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A recent poll found that only one-third of Americans felt very confident that they could keep a new houseplant alive for six months. Another third thought it “somewhat likely” that they could, while the final third either didn’t know or were fairly sure the theoretical plant would die under their care.
If I were a houseplant, those odds probably wouldn’t seem great. But I’m not a houseplant. Instead, I’m a human who would classify himself as “hopeful” when it comes to keeping a houseplant alive. In the hopes of elevating myself to the ranks of the “somewhat likely,” I asked one of our plant-loving newsroom experts for some quick tips on caring for houseplants.
The Weather Channel Meteorologist Kait Parker, who classifies herself as “a recovering over-waterer,” gave me several excellent pieces of advice. Her first? To keep in mind that houseplants need much less water than outdoor plants. That’s because there is less evaporation in a cooled home.
“Make sure they dry out completely before giving them heavy water again,” she says.
Parker also notes that for most plants, the more sun the better. “Even if it is a ‘low light plant’ it just means it might survive in lower light, not that it will thrive there,” she says.
What are your best tips for keeping houseplants alive? Send us your tips to [email protected] and we’ll share some in a future Brief.
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