How to Set Up an Indoor Plant Maintenance Routine You'll Actually Do
When you first welcome new indoor plants into your home, it's really easy to remember to water them, feed them, and make sure they're getting enough sunlight. The plants are still new, so you don't need to set any reminders for yourself to take care of them.
But once the plants have been around for a few weeks, the novelty tends to wear off. Before long, you can't remember the last time you watered your plants, and they're starting to wilt away to nothing.
Don't let this happen to your plants!
Plant maintenance is something you should take seriously from the moment you bring new plants into your home. You should go to great lengths to make sure your plants are well taken care of to promote good health and growth.
Here's how to set up an indoor plant maintenance routine that you'll actually stick to over the long haul.
Find Out How Much Maintenance Plants Need Before Bringing Them Home
Far too often, people purchase indoor plants for their homes without considering how much maintenance they're going to need to do to them. They buy the plants and take them home before bothering to see how much food and water the plants will need.
Make sure you take the opposite approach. Rather than waiting to get home to see how much plant maintenance you'll need to do, research plants ahead of time and find out how much maintenance they'll require.
This will help you avoid investing in indoor plants that need too much maintenance. You'll set yourself and your plants up for success from the very beginning.
Place Your Plants in a Part of Your Home Where You'll See Them Every Day
Once you've picked out indoor plants that don't require too much maintenance, bring them home and, if necessary, place them into pots that will allow them to grow.
After you've done that, put those pots in a part of your home where you're guaranteed to see them at least once every day. Pick a sunny area of your home that you walk by on a regular basis if you can.
"Out of sight, out of mind" is something that, unfortunately, plagues far too many plant owners. They forget to stick to a plant maintenance routine simply because they don't see their plants often enough.
Make sure your plants don't fall victim to this. Put them in a place where you know you'll see your plants all the time.
Put Together a Watering Schedule for Your Plants
In order to keep your indoor plants alive, you're obviously going to need to water them regularly. Otherwise, you're going to have a bunch of dead plants on your hands within a matter of just weeks.
Figuring out how often to water plants can be tricky. But in general, the watering needs of your plants will depend on:
- The origin of the plants, as certain plants originate from places that get a lot of water while others don't
- The season, as most plants need more water in the spring and summer than they do in the fall and winter
- The location of your plants, as plants that receive a lot of sunlight will usually need more water than those that don't
- The size of your plants' pots, as larger pots will be able to hold more water over a longer period of time than smaller pots
Using these factors, you should be able to come up with a regular watering schedule for your plants. Get a calendar and mark it up to indicate when you need to walk around and give water to which plants.
Use Technology to Set Watering Reminders for Your Plants
A physical calendar will allow you to see when you need to water your plants. But what happens if you forget to check the calendar one day?
In addition to creating a calendar, it's also not a bad idea to use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to set digital reminders for yourself as far as when you should be watering your plants.
You can even use a virtual assistant like the Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant to ensure you don't skip a day you're supposed to water your plants.
Once you skip one day, it can be tough to get back on track. So make sure you're sticking to the schedule you came up with at the start.
Pick a Day of the Week to Walk Around and Inspect Your Plants
Outside of watering your indoor plants on certain days of the week, you should also devote one day to walking around and inspecting your plants closely. Most people like to do this on a Saturday or Sunday when they have enough time for it.
When you do this, evaluate each plant in your home to see if it's getting too much water, not enough water, or just the right amount.
Plants that are getting too much water each week will usually have yellowing leaves that are droopy. Plants that aren't getting enough water each week will usually have leaves that are very dry and curling.
If you notice any issues with your plants, you'll need to either start watering them more or limit the amount of water you're giving to them. But you won't know if your plants are experiencing problems unless you inspect them at least once a week.
You can also check plants for signs of pests and deal with them accordingly.
Rotate and Move Your Plants as Necessary
Do you sense your plants aren't getting enough sunlight in the spot where you have them now? Or is one side of a plant getting all the sunlight while the other side of it is being deprived?
Get into the habit of rotating your plants to distribute sunlight evenly. Move your plants around the inside of your home as well if you find that certain plants are getting too much sunlight or not enough sunlight in their current locations.
Make Plant Maintenance a Priority from the Time You Bring Plants Home
Setting up an indoor plant maintenance routine that works for you is absolutely essential if you want your indoor plants to thrive.
The only way you're going to stick with a routine is by establishing one as soon as you bring your plants home. Tending to your plants needs to become second nature and something you enjoy doing.
Read our blog for more information on caring for indoor plants properly.