Even the most seasoned gardeners and houseplant lovers learn new things. While we might thoroughly understand the basics of plant care, every plant is different. It can get overwhelming trying to keep track of each plant’s specific needs, but luckily there are some tricks for making your life easier in caring for them.
Here are some of the best plant care hacks for you to try.
Make a DIY Watering Can With a Milk Jug
Watering cans are the classic tool to hydrate your houseplants, but they don’t work for everyone. Long-necked watering cans with large spouts can be awkward both for small plants and in small spaces, leading to spillage or worse. One great alternative is to make your own watering vessel out of an old gallon milk jug. By heating a needle and piercing holes in the plastic cap, you can make a gentle shower of water rather than a single powerful stream. What’s even better is that milk jugs are smaller, making them easier to maneuver and store when you’re finished.
Use Coffee Filters to Prevent Soil Leakage
Pots with drainage holes are crucial to healthy houseplants. However, one common issue with drainage holes is that they can become blocked by compacted soil or small pieces of organic matter. This prevents drainage and can lead to problems for the soil and the plant. The opposite may also occur: soil may fall out of the bottom of the pot when you water your plants and make a muddy mess. The best way to solve both problems is to place a coffee filter in the pot's bottom before you add soil. Coffee filters will allow moisture to pass through but keep any soil from blocking or falling through the drainage hole.
Treat Problems With Common Household Products
If you encounter a pest or other problem with a houseplant, check your own cupboards before rushing off to buy expensive chemical products. You can fix many common plant issues with products you may already have in your home. One example is using a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect and treat root rot. You can also mix up a weaker solution to drench the soil and kill any fungus or pests that might be hiding. Another example of a common household item you can use to help your plants is in your spice cabinet. Sprinkling cinnamon on the soil will kill fungus and deter ants. In your outdoor garden, it will keep even more pests away including rodents and slugs.
Rotate Rather Than Move
It’s important to remember that plants are stationary in their natural environment. Once rooted, a plant is going to stay in one spot unless an outside force removes it. This is one major reason you should avoid moving your houseplants around. It may be tempting to move plants around for decorative purposes or even based on the weather, but doing so can cause stress and stunt growth among other problems. Find a suitable spot for your plant and leave it there, giving it a chance to acclimate to the environment. However, one thing you should do is rotate your plants to help them grow evenly. Leaves and stems will grow towards a light source, so if your plant is next to a window you may find it leaning in that direction. To prevent this, and keep them growing evenly, give your plants a one-quarter turn once every two weeks to disperse the light.
These are just a few gardening hacks to help you care for your plants. It’s common to learn best practices through trial and error, but these tips will give you the advantage.