Houseplant FAQ

  • Snake plants - Houseplant FAQ - Header - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro TN

Houseplants are an easy way to enhance your home. They are as helpful as they are beautiful! Research has shown that houseplants clean toxins from the air in your home, including formaldehyde. They are also known to reduce stress.

Pothos, Norfolk pine, pilea peperomioides, snake plant - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

Pothos, Norfolk pine, pilea peperomioides, snake plant

Which Houseplant Should You Get?

Ask yourself these questions when deciding what houseplant is perfect for you:

What kind of lighting do you have? Is it bright, medium, or low? Is your light filtered? Like outside plants, houseplants have varying light requirements.

How often are you willing to water your houseplant? Some plants will need to be watered more frequently than others.

Do you have any pets that might bother the plant? Some houseplants are toxic when ingested.

These are questions that our team will ask when you visit – come prepared!

Hawthoria and living stones - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

Haworthia and living stones

ZZ plant - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

ZZ plants

Air plants - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

Air plants

Pet-Friendly Houseplants

Your furry friends and your floral friends may not get along! Some houseplants are toxic and can cause a bad reaction in your pet if ingested. If you think your pet might get itself into some trouble, consider getting a houseplant that is non-toxic, such as. . .

African violetAreca palmBamboo
Bromeliads, including air plantsTrue ferns, excluding asparagus ferns and foxtail fernsHouseplants in the calathea family
Carnivorous plantsTrue cactiHoya
Money treeNeanthe bella palmHouseplants in the pepperomia family
Phalanopsis orchidHouseplants in the pilea familyPonytail palm
Select succulents – echevaria, hen & chicks, and haworthiaSpider plant

Common Houseplant Issues

If you think your houseplant might be sick, quarantine it away from your other plants to keep the disease from spreading. Now, try to identify the problem. If you need help, bring our team a high-quality picture or a sick leaf. Please do not bring your entire plant to the store in order to avoid spreading the disease to the plants in our stock.

There are several ways to treat various plant diseases. At the store, our go-to is a mixture of neem oil and water.

Mealybugs show up as white, cotton-like masses on your houseplant. They can show up as a result of over-fertilization because of the high nitrogen content. First, spray your plant with a hard stream of water – not so hard that it damages the plant – to knock off as many as possible.

Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of neem oil and water. Use one ounce of neem oil for every gallon of water. Each day for 7-14 days, spray the mixture onto your plant until dripping. To spot treat, dip a cotton swap in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off and kill them.

Scales are related to mealybugs. They are small and flat and have a brown shell. Usually, they can be found on the underside of leaves or at leaf joints. The treatment for them is the same as for mealybugs.

Spider mites are very small (only about 1/50 inch long) brown or pale oval-shaped arachnids. If you have a large colony of them, they will also make themselves known by creating a fine webbing around your houseplant. Wipe off the leaves to remove as many as possible. Then, spray them with your neem oil and water mixture or with a mixture of mild dish soap and water.

Fungus gnats are harmless as adults (other than being a nuisance as they fly around), but their larvae stage can damage your houseplants. Larvae have black heads and a long transparent-to-white body. Adults look similar to mosquitos. The larvae live in the soil of your plant.

Remove the top 1-2 inches of soil, and replace it with sand. The sand prevents adults from laying more eggs. Fungus gnats appear with your soil is damp – let your soil dry out as much as possible without hurting the plant.

Leaf spot is caused by a fungus or bacteria. The spots are usually uniform in size and can be black, brown, or yellow. Remove any leaves that are showing signs of infection to prevent this highly contagious problem from spreading. Spray the remaining leaves with your mixture of neem oil and water for 7-14 days.

Pilea peperomioides - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant, friendship plant)

Rattlesnake plant - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

Rattlesnake plant (Calathea lancifolia)

Spider plant - Martin's Home & Garden - Murfreesboro, TN

Spider plant

Popular Houseplants

While we are always on the lookout for new gems, Martin’s Home & Garden tries to keep some houseplants in stock regularly. If we don’t have it now, we should be getting a delivery soon!

PlantLight RequirementsWater RequirementsOther Information
African violetsBright, filteredAllow to dry out between waterings, bottom waterAfrican violets are houseplant divas. Do not get water on the leaves or blooms because this damages them. Also, refrain from touching the leaves because the natural oil on our hands can also damage them.
Air plantsBright, filteredSoak every two weeks for 30 minutes or mist twice a weekCopper is toxic to air plants. They are susceptible to rotting – after watering or misting, allow them to dry out well before placing them back in their spot. Do not use regular fertilizer.
AloeBright to medium, filteredAllow to dry out between wateringsCan handle lower light levels than other succulents
CactusBrightAllow to dry out throughly between waterings
Carnivorous plantsBright to mediumKeep soil moderately moist

DO NOT use regular tap water. Only water with filtered water or rainwater.

Need high humidity levels. As they are carnivorous, they do need to be fed live food. Insects are their fertilizer.
CitrusBrightAllow top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between wateringsMust be taking inside in the winter, but do best outside in the spring/summer
DracaenaLow to mediumDon’t let the soil dry completely, but allow it to dry out some between waterings

DO NOT use regular tap water. The fluoride in the water is toxic to dracaena.

FernsLow to medium

Maidenhair ferns: medium to bright, filtered

Keep soil moist but never soggy

Maidenhair ferns: keep soil consistently moist

Ferns love high humidity. Keep them away from drafts.

Maidenhair ferns are houseplant divas. Their soil can never dry out and they also need high humidity.

Fiddle leaf figsBright, filteredAllow top 2 inches of soil to dry out between wateringsThese need high humidity levels, which can be achieved by regular mistings. Clean dust off its broad leafs once a month to ensure the plant can photosynthesize. Do not place them in direct sunlight or in the path of drafts.
Neathe bella palmLow to mediumKeep soil moistTheir care is similar to that of ferns
OrchidsBright, filteredAllow to dry out between waterings

Bottom water every 1-2 weeks for 5 minutes

These need high humidity levels, but they do not like their soil to stay wet. Place their pot over a travel of pebbles or moss.
Peace lilyLow to medium, filteredAllow top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings

DO NOT use regular tap water. Only water with filtered water.

Clean dust off its broad leaves once a month to ensure the plant can photosynthesize.
Pilea peperomiodesBright to medium, filteredAllow to dry out between waterings
PothosLow to bright, filteredAllow to dry out between wateringsThese are susceptible to overwaterings – be careful!
Snake plantsLow to medium, filteredAllow to dry out between wateringsErr on the side of neglect. These are hardy houseplants and can tolerate a range of conditions.
SucculentsBright

If already adapted to lower light levels, give them filtered light instead of direct.

Allow to dry out between wateringsThese need very little water in the winter.
Terrarium – FernsLow to medium, filteredDo not allow them to dry out too muchThese do well in closed terrariums. They like high humidity and to dry out a little bit.
Terrarium – Tropical plantsBright to medium, filteredAllow to dry out between wateringsSome tend to not do well in closed terrariums.
Terrarium – Selaginella mossLow to medium, filteredDo not allow them to dry out between wateringsThey must have high humidity to live. They do well in closed terrariums.
ZZ plantLow to medium, filteredAllow to dry out between wateringsExtremely toxic to pets