Plant Care FAQ
How do I choose the right plant?
In order to choose the right plant for your space, it's important to understand your lighting. Understanding direct versus indirect light will help you determine which plants will work in your home. You also want to consider how much maintenance is required when choosing a new plant. Our team is happy to help you pick out the best plant for your home based on your priorities and environment.
I'm new to this—what should I do first?
After you have assessed the light in your home and where you'd like to place your new plant, you're ready to make your selection. Each team member at The Victorian Atlanta is readily available to help you make the best choice: something that fits the level of care you're willing to provide, choosing pet-safe plants, and more. We will also help you select the correct planter size—plus, when you purchase the plant and pot from us, we waive our potting fees! This ensures your plant is in the best soil for its needs, and you don't have to worry about making a mess repotting at home. During your potting service, we'll give you plant care tips and answer any questions you may have.
How do I know if my plant is happy?
You'll know your plant is happy when it's putting off new leaves on a semi-regular basis, and the leaves stay nice and vibrant, with no curling or browning on the tips. Keep in mind that in the cooler months, your plant may grow more slowly (or not at all). Don't be alarmed—plants know what they're doing! We recommend using a moisture meter to monitor moisture levels in your plant's soil throughout the year.
Potting and Fertilizing
When should I repot my plant?
There are a few ways to tell when it's time to repot your plant. If you notice the water is flowing straight through the pot, it could mean that the roots have overtaken the planter and there is not enough soil left to absorb the water. If you see roots physically growing outside the planter or through the hole in the bottom, or if the plant is physically too large and won't stand up in the planter, it's time to repot your plant.
How often should I replace my plant's potting mix?
Our plant experts recommend repotting your plant every 1 to 2 years, or whenever your plant outgrows its container. If left in the same soil for too long, your plant will not receive the nutrients it needs for healthy and robust growth. Every time you water your plant, nutrients leach out of the soil, which is why it's so important to incorporate a fertilizer into your watering routine. Even still, refreshing the soil keeps plants happy and healthy for many years.
How and when should I fertilize my plant?
For indoor plants, we suggest fertilizing from March to October, the active growing season for most plants. Incorporate a good organic fertilizer into your watering routine at the start of spring to jumpstart growth. Throughout the growing season, we suggest gradually decreasing how often you fertilize. Stop fertilizing completely during the winter, which is when plants enter their season of rest (just like us)!
Why do leaves drop?
Some leaf drop is completely normal in plants. Usually when a plant is actively growing, it will shed an older leaf or two to sustain energy. If your plant is losing a lot of leaves all at once, there is an issue. You either aren't giving your plant enough sunlight, or you may have a pest problem. Be sure to inspect your plants for pests every time you water to prevent infestations. Spider mites and mealybugs are the most common pests that cause stress for indoor plants, which leads to leaf drop and sometimes death if not controlled.
Why is my plant leaning, wilting, or drooping?
If your plant looks sad, the problem is either incorrect lighting, miswatering, or a pest issue. It's important to know the right type of lighting and amount of water your plant needs in order to keep it healthy. If your plant isn't absorbing water, it is probably not getting enough light—moving it to a brighter spot in your home will encourage photosynthesis.
If you're overwatering your plant (not allowing the soil to dry out sufficiently in between waterings, based on the type of plant you have), root rot can cause wilting. If the roots of the plant stay too wet, they begin to rot, and as a result will not take in water. The third potential cause of wilted leaves is pests. Be sure to inspect your leaves (top side and under side) for any pests, which you'll want to treat right away.
What if there are weird spots or pests on my plant?
First things first: plants get pests. Pests are an inevitable part of caring for plants, but you can prevent and control infestations with a few simple steps. When you measure the moisture in your plants each week, take time to inspect their leaves. Pests are sometimes missed because they like to hide underneath the leaves. A great way to prevent pests is to wipe your leaves down with a microfiber cloth and Neem Oil (an all-natural, non-toxic insecticidal).
If you do notice a pest issue, isolate the plant from your collection. Be sure to check all the other plants it was near, as sometimes pests like to hop to other plants (especially if they're touching)! Once you've isolated your plant, target the pests with a pest control like Spinosad Soap. Not sure where to find it? Don't worry—at The Victorian Atlanta, we offer everything you need to help eliminate pest problems.
Help! Can I save my plant?
Plants that we think might be too far gone can often be saved! Please send us an email with photos and a brief description of your plant's lighting, watering schedule, and any pest issues. If you're not sure what bugs you're looking for, we can also help you identify them.
Mealybugs are a common houseplant pest, a small grey bug with powdery white cotton-like wax. They're usually easy to find hiding in the cracks and crevices near the base of the leaves where they meet the stem. Spider mites are sometimes too small to see, but the damage they do to leaves is how we identify them. They leave tiny punctures on leaves, which look like specks or spots, and you can often see very delicate webbing on the underside of the leaves.
Pests don't equal death of the plant in most cases, and we're here to equip you with the right tools to get rid of them!