Indoor tropical plants are a necessity for the interior of any home.

Not only do they help purify the air but add an extra design element. These frost tender plants can also be very useful in outside planters in the summer for foliage accents. There are tropicals that are suitable for sunny or shaded areas and are a great way to help liven up any space in the home or office.

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Ten Golden Rules for Houseplants

  1. You have to love your plants! Only buy plants that you really like.
  2. Water as needed. Each houseplant has specific watering needs- make sure to learn these.
  3. Light is generally better than shade. Most plants appreciate a bright window, however only certain plants can tolerate searing sun or a dark corner.
  4. Allow your houseplants a resting period in the winter. Many of our green houseguests need a bright but cool location in the colder months.
  5. Don’t forget to fertilize. Houseplants need fresh fertilizer every 2-4 weeks in both the spring and summer.
  6. Houseplants like fresh soil. Repot young plants once a year, and older ones every 2-3 years.
  7. Give them some space. The leaves of adjacent plants should not touch one another.
  8. Remove excess water. Pour off any water not absorbed and left standing in the plant saucer after two or three hours.
  9. Avoid drafts. Keep doors closed when airing out plants.
  10. Mist large leaved plants. Houseplants with large leaves like it warm and moist.

Remember… Basic plant care involves choosing the correct plant for your specific location. Before you purchase a houseplant, make sure you have an appropriate place for it in your home.

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Watering. When, how and how often?

Unfortunately there is not one schedule for watering all houseplants. The amount of water required is dependant on the type of plant, size of pot, its location, and its phase of growth.

When should a plant be watered?

As a general rule, water your houseplants when the surface of the soil feels dry. You can test these moisture levels in your soil, using the simple Thumb Test. Just place either your thumb or index finger into the top layer of soil- if it feels dry and crumbly, your houseplant would like a drink.

What is the best time of day to water?

Morning is generally the best time to water, especially in bright or locations.

How should a plant be watered?

It is best to water houseplants either directly on the root ball, making sure to avoid the foliage and flowers or into the saucer under the plant.

If your houseplant is extremely dry, you can use the immersion method, which involves placing the pot up to its upper rim in a large bucket of water until air bubbles have stopped rising to the top.

If your houseplant requires a humid environment you should mist the foliage 1-2 times per day with lime-free water at room temperature.

General Tips for people who water too much?

  1. Always use the thumb test- then water depending on results
  2. Water into the plants saucer instead of directly on the root ball
  3. Place gravel in the plant saucer
  4. Select plants that require more water

General Tips for people who water too little?

  1. Use clay pots rather then plastic as they help to retain the moisture.
  2. Place plants in an immersion bath from time to time.
  3. Choose plants that don’t require a lot of water.



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Plants have a habit of letting you know when they require fertilizer. The leaves may change color, growth may slow down, they may lose leaves and cease to bloom. When you notice this occurring in spring and summer, it is time to fertilize.

Your various houseplants will also require different fertilizers. For example, a greenery plant will require different fertilizer then a blooming houseplant. Make sure you keep this in mind when selecting food for your tropicals.

Fertilizer comes in many forms including liquid, powders, granular, stakes and sticks. As each form differs in its strength, make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions.

Feeding tips

  1. Fertilize regularly throughout your houseplants growing season
  2. Remember fast growing plants need more fertilizer
  3. Most plants require a rest phase through the colder months so make sure to not fertilize

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Sunny Locations

What is a sunny location?

  • Warm and dry air
  • The sunniest location in a house by a window that faces south, southwest or west.
  • Where the sun shines directly into a room for several hours each day
  • On warm window sills flooded with sunlight

Remember… Plants exposed to more sunlight and bright light tend to dry out faster and need to be watered more frequently

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Bright Locations

What is a bright location?

  • A window that faces east or west
  • A location without direct mid-day sun
  • In rooms where the sun shines for several hours
  • 3-5’ from a large window that faces south or southwest
  • In a bright room with light walls, light floors, and large windows

Remember… Plants exposed to more sunlight and bright light tend to dry out faster and need to be watered more frequently

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Partial Shade Locations

What is a partial shade location?

  • The sun shines into this room for only a few hours
  • In areas exposed to indirect sunlight

Helpful Tip… If your variegated or tri-coloured plants are loosing colour, simply move them to an area with brighter light.

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Shady Locations

What is a shady location?

  • In windows that are shielded from the sun throughout the day
  • In rooms with small windows
  • In dark corridors, staircases and corners of rooms
  • Rooms without windows

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