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How to Keep Your Indoor Plants From Dying

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Plants are simple. Unlike us complicated humans, plants only need two things in order to be happy: sun and water. Though as simple as it may sound, people still manage to kill plants like it’s their job (I’m guilty of this as well).

The key to keeping plants alive starts with first being able to identify your plant. This way you can research what your plant needs and prefers. Plants prefer different amounts of water and light. If you can’t seem to identify your plant, you can use phone applications that will do it for you – and all you have to do is upload a photo of your plant! Apps such as Planta and Picture can both identify plants for you, and will even give you information on what your specific plant needs. A great feature of these apps is watering reminders. Being that all your plants will be on different schedules, it can get confusing on when the time is right to water your plant. Having a reminder, whether it be through these apps or on a sticky note on the pot of the plant, will help you stay on top of your green friends.

Before watering a plant, it’s important to always stick your finger in the soil to check if it’s still moist and if it is, don’t water it. We want to water the plant, not drown it. It’s also very important that every plant pot you own has holes in the bottom. Sitting in a pool of water eventually causes root rot. Once you’ve checked the soil and the pot for holes, now it’s time to water the plant. Water the soil thoroughly and evenly. If you’re watering on one side only, you’ll notice the plant start to gravitate to the side where all the water is being poured. Keep on pouring until you start to see water dripping out of the bottom of the pot into the saucer. Then dump out any excess water that’s lingering in the saucer.

Plants don’t only drink water, they also eat! Fertilizing your plant is much like giving it food. Though plants don’t “eat” every day. You should fertilize your plants every one to two weeks in the growing season. There is no need to fertilize your plants in the winter months when there are shorter daylight hours. When the days are longer, and the sun is shining more heavily on the plants, then fertilize. Also, don’t forget to always give your plants water before you fertilize!

Make sure you are buying the right plant for the right place. Before you go to a nursery, keep in mind how much light your home gets because this plays a large factor in what type of plant you can buy. Although, if you fall in love with a plant that needs a ton of light, but you live in a home that doesn’t get much light, you can always purchase an LED grow light for your light-loving plant.

If you tend to be an indoor plant murderer, and are worried about killing another plant, the plants I’d recommend are the ZZ plant, Snake plant, and Pothos plants. These plants are all very low-maintenance and can thrive in low light conditions. With just a little bit of light and water, these plants will give you a lot of love.

Hazrat Inayat Khan, a teacher of Universal Sufism, explained, “Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.” You can talk about the places you want to go and the house you one day want to live in, but where are you now? You are where you are. Focus on where you are and find the beauty in the little things around you, because who knows, maybe one day that little thing might finally be a healthy, living plant.  


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Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.