Even seasoned plantsmen with rich horticulture experience can make these mistakes with their indoor plants in Pakistan.
It’s a well-known fact that houseplants can enhance your home decor and bring nature indoors. However, many people struggle to develop a successful indoor plant ecosystem due to common mistakes that harm their plants. To keep your houseplants thriving, avoid these 7 common errors that can be detrimental to them.
Too Much Watering
Overwatering is a common mistake when caring for plants. Too much water can suffocate the roots, reduce airflow, and promote fungal growth, leading to root rot and plant death. To avoid this, experts suggest not watering when the top soil is still wet. You can check soil moisture with your finger or a moisture meter. So if your well-watered plants are wilting, overwatering could be the cause.
Too Little Watering
On the flip side, not giving your plants enough water can lead to wilting or even death. When a plant lacks water, it can’t access the vital nutrients it needs to grow healthily. If your plant starts wilting, it might already be in trouble.
Furthermore, if the soil stays dry for a long time, it can become compacted, making it hard for water to reach the roots. To remedy this, experts recommend a technique called bottom watering, where you soak the pots in a container of water, allowing the soil to absorb moisture thoroughly.
Another option is using self-watering bulbs made of high-quality glass, which can hold up to 150 ml of water. Fill the bulb, make a small hole in the soil, and insert the bulb next to the plant at an angle. These watering bulbs can provide moisture for up to seven days and are great for indoor plants.
Using Pots Without Drainage Holes
Neglecting drainage holes is a common mistake when it comes to plants. Beautiful pots without drainage holes can harm your plants. These holes are vital for proper water drainage, ensuring good air circulation, and flushing salts from the soil.
If your pot lacks holes, you can carefully drill some at the bottom. Then, use a drip tray or plate under the pot to catch excess water, remembering to empty it when full. Another way to improve drainage is by placing rocks or pebbles at the pot’s base before adding soil. These porous materials can absorb excess water until the plant needs it.
Don’t Forget to Repot
Proper repotting is crucial for healthy plant growth, but it’s easy to make mistakes. Common ones include repotting too early, too late, or not at all.
You should consider repotting when you see roots poking through drainage holes or pushing the plant upward. Watch out for signs like falling leaves, wilting, stunted growth, or root damage.
However, repotting too soon can shock the plant, causing it to wither or die. This transplant shock happens when you move a plant to a new pot unnecessarily. Remember, not all plants need repotting, so only do it when it’s needed.
Wrong Size Pot
Using the wrong-sized pot when repotting is a common mistake. Some think a bigger pot will help the plant grow faster, but it can actually slow growth and lead to overwatering, which weakens the roots and causes rot.
Experts recommend a pot that’s about 2-4 inches larger in diameter and 1-2 inches deeper than the plant’s current pot. Materials like clay, terracotta, or ceramic pots are best because they allow more oxygen. Plastic pots, being non-porous, can limit oxygen and moisture for the plant.
Under Direct Sunlight
Plants need light to survive, but leaving them in direct sunlight is a common mistake. Most plants can only handle 1-2 hours of direct sunlight a day. Too much can scorch leaves, cause brown spots, or curl the ends.
Experts advise placing plants in the gentle morning sun for no more than two hours. If you see problems, move the plant to a low-light area. If your home lacks natural light, consider plants that can thrive without sunlight.
Using fertilizer is essential for plant care, but many people mistakenly believe that more fertilizer means faster growth, which can harm the plant. Over-fertilizing can burn the roots due to excess salts in the soil.
Experts advise using fertilizer at half strength for healthy plants and full strength only when they need a boost.
These are some of the most common mistakes people make when developing an indoor plant ecosystem. If you’d like to add to this list, please leave a comment.
A must read for all plant enthusiasts: