Houseplant Checklist: Tips for Keeping Your Indoor Plants Healthy

Table of Contents

Okay, you think you have a black and not a green thumb as you bought this trendy yet IT plant. You picked it up at the local store. First, the overwatering in the first week, then you completely forget you have a plant.

Surprisingly it dies, and you swear you will not buy another plant. You do not have a black thumb, depending on how you care for your indoor plants. So, the news flash is you are the biggest plant killer, so we have compiled a checklist to keep your plants healthy and you happy.

Choose a Few Plants That are Easy to Care For, Like The Spider Plant

spider plant

We can see you looking at the Fiddle Leaf Fig on the Plantly catalog. Resists that urge as a plant baby if you are a beginner plant parent. Yes, they are our favorite plants but believe us, they are fussy where they live.

So, choose plants that are easy to keep alive to give you that boost of confidence you need. Instead, look at plants like your Philodendron, Snake Plant, Spider Plant, Pothos, and ZZ Plant. Once you mast the care for these plants, gratitude yourself with a more difficult plant to take care of.

How To Choose a Houseplant for Your Living Space

You can easily create a lush oasis in your living space, but there are a few things you need to factor in when you select an indoor plant.

  • Consider the available space and consider how much space your plant will need. Also, think if your living space will work better with floor plants, shelf plants, hanging plants, or tabletop plants.

  • Think about the lighting in the home as it is essential. As some plants need medium light while others need bright light to partial shade. Hence, you can modify windows with sheer curtains if your plant does not enjoy full sun or use artificial lighting if your plant needs more direct sunlight.

  • While indoor climate is not a huge factor if you have an AC, temperature drops and too-high heat also take their toll on plants.

  • How busy is your lifestyle schedule? If you are not home a lot, it does not help to get a high-maintenance plant needing special care.

  • Do you have kids and pets, then you need a non-toxic plant, or does it need to be placed out of reach?

  • What is the style of your home as it plays a huge part in selecting plants? If you want a jungle look, you need tropical plants, while something more low-key looks great with succulent plants.

Next, Choose The Best Spot For Your Plant

dappled indoor lighting

While many professional plant parents say, you need to check your plant tag when you get home to know the best light source for them. Instead, we recommend investing time to find out what light your plant needs before bringing it home.

Still, the light your plant needs is essential when looking for a perfect spot. If your plant needs indirect light, it helps to place it further away from a window. Or you can put your plant behind some sheer curtains.

You want your plant to receive enough sun to grow indoors if it needs bright light. Hence, finding the best location is necessary for healthy growth. Yet most houseplants need natural light to keep the leaves green.

But if you do not have natural light and your plant demands direct sunlight, you will need to provide it with what it needs by still placing it outside for a couple of hours. If you notice your indoor plants looking leggy or pale, move them closer to a sunny window.

Or you will need to invest in houseplants that can thrive in low light.

Temperature and Humidity Needs

As with finding the right lighting conditions, temperature and humidity are also critical. In addition, most plants need proper air circulation to keep them healthy.

succulent plants

But some plants like succulents can tolerate more heat than your tropical plants need high humidity.

So if your plant needs high moisture, it helps to find a spot in a bathroom with warmer temperatures and humidity close to a window.

Caring For The Indoor Plants

Caring for your houseplants is just as important as finding the perfect plant, size, and spot.

The First Place to Start The Soil

potting mix

Here the soil you use depends on the specific plants you grow. But the general rule is to use a growing media for indoor plants. Hence, it will be soil made up of peat moss, perlite, compost, and vermiculite.

Another crucial thing is the pot you use needs to have enough drainage holes to prevent wet feet from leading to root rot. You can also use an all-purpose potting soil that works with houseplants.

But when you grow orchids, they are picky and need a potting medium made for orchids that are well-draining, allowing the roots to breathe. So, before bringing new plants home, check what species you have and the recommended needs.

Watering Houseplants

Many new parent owners worry that they are not watering their babies enough. Yet, when over, watering it leads to many concerns making your plant sick. The best way to know when to water is to check if the soil is dry.

Plant watering needs differ as some prefer moist soil when the time comes to water, while succulent plants prefer dry soil before you water again. Another helpful point is to water well and leave the excess moisture to drain into the capture pot and remove it.

You may find you will water more in the growing season compared to winter when most plants go dormant. On the other hand, for tropical plants that thrive in high humidity, you can invest in a spray bottle to mist the leaves.

Fertilizing Indoor Plants

plant liquid fertilizer

Almost all houseplants will need added nutrient feed as it depletes from the potting medium. With fertilizer, it will help with new growth to keep roots growing. You can use a granule that will break down with time.

Or you can add it directly to water to use on your plants. You will feed your plants more in the growing season of spring and summer. Still read the directions for the fertilizer you choose.

Repot Houseplants

repotting succulent plants

When spring arrives, it is the best time to repot houseplants. You can stimulate new growth with fresh potting soil and a unique pot to provide room for the root system to expand. Still, do not just repot your plants. Here are step-by-step instructions to see if your plant needs a new home.

  • You can repot your plant if you see roots growing out at the bottom or over the top soil.

  • When the pot looks like it will burst at any moment, you can invest in a new pot.

  • When the soil feels dry, you water your plant, which runs straight through without it soaking in. Next, you need to repot your plant.

  • You see the root system growing with circular patterns.

Prune Leggy Growth

During the winter months, some houseplants become leggy, and spring is the best time to give your plants trim. You can remove the unhealthy leaves and branches. Furthermore, it helps to encourage new growth and branching. Remove dead or damaged foliage.

You can also remove dead flowering plant spikes down to the base. Another helpful thing is to take a damp cloth to wipe down the leaves to remove dust regularly.

Plant Roster For Popular Houseplant Care

We have a roster for some of them to help you further, and if you decide to invest in some popular low-maintenance plants.

Snake Plant

snake plant

These indoor succulent plants are gorgeous to stand in any corner of the home. The snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue has a striking form in different colors.

The plant has health benefits as it keeps the air in the home clean from pollutants, and it produces pups you can separate from the mother plant.

Under suitable conditions, it turns into flowering plants with white flowers on the delicate stalk.

While they can tolerate low light, they prefer natural sunlight in indoor spaces. They prefer drying out between watering and only need a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer in spring.

Dumb Cane

dumb cane

Another favorite of ours is the dumb cane you find in several varieties. Yet, the one with green and white speckles on the leaves is gorgeous. It grows with an upright shape to fill a space.

The interesting name is that it numbs the throat when ingested, so do not eat it. So how much light does the dumb cane need? The good news is it is sensitive to too much direct sunlight. Hence, it prefers partial shade or low light conditions.

All you need to do is keep it moist but not soggy for feeding and use a water-soluble fertilizer about twice a month.

Peace Lily

peace lily

The peace lily has dark leaves with an iconic white flower called a leaf bract. It is another air-purifying plant removing toxins from the air. It can tolerate low light but prefers a medium sunlight spot.

When receiving enough light, it develops a flower but does not produce blooms when in too little light. It prefers dry to moist soil for water as too much water makes the leaves go limp. You can apply a granule feed twice a year.



The pothos is an indestructible plant found in many homes. You can quickly propagate the host plant by taking cuttings from it. The plant has a trailing habit; you can grow it in soil or water.

As indoor plants grow in any light source but prefer medium sunlight and can survive under fluorescent lights. It likes to dry out before watering; the best fertilizer to use is a water-soluble one once a month.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, with the proper plant care, your indoor plants can thrive without you feeling you have a black thumb. Provide your plants with a perfect spot, pot, soil, light, and water to see them grow happily.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

Plantly Menu