6 Plant Care Tips To Boost Growth & Foliage

Wondering what more you can do as a plant parent? I have a few tips to help your leafy friends grow bigger, better, and stronger. Not to mention, help you become an intuitive and confident plant parent!

01. Light, light, light!

All plants love light, but not all plants love the same amount of light.
Having an adequate light source is the most crucial factor in powering plant growth.

Plants vary in the amount of light needed; some are shade-loving, and others love the sun. As the seasons change, so will our plants’ needs. During the winter, the Northern Hemisphere leans away from the sun giving us fewer hours of daylight and weaker rays of sunshine.

Winter sun and summer sun examples
Figure 1. When the seasons change so will the natural light in your home.

To work out the types of light levels you have, observe how the sun passes through your room and how that changes during the day. Keep in mind, levels of light in a typical home vary depending on the placement of doors, windows, and window treatments.

If your plant is starting to look spindly or you see it bending towards the light source, this may be an indicator it’s not receiving enough light. If possible, bring your plants closer to the window, and every few days, gradually rotate them to help them even out.   

02. Water Your Plants, Not Too Much

Just like light, all plants need water. It’s important to remember there are many factors that affect how much you water and how often you water. For example, high temperatures and high light levels increase the plants’ need for water; while, less light and cold temperatures reduce the plants’ need for water.

Here are a few easy tips to help you become a watering pro:

  • Instead of watering on a set schedule, judge if its time to water based on the soil condition. Has the soil dried out since the last time you watered? If so, its time to go again
  • Never water when the soil is still wet! Overwatering is the number one reason plants do not make it
  • Each time you water, water your plants thoroughly. This means watering the soil evenly and until water runs through the drain hole. DO NOT let that plant sit in a puddle of water after. This can cause major root rot and suffocate your plants’ roots.
  • Water plants with room-temperature water. Cold water can be a shock to a houseplant’s roots
  • If you start to notice leafs turning brown, switch to filtered water as tap water contains high amounts of mineral/chemicals that can be harmful to your plants.

03. Planty Food

Plant food is one of the easiest ways to boost your plants’ growth. I recommend using a liquid fertilizer like Fox Farm Big Bloom. It is 100% organic, and it is gentle enough to use on young plants. Hold off until springtime to start fertilizing and most house plants become dormant during the winter.

04. Fresh Cut

During the winter you may notice your plants shedding leaves. Don’t worry, because losing leaves is a NORMAL process and growth will resume in the spring.

You can also boost growth by cutting off unhealthy leaves. This allows the plant to divert its energy from dead foliage to new growth. There are some plants you can trim and get MORE plants from the cuttings. Stem or leaf cuttings are a fun and popular form of plant propagation, giving you FREE PLANTS.

05. Spring Cleaning & Fresh Soil

The best time to refresh the potting mix is spring!

You can take off the top layer of soil and replace it with a fresh scoop of new soil. Or, you can go for a complete overhaul and fully repot your plant. A good option if the soil remains compact and dry from the winter and if you have had issues with bugs or drainage.

06. Twist It, Turn It, Move It!

You may notice one or two of your plants leaning more to one side as plants naturally grow towards the light. Rotating your plants once a week will help the entire plant gets enough light and promote even growth.

Love your plants and have fun taking care of them! Don’t be afraid to trust your gut or try something new. Plants are very resilient and forgiving.

Want more house plant care tips?

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