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6 mistakes you're making with your houseplants

House Beautiful (UK) logo House Beautiful (UK) 10/05/2018 Caroline Tilston

a vase filled with purple flowers: Cyclamen pink flower © lenachepel - Getty Images Cyclamen pink flower
Keep your houseplants happy and healthy with these expert tips.

1. BUYING BLIND

Houseplants that are labelled in store as 'Green Foliage Plant' have no chance of surviving. Attempting to grow a plant without a name or care instructions is like trying to bake a cake without a recipe. Know your plant, follow the instructions and there's hope for even the least green-fingered of us.

2. STUFFING THEM IN A CORNER AND HOPING FOR THE BEST

It's not just about knowing your plant, think about your home too. There are all sorts of different environments in your house, from a shady but steamy bathroom to a sunny windowsill. Each one will offer the perfect home – but only to the right plant.

3. PUTTING THEM NEAR A RADIATOR

There isn't a single houseplant that would be happy above a radiator. However much you water it the relentless heat will dry it out and cause wilting.

a vase of flowers on a plant: Close-up of dying dehydrated Peace Lilly house plant in pot © Ian Dyball - Getty Images Close-up of dying dehydrated Peace Lilly house plant in pot 4. FORGETTING TO DUST THEM

This is something that's easily overlooked, but houses are dusty places and there's no rain to wash away dirt and keep the leaves clear enough to do their stuff. So give your houseplants a spritz or a wipe every week or so to keep them perky.

5. WATERING THEM EVERY DAY

Routines are great, but most houseplants have different needs at different times of year and most will have a dormant period during the winter. Overwatering, especially when the plant isn't growing, is one of the biggest causes of a plant's demise.

6. TRYING TO KEEP CERTAIN TYPES ALIVE

There are some plants that are designed to offer temporary colour to your house and then be discarded. They're often called florists' plants and include things such as potted azaleas, cyclamens, chrysanthemums and gerberas. It is technically possible to keep them alive and get them to flower again but it's like trying to recapture lost youth… an ultimately fruitless task.

Related: 20 ways to garden if you don't have a backyard (Bob Vila)

Plant Pockets: It’s much easier than it looks to make these one-of-a-kind wall planters. All you need is air-dry clay, a rolling pin, and a custom pattern to use as a guide for cutting out the design. Once everything sets, you can sand down the clay and paint the interior (or the exterior) the color of your choice using craft paint. Fill the pockets with succulents or herbs, and display your colorful creation on any wall.Related: 6 Easy DIY Projects—No Tools Required 20 Ways to Garden Without a Backyard
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