Keep your Plants Alive checklist

INSIDE : A downloadable checklist to help and guide you on how to keep indoor house plants alive.  Keep your plants alive and thriving with these easy tips.

Keep Plants Alive checklist

Earlier this year, I asked my readers what indoor houseplant related questions they had prior to writing my Happy Houseplants eBook.  And the resounding question was, “How do I not kill all the plants?  No really, how?” It made me laugh because every roommate I have ever had and most of my friends have asked me how to keep plants alive, one way or another. 

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New plant people tend to get excited about a trendy “it” plant.  They pick one up, enthusiastically over water it that first week and then forget about it for a month and a half.  Not surprisingly, it dies and they swear off buying any plants ever again, thinking they have a “black thumb”.

Ready for this news flash : you are not a plant killer.  Most of the time, the main problem new plant owners have is they don’t know which plants to start with!  If you are just starting out, simple things like not overwatering your plants may be an exercise that will take time and practice to figure out.

Here are a few simple steps you can take as a plant newbie to set yourself up for success!  Read to the bottom of the post to see how to get the Keep Plants Alive checklist.

1. Pick an EASY starter houseplant.

Resist the urge to go buy a Fiddle Leaf Fig as your first plant baby.  Although they one of my favorite plants, they are very finicky about their environment.  Not only to is it good to start with a simple plant, but knowing what are the easiest plants to keep alive can give you a confidence boost, too. 

Some of the plants I would highly recommend starting with are : Snake Plant, Philodendron, ZZ PlantPothos and Spider Plant.  These all are very forgiving, lower maintenance plants to start with.  

Once you have mastered these easier plants, you can graduate onto slightly harder plants to care for.

Snake plant in office

2. Check out the light requirements.

Once you have your plant at home, look at it’s plant tag and read what kind of light it requires.  Place your new plant baby in a location that matches its ideal lighting needs.   Typically, the amount of sun a plant receives inside your home is the biggest reason why a plant does not grow well. So be sure to place your plants in the best location possible. You need an easy plant win and putting your plants in their ideal lighting situation is key.

If your home does not get a lot of natural sun, don’t pick a plant that demands direct sunlight.  Unfortunately, you need to have plants that work with your current lighting situation.

If you notice your plant is looking very lanky or that it’s leaves are gradually getting pale or yellow, it may be a sign that it’s not getting enough sunlight and should be moved closer to a window.

Check out my post about the Best Sunlight Levels for Indoor Houseplants.

Keep Plants Alive checklist

3. Make sure your pot has good drainage.

All plants need to have drainage to allow the water to follow through and out of the pot. Make sure the pots you pick have a drainage hole, to avoid root rot (this happens when the roots sit in excess water for a long time)

When putting a plant into a new pot, I often put about a 1/2″ of small rocks at the bottom. Not only does this help with not having the roots sit in water, but it also aids with screening out soil.

Terra Cotta Potted Plant

Using clay or terra cotta pots, allows the soil to breath a bit more through the porous pot wall.  However, it is not critical to use this type of pot.  I often use a terra cotta pot and then place that pot in a more decorative larger pot to sit in my home.

4. Fill out a Houseplant Log.

This will help you to remember the plant type, what his water and light needs are and any other important items that will help you on your plant journey like future growth conditions or specific nutrient recommendations.  You can get my houseplant log in my Happy Houseplant ebook.

5. Pick a watering / check-in day.

Next, pick a day of the week that will be your routine watering day.  Stick with the same day, every single week.  On that day, you will “check in” with your plant. 

Reach your finger into the soil about an inch (to your first knuckle) and see if the soil feels dry.  If it feels dry, then give your plant a little water.  If it is still wet, let him dry out until your next watering day.  

Overwatering is a very common reason your plant doesn’t thrive. There are a few plants that like to have wet moist soil, but most plants do better when their soil is allowed to dry out a bit between waterings. 

Four Leaf Clover Mini Planters : Perfect DIY Craft for St Patrick's Day, Delineate Your Dwelling

You can always remember this, plants love a good shower, but they aren’t as fond of baths.  Meaning, once your plant has soaked up all the water it needs, allow the excess water to drain and dry out.

6. Repeat these steps each week.

You are well on your way to keeping your plant baby alive!!

If you are still looking for more information on how to keep indoor plants alive, be sure to check out my Happy Houseplant ebook!

Sign up for the DYD Insider newsletter to receive access to my ENTIRE DYD Printable Library along with this KEEP PLANTS ALIVE checklist!!!

Already a DYD Newsletter Insider? Click on over here to access the printables library using the password found at the bottom of any email I’ve sent you.

Need some more plant care posts?  You’ll love these : 

11 Hard to Kill Houseplants
Best Plants for your Bathroom
Best Sunlight Levels for your plants
Best Indoor Plant Pots
How to clean your Houseplants
Best Online Houseplant Shops
Water Propagation for Plants

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