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A Guide to Caring for Tropical Indoor Plants

Houseplants can add a beautiful and vibrant touch to any home. Not only do they look great, but they also absorb toxins from the air, helping to make your home healthier. There are many different types of tropical indoor plants that thrive indoors, such as philodendrons, ferns, ivy, and orchids. Here’s how you can care for almost every tropical indoor plant.

Watering Your Plant

The most important part of caring for any houseplant is making sure it gets enough water without getting overwatered, ooof we know! To do this, you should water your plant when the top inch or two of soil feels dry. You should also check the drainage holes in the pot—if there's standing water at the bottom of the pot, you need to reduce how much water you give it. It's best to use lukewarm tap water when watering your houseplant; cold or chlorinated water can shock it and cause damage.

Light & Humidity

Most tropical indoor plants prefer bright indirect sunlight—in other words, make sure your plant isn't in direct sun but still getting plenty of light throughout the day. The humidity level in your home matters as well; if it dips below 60%, you may want to consider misting your plant with a spray bottle every few days or placing a humidifier near it.

Fertilizing Your Plant

When fertilizing your houseplant, make sure to choose a fertilizer specifically designed for indoor plants (most outdoor fertilizers contain too much nitrogen). Fertilize your plant once per month during its growing season (typically spring and summer). Be careful not to over-fertilize; too much fertilizer can burn and even kill your plants!

Troubleshooting Common Problems

For as long as there have been people, there have been plants. And for as long as there have been plants, people have been trying to grow them indoors. Growing tropical indoor plants is a great way to add a bit of life and color to your home—but it can also be a tricky endeavor. If your plant looks a bit worse for wear, don't worry! Here's how to troubleshoot some of the most common problems when it comes to caring for your tropical indoor plants.

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves can indicate several different things. One possibility is that the soil is too wet or too dry; if this is the case, adjust your watering schedule accordingly and you should see an improvement in no time. Overwatering is one of the most common causes of yellow leaves on tropical plants, so make sure you aren't giving your plant more water than it needs. Another possibility is that the plant isn't getting enough sunlight; if possible, move the plant closer to a window or other source of natural light and watch it perk up over time. Lastly, if yellow leaves are accompanied by brown spots or curling edges, it could be an indication of mealybugs; if this is the case, spray with insecticidal soap and monitor closely for any further signs of infestation.


Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves can mean several things as well. The most likely culprits are either lack of sunlight or overwatering; check that your plant has access to plenty of bright indirect light and adjust your watering schedule accordingly (remember, less water is usually better). If drooping leaves are accompanied by discoloration or wilting, root rot may be to blame—in which case you'll need to repot the plant in fresh soil and make sure not to overwater going forward.

Brown Tips

Brown tips on tropical indoor plants typically mean that you're either watering too much (in which case cut back) or not using distilled water (in which case switch over). Brown tips can also indicate soil that's too alkaline; repot with a potting mix made specifically for acid-loving plants like tropicals and you should see an improvement within just a few weeks.

Caring for tropical indoor plants takes patience and trial-and-error—but with these how to's & troubleshooting tips in hand, you should be able to get your beautiful houseplants back into tip-top shape and keep them thriving in no time at all! Good luck!

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