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Houseplants 101 – Caring for Indoor Houseplants

January 10, 2023

Whether you are a plant parent newbie or an expert green thumb, show your houseplants some love by ensuring they have the optimal conditions to thrive inside your home.


Every plant has specific lighting requirements, so it is best to know the light exposure of the room when placing a plant, so it has the best chance to thrive. Always check your plant tags to ensure the right lighting conditions.


Low Light – Plants that require two to four hours of low daylight. If your room has Northern exposure, it will receive approximately low light throughout the day.


Medium light – Plants that require four to six hours of bright indirect sunlight. This lighting is the best for most houseplants as the room would receive mostly bright light throughout the day in the room or on a windowsill, but this would be from indirect sunlight with little to no direct sunlight.


High Sunlight – Plants that require six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Rooms with southern or western exposure will get the most direct sunlight. Certain plants will benefit from some direct sunlight, but many indoor plants will not be able to tolerate direct sunlight continuously as this would dry out their soil and leaves.



All plants need good drainage, so they don’t sit in water. When water cannot drain, roots will rot, and the plant will not survive. Place a plate below the pot to catch the draining water, so it does not spill onto the furniture or windowsill.


The size of your pot will depend on the size of your plant. As your plant grows, you will want to gradually move it to a larger pot to accommodate its growth. When you see roots growing out the bottom of the pot, it’s time to move your plant to a larger pot.



Here are some tips to keep in mind when transplanting:

  • Always use good quality potting soil for house plants as it is specifically formulated for indoor plants and contains the nutrients needed to thrive.
  • Use specific soil blends for speciality plants such as cacti, orchids, and African violets.
  • Transplant tropical plants into a larger container when you see roots growing out of the drainage hole, when the plant is lifting out of the pot, or when new growth is abnormally small.
  • If reusing an older pot, be sure that you thoroughly clean the pot with hot soapy water. Always rinse well to ensure no chance of transferring disease to the newly transplanted plant.
  • When transplanting, use Parkwood® Transplanter to reduce shock.

When – and how much you water your plants is key to your plant’s survival.

    • Over and under watering can be the death of your plant so learn the specifics of what your plant requires.
    • To determine if a plant needs water, feel the top of the soil; if it’s cool and damp, wait to water until the soil is room temperature and dry to the touch.
    • Water thoroughly, let drain, and empty any excess water that may accumulate in the catch tray or saucer.
    • Mist foliage regularly, as most houseplants are accustomed to high humidity.
    • Get to know your plants and their requirements. For example, a small pot in a warm, sunny window will dry out faster than a tropical one in a 12” container.
    • If you really want to be sure when to water – purchase a moisture meter to gauge your plant’s moisture accurately.




All plants can benefit from fertilizer, and each plant may have slightly different requirements. We suggest fertilizing with Parkwood® Water Soluble 20-20-20 from March to October when most plants are actively growing. Read the label to determine the best timing and requirements for feeding your plants.



Did you now that Sheridan Nurseries offers a free fertilizer program?


When you purchase our reusable 4-litre plant food jug in-store, you can refill it as often as you wish with our pre-mixed, all-purpose plant food!


Occasionally your plants will shed dead leaves. Shedding is expected as the plant brings on new growth. Always be gentle with your plant when removing dead leaves. Wait for the leaves to fall off, if possible, or trim lightly with shears if the leave is not falling off.



Lush tropical houseplants have become an interior design essential and come in many sizes, leaf shapes, and colours, making it easy to create an indoor tropical paradise. Some easy-to-care-for examples include:


  • Aglaonema – has lush foliage, adapts to various light settings, and is said to be the perfect office plant
  • Dieffenbachia – fun, vibrant plant that adapts to various lighting and is drought tolerant
  • Peperomia – comes in a variety of leaf shades and is a perfect beginner houseplant
  • Pothos – Golden – trailing plant that is easy to grow with minimal watering requirements
  • Birds of Paradise – easy to care for as it thrives in bright, indirect light and is very drought toleran



Succulents and Cacti come in various shapes and sizes, require little attention, and watering is only necessary once every 3 to 4 weeks. They grow best in sunny southwest windows and rarely need transplanting due to a small root system. Popular examples include:


  • Aloe – does well in full sun
  • Jade plants – a plump succulent that are symbols of good luck
  • Snake plant – have strong, pointed leaves and are one of the easiest succulents to grow
  • Zebra Plant – thick, dark green leaves with white stripes



Flowering house plants are a fantastic way to add colour and texture and brighten up any room with pops of colour. While many flowering plants require a south or west-facing window, some tropical flowering plants also thrive in low light conditions. Always check the plant tags for the best placement.


  • Orchids – come in numerous colours and varieties and will do well in bright indirect light settings.
  • Peace Lily’s – have large glossy leaves and bloom white leaf bracts up to two times per year.
  • Anthuriums – are exotic-looking plants with bold, heart-shaped spathes, most commonly in red.
  • African Violets – are one of the most popular flowering houseplants, as their small size can fit almost anywhere. Their blooms come in a variety of colours and they will thrive in a south or west-facing window with bright, indirect light.



Visit our garden centre greenhouses and be inspired by our wide selection of tropical plants, pots and indoor plant accessories.