10 Houseplant Care Hacks

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10 Houseplant Care Hacks

Megan Foukes · Sep 1, 2022
Woman takes care of her houseplants like a pro.

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies among renters and homeowners. If you’re in an apartment, though, you can’t exactly have a full-fledged garden. You can, however, have houseplants, and even some outdoor flowers if you have a little balcony or patio.

Whether you’re a gardening pro or a first-timer, these 10 tips are guaranteed to help keep your houseplants happy and healthy. 

Use a Banana Peel to Dust the Leaves

Love bananas? Use the peels to clean the leaves of your houseplants. Just rub the inside of the peel over the top surfaces of your leaves, and viola! Your plants will be looking perky and refreshed. You can get even more out of the banana peels when you’re finished dusting by soaking them in water for a few days, and then using that water to water your plants. The peels will make the water rich with nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and calcium — things all plants need to thrive.

Water Plants with Your Overnight Drinking Water

Woman waters her houseplants with leftover drinking water from the night before.

To help save on water, reuse your overnight drinking water. It’s a great routine to get into, and it’ll save you a little money on your next utility bill.

Water with an Epsom Salt Solution

Epsom salt gives plants a great boost of sulfur and magnesium. All you need to do is mix two tablespoons into a gallon of water, and water away. Your houseplants will be happy you did. 

Use Chopsticks to Support Plants

If you have any houseplants that have trouble staying up, try using chopsticks to keep them vertical. Just place them in the soil and let the plant rest against them, or use twine or plant tie tape to secure them more securely. 

Put Eggshells on Top of the Soil

Hands hold eggshells over potting soil.

Adding crushed eggshells into the soil helps bring in more calcium. Plus, it’ll keep away any pests that might otherwise try to make a home in your houseplants.

Use the Upside-Down Water Bottle Trick

If you’re going away on vacation and don’t have anyone to water your plants, use a water bottle. Simply take the cap off and place it upside down a few inches into the soil. All the water inside will slowly be absorbed over time, and you won’t have to worry about your plants needing constant hydration.

Use Ice Cubes

Take about three ice cubes and let them melt into the soil around your houseplants. You’ll hydrate them without running the risk of over-watering them. A word to the wise, though: ice cold water could shock the roots of some tropical plants, so do some research and make sure your houseplants can handle the intense cold before trying this one.

Add Cat Litter to Your Soil

Do you have a cat and love cacti and succulents? Don’t want to buy a specific type of soil for your plants? Just buy regular soil and add unfragranced clay-based kitty litter to the mix. Kitty litter retains water enough to keep your plants from drying out, and it creates better conditions for both aeration and drainage.

Place a Coffee Filter at the Bottom of Your Pots

Hand places a coffee filter at the bottom of a houseplant container to prevent unwanted water runoff.

This is a trick our mothers and grandmothers used, and it still works to this day. Just place a coffee filter at the bottom of your pots. Doing so will prevent dirt and excess water from draining out of the hole and keep the surfaces under your houseplants clean.

Give Plants Club Soda

Did you know that club soda offers essential nutrients for plants, including phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, and sodium? These nutrients promote healthy, bigger growth, so don’t be afraid to give your houseplants a little from time to time.

Plant with Care

Plants are delicate creatures that take time to grow. Make sure you dedicate some time out of your days to give them everything they need to thrive. Some of the tips provided above can certainly help maintain your plants, and lessen the time you need to spend caring for them. Still, it’s important that you understand your houseplants’ unique needs and work around them. Not all plants are made equal, and some require more care than others. As long as you’re careful and do a little independent research, you can use these tips to make the plant parent experience even more rewarding than it already is.

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