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How To Make Indoor Palms Thrive

Apr 27, 2008
Light

One of the elements that all plants absolutely need in order to grow is light. Houseplants generally do best when they receive reflected light, but that are able to tolerate some direct light, as long as it's not long exposure to the hot summer sun. If a plant must receive direct light, it is best if it is the more mellow morning and evening sun.

Humidity

In general, humidity is pretty low indoors. It can vary quite a bit though, based on outdoor conditions, as well as heating and air conditioning use. Higher humidity is generally best for plants. Pests and poor health can plague plants that don't receive the correct amount of humidity.

To fix a problem of low humidity, you have to change the atmosphere around the plants by grouping plants around each other and/or placing the pot in a saucer of water. The water will evaporate, adding moisture to the air. You can also spray the plants with a fine mist to add moisture to the leaves.

Temperature

Most indoor plants originally come from tropical areas, so temperatures should not be too low for them. Luckily, this works well since humans also do not like indoor temperatures to be too low. Low temperatures for a short time can be tolerated easier than extended exposure to extreme conditions. In general, temperatures should be kept above 14 degrees Celsius for proper palm care or indoor plant care in general. Heating systems in your home solve the temperature problem, but they make the air very dry. See the humidity section for information on how to fix this.

Watering

Everyone knows that you must water indoor plants. It is not as common that people understand the correct amount to water plants. The frequency depends on the temperature and humidity, as well as the species of plant. Many plants can be watered daily in the summer, but much less in the winter. The type and size of pot also is a factor. The type of soil is also important. Thick soil retains water more, so it needs watered less.

People tend to be more worried about watering too little than too much. Watering too much can be just as harmful, or maybe even more so. Too much watering can cause root rot, fungi, mold, or plenty of other diseases.

Resting Recuperation

The leaves of plants should occasionally be washed off with water from a hose to prevent pests, dust build-up, and to freshen the plant up in general. You can place plants outside in light rain, but make sure to take them back inside before the sun comes out because direct sunlight is bad for plants when they are not used to it.

Another option for resting plants is to move plants to a shady part of an outdoor garden for a while to give them a change. They will often grow very well, and you can then move them back inside.

Fertilizer

Indoor plants such as palms except the hard to care for majesty palm should only have fertilizers applied during the growing months. If it is applied in cold months, it could burn the plant. When you make applications, it should be done in small doses at regular intervals. Never apply quick release fertilizers to newly potted plants.

Pests

Pests are more common in plants grown in containers than outdoor plants. Mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale insects are the most common types. You can help prevent pests by misting your plants frequently. Once a plant is weak from pests or poor care, they are more susceptible to other problems.
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