Groom houseplants on a regular basis by wiping large-leaved plants using a cloth dampened in water or a mild soap/water solution. Spray small-leaved plants with the kitchen sink sprayer or a mister. Spray the bottom of leaves as well as the top.
Take out flowers from plants as they fade so that the plants' energy does not go into producing seeds. Clean hairy-leaved plants (African violets) and cacti using a soft brush. Pinch off (with your fingers) the growing tips of stems of young plants to encourage bushy, not lanky, growth; taking away the tip causes dormant buds below to start growing.
- A quick method, particularly for plants that prefer equally moist soil— and for folks away from home on business or vacation.
- Prior to potting a plant, stick in a wick (a piece of nylon clothesline, strips cut from nylon stockings, acrylic yarn) into the drainage hole. Hold it vertical while filling the pot partway with soil. Place more soil on top, then the plant. Put the end of the wick from the drainage hole in a container of water. Keep the container full.
- Wick watering works fine when you pot the plant with vermiculite only (wash old soil from the plant's roots) or a soilless medium.
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