Plant care for beginners: 5 tips for keeping your plants alive

Photo courtesy TheLoveShop

We know it is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are new to Plant Parenthood. Not everyone is born with a green thumb but thankfully there are tips, tricks and hacks to help keep your plants alive and well. Here’s how.


The first step to helping your plants thrive is to consider the light quality in your space. Check the direction your windows are facing; south-facing windows give bright light, east/west-facing windows give moderate light and north-facing windows give low light.

Too-bright light will scorch your plant to its demise, and too-less light will not encourage your plant to bloom.

“The best rule of gardening, indoors or outdoors, is to know your conditions,” says Justin Hancock, houseplant expert and horticulturist at Costa Farms in Miami, Fla.


Overwatering is one of the easiest ways to kill a houseplant. Looks can be misleading, so to see if your soil is dry enough to water, try the finger test. Insert your index finger up to one-half inch deep into the soil. If the soil is moist, do not water it.


Plants need holes at the bottom of their pots so that the water can drain out. However, many plant pots do not have a drainage hole in them. So, what do you do? Buy a pot that’s slightly larger than the nursery pot that your plant came in, and pop it inside.

No need to replant anything. The holes in the plastic pot will allow for drainage, keeping your plant healthy.


To keep your plant healthy, you will need to prune it.  Pruning involves removing dead or diseased leaves and branches.  When you are pruning, it is important to not go overboard. Make sure to remove no more than 25% of the plant’s original foliage.

Tip #5: Download FLOURISH

Nurturing plants takes practice. Flourish is the best free app to teach you how to fulfill your plants’ needs.

When you manually enter your plant species into the app, you will get a brief description of what your plants might look like when they are healthy, care instructions for their water and light needs, and a list of common problems that can make them sick.

Understanding the needs of your plants will lead to less stress, cleaner air and a healthier environment. For more helpful plant tips go to