Environment & Position
Most houseplants enjoy a well-lit & draught-free environment. There are some plants however that have more specific needs. Flowering plants for instance and variegated foliage require more light than plants with plain green foliage where ferns prefer a darker position. A bright windowsill is the perfect place for Cacti, succulents and carnivorous plants. During the summer, avoid south-facing sills as they could scorch. Orchids love a bright position with lots of fresh air and high humidity but avoid direct light. If you notice poor growth, lack of flowers or variegated plants revert to plain green then you may need to improve the light conditions.
Many houseplants are killed by overwatering which causes the roots to die. The idea is to keep the soil moist but let it almost dry out before watering again. Don’t let plants sit in water. Use a hand-held spray and mist ferns and orchids daily.
Plants will generally require more watering during the spring and summer months. Gradually reduce watering during the winter so that the soil is almost dry between watering.
Most plants grow without feeding but some hungrier flowering plants will thrive when given a weekly dose of liquid feed, especially one high in potassium. There are many specialist feeds for plants such as orchids. Plants should only be fed when they are actively growing.
Pruning houseplants can be very easy. Prune away dead leaves, limbs & flowers then cut back stems & branches. Light pruning and shaping can be done at any time of the year but heavier pruning should be done in the spring or autumn. Only prune using sharp scissors or pruners as blunt tools can crush the stems which can leave the plant open to disease and also limit regrowth.