The Street Where I Live

British by birth, New Yorker by nature.

A Simple Tip For Keeping Houseplants Alive

Home and DesignAlexandra kingComment
My plant jungle, sun bathing

My plant jungle, sun bathing

Plants are a huge part of my approach to decor, and now that I've lived in the middle of a city for nearly a decade, just like my ever-increasing number of botanical charges, my compulsion for all things green only grows with each day.

There's no doubt that plants are one of the easiest and chicest ways to make even the shabbiest rental look polished, and over the years I've experimented with a whole bunch of them- from palms to perennials to peonies. I've talked a little about how I care for some of my fussier plants, here, but even my greener than average fingers have suffered with certain house plants, usually because of the simple but scary perils of over or under watering. It's just so hard to gauge sometimes, isn't it? Most houseplants come with vague instructions- "keep soil damp", "water regularly" but with variables like dry radiator air/summer humidity/ fumes from the street what does that actually mean?

Luckily in my day job I've been working on telling the story of an amazing gardener, who manages a giant rose garden and seems to be able to make anything grow with a deft flick of a trowel and a stern look. Naturally, I've been bombarding the poor chap with questions, but a few weeks ago he told me the simplest tip for knowing when to water, which has already changed my life- just lift the pot and see how it feels. If it feels light, water, if not, leave it be.

Say what? Childs play! I've been using this method now for the last couple of weeks and it totally works. Plants that I had been watering once a week out of habit have been getting less, and looking much better for it, and vice versa. Green fingers restored! Give it a try, and I'd love to hear any of your house plant tips.