House plants convey their needs — what are yours saying?

house plants, black woman kneeling, white watering can, woman watering large plant

If I were to visit your home, how many live plants would I find inside? If you answered, “None,” then you need to consider getting some house plants. There are many benefits to bringing live plants indoors. If you’re thinking that you don’t have a green thumb and pretty much kill any plant you try to grow, it’s okay. This post can help you!

House plants are constantly conveying their health status. Helping them thrive is merely a matter of learning to understand what your plants are trying to tell you. Of course, understanding isn’t enough. You could be a guru on the life and times of the average house plant. However, if you never take time to check your plants or notice what it is that they’re current conditions are conveying, they’ll still wither and die. So, the first step toward nurturing live plants indoors is to pay attention to them and regularly check their conditions.

5 Reasons to have house plants

house plants, green plants of various sizes arranged near window, wooden stools and shelves

As mentioned earlier, there are numerous benefits to bringing live plants inside your home. The following list includes five reasons you might want to consider investing in (or harvesting from the wild) more house plants:

  • They purify the air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen.
  • Studies show that house plants can help reduce stress and fatigue.
  • They may also help fight colds and sore throats.
  • House plants can help buffer noise and echo inside a house.
  • Taking care of something can give you a good feeling.
  • They bring life to an otherwise sterile environment.
  • House plants can be valuable decorating tools!

I can’t help but wonder if the second and third items on this list are a result of the first item on the list. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If we’re breathing in cleaner air, it improves the health of our lungs, which can makes us feel less fatigued. It also makes sense that we might get fewer sore throats and colds (or, at least, be able to recover more quickly from such illnesses) if the air quality inside our home is good.

Checking your house plants daily is like having an ongoing conversation

house plants, person sitting on floor, raching for variegated plant in pot

Remember, when we say things like, “I don’t have a green thumb, and every plant I’ve ever had has died,” we really mean, “I always forget to check on my plants, so they wind up malnourished and die.”

If you’re determined to bring more house plants into your home, a key to their good health and longevity is simply to check on them each day. It only takes a few minutes to walk through your house and look at your plants. The next step is to learn how to interpret what your plants are trying to tell you through their appearance.

How do you feel when you’re dehydrated?

white rectangle between two large potted plants

If you’ve ever started to notice symptoms of dehydration in yourself, you might recall feeling as though you were dragging. When we do not drink adequate amounts of water, we tend to feel droopy, slow and sluggish. If you notice that one of your house plants is looking droopy, it’s telling you, “I’m thirsty!”

Why are your plants looking spindly and lanky?

house plants, week seedling, healthy seedling
Photo credit: https://simplysmartgardening.com/leggy-seedlings/

Especially if you have a plant that is supposed to be full and robust, leggy-looking stems that are stretching out are telling you something. House plants always grow toward sunlight. If your plants are looking all stretched out and lanky, they’re letting you know that they’re not getting enough light. Try moving them to a window or, at least, another space where they have access to more direct sunlight, and see if their condition improves.

It’s possible to over-water your house plants

house plants, hand holding mister, spraying green leaves with water

Finding the right balance of hydration for each, specific type of plant you own is a key to indoor plant success. We’ve already discussed that a droopy-looking plant is crying out to you for a drink of water. If you’re giving a plant too much water, on the other hand, it will also let you know. A plant that is over-hydrated often develops yellowing leaves, particularly starting from the bottom of the plant (because the lower leaves get the water, first).

Help! We’re being attacked by pests!

Pests, Leaf, Nature, Insect, Infestation

If you’re house plants develop a pest problem, it can escalate fast. This is because there aren’t many predators indoors, so the pests that take up residence in your house plant can quickly multiply. How do you know if a plant is telling you that it’s being attacked by pests? One of the first signs you might notice is a change in leaf color. You should always touch your plants, as well. If you notice a change in the texture of a plant’s leaves, it might also be a symptom of a pest problem. Holes in the leaves or looking like something has been gnawing on the edges, like a chunk has been bitten means — it probably has!

If there’s a sticky substance forming on a plant’s leaves or a fuzzy, moldy appearance, it’s a pretty sure sign that you have a pest problem on your hands. Finally, your house plants don’t always have to tell you if they’re being attacked by pests. You might be able to see the intruders on the under sides of the leaves or elsewhere in the pot!

Learn what healthy house plants look like in order to know what unhealthy plants are trying to tell you

Woman in Green Long Sleeve Shirt and Black Pants Sitting on Brown Wooden Seat

Like people, no two house plants are exactly the same, even within the same species. It’s helpful, however, to do some research on each species when you bring numerous types of house plants into your home. Some need more light than others. Some like alkaline soil, others acidic. Many plants need watered every day, while others are fine with a drink of water once per week.

The better able you are to recognize what a health plant looks like, the greater your chance of success in helping plants thrive will be. Healthy house plants typically have a full, robust appearance. They are sturdy-looking and will continue to grow, eventually needing you to “pot up” to a larger-sized container. (Some plants grow faster than others.) A healthy plant will not have roots showing through holes in the bottom of a pot or above the surface of its soil. If a plant does have this appearance, it’s telling you that it’s root-bound and needs more room to grow!

Taking care of house plants need not be a complicated or overly time-consuming process. It’s good for your health and can be a pleasurable hobby, as well!

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