​9 clever ways not to kill your indoor plants (like usual)

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan

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Strange how certain people can (seemingly) effortlessly raise pets and children, but when it comes to taking care of a fragile green thing inside a pot, they hit a brick wall. Yes, not all of us were born with the magical ability to let plants and flowers grow – it’s a gift that’s only been bestowed upon some, it would seem.

But don’t fret, as here on homify we always try to come up with new helpful tips and tricks. Thus, if you’re dreaming of living in a home filled with lush plants and colourful flowers that are not of the plastic kind, then read on, for these tips are sure to help you keep those potted pretty petals alive the next time you bring one home from the nursery.

1. Purchase the correct plants

Just because it comes in a pot doesn’t mean it’s suited for the indoors. Opt for plants that will thrive under a roof, prefer indirect sunlight and don’t require a lot of watering. 

Our recommendations? Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata), Snake plant (Sansevieria), Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), Aloe vera and Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.).

2. Choose the right pot for your plant




For plants that require more moisture, opt for plastic ones, as they can help to retain water. Clay pots are porous, so they’re a good choice if you’re not quite sure of how much and how often to water.  

And yes, size does matter. Choose a pot that is between 15 and 45 cm, depending on the size of the plant.

3. Schedule your watering

 Garden  by homify

Three Tiered Plant Stand


To make sure that your plants don’t dry or drown, set a day (or two) each week to water them. If necessary, set an alarm on your phone or write it up in your diary to help remind you. 

Architects, gardeners, and much more – we have them all here on homify. See our professionals page for more info.

4. Clean them often

Summer Calla Lily Plant:  Garden  by Appleyard London
Appleyard London

Summer Calla Lily Plant

Appleyard London

Don’t just dust those dusty leaves. Wipe them softly with a cloth that’s been submerged in soapy water and a bit of mayo. It’ll help put the shine back!

5. Check for dead leaves

One dead leaf can spoil your entire bunch. Use sharp scissors to cut the dead or damaged ones off at the root.

6. Light them right (naturally)

 Living room by Levenssfeer

Lushful plants


Place your plant next to a south-facing window so that it receives as much light as possible, especially while winter is doing its worst. Go for the sunniest room in the house. 

If your home doesn’t allow for much natural lighting, ask your local nursery for plants that will thrive in low or indirect lighting.

7. Light them right (artificially)

If you’re committed to growing a bunch of succulents in your windowless room, you’d better make sure you use the right artificial light. 

Incandescent lights are good for lighting up a room or growing low-light house plants, such as vines, ferns or dracaenas. On the other hand, we recommend fluorescent lights for plants with low to medium light requirements, like African violets. They are also good for starting vegetables indoors.

8. Turn it around

Using plants to add life to living areas:  Dining room by Custom  Media
Custom  Media

Using plants to add life to living areas

Custom Media

Unless you’re aiming for an awkward lopsided plant that cranes towards the light, be sure to regularly rotate your indoor plant so that it gets adequate light from all sides.

9. When all else fails…

Large Glasshouse Terrarium:  Garden  by ELLA JAMES

Large Glasshouse Terrarium


… don’t be too hard on yourself; we weren’t all born with green fingers. 

If you just can’t manage to keep that plant alive, take a few cuttings from your back garden or some branches from your favourite florist or nursery and display them in creative ways (like in light bulbs, old shoes, an unused vintage dresser, your medicine cabinet, etc.). 

For some more lush floral inspiration, take a look at: These 19 gardens will make you want to improve yours.

What other tips do you have to help indoor plants thrive?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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