As houseplants have become more popular, false plant care information has increased over the internet. However, some of the information you may have learned might have been passed down to you, or you might have read plant care advice from Google. Read on to learn some common myths that will help save you money and time.
1. MYTH: MOST INDOOR PLANTS GO DORMANT IN WINTER
Most indoor plants are native to the tropics, which are warm all year long, so they tend to grow all year. These areas have dry and wet seasons so watering can affect their growth. In temperate climates, the amount of light is much reduced in winter, which can slow down growth but does not stop. The home tends to be warm all year long, just like the tropics, so houseplants grow all season long.
2. MYTH: PLANTS GROW BIGGER IN BIGGER POTS
Our rule of thumb is to increase the size of the pot gradually. For example, if it currently lives in a 4” pot, then “bump it up” to a 6” pot. If it’s in a 10” pot, move it to a 12”. Indoor plants do well in pots that are balanced with the size of the plant and its roots. If the pot is too large for a plant, too much soil will surround the roots. And when you water the plant, it will stay wet too long, and the roots may rot.
3. MYTH: YELLOW LEAVES MEAN OVERWATERING
These symptoms may have many possible causes, including inadequate light, overwatering, too little water, excess fertilizer, and poor soil quality.
4. MYTH: HOUSEPLANTS NEED TO BE WATERED AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
Watering on a schedule seems like a good idea! Unfortunately, if you water all your plants on schedule, you’re probably putting them at risk. Each plant will have individual needs, and the best thing to do is assess each one as an individual — pot size, pot material, placement, and potting mix are just some of the factors that need to be considered. If you are unsure, buy a purchase a moisture meter to help you!
5. MYTH: YOU NEED TO RE-POT A PLANT AS SOON AS YOU GET IT
Not necessarily. It’s best to give a new plant a few weeks to recover (especially if it’s been shipped) and acclimate to its new environment. After that, if the plant is pot-bound, roots are growing through the pot’s drainage holes, or it doesn’t seem to grow as it should, it’s time to examine the roots and either prune or re-pot.