Garden Center Hours: Mon-Sat 9am - 5:30pm • Sun 10am - 5:30pm

Houseplant Care Guide for Summer


We just received a BIG new shipment of houseplants and we’re all deciding which ones we want to take home – yes, we shop at Gill’s too! Everyone’s excited about new Maranta (prayer plant) varieties, new philodendrons, huge pitcher plants, wild new bromeliads, and String of Frogs! Summer time is a great time for houseplants, so here’s our guide for lighting, placement, watering, repotting, and keeping your indoor garden happy and healthy.

Different Plants/Different Light

Classic houseplants like Philodendrons, Fiddle Leaf Figs, and Money Trees require bright indirect light to thrive. “Bright indirect” typically means near a window but not directly receiving sun. Think ‘bright overall’ in the room.

Other plants like Dracaenas, Prayer Plants, and African Violets prefer medium light. Think dappled sunlight, a little farther from the window. A sheer curtain can help control brightness.

Pothos ivy varieties, Peace Lilies, most Hoyas, and Sansevieria can thrive in low light. Low light does not mean no light! Place them several feet away from the light source/window, but where it’s still bright enough to read small print and cast a fuzzy shadow.

More Roots = More Water

Potted plants that have more roots than soil in the pot will require more water (a heavy soaking at each watering). Let plants dry between waterings, for the most part. Some plants will prefer to be watered when they are still lightly moist (ferns, Peace Lilies) while others would like to dry out completely between waterings (Sansevieria, Cordyline glauca).

If you capture rainwater, A/C condensate, or water in a dehumidifier, this purified water is GOLD for houseplants!

Repot When Your Plant is Ready 

Plants will usually tell us when they need to go into a larger pot. If you notice that you’re needing to water daily (or a lot more than usual), your plant might be getting root-bound in its pot. Roots may start to grow out of the drainage holes and  eventually create a tight “root basket” at the bottom of the pot.

Its time to repot into a slightly larger container, 2 to 4 inches wider in diameter than previous pot. Don’t jump up to a much larger pot or you’ll have too much soil vs. roots and risk holding too much moisture and overwatering. Be sure to gently loosen and unwind any bound roots when you repot.

Watch Out for Common Houseplant Pests

Be on the lookout for the 3 most common bugs that like houseplants: mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids!  Spinosad soap can take care of them all. If you notice gunky white stuff, webbing, black gunk, or little black dots on your plants, apply spinosad soap. Be sure to spray under the leaves too.

Inspect your houseplants and wipe down the leaves regularly – this keeps them looking great, helps them take up more sunlight, and helps you notice any pest issues before they get out of hand.

Houseplants Need Food Too!

Fertilize your houseplants when they are actively growing, which is typically summer time when the light is most intense. Look for the houseplants that are putting on new leaves or growing noticeably. We love liquid organic Hasta Gro for houseplants – all the nutrients without the fertilizer smell. You can use Hasta Gro as often as every 2 weeks while you’re noticing growth.

Better than your average email.

The Gill Garden News

Sign up for the Gill Garden News, our weekly e-newsletter! Each Thursday at 6pm, you’ll receive the Garden News direct to your inbox, packed with a weekly gardening blog, garden tips, weekly in-store specials, updates about events, and lots more.