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  • Writer's pictureBath Garden Center

Houseplant Care

Having good-looking, healthy houseplants is all about selecting the right plants. Different plants thrive in different amounts of sunlight, from sun-hungry cacti to low-light ferns. Choose plants based on the amount of light they will receive in your home. A beautiful plant won’t stay beautiful and healthy if it doesn’t receive enough sunlight or proper care. Make sure you know the type of plant you’re growing so you can do a little extra research, and we will be able to better assist you in the future if you have questions. It’s really easy to forget what type of plant you purchased, so write it down somewhere or hide the tag inside the container. Our houseplants experts are always happy to help you choose the right tropical plants for your home.

Houseplants need the basics – food, water, sunlight, and maybe a little pruning every now and then.


  • Use an organic, balanced fertilizer to encourage lush, green foliage growth.

  • Use a bloom formula for blooming plants. Bloom formulas have a slightly higher ratio of phosphorus to encourage flower growth.

  • Whatever fertilizer you choose, use as instructed. Fertilizers vary greatly in strength, and you may be directed to use monthly, bi-weekly, or even with every watering.


  • Too dry, and too wet are both stressful for a plant. Most plants like having a consistent level of moisture, and some like to dry out just a bit between waterings. Always ask the name of the plant you purchase to determine what care the plant needs. A quick consultation with one of our employees will help you provide the right amount of water.

  • The container you choose to pot your plant in will affect your watering schedule. A container that is too large will take too long to dry out, and a container that is too small will dry out too quickly. Choose a container 2-3 inches larger than the container your plant comes in.

  • The container should have drain holes for excess water to escape.

Sunlight and Supplemental Lighting

  • Sun-bleached leaves, leggy growth, weak stems, and overall poor growth are signs of the wrong amount of light.

  • Generally, southern exposure is the brightest location for natural light. North windows are usually the dimmest. East and west windows will receive bright light for a portion of the day.

  • Light varies considerably throughout the year. The sun is low during the winter, and straight overhead in the summer. You may need to relocate plants to different windows as the seasons change.

  • Pay attention to shadows – the more defined a shadow is, the more intense the light is.

  • Supplemental lighting (T5 or a simple fluorescent tube fixture) can make a huge difference in the health of your houseplants. Suspend lights over your plants and use an automatic timer to give them the light they require.


If you have questions about your houseplant, visit our Houseplant Help page and we will help you diagnose what might be going on and provide you with instructions on how to better care for your plant. We look forward to being able to help you!


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