Happy National Houseplant Appreciation Day! - Manuels River

Happy National Houseplant Appreciation Day!

Turtle vine, Moon cactus &  Swedish ivy.


    Throughout history, Indoor plants became popular for decorative purposes, and have been trending these past couple of years as we are spending more time at home. It has been proven that owning and caring for houseplants improves mental health and can enhance the air quality of your home. Plants absorb carbon dioxide through their leaves while emitting oxygen, and microbes within the soil absorb volatile organic compounds from the air that are toxic to humans in high concentrations. Considering the health benefits gained from owning houseplants, there shouldn’t be a home without them! Continue reading for a short guide on how to start or improve your indoor garden.


Aloe vera sitting on some books.


Dwarf umbrella tree, and ferns wet from being misted.


    For your houseplant to thrive, you’ll want to research the species to understand its needs. The correct moisture, light levels, soil mixture, temperature, pot size, fertilizer, and humidity are important for healthy growth. Plants will be happier growing in the conditions they evolved with, and will in turn provide better health benefits. There are plenty of books, websites, and apps for houseplant care, however, most store-bought plants come with a tab listing the basic requirements for that species.


Cacti getting full sun exposure on the windowsill.


    Many common houseplants are tropical or semi-tropical evergreen species with a temperature range of 15-25 degrees celsius, as they stay green and lush at room temperature year-round. Tropical species typically like to be moist and maybe indoor plants for those who love taking close care of their garden. Many rainforest species enjoy humidity, which can be achieved by misting the plant with a spray bottle of warm water. Cacti and succulents are popular for those who forget to water their plants, as they like to dry out completely between waterings.

    Some plants require more light than others and will need to be next to a window that gets full sun exposure. If your home has little natural light, try buying plants with low light requirements or investing in a grow light. Plant hangers are easy to make and can ensure your sun-loving plants get plenty of light when window sills are lacking!

Thanksgiving cactus in bloom.

Choose a pot and soil mix that meet the nutrient and drainage needs of your plants. A porous pot such as terracotta provides excellent drainage and any other pot with a hole in the bottom. There are many ways to provide drainage for indoor plants, such as lava rocks or a sandy soil mixture (typically used for desert species). Basic potting mix from the store can be used for most indoor plants, as it contains the right amount of nutrients and perlite for drainage.

When caring for plants, it’s worthwhile to be able to identify if they’re healthy or not. Under-watered plants typically have brown crispy leaf tips, while pale yellowing leaves are a sign of overwatering. Other discoloration in the leaves may be due to a lack of essential minerals. Nitrate, Phosphate and Potassium are found in the soil of all houseplants, in varying proportions. It is important to fertilize indoor plants to keep these essential nutrients in the soil. 

Here are some common houseplants and the type of needs you’ll want to know for each plant in your home:


Spider plant: 

  • ☀ Likes full to partial sun
  • 🌢 Let the top inch of soil dry out before watering
  • This plant hangs when big enough, and grows vines that look like spiders! These can be cut and planted or left hanging.


  • ☀ Like full sun
  • 🌢 Let the soil dry out before watering
  • Many different shapes! 


  • ☀ Likes full to partial sun
  • 🌢 Let the top few inches of soil dry out before watering
  • The gel inside the leaves of this plant can be used to treat sunburns and other skin irritations.


  • ☀ Do well in partial shade
  • 🌢 Keep soil slightly moist
  • 🌢 Likes to be misted
  • Many different shapes!

Coffee Plant:

  • ☀ Does well in partial shade
  • 🌢 Keep soil slightly moist
  • 🌢 Likes to be misted
  • This plant may grow up to five feet tall!


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