Plants

Houseplant care: how to stop your plants from dying (and help them to thrive) during lockdown

Posted by
Lauren Geall
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Shelves filled with houseplants

Wondering why your houseplants always seem to… wither away? We asked a plant expert to give us her advice on how to stop our plants from dying (and give them the chance to thrive) during lockdown.

Plants, plants, plants. Whether they’re big or small, smooth or spikey, we’re obsessed with everything to do with them.

Not only do they look great, but houseplants offer a whole range of benefits, from purifying our air to boosting our health. And that’s not forgetting the wellbeing benefits of looking after our plants – in a situation like the current one, taking the time to slow down and tend to our leafy friends is a great way to calm your mind.

With all of this considered, it’s no wonder that so many of us are looking to shop for plant-related stuff right now, whether that’s a new desk plant from one of the online shops still shipping at the moment, or a new novelty pot to mix-up our arrangement.

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But what about when those plants finally arrive? When you realise you probably didn’t need five more plants on top of the 15 you’ve got scattered around your flat? When you realise your plant parenting skills probably aren’t up to par?

Of course, we all know we need to make sure that our plants get enough water and light (although beware of overwatering – if your plants are looking wilted when the soil is wet, this could be the case), but what about the other things we can do to ensure we take good care of them?

Don’t worry, dear reader, we’ve got you covered. We reached out to the plant experts at online houseplant shop Patch Plants to give us the lowdown on how to take proper care of our plants this Spring during lockdown. Here’s what their plant doctor Meg had to say. 

1. Your plants might be hungry

“Plants like a snack in spring,” she explains. “Give them a dose of fertiliser to top up the nutrients in their soil.”

You can buy houseplant food from lots of different places – this one is available on Amazon for £16.99 and can be used with most houseplant types, including swiss cheese plants and fiddle leaf figs.

A houseplant
Top up the nutrients in your plant's soil by giving them some plant food.

2. Give them a trim

“Keep them looking fresh by snipping off any dead leaves or stems, so they can put all their energy into new growth,” Meg suggests. 

3. Size up their pot

“Are any of your plants poking their roots out of the bottom of their pot? Might be time to repot them to give them more room,” she explains. “Hint: you can re-use the old pot for smaller plants or cuttings.”

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To find a pot that suits your home, check out our guides to the best raised plant pots and the best novelty plant pots.

4. Dust off the cobwebs

“Plants with a lot of surface area require you to wipe their leaves from time to time as dust can build up and clog their pores making photosynthesis a little harder for them,” Meg says. “Spring is their key growing season so get out those dusters and get wiping.”

“For larger plants, pop them in a lukewarm shower, and let the water do the work.”

A woman dusting her plant
Give your plants a wipe every so often to ensure dust doesn't build up on their leaves.

5. Don’t let them get sun burnt

Yep, there’s such a thing as too much light – so make sure your plants aren’t being overexposed.

“The sun is much stronger in spring than winter. If any of your plants are sensitive to direct sun, it’s time to move them away from the windows.”

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Images: Getty/Patch Plants

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Lauren Geall

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