The Q&A Archives: Indoor tropicals

Question: I've bought several indoor tropicals from you, great prices but now I need hints on their care please. Can't find it on this site.
Blessings, Deborah

Answer: Let's see if we can help. Plant growth is affected by light, temperature, humidity, water, nutrition, and soil. Most tropical plants will be happy in brightly lit locations but should not be in direct sunlight. So, choose bright corners for your plants. Tropical plants like the same temperatures people do, but they won't be happy in drafts from air conditioner or heater vents. So, average household temperatures will be fine for your new plants. Humdity is important to plants. I group mine together because as the water evaporates from the potting soil it increases humdity. But you might also try setting the plants on a tray of gravel in which you keep a little water. As the water evaporates it will increase humdity around the plants. Watering is probably the most important aspect of keeping houseplants happy. Most people overwater. Water your plants thoroughly and then allow the top half inch of soil to dry out between waterings. It's important to allow the soil to dry out slightly. If you keep it too moist it will drive out oxygen and the roots of your plants can suffocate. Feeding houseplants with a water soluable fertilizer at a half strength dilution every 3-4 weeks during the growing season will provide a continuous supply of nutrients without overfeeding and risking burning the plants. I use Miracle Gro at about one tablespoon per gallon of water. After a few years your plants will need repotting. Use a good grade of potting soil and bump them up to the next sized pot. They should thrive under your TLC. Enjoy!

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