Since most indoor plants are tropical plants, they thrive in low, indirect and bright lights. Normally, direct sunlight is about 32,000-100,000 lux, i.e. the unit of illuminance. 100 lux or less is considered low intensity or indirect lighting, and about 400 lux would be bright lighting. Anything above 1000 lux is considered high intensity lighting. So, plants preferring low light should be kept in places which don’t receive direct sunlight. For indirect sunlight, plants should be placed at least 3 feet away from windows streaming direct sunlight. Plants thriving in bright light can be placed next to a sunny window. It is always beneficial for plants to get some sunlight once in a while.
Placement: Keep the plant in bright or low light. Direct sunlight tends to burn the leaves, turning them brown.
Temperatures: 65° F to 75° F. Temperatures below 60° F will kill the plant.
Fertilizers: Feed water-soluble fertilizer diluted in half, four times a year.
Care: Well-drained soil works best for these plants. Mix 1 part good potting mix and 1 part sand. You can use cactus mix as well. Keep away from direct sunlight and never over-water the plant. However, you can keep them under direct light for sometime, in the early morning. Never use leaf shiners on the leaves. Use a soft cloth to wipe off dust from leaves. Do remember that all parts of the plant are poisonous and should be kept away from children and pets.
Placement: Bright and indirect light is best suited for these ferns. Keep them near a window to get some natural light once in a while, for healthy growth.
Temperatures: 60° F to 75° F. However, they can tolerate cold temperatures of about 50° F too.
Fertilizers: Do not need too much of fertilizers but a water-soluble liquid fertilizer mixed at half strength will do during spring and summer. Do not feed during fall and winter.
Care: These plants like humidity and hence should be kept in warm conditions. If the fronds turn yellow or start fading, your fern needs more water. It is a good idea to mist the plant once in a while to keep it clean and to balance the humidity. It is also advisable to water the plants with distilled water, as chlorinated water might affect the growth of the plant. Remove any dead fronds and occasionally rotate the plant to keep the growth even. These plants are susceptible to mealy bugs and spider mites. Clean them with a wet cloth to get rid of the bugs.
Placement: Thrives in low light. Cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
Temperatures: Grows best in warm temperatures from 65° F to 80° F. However, anything less than 55° F will kill the plant.
Fertilizers: Fertilize every spring and summer with a general houseplant fertilizer diluted to about ¼ of the recommended dilution rate. Mist the flowers and leaves regularly to remove any dust.
Care: Since cold temperatures can kill the plant, keep it away from drafts. Peace lilies are sensitive to chlorinated water. Using equal amounts of peat moss, sand and loam for the soil will ensure its healthy growth. They are also susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs. You can easily get rid of them by wiping them with a cloth dipped in water and insecticide. These plants are poisonous for pets.
Placement: These plants prefer bright or low light. Do not expose to direct sunlight as it might burn the leaves.
Temperatures: 65° F to 80° F. Keep away from drafts and air conditioning.
Fertilizers: Fertilize the plant with a drop of weak liquid fertilizer every month.
Care: The most common problems with these plants are the leaves turning yellow or the roots turning black. Too much light or fertilizer can be a reason for the leaves turning yellow. Black roots indicate that the water is either dirty or the plant has been infected with bacteria. Always clean the plant with distilled water to avoid any problems.
Placement: Bright or indirect sunlight is best for these plants. Direct sunlight however, tends to discolor and curl the leaves.
Temperatures: 65° F to 70° F is suitable for healthy growth. Anything below 60° F or above 80° F might wither the leaves and flowers.
Fertilizers: Fertilize with any well-balanced water-soluble fertilizer (15-30-15) at the rate of ¼ teaspoon per gallon of water, in the growing seasons i.e. spring, summer and autumn.
Care: The African violets like humidity and thrive in 60-70% humidity. Remember to keep the soil well-drained. Always keep the soil moist however, keep the leaves dry at all times. If you notice any white, cotton clusters on the plant, it indicates infestation by mealy bugs. You can take care of them by rubbing them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Trim off any withered leaves or flowers to maintain the proper growth of the plant.
Placement: Anywhere from low to bright light suits these plants.
Temperatures: These plants prefer warm temperatures. 60° F to 80° F is perfect for these plants.
Fertilizers: Fertilize with a cactus fertilizer or a water-soluble fertilizer with half strength every 4 to 6 months. Do not fertilize in the fall and winter.
Care: Over-watering will kill the plant. It is advisable to use a good quality potting mix to keep the plant healthy. Do not let the leaves remain wet and use distilled or rainwater if possible. The tip of these plants are sharp, so keep them in a corner where you won’t get nicked. Also, these plants are toxic and should be kept away from children and pets.
Placement: Place the plant in bright or indirect light. Direct sunlight will wither the leaves.
Temperatures: 75° F to 85° F. These are humidity loving plants.
Fertilizers: Fertilize the plant every two weeks with a general plant or acid-rich fertilizer at half strength in the summers. Never fertilize the African mask in winters.
Care: Since the plant thrives in humidity, place the pot on a tray with pebbles and water. Plant them in organic-rich soil with proper drainage. Mist the leaves with soapy water to ensure dust-free leaves and any infestation of mealy bugs. Do remember that all parts of this plant are poisonous when ingested.
Placement: The plant can survive in low light or indirect sunlight.
Temperatures: 50° F to 75° F.
Fertilizers: Use any balanced fertilizer diluted by half once a month. Refrain from feeding during the winters.
Care: Since these plants need very little water, avoid watering much in winters. Use regular soil with some sand for proper drainage. Do not let the leaves sit in water, as that might rot the leaves. These plants have good resistance to pests, however, they are susceptible to leaf spotting diseases. Clean the leaves once in a while to keep the dust away.
Placement: The plants with green leaves prefer less light than the variegated ones. Bright light is ideal for these plants. Keep away from direct sunlight.
Temperatures: 55° F to 80° F.
Fertilizers: Use any diluted plant fertilizer at half strength once every two weeks.
Care: Never over-water the peperomia. In fact, refrain from watering in low temperatures. Well-drained soil is very important for these plants. Use sand, loam or bark for this. Avoid any moisture retaining material like peat moss. The peperomia is susceptible to bugs. If the plant is infected by mealy bugs, worms or fungus gnats, spray a good insecticide once a week. This will eliminate the infestation. Remove all infected parts of the plant.
Placement: Medium indirect light is ideal. Too much sunlight will burn the plant.
Temperatures: 60° F to 90° F.
Fertilizers: Use general fertilizer twice in spring and summer at half the strength recommended. Remember not to over-fertilize.
Care: Do not leave the soil soggy and never mist the leaves. Rich organic, loose soil is best. These plants do not like their soil wet. Humidity is very important for these plants. You can put the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles. This makes it more susceptible to fungal diseases. If the bird’s nest gets infected with mealy bugs, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the infected area. Never spray insecticides directly on the leaves.
Placement: Since these are tropical plants, they prefer indirect light.
Temperatures: 65° F to 75° F.
Fertilizers: Feed every month with any liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Care: Never mist the leaves with water. You can however clean away any dust or bugs by rubbing the leaves with a soft cloth. Do not let the soil become too dry or the leaves will turn yellow and start drooping. Trim off any dead or yellow leaves. Remember not to place your plant near drafts or this may leave ugly brown spots on the leaves. The sap and berries of this plant is poisonous, hence, it is advisable to keep them away from children and pets.