and as such is ideal for most plants. It isn’t the end of the world if none of your windows point south, but your plants won’t quite reach their ideal sizes. Alternatively, you can buy a plant that thrives with less light, such as English ivy. In situations like these, you need to work with what you have.

Water: Thankfully, watering is the least stressful component of plant care. As long as you keep an eye on the soil’s moisture and avoid dehydrating or drowning the plants, you’ll be fine. Remember to place something underneath the pot to catch any excess water, lest it spill out and soak your windowsill or carpet.

Soil Quality: This is an oft-neglected detail when it comes to houseplants, but it’s no less vital than the others. Houseplants won’t take kindly to soil used in outdoor pots or raised garden beds, so it’s important to obtain a light, fluffy indoor potting mix. It’s also essential to add new nutrients to the soil as the plant grows. Administer an organic fertilizer once every couple of months, and perhaps even toss in some compost for variety.

That covers the basics. Now, go produce some happy plants and watch as they help you kick that winter gloom to the curb!