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 If you are looking for a quick idea for generalized plant care, here is a good place to start. Keep in mind, however, that each plant species has its own particular likes and dislikes so don't stop with this info. Continue on and look for care instructions suited to your plant.


Plants need water...but one thing to remember is that the roots need air too!! Your plant will surely die if the soil is kept soaked at all times. Find out what the requirements are for the particular plant you have and follow them. Almost all plants need less water during their resting period. Water requirements will vary according to the plant, the time of the year and the environment the plant is kept in.


Most plants need some humidity. A heated house in the winter is like a desert. Thinner and more papery leaves generally need more humidity than thick leathery ones. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves. Do this in the morning so that the leaves dry before night. Also, do not mist when the plant is exposed to bright sunlight. Grouping your plants together helps raise humidity around the plants. You can also set them on a tray of pebbles filled with water to below the top of the pebbles. A Humidifier in the room is another way to increase humidity.

Correct lighting is extremely important if you want your plant to thrive. Check the requirements for your plant and place it in the correct area of light. Most houseplants, require bright light but will tolerate moderate light. Plants with varigated leaves generally need more light. Cacti and succulents need bright light. There are many exceptions to this so it is wise to check a reference book.

Rest Time
Most plants require a resting period, most often in the winter. Daylight hours are shorter so the plants' need for water and food lessens. Many times this is all that is needed for some plants. Others need to be cut back and left to die back for the winter. Check a reference book for your plant's specific needs.

Cleaning your plants not only makes them look better but it keeps the plants pores open so they can breathe properly and can get the full effect of their light. Remove dust from leaves with water and a soft cloth or sponge. Remember to support the leaf with your hand while cleaning it. Hairy leaves should be cleaned with a soft brush. Polish leaves only with a product that is specially made for use on plants. Home recipes can clog pores and collect dust. Remove dead or damaged leaves weekly. Use a clean, sharp scissors and wipe blades with disinfectant between plants. Most plants like some fresh air occasionally. Open a door or window once in a while, but be careful of drafts which move directly over the plants. There are many plants that benefit by being put outside for the summer. Consult your reference guide.

Feeding your plant varies with each variety. Most plants use more fertilizer during the growing period. Reduce or eliminate food during the rest period. Follow directions for the brand of fertilizer you use. If it is too strong you can cause fertilizer burn. Consult reference guide for the requirements of your plant.

Treat Problems Promptly
If you see insects, don't wait. Treat them immediately. An infestation may be incurable. Overwatering is not fatal at first, but it kills when prolonged. Watch for yellowing or browing leaves; a sign of a light problem or a watering problem. Remember that some plants are considered temporary plants such as Cyclamen, Chrysanthemum, and Gloxinia.