I Don't Start My Day Without Checking on My Plants

I Don't Start My Day Without Checking on My Plants

I Don't Start My Day Without Checking on My Plants

As a plant parent, one of my favorite times of day is walking around the house checking on my plants while I drink my coffee. Here is my morning routine.

Leaf and Stem Inspection

Yellow or Brown Leaves

I start by carefully looking over each plant's leaves. I'm on the lookout for any signs of distress, pests, discoloration, or wilting. If there are yellow leaves or some with crispy brown edges, I know that something is not right. I investigate to see if the plant needs more water or less. Perhaps it is too close to the window or too far away. Maybe this plant was over or under-fertilized.


If any of the plants have wilted leaves, I inspect the soil to see if it is wet. The number one sign of root rot is a plant that is continually wilting even when the soil is moist. Since I switched to Naked Root Planters, I have never had a plant suffer from root rot. If the soil is overly dry, I know the wilting is most likely from thirst, and the plant just needs a drink.

Stunted or Warped Growth

If the leaves are curling in an odd manner or they are unfurling in an irregular shape, this can be insect infestation or lack of humidity. New leaves take a lot of moisture to open properly, so if the room is dry, they sometimes cannot open properly and look ripped or wrinkled. I inspect the plant thoroughly for insects to make sure that is not the issue.

I Look for These Signs of Pests on My Houseplants

While checking my houseplants, I'm also on the lookout for pests. This is especially important because I have a large houseplant collection. One infested plant can quickly take over a room full of plants. I specifically look for the following:

  • Fine webbing on stems (spider mites)
  • Waxy dots on the leaves or stems (mealybugs or scale)
  • Tiny green or yellow dots on new growth (aphids)
  • Sticky honeydew on the plant (scale or aphids)
  • Fluttering wings (whiteflies or fungus gnats)
  • Small brown or white bumps (scale).
  • Sooty black mold (mealybugs)
  • A white powdery substance that moves when disturbed (whiteflies)
  • Tiny insects crawling on soil (fungus gnats or whiteflies)

If I see any of these signs, I take action right away. This might include wiping down each leaf with a damp cloth, spraying the plant with neem oil, and moving it to a quarantine area until all pests have been removed. Some insects are simple to remove with a hard spray of cold water from a garden hose. I also have beneficial nematodes (Steinernema feltiae) on hand if fungus gnats show up indoors.

Check the Water Reservoir

Because I use exclusively Naked Root Planters, watering plants is a breeze. I have most of my plants on a simple 14 or 21-day watering schedule. Before I water, I check the water reservoir to make sure it is empty before adding water. I check the reservoir of newly transplanted or propagated plants more often while they are growing roots. Once they are established, I add them to the calendar by using the Naked Root watering guide. Easy!

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