House Plants 101
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
The Horticulture Committee brought in two house plant gurus, Mary Gray and Annette Goliti Gutierrez from Potted in Atwater Village for a tutorial on all things house plants on Wed Feb 12. The duo not only brought a plethora of gorgeous house plants and pots, but also shared a wealth of information on the care and keeping of houseplants. Their "Houseplants 101" guidelines are included on their website but here are a few additional pointers for a quick read:
Most people overwater their plants. Once a week may work, but really once every 10 days to two weeks for many plants may be enough. You should let most houseplants dry out in the top 1" layer (ficus, philodendron, pothos, kentia, rhapis)- while others need to be kept evenly moist (palms, ferns, prayer plants). When in doubt let the plant go without water for a bit longer than you usually do, and note when it starts to droop. Overwatering can cause infestation and disease for many plants, and is usually the leading cause for 'losing' a plant.
Leave houseplants in the plastic nursery pots they were purchased in - they rarely need to be replanted (unless it's a tiny pot) and will do best if left in plastic pot and put in a bigger decorative planter or "cachepot". Don't let plants sit in water (except African Violets which love bottom watering.)
When you water your plants do so at the sink and let the water flush through the plant, then let it sit and drain for a bit. Watering by "sips" from the watering can causes a buildup of salts from the water that harms the plants.
When you see brown tips on the ends of the leaves the plant may need more humidity. Lightly spraying with water can help in this case. Another option is to place them in a tray of pebbles filled with water.
Plants love to be grouped together as this creates a more humid environment for them.
Most plants like bright indirect light. Unless shaded by foliage outside or a sheer curtain, plants in south facing windows may get too much light. The wall diagram below (from Flora+Grub) shows how your light may be considered in your own home.
Thank you to Oona Kanner for hosting the event, and to Mary and Annette for their expertise. Potted is located at 3158 Los Feliz Blvd, not far from the Costco.