As you know, I love plants and flowers, and I’m not content to leave them outside in a garden—I love the look and feel that houseplants give to a home! However, indoor plants often take a whole lot more care than the outside variety. Here are a few things I’ve learned about keeping houseplants happy:

Don’t overwater: I know that when a plant looks a little sad it’s tempting to add more water, but you should know that overwatering is a lot more dangerous than under-watering. Before you water, stick your finger into the soil (to at least two inches of depth) to see whether it is moist or dry beneath the surface.

Use room temperature water: If you can remember (not easy, I realize), set aside a pitcher of tap water and let it warm up to room temperature before watering your houseplants.

Stablize temperatures: Winter can be a tough time for houseplants! When it gets very cold at night, move your houseplants away from the window or make sure that there is a curtain between them and the glass. And since indoor heat equals air that is too dry for most plants to be happy, regularly mist your plants during the winter when you’re running the heat.

They need food, too: Houseplants need fertilizer, though what kind you use and how often you use it depends upon the type of plant. Flowering plants often need fertilizer more than the non-flowering kind, and some need it more during the summer than the winter. Ask a trusted nursery what the fertilizer regimen should be for your plants.

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