A guide to healthy houseplants from the experts

Guide to healthy houseplants

Featured photo of plants from Crimson Horticultural Rarities by Yelp Elite Hanna S

Plants. So hot right now. With increased stay-at-home-time this past year, it is no wonder why people have become more obsessed with making their spaces greener than ever. Plants not only brighten up and add vibrancy to our indoor spaces, but they have also given us a pretty great hobby to tend to!

And if you are like us, then you might have had some issues keeping your plants happy and healthy at home (especially if your space lacks adequate sunlight). That is where the experts come in! Here is your guide to healthy houseplants from the experts: Tiela Orr of Blooming with Tee and Lana Williams of The Tender Gardener, two female plant business entrepreneurs who know more than just a thing or two about taking care of your green babies!

Know what type of plant you have, and the amount of water it needs.

Fight the urge to water plants everyday, because they simply don’t need that much water.


Paraíso Plant Studio
Photo of Paraíso Plant Studio by Yelp Elite Katie Y on Yelp
Plant Terra
Photo of Plant Terra by Yelp Elite Dorothy T on Yelp

Healthy soil equals healthy roots equals healthy plants.

Choose the right soil for the type of plant you have, and well-draining soil is a must. Potted plants must have drain holes, so they aren’t stuck with wet feet.


Groom and prune.

Give those leaves a wipe down with a soft damp cloth to remove dust to help improve photosynthesis; and remove any old, dead, yellow, or crispy leaves so your plants look their best and don’t expend energy trying to save them. 


Yarrow Nursery
Photo of Yarrow Nursery by the business on Yelp
The Dry Garden
Photo of The Dry Garden (Oakland, CA) by Yelp Elite Christina N on Yelp

The best type of plants for indoors are ones that need moderate temperature.

Succulents are in a league of their own so this rule doesn’t apply for them.


When it is time to water, water deeply.

…until it comes out the drain holes, around the entire surface area of the soil, so the entire root ball gets wet, not just on one side.


Alden Lane Nursery
Photo of Alden Lane Nursery by Yelp Elite Frances L on Yelp
 The Tender Gardener
Photo of plants delivered by The Tender Gardener by Charlene H on Yelp

Get to know your plants.

Feel their soil often to get a sense of how fast it dries out and look at their leaves to notice any changes.


Inside or outside, plants need light! 

Don’t forget to give them some sun or place in a bright area. There are even lamps that you can get that give your plant babies the sun-food they need to thrive. 


Drift Castro Valley
Photo of Drift by Yelp Elite Lisa C on Yelp
Knots & Found
Photo of Knots & Found by Yelp Elite Anna M on Yelp

Don’t be afraid to try new locations in the house if your plants aren’t doing well.

Some plants that do well in the living room, may hate your bedroom. And that’s totally ok. If your plants are happy, you’ll be happy. 


Don’t forget to repot your growing plant babies. 

You don’t want to stunt the growth of your plants by leaving them in a pot they have outgrown. If the roots of your plant are coming out the bottom of the pot, it’s time to upgrade. If your plant is too far out of the soil (succulent specific) it’s time to upgrade. 


Fringe + Fern
Photo of Fringe + Fern by Shelbie D on Yelp

Meet the Plant Experts

The Tender Gardener
Meet Lana of The Tender Gardener

An artist and plant enthusiast, Lana Williams first used the name, The Tender Gardener, for one of her painting exhibitions in San Francisco. The paintings were inspired by working in her garden and tending to her indoor jungle. Her passion for plants and flowers runs deep. Her grandmother owned a flower shop and always had a house full of plants. Now Lana is carrying on her family tradition and passion for plants and flowers and wants to share that with you.

The Tender Gardener is queer-owned and offers contactless delivery in the Bay Area.

Tiela is a single mom who loves to create fun and inviting spaces for other people. She started Blooming With Tee with the hope that people from all walks of life could come together and create unique garden pieces. The goal isn’t to make the perfect arrangement, the goal is to have a great time, build new friendships, and make memories that will last a lifetime. 

Blooming with Tee is Black-owned and offers virtual bloom parties.

Blooming with Tee
Meet Tiela of Blooming with Tee

Yelp's Plant Week

This article is part of Yelp’s Plant Week. Join us for 9 days of celebrating plant-based eateries, plant shops, gardens, and nurseries on Yelp!