Monty Don shares the 'single most useful thing' you need to help your houseplants thrive

 Composite of Monty Don and a houseplant lifestyle shot to support Monty Don's houseplant advice.
Composite of Monty Don and a houseplant lifestyle shot to support Monty Don's houseplant advice.

It's not just vegetable patches and bountiful flower beds we look to Monty Don for when it comes to plant advice, no he's also full of knowledge on houseplants and their various needs too. 

Whilst we're more likely to turn to Monty for keeping up with the latest garden trends or tips for attracting butterflies, as a gardening expert it's no surprise that he has a wealth of knowledge on indoor plants too.

As anyone with houseplants will know, they need a little TLC in order to thrive. From knowing how often you should water your indoor plants to mastering the art of fertiliser use, it can sometimes be difficult to meet every plant's preferences.

With that in mind, when we saw that the gardening guru had offered some advice along with a highly recommended houseplant tool, we just had to share.

Monty Don's houseplant advice

In his April advice blog post, Monty has swayed from his usual outdoor advice and offered his valuable expertise on indoor houseplants. He says, "There are, of course, a huge range of plants that can and are grown permanently indoors with a wide range of conditions best suited to them."

Monty goes on to discuss one of the most common houseplant mistakes to avoid –overwatering. Pointing out that overwatering is by and large the biggest mistake people make with their indoor plants, the gardener specified that it's a matter of over-watering the roots but under-watering the air.

"Only water when the potting compost is totally dry and then it is better to soak them in a basin for 15 minutes, draining it completely before returning the pot to its position," he says.

And what about the matter of plants being underwatered in the air? Well, Monty has a hero tool that he recommends above anything else and it'll keep your fragrant houseplants happier than ever.

woman misting plants in her home
woman misting plants in her home

"The single most useful thing is to get hold of a really good mist sprayer that holds at least a litre of water and with a trigger action. Use this twice a day to give your plants a really good spray so the foliage is running with moisture," he explains.

A lack of misting is also one of the most common causes why an orchid plant's leaves might be yellowing or drying. Even plants that help with condensation in any room will sometimes need extra help with a generous spritzing of fluoride-free water.

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But it's not just these perfected watering routines that Monty discusses.

"A coolish spot, out of direct sunlight is likely to be more congenial for all evergreen plants from tropical regions (but not desert cacti and succulents) than a south-facing window sill above a radiator," says Monty.

Placing your plant in direct sunlight could leave you asking why your peace lily tips are turning brown, and may eventually give your plant an untimely death. So placement is everything when it comes to ensuring your plant can thrive in your home.

Along with the advice, Monty was quick to warn his fans that whilst creating a humid environment is important it's also key you don't mist near any furniture or fabrics that could be damaged by the excess moisture. He recommends misting in a bathroom or your kitchen rather than a living room or bedroom.

Now your houseplants are misted why not try Monty's bulb lasagne method or perhaps his tough love approach for spring plants? After all, there's no one we'd trust more to get our gardens looking their best than the gardening guru himself.