‘Starve the plant’: Biggest houseplant ‘mistake’ plant owners make – ‘water to a schedule’

Gardeners' World: How to care for houseplants

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Houseplants are a fantastic way to add colour and a touch of nature to neutral decor. Large tropical leaves, trailing vines and spiky succulents can be the perfect home accessory. However, not caring for your plants the right way could be critical to the health of a houseplant. If they are placed in the wrong environment or are watered too much or too little, they can face several problems.

All houseplants have slightly different caring needs in terms of how much they need watering and where they need to be placed.

However, there is one big ‘mistake’ plant owners make when caring for their houseplant.

Product specialist at Serenata Flowers, Natalie Devereux, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about houseplants and how to care for them.

Natalie explained how not watering to a schedule can be one of the biggest mistakes.

She said: “Watering to a schedule is one of the biggest mistakes people make when caring for houseplants. 

“Due to temperature changes, plants will have different watering needs in winter to that in summer.

“If you’re watering the same amount, you’re likely to either starve the plant or overwater, which can lead to root rot.”

Root rot is mainly caused by overwatering plants.

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Leaving plants standing in too much water for long periods of time can lead to root rot.

Using a pot with drainage holes is a great alternative.

Natalie explained how to determine when to water a houseplant.

She said: “Surface soil can dry out more quickly during winter months, but that’s not a good indicator that the plant needs water. 

“To determine if it needs a drink insert your finger about an inch or two below the surface of the soil to see if it’s dry.”

During the winter months, regulating the plant’s humidity levels becomes extremely important.

Natalie discussed how low humidity levels can also be a problem for houseplants.

She said: “Due to central heating, humidity levels in the home can drop to as low as 10 percent in winter, and plants prefer a level closer to 50 percent.”

Some houseplants like to be misted each day, helping to boost their humidity levels.

Natalie continued: “This means we need to increase humidity levels artificially, such as regular misting or placing close to a humidifier, to keep plants healthy throughout the winter months.”

Misting can also reduce the risk of overwatering, as they will have moisture in their leaves.

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