Expert Reveals How To Actually Keep Your Houseplants Alive

Interest in how to properly care for certain houseplants is on the rise, with a 250% spike in Google searches for “what to do with an amaryllis after it blooms?” and a 200% increase in “why is my aloe plant turning brown?”.

Sustainable brand, Wave, has used Google trends data to find out what Brits are desperate to know about looking after houseplants, and have spoken to expert gardener, Adam Kirtland, from View From The Potting Bench, to find out exactly how to care for your houseplants. 

According to Adam, “Houseplants bring so much joy to any home, no matter how small or large your space may be [and] it’s been proven by science that they improve your mood, reduce stress levels and as a result, make you happier and healthier.”

But with the popularity of houseplants consistently increasing, Brits are keen to know how to look after them properly. We hope we can help answer those Google searches; here are Adam’s top tips to keep your plants happy and healthy. 

What To Do With An Amaryllis After It Blooms?  

“Once your amaryllis has passed, it’s best then to simply chop off the spent flower from the stem and let the stem start to die back, but make sure to leave the rest of the foliage on the plant to put energy back into the bulb.’

‘Make sure to leave about an inch or so of the stem to help put this energy back in! Do continue to water but not too much –  just keep it moist. You can put the plants outside for a bit of a holiday and let them build up strength to flower again next season.”

How Do You Grow An Amaryllis Indoors?

“My top tip is to get the biggest bulb you can find and afford. The bigger the bulb, the more flowers, and the happier you’ll be with your amaryllis. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got a wide pot to contain yours as the flowers can be quite lofty and this will stop your pot toppling over.’

‘Give your bulbs a good drink of water when you plant them at first, but after that,  just keep the soil slightly damp to avoid rotting the bulb. My top tip though…turn the pot around by about a quarter every other day – this will help to grow a tall and straight stem that won’t lean one way or the other.”

Read: 7 simple steps to keep your houseplants alive for longer

Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Brown?

Because aloe vera plants are succulents, they retain moisture well so can usually throw a wobbly when they’re too wet. To prevent this, let them dry out a bit to help them spring back into life.”

How Do You Re-pot An Aloe Vera Plant?

“The best tip I can give for aloe vera is to use a terracotta pot. This allows the soil to dry out more than a ceramic or glass container and give the aloe the conditions it enjoys most. They love light, but not direct sunlight, somewhere near a window where they’ll get this without sitting in the baking rays of midday.’

‘You’ll know when an aloe wants to be potted on when it has filled its current home. Simply grab a pot that is a bit bigger than the one it’s in and fill it about ⅓ of the way full with good potting mix. Gently tap out the plant from its pot and place in the new one and fill in around the plant with more potting mix and give it a good water. It’s a good idea to give it a water in the sink and let the water drain through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. When the water stops running out, you can then move it to where you’d like it.“

How Often Should You Water A Peace Lily? 

“Peace lilies are great at telling you when they need a top up of water by dropping leaves, but if you don’t want to wait for it to get that extreme then follow the ‘knuckle test’. If it’s dry, then give it a drink but if it feels wet then leave it for a bit. Once a week is a good shout here, but only if it needs it. In winter, you can pull back to once every two or three weeks.”

Read: The IDEAL guide to the best houseplants to buy based on your zodiac sign

Why Is My Peace Lily Turning Yellow?

“Usually this is due to over or under watering again and is easy to solve in the same way as above, all houseplants would rather be slightly dry than sopping wet, so sometimes it’s good to put away the watering can!”

How To Prevent Rubber Plants Turning Yellow?

“This could be one of two things, either the age old over watering again OR sunburn! If it sits in bright sunlight then remove it from this position to somewhere a little further away from the window. Try backing off with the water for a week or so to see if that also helps.”

How To Prevent Your Areca Palm Turning Brown?

“You guessed it, overwatering! Basically, you’ll want to make sure it isn’t sitting in a pool of water in the pot, make sure your pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to run away into a saucer.”

Why Are My Spider Plant Leaves Turning Brown?

“The most likely reason is over or under watering! They don’t like to sit in stagnant water but neither do they like to be too dry, a tip here is to stick your finger into the soil up to about the second knuckle, if it comes out dry then give it a water. Humidity is good here too so take them into the bathroom with you when you have a hot shower and they’ll thank you for it!”

Thank you Adam for your top tips… Our plants are looking healthier already!

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