Most of us don’t like waiting, and we want results immediately. When we plant a seed, we can’t wait to see our hard work pay off in the form of a tall, healthy plant. But, plants don’t grow overnight – it’s nature’s way of doing it, it will take time. That shouldn’t mean we have to wait for months to see some fresh colors around the house.
There are many things you can do to help your houseplants and speed up their growth. If you want a homemade bouquet ready for upcoming Mother’s Day or a quick makeover of the indoor landscape, here are some “secrets” on how to make your houseplants grow faster.
The first step to preparing a quick indoor garden is to choose the right plant types and varieties to plant. Some plants will grow faster than others, provided you give them everything they need. Many plant types will provide you with a lush garden in just a couple of weeks, and here’s a list of plants you should consider for your fast-growing garden:
1. Spider Plant
The spider plant is one of the speediest varieties you’ll find when it comes to growth. It adds a beautiful addition to your table corner with leaves hanging over the sides of the pot. Green leaves with distinct white borders will make them stand out in their surroundings.
Other than maturing much earlier than other houseplants, spider plants won’t ask for much care either. They’ll prefer some indirect light but will do well in a shady environment as well. Maintain a temperature of 65 to 75°F (about 18 to 24°C) for the fastest and healthiest results. Water occasionally while the plant is still young and moderately once it’s fully grown.
2. Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreen is another fast-growing houseplant that doesn’t take much effort to care for either. It’s very tolerant and will survive in low-light and low-moisture conditions. But, if you want to grow it fast, you’ll want to give it the optimal growing conditions.
Pothos, better known as Devil’s Ivy, is very popular for its fast growth. It’s a shade-loving plant, so you’ll want to keep it out of direct sunlight. The vining plant is beautiful with its green and yellow heart-shaped leaves. Give it all the right conditions, and it will grow to impressive heights in a couple of weeks.
4. Aloe Vera
If you’re going for succulents, aloe vera is one of the fastest-growing varieties you’ll find. If you want even faster growth, use excellent soil when planting, give it optimal care, and fertilize to provide an extra boost.
5. Snake Plant
Snake plants, also known as Mother-in-law’s tongue, will grow fast, as long as they get plenty of sunlight. The exotic plant looks unique with its straight, sharp, patterned like a snake’s body, growing out of the soil. Once the plant has reached the height you want, you can clip the tips of the leaves. This will stunt the growth and will hold it at the optimal height.
But How To Make Your Houseplants Grow Faster?
Once you’ve picked the right variety, the next step is to plant them! Please give them the right conditions, along with some extras to boost the growth. Want to know how to make houseplants grow faster? Here’s all you can do or, in other words, GIVE to your houseplants to promote their growth:
1. Nutritious Soil
Plants need nutrients to grow. Most of these nutrients will come from the soil that you plant them in. Instead of using garden soil to fill your pot or container, get a good quality potting mix from the store. It’s even better to choose a soil mix designed for the type of plant you plan on growing. This type of soil mix will have the optimal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and organic matter your particular plant requires.
- You can also complement the store-bought soil mix with your organic additions, such as old coffee grounds, chopped-up banana peels, used tea leaves, and crushed eggshells.
These additions add nutrients to the soil and make an organic base that the plants can use and grow even faster!
2. Proper Light Conditions
Different types of houseplants thrive in varying light conditions. Make sure you understand the light requirements of the types of plants you grow so you can give them exactly what plants need to grow and, in this case, the right amount of it.
For example, a snake plant needs plenty of sunlight, at least 5 to 6 hours a day to grow fast. Since direct sunlight isn’t always possible in the indoor environment, you might need to give it artificial light to boost its growth, but this is rarely necessary when growing these most common houseplants.
You’ll need to measure the light intensity for the ideal light conditions and check if it’s suitable for the plant variety that you’re growing. You can use a light meter app on your smartphone to tell you the ‘foot-candle’ of light in the area. A digital light meter or a PAR meter are also useful tools to use for this purpose.
If you don’t want to go into the measurements, pay careful attention to your plants. They’ll tell you if they’re getting optimal light or not. For example, dull green or yellowish foliage means too much light, while leggy plants say too little light. Remember to adjust the lighting accordingly.
3. Maintain A Suitable Temperature
Different plants have different temperature requirements. Some like it a little warmer, while some grow faster if it’s cooler. Know the needs of the variety you’re growing to maintain the optimal temperature for them.
- Quick Tip – Move some plants a little further from the windows on hot days. If it’s cold, you’ll want to turn up the heating or cover the plants with a blanket to keep them warm!
4. Maintain Ideal Humidity
Humidity levels aren’t always ideal in an indoor setting. It’s essential to maintain the perfect humidity for the plants to grow fast. Most tropical houseplants love higher humidity levels, generally above 50%. But, higher humidity isn’t ideal for our health. What you can do is boost the humidity levels only in the area where the plants are growing.
- Quick Tip – Place the plant pot over a gravel tray that’ll hold water, which evaporates over time to humidify the area, or mist the plants often with a sprayer bottle.
5. Water Regularly And Properly
Remember to water your houseplants frequently. Water them enough to let the excess water drain out from the catch tray but ensure you don’t leave the water standing for more than a day since it may result in root diseases. The reason for this is because more water doesn’t translate into a faster-growing plant. Let the topsoil dry two inches (about 5 cm) between waterings.
- Quick Tip – Water with ice cubes! Spread some ice cubes around the soil. As they melt, they’ll release the water and uniformly into the soil. The ice cubes should not touch the plant’s stem, though.
Feeding The Plants To Boost Growth
Last but not least, the most critical factor that can boost growth: FERTILIZATION! The three major nutrients that speed up plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A bundle of other nutrients is required as well, besides these three.
Fertilizers generally contain nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in varying amounts (+ macronutrients and micronutrients that we’re not going to dive into right now). This is labeled as the N-P-K ratio, and different plants have different requirements. The fertilizer packaging will mention the types of plants it’s ideal for, so remember to read it thoroughly!
So, how to make houseplants grow faster? In general, nitrogen is what controls the growth of stems and leaves. Feeding your indoor plants with a fertilizer rich in nitrogen can contribute to faster growth.
Synthetic fertilizers will make the nutrients instantly available to the plants. In contrast, organic ones will need to be broken down by the soil microbes before the nutrients are “open” to the plants. This isn’t a bad thing, though!
- Quick Tip – If you’re going with organic fertilizer, blood meal, cottonseed meal, and feather meal are all nitrogen-rich fertilizers, good for rapid plant growth.
Always follow the instructions in the fertilizer package to know how often and how much to use them! ?
Choose the correct type of plants to grow, keep them happy by giving them the optimal conditions, and you’ll have your indoor garden ready in no time. If you weren’t sure how to make houseplants grow faster, you know now!
All it takes is some care and affection from your end. Remember to take care of these things:
- How much light is best for them.
- How often you need to water your plants.
- The temperature to keep them comfortable.
- When to fertilize, or in other words, “feed” them.
When you give your plants what they need, the plants will return the favor by uplifting your home decor in a couple of weeks.