Caring for houseplants; fertilize now and other tips

Written by Doug Oster on .

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If you're lucky enough to have some houseplants hanging on over the winter this is the time to give them a little help.

The first job is to clean the foliage. I take all my plants into the bathtub and run the shower on them for about 10 minutes. Keeping the leaves clean will enable the plant to process carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. One reason to grow houseplants is the fact that most clean the air. They also keep gardeners sane over the long winter. I love tending mine through the season and then they all go outside for the summer.

As the days get longer the plants will be able to take some half stregnth organic liquid fertilizer. I'm using Organic Liquid Kelp from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply.

One of the most important things to remember when growing houseplants is to keep them on the dry side and don't over fertilize. Most indoor plants are killed by kindness.

After I drench them in the shower, I make sure to let them dry out.

The Calathea crocata above was a great find at Chapon's Greenhouse. I've grown this variety before, but have taken care of calatheas before and they are tough. I'll be interested to see how long the flowers last.

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