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Potted plants periodically need extra nutrients added to their soil to keep them healthy. Plants should be fed a water soluble fertilizer or fish emulsion at least monthly from March 1st through October. Let plants rest through the winter months.

Plants for Life

  • PLANTS increase property values
  • PLANTS beautify your home
  • PLANTS improve our environment
  • PLANTS remove pollutants
  • PLANTS improve air quality
    • A NASA study concluded that common indoor plants can dramatically reduce toxic chemical levels in buildings with poor ventilation.
    • NASA recommends placing 15 to 18 plants in a 1,800 square foot home to clean and refresh the air.
    • Maximize effectiveness by placing plants where the air circulates and by keeping plants clean and healthy.

Repotting and Pruning

Healthy plants balance their foliage and root growth. Good pruning and repotting habits help plants to maintain this balance.

A rootbound plant will grow foliage energetically until the roots are unable to feed the entire plant. Foliage growth will stop until the plant is repotted into a larger container. Foliage will grow again only after the roots have a chance to catch-up.

Pruning either foliage or roots affects this balance. Regular foliage pruning or pinching back encourages fuller growth and also provides cuttings with which to propagate new plants.

Toxic Plants

Some parts of certain plants can be harmful when eaten. Although natural toxins are very rare, being aware of potentially harmful plant elements is the best defense against accidental poisoning. There is no danger in growing these plants only in eating the toxic parts.

  • Philodendron
  • Diffenbachia
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Yew
  • Caladium
  • Spider plant
  • Airplane plant
  • Cyclamen
  • Foxglove
  • Dragon tree
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Azalea
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Mother in law's tongue


  • Plants need fresh, well circulated air
  • Plants dislike drafts - hot or cold

Avoid placing plants near radiators, hot air registers, outside doors, or open windows in cold weather. Plants should also be kept away from natural gas and oil heaters. If you heat with wood, always have a kettle of water on the stove to increase the humidity level.

Water and Humidity

The most common mistake made in growing plants is over watering. Too much water rots the roots of most plants. Pots should have a drainage hole to let water drain out.

Know each plant's different moisture needs and consider the following when determining the watering schedule:

  • Pot size
  • Room temperature
  • Soil type
  • Species of plant

Generally a plant with thin stems and leaves or growing in porous soil, a dry room or a small pot, will need more moisture than a big fleshy leaved plant. Droopy or yellow leaves or an unpleasant odor are indications of improper watering.

Most plants prefer a thorough watering once or twice a week rather than frequent shallow watering. As a general rule, your plants needs water when you can insert your finger into its soil and feel no moisture. Humidity is also very important since plants absorb water through their foliage as well as their roots. Place plants in a tray of wet gravel or set out pans of water to increase humidity, especially during the dry winter months.