7 Surprisingly Easy Hacks For Keeping Your Plants Alive

by Carolyn de Lorenzo

For those of us with mostly-green thumbs, indoor plants are a must for bringing a little life into our living spaces. Not only do house plants provide myriad health benefits like boosting our moods, lowering our risk of illness, enhancing memory, cleaning up our indoor air, and upping oxygen levels, according to Healthline, they also offer much-needed access to nature and greenery, which is especially necessary for us city dwellers. And they give us something living to love and nurture every day. They also add a source of simple, natural beauty to our homes, which is a benefit in itself.

But, in order to enjoy all this natural charm, we need to keep our plants alive in the first place. You obviously know to water your plants regularly (a good rule of thumb is to make sure the soil always looks wet) and keep them in the level of sunlight they like, but somehow, your browning ficus is still not long for this world. These ingenious, sometimes weird, and definitely unexpected ways to keep your indoor greenery happy and thriving can help you revive your pothos from the nearly-dead, if you stick to them. Keeping your indoor plant family healthy can be a lot easier than you might think, and, with these seven, simple hacks, your apartment will be looking like an actual forest in no time.


Fertilize Your Greenery With Coffee Grounds

According to PopSugar, your leftover coffee grounds are brilliant for increasing soil's acidity, and for keeping pesky pests and bugs at bay. Instead of tossing out your coffee grounds each morning, try using them as an all-natural fertilizer replacement instead. Avoid adding your coffee to your plants every day, though, as it could throw your plants' pH out of wack — compost it instead.


Make A DIY Watering Can

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We all know the dreaded droopiness that can happen to your poor, under-watered fiddle leaf fig when you're away from home for a while. PopSugar noted that instead of springing for a house sitter to water your rosemary, you can take a leftover wine or soda bottle — whatever's handy — and fill it with water. Turn the filled bottle upside down, and embed it deep into the plant's soil; this will create a sort of time release watering process as the plant's roots take in water as needed. You could also just buy a watering globe, which does the same thing, but this holds more water, it's recycling, and it's free. Win-win-win.


Add Some Club Soda To The Mix


According to the folks at Reader's Digest, the minerals in club soda are great for helping plants grow, and they recommend giving your green lovelies a slurp of the fizzy stuff once a week for maximum benefit. Just take the lime and mint out before dumping it on your succulents.


Pot Your Succulents In Cat Litter

Molly Decoudreaux via The Plant Library for Gardenista

If you've struggled to get your succulents to flourish, you're not alone; according to Gardenista, "cacti and succulents are one group of houseplants that just won't thrive in bog standard compost." Cat litter, since it's porous, gritty, and lightweight, is great for sopping up excess water from around your succulent's roots, making it a weird, yet effective, addition to your cacti and succulent compost.


Dust The Leaves, And Add Some Mayo

According to Reader's Digest, dusting your plant's leaves, and then rubbing them down with a bit of mayonnaise — yes, really — is a great way to keep leaves looking healthy, shiny, and vibrant for weeks on end.


Make Sure You've Got The Right Soil


This may be an obvious one, but different types of plants have varying needs when it comes to soil — so make sure you've got the right type for your little green friends, especially if you're potting cacti or succulents.


Make Sure To Repot As Needed

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Just like a hermit crab, your plants need a larger home to grow into every so often. Reader's Digest suggests that the best time to repot your plants is in the spring, right before growth/regrowth begins. Also, look for signs that your houseplants need a soil upgrade: if growth is slowing down, soil is becoming less absorbent and dried out, or roots start growing through drainage holes, it's time to repot.

Have no doubt that getting your indoor garden to flourish doesn't need to be difficult or complicated; all it takes is a few simple hacks, the right soil, light, and watering schedule — and your plants will thrive for years to come.