Six Ways You May Not Have Thought Of To Keep Houseplants Alive

Sometimes it's the weird things that work the best.

We all have our own ways of looking after our houseplants, and now research now points to the fact that certain habits like playing music to houseplants, may help them grow faster and stronger.

So what other houseplant habits -- will singing to them, giving them tea or calling them names benefit them or simply piss them off?  Here's what the experts say.

Play them music

It's kind of accepted these days to talk to your plants -- but according to a recent study, getting them a spotify playlist can help. 'Recent evidence supports the notion that naturally occurring and artificially generated sound waves contribute to plant robustness," it says. It goes on to talk about how  scientists have discovered that exposing plants such as pepper, cucumber, tomato, and strawberry to sound in the field and greenhouse might activate their immune response and increase their production of growth hormones. Who knew?

Yeah, not so much... Image: Getty

You can also try playing or singing to them yourself -- some green thumbs have reported that there is genuinely more growth in plants closer to their home concerts.

Name them all

In a recent article, plant lover Summer Rayne Oakes told how she has named a number of her indoor plants, thus making the relationship she has with them more personal AND making it easier to remember to look after them.  "Check out the coolest baby names. Steal your favorite celebrity’s name: Nicholas Sage, anyone? Keanu Leaves?," she says.  "Oh man, we could be here all day! But you get the point: No one goes to bed at night forgetting to water your plant when you’re thinking of Nick Sage."

Give 'em a cuppa

Yes really. According to wellness influencer Jules Hunt it's all about the matcha. "I water my green leafy plants with cold leftover green tea," she reveals to MindBodyGreen. "They love the acidity in the soil!"

If you have ferns and many other houseplants who prefer acidic soil, you can use all manner of  used tea bags. Open the tea bags and pour the used tea leaves into the soil. But Jules warns that succulents don't like to have tea time, since they typically prefer a more alkaline soil.

One ten daily expert recommends a hydrogen peroxide bath for plants  -- it can help with root rot and pests as well as aerating the soil. Just make sure you get your ratios right and read instructions before you do it.

Make time for them

Just like personal care, exercise and Netflix, you gotta make time for your plants, or you won't get the most out of them. Summer Rayne Oakes says she has two rules for this.  "I take care of my plants for 30 minutes as soon as I wake up. And Sunday is a day totally devoted to plant care." That may be a bit extreme if you have one spider plant and a couple of cactii, but you can work it out. And don't overfuss either -- overwatering and pruning can be as bad for plants as neglect.

Have your flatmate look after them

Look we know that not everyone is a big green thumb -- so move in with someone who is! Says one ten daily staffer,  "My housemate basically helps keep all my plants alive." Work your strengths...

When in doubt, buy a succulent

Have a window sill? Get a succulent. "Any desert plant like a cactus or succulent will do really well on bright windowsills. They're really drought tolerant and love dry, hot conditions," says plant expert Christan Summers. And they're hard to kill. Honest.

This guy won't die on you. Image: Getty

Other unkillables include the Kentia Palm, the Parlour Palm, the good old Spider Plant (above) and the Cast Iron plant.

Go forth and green!